Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Until the End of the Show
U2 @Madison Square Garden, November 21, 2005.
Section 218, row B, seat 15.

Main Set: City of Blinding Lights, Vertigo, Elevation, I Will Follow (with additional lyrics towards end), I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For, Beautiful Day, Original of the Species, Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own, Love and Peace or Else, Sunday Bloody Sunday (snippet, "Rock the Casbah"), Bullet the Blue Sky, Miss Sarajevo, Pride, Where the Streets Have No Name, One.

Encore 1: Until the End of the World, Mysterious Ways, With or Without You

Encore 2: The First Time (acoustic), Stuck In a Moment (acoustic), Instant Karma (with Patti Smith), Bad (snippet, "People Have the Power").

This review is a little shorter than the other two shows i went to on this tour (May 18, October 10), because i already wrote all about it and the main set this time was so similar to October 10 in particular. As a result, boring and predictable, I know there's a schedule and routine the band and crew follows and there's only so many songs they can have ready, but come on U2, you have like 300 other songs available. I guess they have to play it safe most of the time as far as what songs to choose. U2 has to cater to the general fans and play the popular and succesful songs. That really is a shame and we wind up hearing a lot of the same stuff. Now there are some songs which i am truly sick of (i already hated "Elevation"). I know there are people there who haven't yet seen U2 on this tour but the band has to know that people are going to multiple shows. Here's some suggestions: New Year's Day, Even Better Than the Real Thing, something from the second side of Joshua Tree, something from Zooropa. Being in section 218, relatively close to the stage but mostly seeing their backs, doesn't help too much. If i was in the "ellipse", i know it would have been a different story and i wouldn't even care what they were playing. Well, at least this time i took photos with a sweet zoom lens.

So after the lame main set (really, i just couldn't get into it much), the band came back for the first encore with the ZOO TV images on the screen to start. I was like, oh no, here we go again with "Zoo Station" and "The Fly". Shit. Then i got the biggest, best surprise of the night: "Until the End of the World" (awesome, only saw them play it once on Zoo TV tour which i barely remember), and "Mysterious Ways." (although "New Year's Day" really is a great transition from "Until"). So by now i was praying for "Bad", and after the acoustic songs and the John Lennon song, we got it. And i think that, along with "Until the End" made my night. oh yea and after reading about the following night at MSG (show cut a little short, no "bad") i am so so glad i went to the first one. sorry guys!

Crowd and seat report: energy level was definitely better and more intense for October 10 (though an earplug in my left ear may have clouded my meter-reading). as usual, the people around me were total deadbeats. hardly moving or dancing or responsive. the guy behind me was a total jerk talking to his girlfriend. i didn't even bother making small talk with the girls to the left of me. aside from the jerk behind me though, it was a good spot because i was at the end of my row (the odds are 1 in 15, yea?), therefore as soon as the arcade fire song came on, i went right in the isle and had plenty of space to dance (very lucky to be at the bottom of the section, with the guardrail in front of me). so, i had a clear view of the stage (see photos).

Notes: Among the snippets, Bono sang a line from the chorus of "Please" somewhere, forgot what song. I'm sure few people caught that. Young boy pulled onstage for "Sunday Bloody Sunday", not sure what to think of that. girl for "With or Without You" worked better. Patti Smith just had to comment about the war. Said there is no reason to be there. Half the crowd booed, half cheered.

Last note: I wore an old long sleeved shirt on which i wrote U2 lyrics and images from achtung baby tour. to my surprise, absolutely no one at the show commented on this. i purposely wrote lesser known lyrics, but come on. yea, i mean COME ON.

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