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Old 03-25-2011, 10:03 PM   #1
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25 March 2011 Estadio Nacional - Santiago, CH

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Old 03-26-2011, 11:06 AM   #2
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My first concert in South America last night, and it was quite an explosive introduction. I don’t know what level to generalise to, but these Santiagoistas / Chileans / South Americans sure don’t hold back in enjoying themselves. The atmosphere in the Estadio Nacional probably caused the Andes to quiver. Beautiful Day started the show with a kick, but the stadium really exploded at the start of I Will Follow. The band felt the energy, with Edge throwing his guitar around like it was 1980.

There were far more people jumping around and openly enjoying the gig here compared to other countries. One woman near me was bouncing around and singing during Elevation like she was possessed. People were also pogoing during Pride and other songs. Chileans must like All That You Can’t Leave Behind. There was a huge cheer for In A Little While, and another for Walk On. (And apparently Chileans are regarded as the most reserved people in South America, so I’m looking forward to seeing how raucous the Argentineans and Brazilians are.)

I saw the show with a Kiwi guy called Damon. We got into the pit on Adam’s side, but foolishly left it (remembering to collect a stamp on our exit), as we planned to watch Muse from out on the field, and then go into the pit on Edge’s side.

The entrance to the field was about halfway back on Edge’s side. There was a ridiculous bottleneck at the entrance, as fans didn’t spread out across the field. People were squashed up like they used to be at the front of the crowd at pre-crush barrier stadium gigs in the 1980s. We slowly fought our way through, surviving a few crowd surges, to find that the pit could only be entered on Adam’s side. I didn’t fancy battling the crowd again so we watched the show from behind the Red Zone on Edge’s side, which has the advantage over the pit of being able to see all the band as well as the screen.

Bono had his most amnesiacal night yet. Most U2 fans usually laugh off Bono’s lyrical memory lapses, but he had a few more than normal last night. Miss Sarajevo, Crazy Tonight, One Tree Hill and others I’ve, er, forgotten had their lyrics freestyled. (I actually thought Bono was doing the “Aaaafricaaa!” chant at the start of Beautiful Day that he did in South Africa, but he morphed it into something else.)

The funniest lyrical lapse was during Until The End Of The World. During the “bass and drums ... ring those bells” part, Bono was out on Adam’s bridge as usual. He rambled into some improvised lyrics as the band jammed the little lull in the song. Bono looked like he’d completely forgotten the next line (“In my dreams, I was drowing my sorrows”) to lead the band back into the big closing of the song. He continued his Bongoleese as the band softly played on. They were waiting for Bono’s lyrical cue - Bono had forgotten it. There was deadlock. It looked liked Until The End Of The World was going to go on until the end of the world. Bono realised he needed to get the band to help him out, and he started gesticulating urgently towards them to take the song up. They got the message and managed to lead themselves out of the jam. Although to be honest, I really enjoyed the extended breakdown in the song as a dreamy little interlude.

(After the show last night I checked U2gigs for the news of the rehearsals from the previous evening. Most of the rehearsed songs were listed “No Bono”, which could be a statement of sorts.)

I had been looking forward to seeing Mothers Of The Disappeared played. Bono began playing its melody on his guitar after One, and I excitedly thought it was going to be another one of those magical song-n-place moments, and perhaps even more special than others given the history of the stadium itself. But maybe the two previous performances of MOTD here did the job, because it was only a teasingly short snippet to lead into Streets.

Instead, U2 had skipped two tracks back on the B side of The Joshua Tree, and played One Tree Hill earlier in the show. They brought a female Chilean singer onto the stage, but she seemed to be more interested in showing off that she was onstage with U2 than actually singing the song. The song descended into a jokey, matey karaoke piece which destroyed its usual beauty. The previous guest artists have been great, last night’s was the wrong person for the wrong song, perhaps Party Girl would have suited her better.

