Singing with U2

Saw U2 on Wednesday. Good, good show.

Review in Friday’s Post. Review in Friday’s Times.

This was the first long review in the Post in a while where I felt like the reviewer didn’t capture the feeling well. (Their new guy wrote it, and — pure speculation — some localizing may still be ongoing.) The show did lean more on slower numbers than the first time I saw them and more than it did the Thursday night show (setlist), but I thought the vibe was a quietly strong one. Of the slower stuff, the Johnny Comes Marching Home part was powerful, and so was Miss Sarejevo. On the latter, Bono sang both his part and Pavoratti’s part well. (I also had no idea it was inspired by an actual Miss Sarejevo contest. For as much as I like them, I still have much U2 learning to do.) Bono had a good number of shoutouts to various groups, but they all got a good collective reaction and he got back to the music before getting boring.

In addition to a quick setlist, summarized the show and included more of Bono’s speechifying.

A surprising number of people left before the 2nd set of encores — why they didn’t wait until the lights went up, I have no idea. Not a huge number of people, but enough so that everyone who stayed saw someone leaving, so that gave the closing songs a more intimate feel. The last one of the night was 40, which (again) I didn’t know until this week was based on Psalm 40. Earlier in the show, Sunday Bloody Sunday‘s “how long must we sing this song” had gotten the night’s strongest sing-a-long, with probably few crowds more likely to grasp the length of work necessary than Washington’s. So 40‘s “how long to sing this song” continued the sentiment to the final notes.

Jeff was there both nights, and the second night he was on the floor in the middle of their big circle stage, about 15 feet from Bono at some points, according to his away message. Will try to get some impressions from him soon.

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