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Old 09-09-2005, 11:38 AM   #1
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07th October New York - Madison Square Garden

Please post all reviews of the October 7th show here.

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Old 10-08-2005, 02:11 PM   #2
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Tremendous show with great energy -- it was clear that the band was overwhelmed by the crowd's volume and intensity. Bono commented about it frequently, and from my vantage point (in the ellipse, front row, 5 feet from Edge), you could see the other band members react similarly. They kept looking at themselves, like "wow, what have we here?" Tons of smiles, lot of energy.

As others have said elsewhere on the board, the encores were amazing. Consider this: We had a stretch that went First Time - Stuck in a Moment - Fast Cars - All Because of You - Crumbs - Yahweh. That's 6 songs that the casual U2 fan may not know (outside of perhaps Stuck, a minor post-9/11 radio hit). And the boys had the guts to play them, and play them well, back to back.

And though the main set lacked for a setlist surprise, the energy of the band/crowd was incredible, particularly at the start. I know saying something nice about Vertigo is frowned upon here (j/k), but when the band cut out and Bono counted off in Spanish at the begginning of the song, and then the band slammed back into the song -- I though the ellipse floor was going to give way.

Great first show. Great way to throw down the gauntlet at the beginning of the MSG stand. Can't wait to see what they do next....

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Old 10-08-2005, 04:28 PM   #3
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First off I'd like to say it was my first opportunity meeting someone who reads this board, Steve...great seeing you at the 10/7 show!

I've heard many shows from this tour but have only seen the Philly 1, so keep that in mind as far as my live experience goes on this particular tour. I'll be going mostly by recollection but also with a little help from one of the vertigo tour sites for the setlist and snippet reminders.

First thing about the show that needs to be said: the intensity from the crowd was off the hook for the entire night. I've never experienced a crowd as intense as this one was and it was very clear that the band fed off of this.

City of Blinding Lights continues to be the perfect opener for this show with it's "Oh you look so beautiful tonight" chorus and the crowd was absolutely into it, shouting the chorus back to the band almost in an attempt to drown them out.

Vertigo: As was mentioned earlier, the band slammed into this one with a magnificent intensity. Say what you will about this song, it serves it's purpose...this is a rock and roll show and the band lays the gauntlet down with this song every evening. Also great was the nod to the Ramones with the Rockaway Beach snippet (just like MSG back in May).

Elevation: Not much to mention about this one other than it works the crowd with the interaction, it rocked last night.

Electric Co: Still one of the most intense live songs on this tour. How this band, particularly Edge, manages to keep the intensity of this song up night after night after night is beyond me. Edge still manages to beat the shit out of his strings during his solo out on the ramp while Bono throws the water out onto the ellipse. I could be wrong but I also believe that it was this song that the second Ramones snippet occurred with one line of "Gimme Gimme Shock Treatment", after which the "battle" between Bono and fan during "People I Don't Know are Trying To Kill Me" took place...VERY intense.

Ocean, I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For: Not much to say about these songs but that they were very strong, very well played versions. A nod to Still Haven't Found with the crowd singing the first verse and watching Bono take it in. Also contained snippet of In a Little While. Not my favorite ATYCLB song, but a nice way to end it.

Beautiful Day (Snippets: Sgt. Peppers>Blackbird>Many Rivers to Cross>Across the Universe). The real snippet fest. The song didn't want to end and the snippets were magnificently segued.

Miracle Drug, Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own (snippets: The Black Hills of Dakota>Torna A Sorriento): By now the show has a wonderful flow to it, the band have settled in with this groove and the crowd is now riding on the roller coaster known as U2 at MSG. This is the part of the show where you're still high on the roller coaster but you're weaving around and making the turns. At this point it's also clear that on this night, the band can do no wrong, nor will it.

Love and Peace or Else, Sunday Bloody Sunday, Bullet the Blue Sky (snippets Please>Hands that Built America, When Johnny Comes Marching Home). The anti war trio brought forth with blinding intensity. Sunday Bloody Sunday remains the intergal part of this section of the show with it's war march sound. Plus it serves the purpose as a launching point to the searing Bullet the Blue Sky. Gone are the days where Edge quietly played the solo we heard on the first leg, it's going back to the searing solo from the Elevation tour.

