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A good idea can be invisible to logic - Bono

“A good idea can be invisible to logic” - Bono

If you can’t feel the music, what is the point? The U2 360 Tour started to be an adventure in light, sound, and intimacy with the audience and now, years later, it is the foundation to which bands will stand on.

The most expensive date with the audience that created memories for a lifetime without any thought of what the future of U2 holds.

It’s July in New York and, while enjoying the summer off from anything major, I begin to think of

yesterday and imagine that we are about to start this adventure all over again and yet it’s not the same.

Everything U2 was doing was about finding new ways to connect with the audience to share an experience that was not to be forgotten as well as to present the music for which fans come to shows to be a part of without limits.

As Willie Williams, show director said, “Video is always the loudest voice in the room, think about it. If you are in a bar, chatting up a conversation, and the TV is blasting in the background, you cannot help but look up. The band was ready to take the next “quantum shift” or leap from The Joshua Tree and Zoo TV.”

The birth of the 360 tour comes from visionary ideas that push the envelope of possibility and create space to which you can grow that seed of an idea into that which is the 360 Tour.

An experience I am sure you will not soon forget. We here at U2TOURFANS.com have been working on the next phase of our future connection with you the audience. The bridge of videos, music, set lists, and of course thousands of hours of photos, is all possible because of you. We have taken some time off this summer to create some new ideas.

Dream some new possibilities. It’s clear to me that we will see U2 again out on tour, but not likely as massive as 360. However, it will be a chance for us to connect again.

In the meantime, we continue to work on our new site development, applications for your mobile device, and shopping opportunities for thousands of U2 merchandise. We look to you for suggestions and ideas. Be active in U2TOURFANS. Your stories, photos, and videos can only make our free community stronger.

revised by Holly C

double of bono.jpg

“A good idea can be invisible to logic” - Bono

Bono / U2 360 Tour / U2TOURFANS

If you can’t feel the music, what is the point? The U2 360 Tour started to be an adventure in light, sound, and intimacy with the audience and now, years later, it is the foundation to which bands will stand on.

The most expensive date with the audience that created memories for a lifetime without any thought of what the future of U2 holds.

It’s July in New York and, while enjoying the summer off from anything major, I begin to think of

yesterday and imagine that we are about to start this adventure all over again and yet it’s not the same.

Everything U2 was doing was about finding new ways to connect with the audience to share an experience that was not to be forgotten as well as to present the music for which fans come to shows to be a part of without limits.

As Willie Williams, show director said, “Video is always the loudest voice in the room, think about it. If you are in a bar, chatting up a conversation, and the TV is blasting in the background, you cannot help but look up. The band was ready to take the next “quantum shift” or leap from The Joshua Tree and Zoo TV.”

The birth of the 360 tour comes from visionary ideas that push the envelope of possibility and create space to which you can grow that seed of an idea into that which is the 360 Tour.

An experience I am sure you will not soon forget. We here at U2TOURFANS.com have been working on the next phase of our future connection with you the audience. The bridge of videos, music, set lists, and of course thousands of hours of photos, is all possible because of you. We have taken some time off this summer to create some new ideas.

Dream some new possibilities. It’s clear to me that we will see U2 again out on tour, but not likely as massive as 360. However, it will be a chance for us to connect again.

In the meantime, we continue to work on our new site development, applications for your mobile device, and shopping opportunities for thousands of U2 merchandise. We look to you for suggestions and ideas. Be active in U2TOURFANS. Your stories, photos, and videos can only make our free community stronger.

revised by Holly C

Fans Pick 22 Songs

U2 360 Tour / Mark Peterson

Fans your votes are in for the 22 live track double CD album to be released to celebrate the 360 tour.  Fans had 46 songs to choose from and of course the main stays like “Where The Streest Have No Name, One and some lesser known Ultravoulet and The Unforgettable Fire have been chosen. Take a look at the list. What do you think ? Did they get it right ? Or is something missing ?