The other girl onstage last night seemed far more natural. I'm inordinately biased though because she's my very fabulous n gorgeous Chilean friend Karina. Karina lived just up the road from me in Hackney in London for the last few years, but unfortunately moved home last month. We caught up in the GA queue the day before the gig; she was #25 and was hoping for the front rail. I was therefore very curious to see who Bono had selected to bring onstage during In A Little While, and cheered when he chose Karina, in her home town. (Karina was onstage in Zurich last year but I missed that show.)

Karina and I have had a few very nice n messy pub crawls around East London in the last couple of years, and I know how mischievous, sarcastic and piss-taking she can be. So I was quietly urging her to behave herself with Bono last night. She seemed relaxed (although I’m sure she was nervous as hell) and played the cute-Spanish-eyed-girl-onstage role wonderfully. I did have one “Karinaaaaa! Noooo!” moment when she pointed at Bono as he sang the “My how you’ve grown” line. Thankfully Bono took the joke and laughed. But I was very pleased to see Karina catch up with her second favourite Irishman last night.

One of my brothers got me proper concert earplugs for Christmas. I dunno if I’m now hearing even more bizarre things in my head than usual cos of these earplugs, or if I’m hearing things which have always been in the songs that I just haven’t noticed, but I thought I heard new little elements to some songs: Bono’s voice warping during Crazy Tonight, bongos being played at the start of Sunday Bloody Sunday, and also Adam play a new little bass part during the chorus of Streets. (But please excuse me if these are just the warped bongo bass parts in my imagination!)

Some quickie random observations:

- the segue between Miss Sarajevo and City Of Blinding Lights is getting longer and including more random elements. (The best part is the female computerised voice which says “What – the – fuck?”)

- Bono charmed the crowd with some good “Spanish lessons” like “buenos mozos” which apparently is a local idiom for “good looking”, and “ha sido maravilloso” which I’m guessing means “it’s been marvellous”

- someone’s got a new smoke machine and knows how to use it, there was a forest fire of dry ice bellowing out from the stage before HMTMKMKM,

- During Vertigo (I think) Bono had dragged his microphone stand out to the edge of the stage and left it just behind Edge. Luckily Dallas saw the looming accident and rushed out to bring it in, a few seconds before Edge took some steps back

- Bono commented on the Chilean’s strength, referring to the miner’s rescue and the recovery from the earthquake last year

- There were a lot of Chilean flags thrown onto the stage and bridges. One was draped over a speaker onstage. Actually, Muse’s drummer came out and left wearing one as well.

- One of the leaders of Chile’s revolution against Spain was called Bernardo O’Higgins, whose dad was Irish. So Larry became Larry Bernardo Mullen, and Adam was Adam O’Higgins Clayton.
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Old 03-26-2011, 01:49 PM   #3
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Excellent work sir!
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Old 03-26-2011, 02:03 PM   #4
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Bono had his most amnesiacal night yet. Most U2 fans usually laugh off Bono’s lyrical memory lapses, but he had a few more than normal last night. Miss Sarajevo, Crazy Tonight, One Tree Hill and others I’ve, er, forgotten had their lyrics freestyled. (I actually thought Bono was doing the “Aaaafricaaa!” chant at the start of Beautiful Day that he did in South Africa, but he morphed it into something else.)

The funniest lyrical lapse was during Until The End Of The World. During the “bass and drums ... ring those bells” part, Bono was out on Adam’s bridge as usual. He rambled into some improvised lyrics as the band jammed the little lull in the song. Bono looked like he’d completely forgotten the next line (“In my dreams, I was drowing my sorrows”) to lead the band back into the big closing of the song. He continued his Bongoleese as the band softly played on. They were waiting for Bono’s lyrical cue - Bono had forgotten it. There was deadlock. It looked liked Until The End Of The World was going to go on until the end of the world. Bono realised he needed to get the band to help him out, and he started gesticulating urgently towards them to take the song up. They got the message and managed to lead themselves out of the jam. Although to be honest, I really enjoyed the extended breakdown in the song as a dreamy little interlude.