Miss Sarajevo: Magnificent, simply magnificent. I'm not sure how many people recognized this song, but it was absolutely riveting. Bono calling upon Pavoratti's vocal chords and just belting it out. I do have to say that the "Hallelujah" portion that followed "Running to Stand Still" on the first leg was a better segue to the Human Rights screen than this, however Sarajevo is clearly the more powerful song. Stunning...just stunning...

Pride>Where the Streets Have No Name: This is it...while the blinding lights in Streets are gone for now, the intensity of this song has not. Quite simply, the band nailed Streets. So much so that as Bono was walking from the ellipse back to the stage he kept stopping..walking..stopping to soak it in...at one poing stopping and saying, "that's crazy..".

One (snippet Ol' Man River). As powerful as ever, although I do miss Bono with the spotlight on the crowd as he did on the first leg. A wonderful, powerful end to a magnificently played song.


The First Time: It seemed that not many people in the crowd knew what they were hearing and what a shame. This was the type of song that you say, "This is where U2 takes an arena and turns it into a club of about 200". Fantastic.

Stuck in a Moment: Not my favorite ATYCLB song, but still nicely played acoustic. There's a bunch of other songs I would've rathered have heard in this slot, but at this point the band has nailed everything, I'm not about to complain.

Fast Cars: A lot of people didn't know how to react to this one either. And if you haven't heard it, think Bob Seger's "Get Out of Denver" done with a Latin feel. Props to the belly dancing woman Bono brought up on stage. She had a little to her and that was quite okay, she had the moves down grooving along with Bono very nicely. Intense song.

All Because of You: Straight ahead rocker, totally nailed, Bono at one point jumping like a madman bashing the hell out of his tambourine.

At this point my friend and I were debating...I was saying that Original of the Species was next, he said Crumbs From Your Table. He called it right and Crumbs was spectacular. When heard live it's trancendental. Soaring version.

Yahweh: Not much to say here but a strongly performed version.

With Or Without You: Debate on whether "40" is the better closer (or Vertigo X2), WOWY is a magnificent closer. It doesn't bash your senses like Vertigo X2 and it doesn't just trail off like "40", it's just an extremely strong closing song. It also appeared to me that Bono wasn't ready to leave the stage as there was a band huddle after WOWY but ultimately that was showtime.

Closing thoughts (and thanks a ton if you read this far)...this has become a finely tuned, precision rock show. The intensity from the MSG crowd was off the wall for just about the entire night. The band also came off as completely confident in how the "Dismantle" songs fit inside the confines of it's older material, almost like, "Yeah...this is how it goes".

On a scale of 1-10, easily a 10....easily.
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Old 10-08-2005, 11:26 PM   #4
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Nice review. Thank you.

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Old 10-09-2005, 09:31 PM   #5
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Very good review. Almost feel like I was at both MSG shows from the reviews here.
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Old 10-10-2005, 07:18 AM   #6
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I've seen the boys nine times and while the energy was there the show lacked cohesion. Bono fucked up the lyrics and verses to many of the songs. Usually Streets and Bullet are highlights of the show, but unfortunately we got a shortened version of those songs. Also, Bono fucked up Pride as well and that song was rushed through. A good show but too predictable. I saw the May 18th show in New Jersey and they didn't play 40. Sadly, on this night, they didn't it either. Sorry, but I don't see WOWY as a closer. That song should be somewhere in the middle of the show. Time for the boys to dream it up all over again.
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Old 10-10-2005, 07:28 AM   #7
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Wow, great reviews here. I'm so glad to be going back to see them on this leg, to see the changes, etc. Can't wait til Pittsburgh! Spent the weekend getting psyched...listened to cd's, watched Conan and Brooklyn Bridge again...
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Old 10-10-2005, 09:38 AM   #8
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Review from the NY Post



SOME performers say they love New York, but U2's 25-year affair with the city couldn't be expressed better than at their Madison Square Garden Vertigo Tour opener, played with panting passion that was returned kiss for kiss by the sold-out house.

