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Old 07-09-2005, 11:51 AM   #1
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My thoughts on the tour in this moment

This tour IS great, there is no doubt, but how does it fair, comparing it to other tours that came before?
There are people disappointed by a certain lack of energy of the band, shows that feel like a Broadway musical, setlists that never change, not to mention that Vertigo x2 thing...
But, there are very positive sides of the Vertigo Tour that don't seem to be mentioned a lot...

1. The shows are longer. It was a miracle if Elevation Tour got to 23 songs; on Vertigo it is a standard. And there are no shortened songs(like Wake Up Dead Man); every song is performed in its full version, full band. The Croke Park setlists are fantastic. Croke Park III had 26 songs(27 if you count Unchained Melody, 25 if you count An Cat Dubh/Into the Heart as one song); the show lasted over 2 and a half hours.
2. Minimum use of backing tracks. Some people would go nuts listening to Popmart bootlegs(I know some) with band's extensive use of backing tracks. On Vertigo, they are really reduced. In U2's case, backing tracks are inevitable(how can you open Beautiful Day, Bad, Love and Peace or Else, Where the Streets Have No Name), but in the case of Vertigo Tour, they are in fact very rare. City of Blinding Lights, Zoo Station or All Because of You are completely stripped down. Mysterious Ways(although there is still that synth in the background) has never sounded so raw and unpolished. My critisicm on this matter is - why oh why they are using those unnecessary backing tracks on Miracle Drug (piano in the second verse,those weird violins in the ending) or another guitar in One, when they already have two?
3. Bono's voice. Hundred times better than both Popmart and Elevation. There wasn't yet a single crisis with his voice (Popmart 1st leg was almost a complete disaster, it didn't get a lot better later - Sarajevo anyone?, he sounded raspy on most of the Elevation gigs - for a complete debacle, check out the Albany gig in June 2001).
4. Some old songs sound better than ever. Come on. Did Zoo Station and The Fly ever sound better? Sunday Bloody Sunday sounds excellent in the War trilogy(I love the Father Abraham part). The Electric Co. ROCKS. Many of you won't agree with me, but I love the new versions of Bullet. Maybe it's just that I adore the way this song is changing during the years.
5. From purely a technical perspective, the band is playing better than ever. Never heard Larry improvise so much. The man can drum(the Twickenham broadcast is especially fantastic to ears). Adam's bass playing is fantastic(especially on the new songs). The fact that every member of the band is a "multi-instrumentalist" is also commendable.
6. The feel of the show is the complete opposite of Elevation. Vertigo Tour is dark U2, who are showing us the world is not that great on the outside. But we can change that. That is, I believe, what the show is telling us.

Now, on the negative side...
1. The setlist. Especially now. Despite McGuinness's claims it won't be a Greatest Hits tour in the beginning, the European shows are just that. Addition of I Will Follow, With or Without You, I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For, All I Want Is You...
I was at the gig in Vienna and the crowd wasn't that enthusiastic to With or Without You. Even those who don't know the band that good understand that this song has no life anymore (well, Larry is keeping it alive on this tour a bit).
The biggest problem with the setlist, in my opinion, is that although it has some fantastic combinations (the War trilogy, the Zoo encore), how are they combined with the rest of the show - that's where the trouble lies. Love and Peace after Sometimes DOES NOT WORK. With or Without You after The Fly doesn't work. All Because of You in the second encore is a weird decision. Why not put it at the beginning with Vertigo? Pride into Streets is weak, considering what transitions into Streets we had in the last three tours.
2. Lack of energy by the band in some gigs? True, I believe. Especially on Larry's side. Although his drumming on technical side is excellent(very agressive), it sounds a bit robotic. Edge doesn't sound so enthusiastic as well(except on Electric Co.).
3. Setlist variation? There is no such thing in U2's case. I wouldn't be so pissed by this(since it is a U2 staple) if the setlist variation wasn't so strongly rumored (Bono was quoted it will happen, McGuinness too, I think).

