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Review by Andy Argyrakis
Granted, the guys have slowed down ever so slightly when it comes to animated interaction, but they didn't miss a lick instrumentally and Bono was right on par with his unmistakable vocal prowess. And there was plenty of compensation for his mere handful of sprints (rather than all out marathon) around the massive circle, which was adorned by a jumbo-tron that separated and reconnected like an intricate puzzle, a lightening stick radiating vibrant lights and even a flashy disco ball.
But U2 was and continues to be a band that doesn't even need the spectacle because of its uncanny chemistry, plus cavalcade of hits and current cuts that are even more razor sharp than when the fellas first started in the early 1980s. Faithful hoping to hear early career cuts were relegated to just a handful of golden oldies ("I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For," "The Unforgettable Fire," "Sunday Bloody Sunday"), while tunes from the 2000s ruled the night.
"Breathe" kicked off the evening with a bang, "Magnificent" stood amongst the band's most triumphant tunes to date, while "Beautiful Day" and "Elevation" were militant sing-a-longs of epic proportion. Considering No Line on the Horizon draws several artistic parallels to Achtung Baby, '90s tunes "Until the End of the World" and "Ultra Violet (Light My Way)" fit right into the song choices and were virtually timeless.
The oddest moment of the night was a dance club remix of the current "I'll Go Crazy If I Don't Go Crazy Tonight," fitting perhaps for Cher or the Pet Shop Boys, but a bit bizarre for these Dublin boys. Nonetheless, they returned to more flattering roots with a moving take on "Walk On" (dedicated to the peace-keeping efforts of Amnesty International), which flowed seamlessly into "One" (augmented with the old time spiritual "Amazing Grace" and used as a catalyst to promote the band's hunger relief centered "One Campaign").
However, The Joshua Tree alum "Where the Streets Have No Name" ruled the night, kicking off with The Edge's charging jangles and exploding with Bono's bellows. In fact, the track could arguably be the best modern rock song ever written, and even though it's well over twenty years old, it sounds like it was literally conceived yesterday. And at the end of the two hour and ten minute experience, that's precisely why U2 is still on top of the world. Members may be veterans approaching their golden years, but have managed to maintain a genuinely youthful exuberance, unparalleled enthusiasm and inspirational appeal that transcends every age and demographic, sure to swell exponentially as its legacy expands.
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