The performance on Friday was the kind of show that makes it easy to answer anybody who asks, "What was the best concert of the year?" This was it — hands down and no question.

During the two-hour gig, Bono was chatty and even reminisced about when he first came to New York at age 19. He half-joked, "That's when the megalomania began." At past New York concerts, Bono has used the stage as a pulpit with sledgehammer suavility. But Friday, he made amends saying, "Thanks for listening to me. I know I can be a pain in the ass."

During "Sunday Bloody Sunday" he requested "The Stars and Stripes Forever." He treated the flag respectfully and later praised the men and women in the U.S. military. He observed about the United States: "It is in the worst of times that this country finds the best of America . . . America is a powerful idea, it belongs to the world."

Bono sang with heart-pounding power when the song demanded it, as "Vertigo," "Elevation" and "Sunday Bloody Sunday" did. He was able to maintain vocal strength with unexpected gentleness when he eased The Beatles' "Blackbird" out of "Beautiful Day" and rendered a cover of Jerome Kern's classic "Old Man River" toward the concert's close.

Because Bono is such a high-profile figure — on and off stage — it's easy to think of him as the band. This powerhouse Garden performance corrected that misconception.

Guitarist The Edge was unrelenting in his telegraphic rhythm strums and stinging lead work, and his falsetto vocals throughout the evening added depth to Bono's middle range.

As for lanky bassist Adam Clayton and drummer Larry Mullen, the beat they laid down was so tight it seemed as if they have rhythm ESP. As good as Bono and The Edge are, it's the Clayton/Mullen partnership that propels this music.

There was a fifth member of the band at this concert — the audience, who sang and actually listened. They offered rapt attention to U2 during the show's encore when Bono announced he was "road testing" not one, but two new songs.

Both tunes were musically upbeat and kept the house on its feet and focused on the stage. The first was "Fast Cars." That one was more interesting than "Crumbs From Your Table" because you heard the band spreading it's stylistic wingspan into a percussion-based number mirrored by syncopated vocals.

This was the best arena concert of the year, but it wasn't perfect. The operatic "Miss Sarajevo" wasn't as spirited as it is on record. The real shame of that selection was that Luciano Pavarotti, who recorded the song with Bono, was in the audience. The tubby tenor should have been invited onstage.

There are rumors that the band is in negotiations with iTunes to sell its recorded concerts for $9.99 a pop. If that project happens, this show may be the most sought after from the American leg of the world tour. It's a must-have for no other reason than the outstanding "Where the Streets Have No Name," which was stretched into a seven-minute jam.

U2 continues at the Garden tonight, tomorrow and next Friday, and returns to New York Nov. 21 and 22.

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Old 10-10-2005, 11:00 AM   #9
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Review from NY Newsday

Unified U2 can still scale the city walls


October 10, 2005

Though Nobel Peace Prize nominee and outspoken front man Bono attracts the most attention, U2 has always been a rock-and-roll all-star team.

On "With or Without You," the final encore Friday night at the sold-out Madison Square Garden, U2's supporting players not only showed how they provide the steady foundation that lets Bono strive for greatness, but also how their continuing innovations help drive the band forward.

Adam Clayton added a bit more funk to the basslines. Larry Mullen Jr.'s drumming got a bit more aggressive. The Edge chopped and twisted his guitar riffs to give the ballad some spine and a sense of experimentation. All the while, Bono sang sweetly at the edge of the band's elliptical stage, as he hugged a woman from the audience for nearly the entire song.

It was a rare, quiet time for Bono, who spent most of the 2 hour, 20 minute set fulfilling his duties as lover and fighter, gadfly and peacemaker, politician and preacher, and, oh, yeah, front man for the best rock band around today.

Ever aware of his surroundings, Bono changed the lyrics to several songs to reflect the current state of the world. The cathartic "Where the Streets Have No Name" included the line "I want to take shelter from hurricanes." The aching "Miss Sarajevo," which featured Bono ably tackling the operatic part handled on record by Luciano Pavarotti, ended with the question, "Is there a time for human rights?" Bono replaced the Irish flag at center stage with an American one during the life-during-wartime anthem "Sunday, Bloody Sunday," saying, "This is your song now." Unfortunately, he's right.