U22 tracklist:

1. Bad
2. Where The Streets Have No  Name
3. Magnificent
4. One
5. Ultraviolet
6. Even Better than The Real Thing
7. With or Without You
8. Beautiful Day
9. City of Blinding Lights
10. The Unforgettable Fire
11. I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For
12. All I Want is You/Love Rescue Me
13. Moment of Surrender
14. Until The End of the World
15. The Fly
16. One Tree Hill
17. Stay (Faraway, So Close)
18. Walk On
19. Zooropa
20. Elevation
21. Out of Control
22. Mysterious Ways

From the Sky Down: Released Today

From the Sky Down is a 2011 documentary film directed by Davis Guggenheim about rock band U2 and the production of their 1991 album Achtung Baby. The film documents the album’s difficult recording period, the band members’ relationships, and the group’s creative process.

Guggenheim, who was commissioned by U2 to create the film to commemorate Achtung Babys 20th anniversary, spent several months in 2011 developing the documentary.

Archival footage and stills from the recording sessions appear in From the Sky Down, along with unreleased scenes from the group’s 1988 motion picture Rattle and Hum.

For the documentary, the band were filmed during a return visit to Hansa Studios in Berlin where the album was partly recorded, and during rehearsals in Winnipeg for the Glastonbury Festival 2011.

The film premiered at the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival on September 8, 2011, the first time in the festival’s history that a documentary was screened as the opening film.

The following month, it was broadcast on television and commercially released in the 20th anniversary reissue of Achtung Baby. Standalone copies of the film were released on December 12, 2011 on Blu-ray and DVD.

Critics’ reviews of From the Sky Down have been mixed. Owen Gleiberman of Entertainment Weekly gave the film an enthusiastic review, describing it as “one of the most transcendent close-up looks at the process of creating rock & roll I’ve ever seen.” In his opinion, the film was a “stirring testament to what it really means when four people in this world can create magical things because they band together.”

Hank Steuver of The Washington Post called it an “intriguing” documentary that “becomes a revealing and even enlightening meditation on the mystery of why some bands stay together and some don’t.” The review said the film is “refreshingly blunt and beautifully assembled”, and it praised Guggenheim for asking the band tough questions about that period in their history.

One Band on a Mission

For his part, Bono makes it clear his praise is directed to a higher power. “They’re all, to me, songs of praise to God and creation, even the angry ones,”

Should U2 a band on a mission? A band with a strong sense of integrity and purpose, which so many say, is the foundation for their music.  They have sold massive amounts of records, tours and estimations that the group could be worth at least a cool billion including the 17 Grammy Awards this band has pass the test of time in an industry where longevity can be measured in months. 

For all the celebrity hype, Bono retains a certain authenticity, a centeredness and seems humble, which has come out many times during the 360 tour “You have given us a good life” He reminds us that we are the reason for the bands success. That our marriage with him and the rest of the band is not taken lightly.

360 is behind us, yet some part of us want to revisit with our old friends and hold on to those youthful times of our lives when music, religion and war had our focus and our attention to get some resoling foundation of peace and faith. U2 you have given us a good life. 

Would you call the following lyrics statements of faith ?

 “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” (from Joshua Tree)
I believe in the Kingdom Come,
Then all the colors will bleed into one
But yes I’m still running.
You broke the bonds and you
Loosed the chains.
Carried the cross and all my shame,
You know I believe it.
But I still haven’t found what I’m looking for.

“Grace” (from All That You Can’t Leave Behind)
Grace, it’s the name for a girl
It’s also a thought that changed the world.
What once was hurt
What once was friction
What left a mark
No longer stains.
Because grace makes beauty
Out of ugly things.

Faith is nothing more than your ability to believe in something you cannot see yet you know to be true within your heart.  In a time when we all need a little faith why not believe in something greater than yourself why not have a little faith.

Bono was the only Christian in the early days. He started sharing his feelings and thoughts about God. And it seemed a natural progression from what happened in school to go along to meetings outside school.

