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We had seats for night 1. After relaxing and enjoying dinner and listening to The Joshua Tree tribute band at Hurricane’s across the street, we walked into the arena and to our seats around 7pm. Once we realized that security wasn’t really paying attention and people without wristbands were just walking onto the floor, we did the same thing and ended up center of the screen on Adam’s side, second row off the rail.
Thinking I could do the same thing again the second night, I bought a cheap balcony seat the morning of the second show. But security was a lot tighter – there were only a few entrance open for floor access, and there was one guard at the top of each entrance and two at the bottom, and they were each checking the wristbands pretty diligently. So I enjoyed night 2 from the very top row of the arena, which was a totally different but still awesome experience. I sat next to and chatted with a wicked nice family from Texas; the husband told me he had seen them on every tour since Joshua Tree all over the country, and now he and his wife were bringing their daughters to see them. This was their first show in Boston. Even though we were in the seats, our entire section still got into it and stood up for a lot of the concert. A super fun, casual, but enthusiastic vibe all around, and it seemed that way for most of the entire arena, both nights.
The opening is perfect. LIAWHL with just Bono underneath the screen is great. Blackout is killer. The images, the reveal of the band under the screen, the song itself – unbelievable opener. I wish they played the strings part and Edge’s guitar up way more during Lights of Home, but that was still amazing.
From my vantage point both nights, I Will Follow got the biggest crowd reaction of the night. Insane feeling to scream and jump along with an entire arena and to see the band love playing it so much. I think Gloria got a bigger reaction than ABOY, but both are great high energy songs. I get now why Beautiful Day follows there – to keep up that energy. It’s needed, because The Ocean then kills every last ounce of it. It stopped everyone dead. I understand that it’s the start of the innocence narrative, but wow is it a buzzkill. Even going straight into Iris would be better.
Seeing this version Sunday Bloody Sunday up close was more intense than I thought it would be – the entire band still get really into it, even though it’s not the regular version. Edge and Adam had their eyes closed for a lot of the song.
Until the End of the World is still my favorite song live. It can stay in whatever incarnation it’s in for every show from here on out and I would never get sick of it. I didn’t miss Streets, but I would’ve missed UTEOTW.
The HMTMKMKM comic on the screen is fucking awesome. Even better would be the band actually playing the song live while they show it…
Acrobat. Acrobat. ACROBAT. I thought I died last year when I heard Exit live. Nope. That was last night. I’m so glad they’ve never played this live before. It’s a fucking monster. My favorite live performance of the show.
I love SATS but I think in every way – thematically, musically (acoustic) – it could be replaced with Please. Or even rotated with SATS.
When I had seats the second night, I had full view of the screen, and I got the clearest sense of the narrative of the show from here, way more than in being in GA and more than listening on the mixlrs. The images of the current KKK and pure filth going on in America right now was stark, and I expected those to be the most impactful on me. But nothing made me scream louder during both shows than those images immediately giving way to Pride and images of MLK and protestors. There’s no other song that could come after those images (angry songs like Bullet or whatever) – the feeling of being lifted up by love after seeing that was unreal. By far, my favorite part of the show is Pride – GOOYOW – American Soul – COBL.
One is a crowd pleaser, but I really wish it was rotated with something else. I was way more excited to sing along to Love is Bigger, which is fresher. 13 is as gorgeous live as it is on the album, but it ended so abruptly that it ends the concert on a weird, very mellow note. I get that it’s the end of the narrative – but still…
Since this was definitely a Bono album, it’s definitely a Bono show. I understand it’s the story, the journey, the narrative, etc. – but it seemed that this was more tipped towards Bono’s storytelling rather than four men playing together on a stage, and I was left missing more of that balance between the four of them. I think the narrative can still come through even without a lot of the inter-song stuff, like Bono’s “phone call home” as he’s taking off Macphisto’s makeup, and The Ocean, which the way it’s played is not even a song. Even just one more rotational song spot would make a difference.
Still, yet another awesome live U2 experience I will never forget.
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"I am a singer and a songwriter but I am also a father, four times over. I am a friend to dogs. I am a sworn enemy of the saccharine; and a believer in grace over karma. I talk too much when I'm drunk and sometimes even when I'm not."
did you know
Steve Wickham, who went on to join The Waterboys, played the electric fiddle for Sunday Bloody Sunday.