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One of the better first leg gigs you'll get here. An excellent setlist in that it was a fairly staple Vertigo menu but with a few nice surprises thrown in to keep the crowd on their toes.
The band had played East Rutherford the night before and appeared very comfortable in front of the New Jersey crowd. They had their setlist laid down quite well but flexible enough to cater for the likes of some rarities such as Gloria and The Ocean and their delivery was spot on for most of the night.
This was a pretty smooth sailing sort of gig in that each tune seemed to roll into the other. The band seemed to be in the zone from the opening City of Blinding Lights and the energy picked up another gear as we moved into Vertigo and Elevation. A blessing of the early gigs was Vertigo's best snippet Stories For Boys and it is captured well here in East Rutherford but the electric part of this bad boy is Bono's "J-J-J-J-J-Jersey" around the bridge.
That brings me to one of the show's highlights the Gloria/Ocean double which I never grow tired of. This was one of the first shows I ever downloaded and just keep coming back to this combo. Nowhere near as good as the Gloria of the 80's but still worth a listen every now and again and The Ocean is tailored very well for New Jersey which the audience clearly enjoy.
We then go into one of my favourite Vertigo sequences in Beautful Day - with its excellent Blackbird snippep - followed by Miracle Drug before we are treated to very solid War and Human Rights sets.
The boys then reappear for one of my favourite renditions of the standard first Vertigo encore - Zoo Station--->The Fly--->Mysterious Ways - all three are played exceptionally well here. Vertigo's Fly has never quite matched up Elevation's Fly for me (the chorus loses the magic) but this one stacks up.
The highlight of the last encore was local band The Bank Robbers' appearance on stage who joined the boys Still Haven't Found... Bono's repeated thank yous trying to get them off stage during the song was priceless and then we had it played heavy rock style which actually didn't sound too bad IMO. Bad/'40' to close it all out was a great finish to a great boot.
Good. Very little to report here. A solid audience recording. Recording: Audience microphone - 4 stars
They were an energetic bunch who got into most songs. Highlight for me was a dude during Bono's introduction to Miracle Drug when he was talking about guitar effects who can be heard clearly yelling out "Yeah, Rock 'n' Roll Bay-bay!" Gotta love that guy!
I've kept this boot on my iPod since downloading. It's one of those gigs I keep coming back to from time to time. It was a classic Vertigo performance with all your standard Vertigo suspects with a bit of diversity which is what I always like to see in a U2 show.
Gloria--->The Ocean - One of the best Glorias you'll find out there from the Vertigo tour and Ocean is just a great little number to accompany it.
Miracle Drug - One of the best first leg Miracle Drugs
Love and Peace or Else - One of the best I've heard. Period. The boys just absolutely nail this one.
The first encore - All three are played with great energy.
I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For - Just for its silliness, Bono's repeated attempts to get the band off and the heavy treatment towards the end.
Bad/'40' - Just a great closer.
Download this one and check it out if you're after a good first leg Vertigo gig.
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"We really became U2 not so much through our records but through our concerts and shows. And I think that’s where to look these days."
- The Edge, 2019
did you know
The song 'One Tree Hill' is named after the highest volcanic hill in Auckland and was dedicated to Greg Carroll, who had become Bono's personal assistant. Greg Carroll was killed in a motorcycle accident in 1986.