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Old 10-21-2018, 10:19 AM   #16
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Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Manchester, UK
Posts: 764
Local Time: 07:37 PM
This was my first U2 gig, having been a massive fan for the best part of 15 years.. My old man’s first U2 gig too, who got me into the band, so we were both incredibly excited!

We had fantastic seats. About 10 rows up from the floor, facing Larry’s position inside the screen, with the e-stage right in front of us! I was even more excited for the gig given the recent setlist shake up, though still a little conscious how a setlist with so many classics missing would be received. As a fan seeing them for the first time, I rather selfishly would have loved to have seen SBS, Streets etc live, but appreciate they can’t please everybody.

Anyway, it was a solid gig. It was a full house and there was a buzz in the city centre all day, with U2 back in town for the first time in 13 or so years. That said, I sadly wasn’t left blown away, or feeling that euphoric afterwards.. Perhaps sometimes you can hype up an event too much, or go into with too many expectations.. My only real gripe was the sound.. It felt somewhat suppressed and far less beefy than I was expecting, especially being so close..

I was really looking forward to the intro, the house lights going down and ‘A Beautiful World’ suddenly blaring through the PA, sparking that sudden buzz in the air.. But instead, it all felt a bit flat.. Even once Larry’s drums kicked in for The Blackout, it just didn’t feel like the gig had really taken lift off.. I wouldn’t say the quality of the sound was the issue, though Bono’s voice was lost a couple of times (e.g his call for the audience to pull their lights out for LOH was completely misheard), but just the volume or power, wasn’t really there.. You want to feel the drum and bass pumping through the arena floor into your body, triggering that instant adrenaline rush, and it never kind of happened.. The sound did improve as the gig progressed, especially the crispness, but the power was never really there..

As a result, the whole experience, whilst enjoyable, felt a little distant in the end, which is ironic given how close we were. No gripes re. the band or audience though. Both seemed very much into it.. Setlist suffered a little from the absence of some classics, especially Streets, which offers that big uplifting moment.. Feels fitting to close the whole gig with it, leaving everyone flooding out of the arena with a buzz, whereas exiting felt a little subdued with '13' closing..

A solid gig nevertheless!

Interesting to hear anyone else’s thoughts re. the sound?
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