Reflecting the latest terrorist threat against New York, Bono changed the end of the gorgeous encore "Yahweh" to "Take this city's heart and keep it safe," adding, "Stay safe, New York."

It seemed a fitting match to the set-opening, "City of Blinding Lights," written to capture the dizzying feeling of excitement and possibility the band experienced on its first visit to New York 25 years ago. As confetti fell from the ceiling, neon lights raced along the outline of the huge stage and colors flashed on the video-screen beads, Bono sang, "They're advertising in the skies for people like us."

The set list for this run at the Garden (three more shows this week, and another two next month) is similar to the first pass through supporting the "How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb" (Interscope) album in May. However, the dynamics are different. "Miracle Drug" is more of a centerpiece now, instead of "Vertigo." "All Because of You" is harder-edged and way more fun, while the wind-up to "One" seems more emotional.

There's also more hugging and audience participation, U2's way of showing it realizes that the fifth man on its all-star team - its faithful audience - is pretty first-rate, too.
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Old 10-10-2005, 12:02 PM   #10
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I was extremely disappointed with the first night at MSG...the sound system (I still have ringing in my ears), song selection, and energy of the audience was horrible. I've been a huge U2 fan for over 22 years and have seen them perform over 20 times. Friday night was the first time I saw them on the Vertigo tour. I blame the failure of the night primarily on the drunk audience (in section 58) who acted like they were in a bar listening to recorded U2...others on their blackberries....others looking like professional photographers who were taking lot of pics of the audience and MSG ceiling (can you say terrorist?). Very distracting.....very disappointed....I expect a bit more after spending $360 on 2 tix.......
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Old 10-10-2005, 11:28 PM   #11
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Old 10-11-2005, 08:45 AM   #12
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Re: Disappointed

Originally posted by bonolarryedgeadam
I was extremely disappointed with the first night at MSG...the sound system (I still have ringing in my ears), song selection, and energy of the audience was horrible... madspit:
Thanks for having the guts to say that you're disappointed. Friday was my first U2 show, and for years I've been hearing my wife tell me how great her MSG show was back in '87. I always said that the Bruce Springsteen show that we saw in '99 was a mind-blowing experience. I wanted to expected the same thing Friday night. Instead, I got a fairly standard set list, bad accoustics, and mellow encores. I've never left my seat during a concert...until Friday night, when "I Still Haven't Found..." made me want to find the men's room. My wife echoed that sentiment during the first encore, so we listened to the rest of the show outside before leaving. I'll go see them again, because I want a "make good", but it's not even close to being the best show I've ever seen. I wanted that and didn't get it. My wife even wonders now if she had overstated her previous experience.

I'll disagree on one thing - I thought the crowd was quite good, but I was up in the "three hundred" seats. I think that adds to my disappointment - the crowd was so great and ready to tear the walls down and the set list didn't hold up. I think the band should focus on music and less on effects and so on. Lose the "fireflies" during COBL and just play their great music.
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Old 10-14-2005, 06:33 AM   #13
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I loved this show! Out of 20 something shows that I've seen since '89 I am ranking this NY show up at the top along with Boston IV from the Elevation tour!

When the crowd is on fire and the band is on fire
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Old 10-14-2005, 09:57 AM   #14
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I had a great time at this show. But, like I said earlier, I was disappointed with the predictability of the show. I saw them 5 times during Elevation and every night was like the Super Bowl. The feeling was just not the same with Vertigo. I love hearing the new songs, but the older ones should be put away. Which, of course, ain't going to happen because Bono wants to cultivate new fans.
I guess I want U2 to take a chance again and go against the grain. On Zoo TV, they played mostly new stuff. Same as PopMart too. They played mostly POP! tunes. By the time Elevation came around, the fans and U2 were hungry to hear the old stuff again. But, I believe that time is over. If you're going play old stuff, play stuff we haven't heard in a while like...I don't know, Two Hearts Beat As One. Just a thought.
I'm happy U2 are still rocking and touring, but for $100 and more for a seat I don't want the same old same old. Anyone agree?

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