(05-17-2005) A Beautiful Day -- Knight Ridder/Tribune* - U2 Feedback

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Old 05-17-2005, 09:48 AM   #1
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(05-17-2005) A Beautiful Day -- Knight Ridder/Tribune*

A Beautiful Day

By CHUCK MYERS
KNIGHT RIDDER/TRIBUNE

No more rumors. No more speculation. No more false prophecy.

For devoted U2 fans, the moment has arrived: For the first time in almost four years, the band's tour machine hits the stage again in New Jersey for shows Tuesday and Wednesday night at Continental Arena. The Vertigo tour also will stop Saturday night at Madison Square Garden.

The quartet from Ireland continues to cruise at a height enjoyed by only a select few acts in popular music history.

So what is it that keeps U2 at the forefront of popular music and culture? A resilient link between the band and millions of dedicated fans worldwide.

Despite massive record sales, numerous accolades and the trappings of stardom, the members of U2 (Bono, The Edge, Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen Jr.) maintain a sense of humility borne from a deep appreciation for their North Dublin working-class roots.

Even as U2 passed through stylistic phases and a variety of stage personalities over the years - from rebellious activists to self-absorbed rock stars - its members never sought to distance themselves from the outside world. Instead, the group remained firmly grounded, using its music and fame to speak out on real-world injustices and the importance of honoring human dignity - issues and themes that not only have resonance, but also have deepened U2's relationship with its fans.

From the first note of an opening song at a U2 concert, the occasion immediately becomes one grand bonding experience between the performers and the assembled. The scene is stirring and intoxicating, if not addictive. It's been this way almost since the band began touring widely more than 20 years ago. And now, as the Vertigo tour rolls forward, audiences will once again indulge their unrestrained, visceral exuberance for four middle-age lads from Dublin.
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