(After the show last night I checked U2gigs for the news of the rehearsals from the previous evening. Most of the rehearsed songs were listed “No Bono”, which could be a statement of sorts.)
Bono had arrived on Thursday to Santiago, so the jet-lag must have got him.

Great review Cathal, what an experience it must have been seeing the show with the Chilean fans.
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Old 03-26-2011, 06:22 PM   #5
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Hi all!

Here I go with my two cents:

Having been a long time U2 fan (more than 20 years) and having attended to the very first U2 performance in Chile (how can I forget it, 11-February-1998) I have really mixed feelings about last night's gig

Things have changed A LOT in 13 years, and that's include not only audiences and the band but THE VENUE ITSELF.

Yes, Estadio Nacional was (badly) remodeling in 2009, then the earthquake, then the delays, etc. We were so proud of our 70,000 seats stadium and now it's only 45,000. And I could feel it last night, trust me

Techonologies have changed for better and worse.
Better: sound, visuals.
Worse ... I'll tell you later

Well, let me put a little story first

I live in Viña del Mar, that's 1:30 hours by bus and then another 30 min by subway to the nearest station. Add 20 min walking until you stop in the line ... 1:30 to finally get to the field!

As soon I got into the stadium I noticed this huge (and quite weird) stage desing. I was (fortunately) very close to the, how can I say it, "nort-west" part of it and I was glad to see that 80% of the show happened with me looking at the band in side-front. To give you an idea, I saw all the time Adam and Larry, and most of the time Bono and Edge.

Well, why did I say things have changed so much after all these years?
Technology and fanbase aren't the same as in 1998. In those years we chat a lot with everyone around you, share drinks, sandwiches, stories, etc. Now pretty much EVERYONE was much more concerned about their cameras, to take great pics and then (obviously) upload on facebook and the videos on youtube rather than being thrilled to be at the show a few meters from the band, for God's sake!

Muse was a band that I wasn't even heard of, despite having been in England 2 times. Great energy, unfortunately, sound wasn't up there. The mix was awful, with rumble, with voices sounding distant and drenched in reverb, bass was a mass of distorded low frequency, and drums sounded fat, boomy, with cymbals being shrill.

On the good side, Muse was on time: they started the show at 20:00.

Then the intermission. Since I was with my very best friend (both of us attended to the Popmart 1998) waiting wasn't tiring and boring.

A "clock" began to run on the 360º screen, when it clocked 12'00 o Clock it started to disappear. A weird music began, stadium lights were off and immediatly felt the difference with the 1998 audience. There was Popmusik track being played (remember?) and in the middle of the song lights when off and THE MOST AMAZING CHEERING AND SCREAMING began. SO POWERFUL, SO EMOTIONAL, SO EXPECTING.

Now that level of cheering and screaming wasn't even half. To put things worse, there was no spectacular walking on stage with Popmusik, rather a crappy track and the band walking with no the same confidence and no costumes. Music stopped and then ... (WHAT THE HELL?) BEAUTIFUL DAY!

Mofo blew our minds! Beautiful Days was great, we jumped and we did the singalong, but it wasn't the same level of excitement.

Well, fortunately, the second song was I WILL FOLLOW! It was kick-ass, NOW everybody was jumping and singing, like a real Chilean audience. It was even better than Popmart, because of Bono's voice and complete rendition.

Then the obligatory single from the new album. We did the jumping and singing, but at least 50% of the audience was taking photos instead of singing. Magnificent didn't make things go better

Mysterious Ways! what a surprise! it put all us back to the U2 former glory. Sadly, it was not the first time in the night that Bono cut a classic! All of us were waiting for the Edge slide guitar solo, and that never happened

2 high energy numbers were welcomed for all of us: Elevation and Until The End of The World. Great moments. Missed the "torero" moment that Bono and Edge did in 1998. Unforgettable

I Still Haven't Found. All of us were waiting for an audience singalong, and we thought "this is our moment". In fact Bono let us sing the first verse and it was magical. Then the complete song and we did start to do the singalong at the end but I don't know why Bono cut it!

It seems Edge understand much more Chilean audiences because he NEVER started to play a song while we were singing a capella.

