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June 28th, 2006

Super mega-sized SOTD! @ 05:38 pm

sapphires13:
I'm currently feelin: thoughtful thoughtful
I'm currently hearin: Bad/"40"/Streets - U2

Can you guys guess what my favourite U2 DVD is yet? I feel like it won't be long before I've covered every freaking song on it as a SOTD. Today is no exception, today I'm doing three (which is really two, but whatever).

"Bad/"40"/Streets" from the Elevation Boston DVD

What a combination! Note that "40" is not played in it's entirety at all, but rather just several repetitions of "How long to sing this song?" as the music slips easily from the outtro of Bad into the intro of Streets. But it's the perfect segue, and the two songs wouldn't be complete without that tiny bit of "40" bridging them together.


So let's just do the rundown, shall we? After a nice acoustic performance of Stay, Edge leaves Bono alone at the tip of the heart. Bono takes the time to get a drink of water and towel his face off. While he's doing that, the Bad intro begins. The lights are turned down, so you can't really see the crowd's reactions that well, but the certainly sound excited.
And speaking of lights, I love the lights they're using. They're like... mirrorballs without the glitz. There are four, two on either side of the stage, consisting of a white light within a metal cylindrical shade, dotted with small windows, as the shade rotates, dots of light are bathed over the audience.
Bad is such a striking song, and though in 2001 Bono's voice was obviously not the same as it was in 1984, he manages to carry the song through, despite a bit of struggling. Is it odd that I find the way Bono is tapping his foot along during the first verse really adorable?
He makes his way back onto the main stage with the rest of the band, and proceeds into the first "hoo hoo"s of the song. He motions for the audience to help him, and it seems that they do more of it than he does, but that's okay, because when he gets to the first "To let it go!" he really carries it and shows that he can still pull it off. Also, I love the way Edge is intently watching Bono as he sings. Also note that during "I'm not sleeping", Bono is rubbing his upper arm, a reference to heroin use. The camera sticks mostly with Bono, but there are some good closeups of Edge and Larry's hands as they play. Adam mostly gets left out though.
Now this is where the performance really starts to stand out. Bono goes and kneels right on the end of the stage, and reaches out to the audience. There's a spotlight shining down on this small section of the crowd, and all you see is a sea of hands, reaching out toward Bono. There's almost something magnetic about it. I love the shots from audience level, it sort of puts you right there with the crowd. Your view of Bono is regularly interrupted by random hands, but you're so close that you don't care. And the rose, we mustn't forget that single pink rose being offered up to Bono, but he never touches it, instead he gets a tight grip on one lucky person's hand, and doesn't let go.
And the song explodes. Bono holds on tight, and sings with all his heart. The energy and desperation in the song and the performance is mindshattering. The "Fade away!"s are the point where I start holding my breath. I don't do it on purpose, I just can't help myself. I suppose in that sense, you could say that the performance is breathtaking. The lack of breathing continues after Bono makes his way back to the tip of the heart, and sings the final "Wide awake!"s. As he finishes up the song, I'm finally able to start to calm down.

But of course, it's not over. Before you even realize what he's doing, Bono starts singing the chorus of "40". The audience immediately joins in the chant, and Bono holds back his microphone, allowing them to take over with the singing. And again, before you realize what's happening, the music changes over, and Edge starts in with the Streets intro. I love this part, as soon as the audience realizes what's happened, they all stop singing and start cheering. Streets is the reason to go to a U2 concert, of course they're cheering.

Bono kneels down to say his prayer, the red lights come up at the back of the stage, and you can feel the intensity building. This is Streets, always a powerful song, and this is one of the more powerful performances of it. And then everything explodes, Adam and Larry kick in with Edge, the bright glittery white lights go up, Bono gives a tribal yell, and the audience becomes a turbulant sea as everyone begins bouncing in anticipation.
Then Bono takes off running, he runs all the way around the heart, and back to his starting point. Watch his face as he runs, he's grinning like a kid on Christmas. As Bono hits the first line of the song, watch the screens at the back. In perfect sync with Bono, they change from red to some brighter, random black and white footage (I can't really see enough of it to tell what it is). Notice how Bono puts his arm out when he sings the "dance, dance, dance" bit, he truly looks like he's enjoying himself, and I think that's part of why I like this performance so much.
As Bono makes his way back to the main stage, the lights once again (thank you, Willie Williams) are once again in sync with the vocals. As Bono sings "the city's a flood", the audience is suddenly bathed in bright yellow light.
After the next chorus, the screens sink out of sight, and the song moves into the "oooooh"s before the final chorus. During this part, Bono opens wide his jacket on both sides, revealing the American Flag lining. This is almost inperceptible due to the wide shots used at this point, but trust me, he does it. As they go into the final chorus, I love the way Larry is leaning way back in his seat with the effort of drumming.
And then it's over, and we all sort of sit touched and bewildered by the stunning performance. Also, make note that Bono's rosary falls out of his shirt when he kneels down at the end of the song. This is the only time it makes an appearence during the entire concert. And then with "God bless you", grins, waving, and Edge clapping, they're gone... at least until Bullet the Blue Sky.