We're not half past this tour, so I believe the minor quabbles I have with it are very much repairable. Vertigo Tour has the potential to be one of the best tours by the band. It's on that path for sure now.

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Old 07-09-2005, 01:49 PM   #2
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well i think some thoughts about the tour have already been written so i won-t try to repeat what others have already said, but my only argument is that we have to be happy that the band are still performing live and by that making thousands and thousands of fan happy!! i was in vienna and katowice (same setlist) and was amazed by the show, especially in katowice they were brilliant.
lack of energy? no way, u2 are changing as the years go by and we should consider ourselves lucky enough to still feel or hear their energy through music! best advice is to just relax and enjow their concerts - god only knows when we-re going to see them again.


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Old 07-09-2005, 02:36 PM   #3
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alot of your points are spot on, very good review!

for me, i enjoy this tour alot! there was something magical about elevation, and i loved popmart...

but this tour...i would just rate it better for the "zoo station//fly" encore! it is such a compensation for people who missed zoo tv!!!!

purely magical...

and about "old songs sounding better". hell yeah. electric co and an cat dubh work so fine on this tour...
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Old 07-09-2005, 03:38 PM   #4
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Great well thought out review. I am in the camp of not being satisfied just because they are U2. I want them to actually be the best band in the world, not just say they are. Many times they are, but they haven't been it for me this tour. Still great, but not the best. The best is the best...always striving to be that way.
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Old 07-09-2005, 03:59 PM   #5
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A good assessment. I for one am enjoying the tour greatly at the moment, can't complain much!
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Old 07-09-2005, 04:09 PM   #6
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this tour is just brilliant! the only problem i had was the opening was not as big as zoo/pomart or even eelevation. i feel the opening should be massive
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Old 07-09-2005, 04:12 PM   #7
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We have done all the UK shows and Croke 1 & 2 up to now, hoping to go to Amsterdam and Milan already booked for Madrid.

I've been a fan for 24 years now and have seen every tour since 1985 and I have enjoyed every single concert on this tour. I have been in front of the Bstage Adams side for every one except Croke 1 and the sound has been great, Bono's voice has been amazing, the stage is enough(by that I mean it doesnt take your attention away from the reason you are there to see and hear the band).

As for all this with the choice of songs why is it such an issue? They are after all touring HTDAAB? Maybe they should be playing a few more off the album, I would love to hear Fast Cars for one, but not to play the favourites as well would be a mistake.

Sometimes I wonder just what this band has to do, it has fans who are worse than some critics!!!
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Old 07-09-2005, 04:19 PM   #8
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I agree with everything you said.
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Old 07-09-2005, 04:25 PM   #9
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Originally posted by Bono's Tart
Sometimes I wonder just what this band has to do, it has fans who are worse than some critics!!!
and they know that, dont worry

i saw an interview with bono/edge and dave fanning, and bono said something along the lines of

our fans are the harshest critics. you should go check out some of the internet forums, they rip you apart there
i saw the interview in dublin after the croke park gig. bono said something like that, basically putting it that they know they can't just get lazy cause their fans aren't blind and stupid people who will take everything they do...which is a good thing, it pushes them to keep going...

and to be honest, i was VERY happy i got to hear that bono knows about this!
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Old 07-09-2005, 04:31 PM   #10
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good post, djerdap. I agree with basically everything you said.
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Old 07-09-2005, 05:30 PM   #11
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Re: My thoughts on the tour in this moment

Originally posted by djerdap

3. Bono's voice.

5. From purely a technical perspective, the band is playing better than ever.
These are the two things I've especially noticed this tour. I went to Anaheim 1 with no information except a few newspaper reviews, and I couldn't believe how great the band sounded!

And Bono's voice at Phoenix 2; I've never heard him sound so good.
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Old 07-09-2005, 10:50 PM   #12
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This is a much more balanced view than most and I'd go along with most of what has been said. I've spent most of tonight going through some of the boots so I'm a bit more fresh I think. I went to all the UK and Ireland dates apart from Glasgow and Croke 3.

