Pittsburgh Popmart concert

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Pittsburgh Popmart concert, May 22, 1997

by Michael Camp

Slick, Compelling, Uplifting, Trippy, Holy, Awesome...PopMart: Pittsburgh was excellent! At 9:00PM, the sound of "Pop Muzik" started to fill the stadium. To the cheers of the crowd, the boys slowly walked through the crowd, and onto the stage, Bono lagging behind, hooded, jabbing at the wind like Muhammed Ali. Breaking into Mofo, perfectly timed, Bono immediately made contact with the fans. Flawless performance here.

At the sound of I Will Follow, the crowd went wild, singing along with Bono, hanging on every word. Even Better Than The Real Thing was as polished as it was on the Zoo TV tour. Bono introduces Gone, and it gelled excellently, and recieved a very strong response from the crowd at the introduction of it. Pride was a highlight of the show, with Bono repeatedly near the end of the song, turning the mic to the crowd and then to himself for the "Oh Oh Oh Oh's"....again..great feedback from the crowd of 30,000. In the middle of I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For, Bono talks about America, and how this is where we work, shop, pray, etc...and that this is a gospel song.....going into the part of the song "I believe in the kingdom come...". Very moving...closing that song with Stand By Me. This was followed by a gorgeous rendition of Last Night On Earth, and Until The End Of The World, with Bono and Edge going back and forth with guitars and voice on the middle of the walkway to the B Stage on End Of The World. On If God Will Send His Angels, Bono cut through some lyrics of it, eliminating the second verse completely to go.

Next, on stage, they broke into Staring At The Sun...it was PERFECT they hit everything right on the head...a far cry from their previous shows where they abort it mid-way through. Edge then introduces a Diamond song, and does Sweet Caroline karaokee style, and the crowd sang along passionately like a drinking song. Miami was very impressive. Bono did it beat style while walking the walkway, and for the chorus, the band cut hard into it, Edge's guitar was sharp. During the song, Bono picked a girl from the crowd, and they slow danced to the music in the background. This rocked!. With Bullet the Blue Sky, the light shone towards the heavens, and Bono did an excellent job, as well as did the band in keeping with the spirit of the song, but increasing the tempo of it...Bono appears with a red white and blue umbrella, and jabs the umbrella, while going into America from West Side Story at the end.

After this, they do Please, it got solid reaction, getting stronger as it went along...Then, the crowd went berzerk for Where The Streets Have No Name, and at the end, Bono incorporates the "Then will there be no time for sorrow /shame" refrain from Playboy Mansion. It was great. The Lemon remix started to play, and for a few minutes, you saw the belly dancer moving to it, and shortly afterwards, smoke filled the air, and the mirrorball lemon started to move forward, then rise. it was dazzling, as light spiraled around the stadium. Discotheque was impressive, and well-tuned, seguing into a short rendition of Velvet Dress, into With Or Without you on the B Stage which had the crowd going wild. Working their way back to the mainstage, the screen fills up with the Macphisto/Batman logo moving around the screen. Hold Me Thrill Me Kiss Me Kill Me was textbook perfect. Bono carried the mic stand with him, and scattered across the stage, lunging it at him and stepping back...placing it at the right walkway. Then, the band kicked out Mysterious Ways, which was better than the recordings I have heard of the Zoo TV shows, it was more uptempo, and passionate, with Bono singing near the end a couple times,..."Praise the Lord...Praise the Lord...Praise The Lord"...fading the song out after that. Finally, Bono says to the crowd, "We have one more song for you, Thanks for coming out, God Bless You." Going into One, where Bono improvises on some of the lyrics, closing with Unchained Melody.

Overall, I was impressed with how the band gelled tonite. It was excellent. The crowd was very good, even getting into the newer songs well. This was the U2 that we all know and love. They had, "that spark" tonite, and it was awesome. It was definately worth $60 for it. I had 14th row seats from the stage, on an angle, so I saw all of the show well. The Lemon landed and opened directly on line with our row, and they were so close, it rocked. It was just so awesome, and I wish I had tickets for Columbus.

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This page contains a single entry by Jonathan published on May 22, 1997 4:36 AM.

Information on Bono's ZooTV sunglasses was the previous entry in this blog.

U2's `Pop' Arch is the next entry in this blog.

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