If you twist and turn away
If you tear yourself in two again
If I could, you know I would
If I could, I would
Let it go

Surrender
Dislocate

If I could through myself
Set your spirit free
I'd lead your heart astray
Just to see you break, break away
Into the light, to the rain
Into the light
Out from over the flame

To let it go
So not fade away
To let it go
So not fade away

Wide awake
I'm wide awake
Wide awake
I'm not sleeping
Oh, no
I'm not sleeping
Oh, no no

If they should ask
Well maybe they'd
Tell me what I should say
True colors fly in blue and black
Bruised silken sky and burning flag
Colors crash, collide blood shot eyes

If I could, you know I would
If I could, I would
Let it go...

This separation
Separation
Isolation
In temptation
Isolation
Not revelation
Isolation
Not revelation
Isolation

Let it go
So not fade away
To let it go
So not fade, fade
Fade away
Fade away

Not fade away
No, no
Not fade away

(Woo-hoo sing it)
(Find my way)
(Come on, help me do it)

Love
Not fade away
No no no no no no
No no no no no no no
No no no no

I'm wide awake
Wide awake
Wide awake
I'm not sleeping

I'm not sleeping

How long, sing this song
How long to sing this song
How long... (to sing this song)
(How long to sing this song)
(How long to sing this song)
(How long to sing this song)
(How long to sing this song)

(How long...)
(Oh)

What can I give back to God
For the blessings he poured out on me
What can I give back to God
For the blessings he poured out on me
I'll lift high the cup of salvation
That is a toast to God
For to fufill the promise I made to Him
From the heart

I want to run
I want to hide
I wanna tear down the walls
That hold me tonight
I want to reach out
And touch the flame
Where the streets have no name

I want to feel sunlight on my face
I see the dust cloud disappear
Without a trace
I wanna dance, dance, dance in the dirty rain
Where the streets have no name

Where the streets have no name
Where the streets have no name
Still building
And burning down love
Burning down love
And when I go there
I go there with you
It's all I can do
(Oh yeah)

The city's aflood
And our love turns to rust
We're beaten and blown by the wind
Trampled in dust
I'll show you a place
No sorrow and there's no shame
Where the streets have no name

Where the streets have no name
Where the streets have no name
Still we're building
And burning down love
We're burning down love
And when I go there
I go there with you
It's all I can do

Where the streets have no name
Where the streets have no name
Still we're building
And burning down love
Burning down love
And when I go there
I go there with you
It's all... I can do

It's all we can do
This is all we can do

 
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Comments

 
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From:lydia_petze
Date:June 28th, 2006 10:51 pm (UTC)
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Woah :-) I have the Boston DVD, but I don't watch it all that often as I really love the Slane Castle one. But yeah, maybe it's time for me to drag that one out again. Thanks, that was a lovely writeup.
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From:beatlette
Date:June 29th, 2006 12:14 am (UTC)
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God I love this performance...i loved that tour! I love the lights during that show too, esp in WTSHNN where it's a crowd POV and the lights are flashing like rays *sigh*
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From:princessjen723
Date:June 29th, 2006 06:14 am (UTC)
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Wow, I am so glad someone made mention of this. This is by far one of my favorite U2 moments of ALL time. I can't even tell you how many times I've watched/listened to this awe-inspiring and soul-stirring part of that concert. To this day, it still gives me chills and makes me want to burst into a joyful sob.

First off, Bad is one of the most incredible and emotionally charged songs ever. I'm not even talking by U2 standards. I mean EVER. There's no denying it. I never would have thought it would blend so perfectly into a verse of "40". It's almost as if they're one in the same. And it is a little piece of heaven.

I think what gets to me the most is the overall "intro" to Streets: the combination of the audience's incessant chorus of "How long to sing this song?", the little prayer Bono chants as the red screens slowly start to rise behind the stage, Edge's legendary and budding guitar rift. I am probably one of the most secular people I know, yet Bono's prayer to God just GETS to me on such a level that I can't even verbalize it. Then tack on Bono's bone-chilling "tribal yell", and... oooh, it's the end of me. I'm gone. A total emotional wreck, *LOL*.

I think "Streets" has the best build-up out of any other song in U2's catalogue. And it is such an iconic and recognizeable sound, it automatically evokes specific emotions in me and transports me back to their illustrious Joshua Tree era where they truly established themselves as THE greatest band in the world.

This flawless segue of three of my favorite songs is absolute perfection. Once again, thank you for posting about it. I listen to/watch this part of the concert on my iPod on a constant basis. And it never gets old ;o)
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From:canadanne
Date:July 21st, 2006 11:11 pm (UTC)
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I've slipped into my old habits of getting horribly behind with these things!

Anyway, I've watched it now. I like the bit during Bad where Bono is on his knees, holding audience members' hands. :)  I also love the whole arena singing "40" in unison, that's pretty special. And when is the intro to Streets *not* completely spine-tingling?  It's impossible not to feel a rush of emotion when you hear that crowd just explode with pure joy... what a song. Gorgeous light show as well.

Although I was a bit distracted by the way Bono keeps inexplicably pronouncing it "shreets" during this performance!!  I thought he was actually going to sing "Where the sheeps have no name" at one point, which is a parody I wrote a few years ago. *g*

That comment was in no way worth waiting for. But then I never said it would be. ;p

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