First observation was despite the crowd the band were awesome for Manchester One.

What some on here would have you believe that Dublin 2 was better than Dublin 1 is nonsense, yes the setlist was better but the band and crowd were much better for the first night.

Twickenham 2 was better than Twickenham 1.

I do think the Elevation shows had a certain X factor that's been missing this time round but what I would say is that the HTDAAB songs sound better than the ATYCLB songs sounded last time around. For Elevation I thought there was only really Walk On that they absolutely nailed, this time I think Vertigo, Love And Peace, Yahweh, All Because Of You and maybe Sometimes You Can't Make It are in that category.

The set lists - this has pissed me off I'll admit and I probably would have gone to a couple fewer shows had I known the set lists would be so rigid but I do at least understand it. It came home to me watching the crowd go completely flat for Electric Co. during the opening night at Manchester. The only place where this wasn't the case I think was at Dublin 1. Having said this though the band must be aware that this is only for the hardcore fans and chances are they're off to multiple shows, so what is the excuse for not rotating this song? Don't get me wrong it was great to hear it but if it's a concession why not throw in Stories For Boys, 11 O'Clock Tick Tock, Gloria, Exit or Acrobat in there.

I'm not a technical expert with regards to sound, the quality overall was very good for Manchester 1 much better than when I saw Oasis there, Twickenham was better than when the Stones were there and in Cardiff it was better than when the Stereophonics were there. The only complaints would be the sound quality at Manchester 2 and Dublin 2. For these there seemed to be plenty of early interference and the Edge's sound in particul seemed inconsistent at times, like the person handling it didn't really know the songs; where you wanted to hear his voice loud you got his guitar loud and vice versa. This is not a comment on him though, rather the people mixing the shows. We all know what a legend he is with the guitar (watching him during Electric Co. was an absolute privilege) but his singing this tour was stunning to be honest. I Still Haven't Found into All I want Is You had all the subtlety of a sledgehammer and there was no need for it to be so bruttle.

One of my personal highlights was taking my friend to Cardiff who's not a huge fan but has got interested because of my obsession, anyway he's a wannabe guitarist and before the show he said he wanted to watch the Edge closely during Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own because he couldn't work out what he was doing at one point. He decided either he was either A - very clever and was cheating in some way or B- he was very good. After the song he tapped me and said actually it was option C - he was very, very good.

Not much has been mentioned about the visuals, I was absolutely blown away on the opening night they far exceeded my expectations. The two B-stages was also great.

I think overall verdict on the tour is much like my verdict on HTDAAB: good (brilliant by anybody else's standards) but not U2's best. I hope next time though they can do a couple of Arena dates in Europe for the more eccentric fans and really mix up the set list.

Thank you for indulging me.
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Old 07-10-2005, 10:09 AM   #13
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Larry said going into this tour that he didn't want the band just to become a jukebox but these nights of identical setlists/little in the way of variation are uninspired and pretty much what we'd get if we put a few quarters into a machine.

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Old 07-10-2005, 10:24 AM   #14
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Originally posted by Westport
Larry said going into this tour that he didn't want the band just to become a jukebox but these nights of identical setlists/little in the way of variation are uninspired and pretty much what we'd get if we put a few quarters into a machine.

i really dont get the attitude towards the setlist, most shows in europe are in completley different countrys show after show, we only have a handful of citys that have multiple dates, so of course the setlist would be the same, why would they play a completley different setlist every night, when there in a totally different country to the last show?
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Old 07-10-2005, 11:27 AM   #15
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Why does bono wear his glases the whole show. It is very uncool to say the least. During SYCMIOYO he takes them of because it is personal or something..really strange..agree with both sides regarding the setlist.I understand why they would play the same basic set if they only play once in a town but it is kind of lame to play the excat same concert each night. there has been no variation in 5 concerts.A little weird if you look at the outstanding US tour. Europe got screwed, Dublin got love making

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