“I realised that was where it was at and about the same time Larry and myself became Christians. From then on it seemed that there was a purpose for the band, if you know what I mean. Bono felt this from the beginning I think…”

“I believe in God very strongly and I don’t believe that we are just kind of exploded out of thin air. I can’t believe it. I think it is that spiritual strength that’s essential to the band. We want to offer people hope, but we don’t want to freak them out. We feel the Spirit is doing something different. Jesus taught in parables and some of our lyrics are like that.”

“I’m not cynical or pessimistic about the future and a lot of that must come down to my beliefs. It’s my belief in God that enables me to get up in the morning and face the world. I believe there is a reason and logic to everything.”

“I want an audience to feel washed after a U2 gig. I don’t like music unless it has a healing effect. There’s a huge spiritual battle going on in the world. It’s big and it’s serious and if you want to get into the battle you’ve got to get under covering. You’ve got to be part of a body.”

Its not a question of U2’s beliefs as it is what our belief provides us when we hear U2 songs, for some its just some words that provide the back drop to a great melody to others is a source that provides growth to the seed inside of all of us. Now before we upset those that do not care to believe that U2 has blended faith with rock music and that rockers can have faith expressed in songs with out attachment to a christain label, maybe your right, maybe faith better be left to your private thoughts and one should not sing in joy.

Perhaps it gives God goosebumps to hear these Irish rockers touch millions with their music while acknowledging and praising his name, even as they wrestle with him on a very public stage. May Bono’s voice and U2’s music ring out for a long, long time to come…   

October

 

 

October

And the trees are stripped bare

Of all they wear

What do I care

October

And kingdoms rise

And kingdoms fall

But you go on…

 

At the beginning of every October, I play this track. I don’t know why, but I just do. The song is a haunting song, consisting of 26 words and two themes. 

The first theme has to do with death. Obviously, it’s Bono’s reflection of a tree losing its leaves, which I think is a metaphor about losing his mother. The mother I feel he is speaking of is Mother Nature, stripping us bear of our emotional being as we take on winter. As I listen to the track, I envision a heavy, grey sky above me, almost suffocating. A lone tree, away from the forest on the horizon, stands naked before me.

The image is not in color but in high contrast black and white. The starkness reminds me of those days trekking across the University of Iowa campus as fall slipped into winter. Harsh wind, howling through the through the streets flanked by buildings made of brick and limestone, wisps dry leaves from unsecured spot to another.  

The second theme spoken here is one of kingdoms and very little has been said about this other that it may be a reference to the Russian revolution. It’s interesting how these two themes meet in this song, especially when the band was still in their religious phase as the album October was being worked on. Kingdoms could also loosely refer to the Kingdom of God or Jerusalem or Babylon or Rome for that matter. Yet, it is has been said that Bono was reflecting on the Bolshevik October uprising and how that intertwines with the emotions of losing a mother is the biggest mystery here.

I will say this, October, for this U2 fan, has been the biggest month of my life. I saw th Irish quartet in concert for the first time on October 20th, 1987. I was just a sophomore in college at the University of Iowa when Bono et al came to Iowa City to play on the Joshua Tree tour. Our campus wasn’t on the initial tour schedule. We got the show by default thanks to the University of Northern Iowa not allowing the band to set-up their outdoor stage.

It was a stroke of luck that they came and played Carver Hawkeye Arena on that foggy night where trees were stripped bare of all they wore much like in the song. A year later, I relived my Joshua Tree tour experience when the band released Rattle & Hum on compact disc.  It would be another three Octobers before their next release, Achtung Baby, and I waited them out – patiently and impatiently.

Eric Shivvers is the author of I’m a Fan: How I married U2 into my life without going to the altar. You may find him on Facebook: I’m a U2 fan or on Twitter: @iamau2fan. His book is available at Amazon.com.

U2's 'Baby' is all grown-up

By Ken Sweeney
Monday, 12 September 2011

U2 singer Bono has revealed that some of the biggest names in music have contributed to a tribute to mark the 20th anniversary of band’s ‘Achtung Baby’ album.

White Stripes singer Jack White, performing legend Patti Smith, UK group Depeche Mode, and Irish songwriter Damien Rice are among the artists who have recorded U2 covers for the record, due out this autumn.

