(12-02-2005) Concert Was Worth the Wait -- Salisbury Post* - U2 Feedback

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Old 12-02-2005, 11:04 AM   #1
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(12-02-2005) Concert Was Worth the Wait -- Salisbury Post*

Concert Was Worth the Wait

I opened my Christmas present two weeks ago. Not an early present, but a late one. My husband gave me this for Christmas 2004, and it was worth the 11-month wait.

My gift: the U2 concert in Atlanta. A friend and I sang and danced and cried our way through the whole two-plus hours, reminding ourselves over and over that it was real.

This band rocks.

I hadn't read anything about previous shows on the tour, but I just knew they were going to open with "City of Blinding Lights," and they did. Bono sang the chorus, "Oh you look so beautiful tonight," to us with such emotion, and everyone in the arena belted it right back to him.

We never sat down.

You could feel the energy as everyone sang every word to every song. Well, everyone except the two idiots next to us who thought that "Vertigo" was the name of the opening act, when it's actually the name of the tour. Who let them in?

The soundtrack of my life features U2, from high school proms and parties to college and marriage and kids. I drove across South Dakota a few summers ago with my best friend and the top down, singing along to "All That You Can't Leave Behind" for six hours straight.

Hearing U2 play these songs gave me such a thrill. Their light show (stunning) and stage set (impressive) aside, the band performs with such passion after all these years that I still get goosebumps just thinking about it.

And yes, Bono wore one of the leather jackets that my sister's friend made in California.

They treated us to a rare gift that night. With members of Martin Luther King Jr.'s family in the audience, they performed "MLK." Bono introduced this short, simple song as "a lullaby for Martin."

"Sleep, sleep tonight. And may your dreams be realized. If the thundercloud passes rain, so let it rain. Let it rain, rain on him."

I first witnessed U2 when I was a high school senior in South Dakota. That was 1987, the Joshua Tree tour. Friends and I made the four-hour pilgrimage to St. Paul, Minn., and back on a school night. I remember sitting blurry-eyed the next morning in my journalism class, ears ringing, typing a concert review.

"A religious experience," I wrote.

I'd write it again, 18 years later almost to the day. A U2 concert is a social, political, spiritual experience that bolsters your faith in God and humankind.

As the Universal Declaration of Human Rights scrolled on a huge screen, U2 reminded us that one person can make a difference.

For three songs, Bono wore a headband with "coexist" written across it in letters and symbols. The 'C' was a Muslim crescent, the 'X' a Star of David and the 'T' a cross.

"Jesus, Jew, Mohammed—all sons of Abraham," he chanted as they ripped through the war trilogy, "Love and Peace or Else," "Sunday Bloody Sunday" and "Bullet the Blue Sky."

Some say Bono is melodramatic or self-righteous. I say he's right.

He travels without a bodyguard. He convinces President Bush and world leaders to spend billions of dollars sending AIDS drugs to Africa. He uses his fame and fortune to lobby for Third World debt relief.

And he got an ovation from the crowd when he announced that the ONE campaign to end poverty will have more members by year's end than the National Rifle Association.

Maybe we really can save the world.


Emily Ford is a freelance writer living in Salisbury.

--Salisbury Post
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Old 12-02-2005, 11:44 AM   #2
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Really nice article!
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Old 12-02-2005, 12:06 PM   #3
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Old 12-02-2005, 12:59 PM   #4
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That was really beautiful
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Old 12-02-2005, 09:51 PM   #5
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Old 12-03-2005, 05:33 PM   #6
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Excellent article from a long-time fan - well done.

And I have to agree with Ms. Ford. Who on earth is so stupid that they thought the opening act was called "Vertigo"? Given that U2 has had their Vertigo Tour going for 8+ months, given that U2 had a big hit song called "Vertigo", given that U2/iTunes/iPod had a monstrous commercial using the song "Vertigo", I can't believe that anyone who is actually at a U2 concert would not know this. Hard to believe, but I guess some people still do really live in a cave.
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