Opening Act(s): Third Eye Blind
Mofo, I Will Follow, Gone, Even Better Than The Real Thing, Last Night On Earth, Until The End Of The World, New Year’s Day, Pride (In The Name Of Love), I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For, All I Want Is You, Staring At The Sun, Sunday Bloody Sunday, Bullet The Blue Sky, Please, Where The Streets Have No Name. Encore(s): Discothèque, If You Wear That Velvet Dress, With Or Without You, Hold Me Thrill Me Kiss Me Kill Me, Mysterious Ways, One, Rain.
U2 retains old hits despite new direction
by Tony Green
U2 brought everything it was supposed to - the 100-foot swizzle stick with the 40-foot olive, the giant golden arch, the block-wide video screen that turned Alltel Stadium into a multimillion-dollar, multimedia room. And it was impressive, even if there were fewer spectators on hand than some would have hoped.
About 20,000 took in last night’s stop on the band’s worldwide PopMart tour, which meant there were plenty of empty seats in the stadium; most of the crowd was centered on the floor in front of the stage. Those who took in the more than two-hour show got a thank you ”for sticking by us” from lead singer Bono, and got to see a show that, despite the claims of empty flash and pomposity, was as visually arresting as any this year and featured a satisfying dose of U2’s best material.
The show delivered on its promise of high-tech thrills. The huge LED screen projected a variety of images - everything from shots of the band in action to cartoons - in a dizzying array of colors. The band took the stage done up in like a Village People for the ’90s; The Edge as a Cowboy and Bono sporting a hooded boxing robe. During a late show version of Discotheque from the Pop album, the band emerged from a giant mechanical lemon wearing Jaguars jerseys.
And, despite the controversy over the band’s supposed new direction, the set featured heavy doses of its best-loved material - In the Name of Love, New Year’s Day, and Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For. And despite all the visual flash, the most interesting tune was an acoustic re-casting of Sunday Bloody Sunday, which featured The Edge on solo vocals.
© 1997 Florida Times-Union. All rights reserved.