“Jack White did ‘Love Is Blindness’, Depeche Mode did ‘So Cruel’, Patti Smith did ‘Until the End of the World’, Damien Rice did ‘One’; the list goes on and it’s a list of the most incredible artists,” said Bono.

The singer was speaking at a press conference at the Toronto International Film Festival at the weekend to promote ‘Achtung Baby’ documentary ‘From The Sky Down’, which charts the making of the album.

The U2 frontman said, on first listen, he had been hugely impressed by the contributions to the tribute record.

“It’s strange, because when I hear the album (‘Achtung Baby’), all I hear is what’s wrong with it. But when I heard all these artists doing it, I thought, ‘That’s really good’,” he said.

He went on to speak of his delight about American singer, poet and visual artist Patti Smith’s involvement, having been influenced by her when he was growing up in Dublin.

“That opening line, ‘Jesus Christ died for somebody’s sins but not mine’ (from Smith’s 1975 album ‘Horses’) when I was 16, I was like, ‘I do not know what this woman is on about but I’d better find out’,” the frontman said.

The covers album will be tied in with a reissue, ‘20 Years of Achtung Baby’, due out October 31.

The six-CD set, includes the original ‘Achtung Baby’ album, follow on ‘Zooropa’, B-sides and reworkings of previously unheard material, recorded during the Achtung Baby sessions.

An ‘Uber Deluxe Edition’ even comes with a pair of Bono’s signature sunglasses.

In the US this edition, containing six CDs, four DVDs and a 92-page hardback book will be on sale for $170.

Bring on U2! Moncton Is Ready !

Bono / U2 360 Tour / Dave Long / 2011 Like the very first song on U2’s very first 1,000-copies-in-Ireland-only EP - the song Bono wrote on his 18th birthday - tonight’s performance by the biggest band of our times is bound to be Out of Control.

But in the best possible way.

If it’s possible for the music legends’ storied 32-year career to come a full 360 degrees to a place where those humble beginnings meet unimaginable worldwide success and a long-awaited conclusion that might be a conclusion - or then again might be the beginning of a whole new, even greater orbit - if it’s possible, that circle might just close tonight on a tour called 360 in a place called Moncton.

Yes, Moncton is the place where mere concerts have a way of becoming events. But no event has the potential to go down in music history like this one, the wrapup of the most successful concert tour ever held.

The Rolling Stones’ 2005 Moncton show was huge and AC/DC’s 2009 show was huge, both the biggest shows of their respective North American tours when they hit a farmer’s field turned fan-freaking-tastic festival ground.

But tonight we break whole new ground on our whole new grounds, looking like they never have before as a result of the combined efforts of 2,400 people, a place where today stands a giant spaceship taller than almost every other building in our city, and where a population greater than the city itself will soon be pulled into the orbit of its perfect circle stage, the saturnalian ring wrapped ‘round its heady atmosphere.

All of that sounds hopelessly over-the-top, of course, unless you’ve been to one of the 109 other shows on U2’s 360 Tour.

If you haven’t, you’ll soon understand. It’s over the top and halfway to space. There are no superlatives to describe it. It is the superlative.

And if you don’t go see and hear it for yourself tonight, you’ll just have to find something else to talk about at pubs and parties and water coolers around here for the next 32 years or so.

If you hate U2, you’ll still end up hating yourself for missing this one. If you love U2, it looks like you’re about to be in really good and growing company around here.

Less than 24 hours ago, a crowd of print and television and radio and online journalists, bloggers and even a couple of pseudo-freelance BSers who talked their way through the gates just to get an up-close look at the concert site got that up-close look and knew all their previous descriptions of this thing coming had somehow been inadequate.

It’s rock ‘n’ roll, baby, like it’s never rocked and rolled before.

Donald Tarlton, the real man behind what millions of Canadians over two or three generations know as Donald K. Donald, picks up the story from there.