After that one of the 2 worst moments of the night: One Three Hill WHAT A CLASSIC ... With Francisca Valenzuela! Who the hell is that girl? she's just a twenty-something girl who believes she's so talented and gifted by in the end is arrogant and full of herself. Of course none of that would have mattered if she actually know how to SING. Terrible, embarrasing moment to say the least. It would have been much better if the band would have played Running To Stand Still, never played in Chile yet.

Pride (in the name of love) Same situation as I Still Haven't Found. Everyone singing with passion and energy, but why oh why Bono cut the singalong! It doesn't feel the same the song if it ends with just a few bars of audience and then abrupt "thank you" and whatever.

Vertigo. I have to admit I don't like it at all but I enjoyed it singing and jumping

I'll Go Crazy (remix) the worst moment of the night. Nobody knew the song and nobody liked it. It was a lesson about how to waste time on a live performance. Terrible

Sunday Bloody Sunday. The return of a classic after I'll Go Crazy nightmare!. Well performed and audience singing. Like a real concert should be (at least for us)

Scarlet-Walk On: We did enjoy that part, so (I have enough English to realise when Bono is missing lyrics) I did notice Bono's mistakes. Fortunately, none of them were in voice. His vocal range was clear, strong and powerful all night. One minor thing: Why did he used to change vocal entonations on some songs, like improvising how to sing the lyrics? I didn't quite like that

One: Definitely not the most emotional version, but a great singinig from the audience. In 1998 was better though Bono missed the second verse a bit. After that the most weird and unclimatic transition to Streets. Everytime I wonder why oh why they can't do Running To Stand Still/ Streets. Arguably the best ever!. Anyway, Streets was great.

HMTMKMKM: WHAT A WELCOMED ADDITION! brought me back to 1998. Cool
performance.

With or Without You and Moment of Surrender: At this point, the sudden cool-down was really to soon for my tastes. We were ready for Desire, Discotheque, Even Better Than The Real Thing or even oldies like Gloria.

A bit of let down came to the end.

Overal: Sound was phenomenal, stage and visuals were unbelievable. Performance was good, but setlist was a let down, really. We're not quiet audiences, we like to singalong, jump, to be one with the artists, and with sets like this, plenty of slow and mid tempo songs, it doesn't work.

Really hope the next time (surely the last time ever) U2 won't waste show space with fillers, slow numbers and remixes. Why not a mini acoustic show in the middle? Also, considering we pay the highest tickets in South America, the show wasn't enough to justify the obscene ticket prices. A good souvenir, without a doubt, but not the show of our lives.

Peace
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Old 03-26-2011, 07:35 PM   #6
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Hi all!

I'll Go Crazy (remix) the worst moment of the night. Nobody knew the song and nobody liked it. It was a lesson about how to waste time on a live performance. Terrible
i agree this song sucks and needs to be dropped from the show.
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Old 03-26-2011, 10:33 PM   #7
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My first concert in South America last night, and it was quite an explosive introduction. I don’t know what level to generalise to, but these Santiagoistas / Chileans / South Americans sure don’t hold back in enjoying themselves. The atmosphere in the Estadio Nacional probably caused the Andes to quiver. Beautiful Day started the show with a kick, but the stadium really exploded at the start of I Will Follow. The band felt the energy, with Edge throwing his guitar around like it was 1980.

There were far more people jumping around and openly enjoying the gig here compared to other countries. One woman near me was bouncing around and singing during Elevation like she was possessed. People were also pogoing during Pride and other songs. Chileans must like All That You Can’t Leave Behind. There was a huge cheer for In A Little While, and another for Walk On. (And apparently Chileans are regarded as the most reserved people in South America, so I’m looking forward to seeing how raucous the Argentineans and Brazilians are.)

I saw the show with a Kiwi guy called Damon. We got into the pit on Adam’s side, but foolishly left it (remembering to collect a stamp on our exit), as we planned to watch Muse from out on the field, and then go into the pit on Edge’s side.

