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February 13th, 2006

Song of the Day @ 10:58 pm

I'm currently hearin: Stay - Live from Boston

I am posting a little early, yes.  I seem to be particularly uninspired when I come home from work and have to do an SotD (see last week), rather than starting my day with it.

"Stay (Faraway, So Close!)" live from Boston, 5June2001

Sampled from the Elevation DVD, of course.  I have an audiorip, and will upload ye the file to gmail.  "Stay" is up there among my favorite U2 songs.  The album version stands alone against the sea that is Zooropa.  Well, okay, it has a brother in "The First Time" but they can't see each other over those two incredibly long titles betwixt them. ;-)

I love these live versions from Elevation, and have the Toronto one, as well.  Adam and Larry get a break, it's just Bono, Edge, and an acoustic.  Okay, mostly it's just Bono and Edge.  It isn't like acoustic versions of Staring at the Sun from the same tour, or Sunday Bloody Sunday from the previous, in which the reimagined guitar gets his own little part.  Here, it's all background, strumming.

Studio tracks usually call for near perfection from Bono.  Lyrics are re-recorded, washed, mixed, cleaned, and dried with lemony freshness.  There's something about live tracks that are so much more raw.  With "Stay"s placement immediately before the climax, and well into the show, you can hear Bono's tire, especially in the opening lyrics, and that makes them so much more poignant.  The point of view in this song is one of exhaustion and desperation.  Watching a loved one full of pain, and even worse, the toleration of that pain.  Saying to them, I'm here, lean on me... Instead, they look through you, talk at you, and feel nary a thing when you touch them.  Of course the implied observation lines up with Faraway, So Close! / Wings of Desire / City of Angels, that of an angel who really isn't able to be seen, listen, or touch.  But those of us who shoulder the meaning ourselves, feel the pain of literal interpretation.  Bono's exhaustion parallels all that physically, making a viewing of the song even more impressive. 


ETA: I'll have to upload it at a later time. Satellite internet is wonky. *grumble*
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Date:February 14th, 2006 04:31 am (UTC)
I totally agree about U2's live recordings putting album versions to shame most of the time.

And this version of this song...? It just makes your heart want to cry when you listen to it... The pain just drips off of it.
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Date:February 14th, 2006 07:29 am (UTC)
In the same company of your opinion, I must recommend the Slane Castle performance of "One".

So powerful. Beautiful, absolutely emotional.
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Date:February 14th, 2006 04:50 pm (UTC)
What I love about this version:

1. London, Belfast, Massachussetts...
2. The Edge's backing vocals.
3. The audience's backing vocals as Bono sings the final verse ("Oh-oh-oooh-ooh"/"Three o'clock in the morning...")
4. You're right, the emotion - like he's worn out but still pleading.
Date:February 14th, 2006 08:16 pm (UTC)
most of the time when i watch that DVD... i just watch that song. i love it soo much. probably one of my fav. live songs that they did.
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Date:February 18th, 2006 02:04 am (UTC)
I prefer the full band version from the ZooTV tour, personally... partly because I think it sounds better with drums, and partly because Bono's voice was in much better shape (I like him singing "Stay..." in his falsetto!). I know what you mean about the more fragile vocals suiting the mood of the song, but I find it a tad painful to listen to, knowing that it's not an artistic decision but simply down to him struggling with his voice a lot on that tour. :/  Still, he does a decent job on the chorus, considering. And inklingfair is right about the audience's backing vocals being rather cool. :)  Thanks for uploading it, btw!  I haven't watched that DVD in ages so I couldn't remember anything about the performance.

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