“It all started about three years ago,” Tarlton said yesterday, the giant claws rising 15 storeys above him. “I had a dream. My partner André Hudon had a dream - wouldn’t it be great to get U2 to come to Atlantic Canada?”

He admitted it seemed like an impossible task when they first investigated it because the show was built to play in stadiums.

But then, “an unfortunate incident involving Bono’s back forced a reschedule and André and I spotted a window of opportunity,” he said.

“It’s a great coup for Atlantic Canada and a great thrill for us to be involved.”

Tarlton said when he heard it would indeed be the tour’s finale, he said, “if it turns out to be the last show of the tour, I’m telling you there’s no greater place for a party than Atlantic Canada. The fans of Atlantic Canada will give this band the greatest send-off for a tour they could possibly have. We know we’ve got the fans coming tomorrow and we know we’ve got the band coming tomorrow, and it’s going to be great.”

U2 production director Jake Berry takes over from Tarlton.

“As everybody knows, this is a very special show for everyone on the tour because this is the last one.” Follow tonights show via twitter or facebook streams. 

On Monday, the three spaceship/claw stages go up for sale, their work complete after helping the band entertain more than seven million people around the world.

“It’s not very special for us crew people because we’ve got to look for jobs on Monday,” Berry said, but, “we chose to finish off in this beautiful site, and we’re ready.”

The show is special enough for U2 fans that they’ve literally been coming to Moncton from all over the world the past few days, whether they have to save money by staying in tents or they can afford their own private jets.

Look around and you may see that one of U2’s fans who is saying farewell to the 360 Tour is actor - fellow social activist and fellow Irishman Pierce Brosnan. If you do spot him, remember you heard it here first, folks.

While the Brad and Angelina and Oprah story particle colliding in an uncontrolled chain reaction yesterday seemed too far fetched to believe - Oprah doesn’t go to concerts; they come to her - the chance of seeing Eric Clapton might be better, though far from confirmed.

And the speculation about Neil Young having breakfast at Cora’s yesterday seems to actually be true, with several reported sightings. Moncton’s Tracey Suley was among them. She didn’t see the Canadian music icon at Cora’s, but did cross paths with a man who was either Young or the identical twin brother he didn’t know he had in behind the restaurant near the Delta Beauséjour Hotel.

And speaking of special visitors, don’t be surprised if for a spilt second or so tonight there is in fact someone at the site louder than the show itself. At the site, or maybe over it.

Craig Evans, U2’s 360 Tour manager, picks up the story.

Asked about all the swirling talk of other celebrities coming to Moncton because it’s the 360 Tour’s final date, he said yesterday, “there are certainly other people who we are expecting here tonight. This band has a lot of fans who are both celebrities and common people. There will be a bunch of familiar faces. It happens at most shows.”

There’s a huge amount of loyalty among those fans, he said.

“You get to understand the passion that they feel. That passion is when every show happens, the first time when the lights go down and the audience stands up and starts roaring and the band comes on the stage, everybody has an arm with hair standing up on end, feeling that moment. In a U2 show, what’s kind of unique is that happens several times during the evening.”

He couldn’t speak of what surprises the band might have in store, but “without a doubt, the crew has a few things in mind that we can’t speak about yet because it’s going to be a surprise to the band.”

And by the way, Evans said U2 is well aware the Town of Springhill, N.S., has made them honourary citizens for their keeping the memory of the town’s mining history alive through their singing of the classic Springhill Mining Disaster.

He said, however, travel timing would prevent the band from visiting the town in response to an invitation from the mayor, but he did hint the kindness might be acknowledged somehow at the show.

Evans predicted people will be really taken by the whole spectacle that is U2, especially on this mother of all tours. Beyond the show itself, he spoke of the view of the city and the acres of forest in their full summer greenery just behind the venue will make the final night special.

“That’s an amazing thing,” he said. “It’s one thing playing in a well-designed cement stadium. It’s another thing entirely to play in nature and grass and people. This is real. It’s more of an event than a concert. I think we have a very special opportunity to end this tour in a very unique and special place.