The entrance to the field was about halfway back on Edge’s side. There was a ridiculous bottleneck at the entrance, as fans didn’t spread out across the field. People were squashed up like they used to be at the front of the crowd at pre-crush barrier stadium gigs in the 1980s. We slowly fought our way through, surviving a few crowd surges, to find that the pit could only be entered on Adam’s side. I didn’t fancy battling the crowd again so we watched the show from behind the Red Zone on Edge’s side, which has the advantage over the pit of being able to see all the band as well as the screen.

Bono had his most amnesiacal night yet. Most U2 fans usually laugh off Bono’s lyrical memory lapses, but he had a few more than normal last night. Miss Sarajevo, Crazy Tonight, One Tree Hill and others I’ve, er, forgotten had their lyrics freestyled. (I actually thought Bono was doing the “Aaaafricaaa!” chant at the start of Beautiful Day that he did in South Africa, but he morphed it into something else.)

The funniest lyrical lapse was during Until The End Of The World. During the “bass and drums ... ring those bells” part, Bono was out on Adam’s bridge as usual. He rambled into some improvised lyrics as the band jammed the little lull in the song. Bono looked like he’d completely forgotten the next line (“In my dreams, I was drowing my sorrows”) to lead the band back into the big closing of the song. He continued his Bongoleese as the band softly played on. They were waiting for Bono’s lyrical cue - Bono had forgotten it. There was deadlock. It looked liked Until The End Of The World was going to go on until the end of the world. Bono realised he needed to get the band to help him out, and he started gesticulating urgently towards them to take the song up. They got the message and managed to lead themselves out of the jam. Although to be honest, I really enjoyed the extended breakdown in the song as a dreamy little interlude.

(After the show last night I checked U2gigs for the news of the rehearsals from the previous evening. Most of the rehearsed songs were listed “No Bono”, which could be a statement of sorts.)

I had been looking forward to seeing Mothers Of The Disappeared played. Bono began playing its melody on his guitar after One, and I excitedly thought it was going to be another one of those magical song-n-place moments, and perhaps even more special than others given the history of the stadium itself. But maybe the two previous performances of MOTD here did the job, because it was only a teasingly short snippet to lead into Streets.

Instead, U2 had skipped two tracks back on the B side of The Joshua Tree, and played One Tree Hill earlier in the show. They brought a female Chilean singer onto the stage, but she seemed to be more interested in showing off that she was onstage with U2 than actually singing the song. The song descended into a jokey, matey karaoke piece which destroyed its usual beauty. The previous guest artists have been great, last night’s was the wrong person for the wrong song, perhaps Party Girl would have suited her better.

The other girl onstage last night seemed far more natural. I'm inordinately biased though because she's my very fabulous n gorgeous Chilean friend Karina. Karina lived just up the road from me in Hackney in London for the last few years, but unfortunately moved home last month. We caught up in the GA queue the day before the gig; she was #25 and was hoping for the front rail. I was therefore very curious to see who Bono had selected to bring onstage during In A Little While, and cheered when he chose Karina, in her home town. (Karina was onstage in Zurich last year but I missed that show.)

Karina and I have had a few very nice n messy pub crawls around East London in the last couple of years, and I know how mischievous, sarcastic and piss-taking she can be. So I was quietly urging her to behave herself with Bono last night. She seemed relaxed (although I’m sure she was nervous as hell) and played the cute-Spanish-eyed-girl-onstage role wonderfully. I did have one “Karinaaaaa! Noooo!” moment when she pointed at Bono as he sang the “My how you’ve grown” line. Thankfully Bono took the joke and laughed. But I was very pleased to see Karina catch up with her second favourite Irishman last night.

One of my brothers got me proper concert earplugs for Christmas. I dunno if I’m now hearing even more bizarre things in my head than usual cos of these earplugs, or if I’m hearing things which have always been in the songs that I just haven’t noticed, but I thought I heard new little elements to some songs: Bono’s voice warping during Crazy Tonight, bongos being played at the start of Sunday Bloody Sunday, and also Adam play a new little bass part during the chorus of Streets. (But please excuse me if these are just the warped bongo bass parts in my imagination!)

