... (morganlefenian) wrote in u2,

first new york show: wednesday, october 24th

I think I have at least ten pictures of just a massive sea of people in which I can point to one far-off dot and say, "See? That's the Ledge." I think Edge shops at Contempo Casuals. Seriously- he owns far more glittery/studded/bedazzled items of clothing than the average person should. U2 opened, of course, with "Elevation," but added the touch of playing the first half of "Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" over the loudspeaker before taking the stage. Bono made a point to bow, on his knees, to the audience before beginning.

set list:
Beautiful Day
Until the End of the World
New Year's Day
Out of Control
Sunday, Bloody Sunday
Stuck in a Moment You Can't Get Out Of
Angel of Harlem
Knockin' of Heaven's Door
Staring at the Sun (acoustic)
Where the Streets Have No Name
I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For
Pride (In the Name of Love)
first encore:
Bullet the Blue Sky
What's Going On
New York
second encore:
Peace on Earth
Walk On

I was so happy to see "Out of Control" and "Bullet The Blue Sky"! I'd forgotten how amazing "Where the Streets Have No Name" is live. Several touching moments, especially during "Sunday Bloody Sunday" and "One", where several thousand names of victims of AIDS were projected over the arena.

"Sunday Bloody Sunday" never seemed more poignant, at least to me, than now, in light of the IRA's disarmament and my newfound fear of terrorism in my own homeland. Bono spoke several times about the disarming of the IRA, getting obviously emotional during "Sunday Bloody Sunday," and while introducing "One." He talked about how it was hard being Irish Catholic in England during the eighties, when "people would look at you funny" because of a distant cultural connection to the IRA, and then drew a comparison to how Arab-Americans were being treated during this bout of war fever. He reminded New Yorkers that one of the city's strengths is in its diversity, and not to betray that legacy. He flashed the "peace" sign several times during the evening.

The show is really about the fans. Aye, Bono has a very good idea of how important he is to these people--images of him leaning over the stage, grasping the outstretched hands of the many adoring listeners are what gave birth to a "Bono cured my leprosy" joke my friend and I have. But that's what it's about, isn't it? Three people were pulled up onto the stage, an excited young man who had the translations of "one" tattooed on his back during "Stuck in a Moment You Can't Get Out Of", a girl who was invited to play guitar during "Knockin' on Heaven's Door", and another girl in an "I Love New York" shirt during "New York." (He picked her up and carried her at least thirty feet!) U2 have achieved the perfect balance between great performance and ample fan service, which is often hard to pull off.

What really touched me about this show... I've been trying for days to put it into words. I suppose it's about how I could be separated by several thousand people and several hundred feet of space, and still feel as though I'd been held tight and told, "It's all right. There is still beauty in the world."
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