Some quickie random observations:

- the segue between Miss Sarajevo and City Of Blinding Lights is getting longer and including more random elements. (The best part is the female computerised voice which says “What – the – fuck?”)

- Bono charmed the crowd with some good “Spanish lessons” like “buenos mozos” which apparently is a local idiom for “good looking”, and “ha sido maravilloso” which I’m guessing means “it’s been marvellous”

- someone’s got a new smoke machine and knows how to use it, there was a forest fire of dry ice bellowing out from the stage before HMTMKMKM,

- During Vertigo (I think) Bono had dragged his microphone stand out to the edge of the stage and left it just behind Edge. Luckily Dallas saw the looming accident and rushed out to bring it in, a few seconds before Edge took some steps back

- Bono commented on the Chilean’s strength, referring to the miner’s rescue and the recovery from the earthquake last year

- There were a lot of Chilean flags thrown onto the stage and bridges. One was draped over a speaker onstage. Actually, Muse’s drummer came out and left wearing one as well.

- One of the leaders of Chile’s revolution against Spain was called Bernardo O’Higgins, whose dad was Irish. So Larry became Larry Bernardo Mullen, and Adam was Adam O’Higgins Clayton.
Great, insightful review again Cathal. As BTO says, "you ain't seen nothin' yet." The energy in Brazil will blow your mind.
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Old 03-26-2011, 10:56 PM   #8
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Cathal where do you get the money??

Also, it's so weird to read posts on this forum from people who don't follow setlists. Seems like so many people here do.

Though I agree about people being more interested in filming than enjoying themselves.
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Old 03-27-2011, 05:55 AM   #9
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Thanks Kev, Mala, prbiker.

cobl04, I've invented moneyless travel (question 7): buy flights on a 0% credit card till May 2012, couchsurfing for accomodation, and very occasional book sales to cover my daily intake of cheap, skanky ham sandwiches.
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Old 03-27-2011, 09:07 AM   #10
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Great, insightful review again Cathal. As BTO says, "you ain't seen nothin' yet." The energy in Brazil will blow your mind.
We really wanted to rock U2 and rock the stadium, but we simply couldn't do it with In a Little While, I'll Go Crazy, Miss Sarajevo, Moment of Surrender, Walk On, etc, you know what I mean? too much mid-tempo and slow stuff

Clearly, not an ideal setlist for South America, the hottest fans in the world!
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Old 03-27-2011, 10:10 AM   #11
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I'll Go Crazy (remix) the worst moment of the night. Nobody knew the song and nobody liked it. It was a lesson about how to waste time on a live performance. Terrible
Oh, really!?..I watched the video on YT and my first thought was wow, people enjoyed it very much!
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Old 03-27-2011, 10:11 AM   #12
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Cathal, love your review too..thanks for posting.
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Old 03-27-2011, 10:43 AM   #13
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We really wanted to rock U2 and rock the stadium, but we simply couldn't do it with In a Little While, I'll Go Crazy, Miss Sarajevo, Moment of Surrender, Walk On, etc, you know what I mean? too much mid-tempo and slow stuff

Clearly, not an ideal setlist for South America, the hottest fans in the world!
I thought the stadium did rock (but then I can't compare it to 1998). And I wouldn't call Crazy Tonight a mid-tempo song. And the fans seemed to enjoy Miss Sarajevo, Walk On and In A Little While, there were huge cheers for all three songs. Perhaps some fans like the slower songs. And there were probably as many "rock-out" songs in Friday's show as there were in 1998.
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Old 03-27-2011, 05:38 PM   #14
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Congratulations Cathal, I´m glad you´ve enjoyed your first u2 concert in South America
An by the way, have Muse played 90 minutes as it was supposed?
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Old 03-27-2011, 07:11 PM   #15
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Thanks 11o'clock. Nah, Muse got around fifty minutes I think. Perhaps ten songs. They could do with double that!
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