“This was a big decision to end the tour here, but it was very much a part of the band’s decision and wish.

“The band’s going to be emotional. They have had a huge journey. I think you’re going to see that.”

Montreal Fans Start Streaming In

U2TOURFANS 2011MONTREAL — U2 fans from far and wide have already started streaming into the area around Jean Talon and Decarie and the transportation challenge is being taken seriously by authorities.

The site has a Fan-Jam area that has opened but the gates to the seats will open at 5 p.m.

Evenko has added extra seats to deal with demand but around 2,000 already-purchased tickets were up for re-sale on sites like craigslist and kijiji.

Some speculated that the band would come into the stadium in a helicopter but there was no official word. Others mentioned that they had spotted Bono at a restaurant on Bishop street Friday at noon.

Many streets have been closed, street parking shut down and authorities have been pleading with motorists to come to the show on the metro rather than in their vehicles. Those hoping to get off the Decarie Expressway at Jean Talon will be out of luck and the exit was slated to close at 11 a.m. Friday.

As for the concert venue, it has been ready for some time. Seats are in place, lights ready to be flicked on and turnstiles poised to rotate for 160,000 U2 fans Friday and Saturday nights at the former Blue Bonnets racetrack at Decarie and Jean Talon.

A 47-metre high (150-foot) contraption called the claw is ready as well. The structure will hover over the stage, light up and hold video screens.

The claw’s real function is to make everything else look smaller.

“They wanted it to be an intimate show, the idea was that if you build something big you can make the stadium look very small,” said U2 Tour Director Craig Evans. “It’s a 150 percent success. It definitely makes the place look smaller.”

The shows were planned two years ago and were originally meant to take place last year but emergency back surgery to U2 singer Bono forced the delay. Now the U2 360 Degree tour is hitting town as one of 110 stops on the tour.

But Montreal is the only place where the band had to build its own venue.

The stadium took six weeks to build and cost $3 million (some reports have it closer to $4 million) and will require an additional three weeks to dismantle. Spectators will number 40,000 on the floor and the same number in the seated areas.

Jake Barry, U2 Production Director, says that the construction is sturdy.

“This may be temporary but it’s a solid, very formal, very professionally done venue, it encompasses proper facilities, concessions, things to entertain people who come down early,” said Barry. “We stress: do come early.”

The organizers also issued a lengthy list of items that will not be permitted inside the show. They include: umbrellas, plastic or glass bottles, cans, alcoholic drinks (purchased from outside the venue), megaphones, fireworks, beach balls, balloons, skateboards, animals (except seeing eye dogs), large camping-size backpacks, tents, video equipment, removable-lens cameras, audio recording equipment, banners, or flags, laser pointers and chairs.

U2 Fans Converge on Montreal

QUEBEC, Jun 29, 2011 (MARKETWIRE via COMTEX) — The Hippodrome de Montreal will be transformed into a City of Blinding Lights when U2 brings its 360 degrees World Tour to this island metropolis for Friday and Saturday night performances July 8-9, 2011.

Capturing audiences around the globe on a tour that begin in 2009, Montreal fans are booking into airport hotels in Montreal after waiting for over a year for their chance to experience the live vibrations of one of the world’s most popular groups. Originally set to appear in Montreal last July, the concert had to be rescheduled due to Bono’s back surgery and impending rehabilitation. The lead singer of this unique Irish rock band is going strong as the third leg of this world tour makes its way to Montreal for two 7 p.m. performances.

Taking to the magnificent stage set in the Hippodrome, U2 is joined by Interpol to envelope the crowds with two summer concerts that won’t soon be forgotten by Canadian fans. Relaxing amenities at nearby hotels in West Island Montreal are up to the task of providing overnight comfort to U2 fans so they can maximize their concert experience. Conveniently located just 7.1 kilometers from Hippodrome de Montreal, the Courtyard Montreal Airport Hotel welcomes fans with complimentary airport shuttle service, nearby car rental agencies and free guest parking. An exceptional choice among conference hotels in Montreal, the Courtyard also offers complimentary Internet access for those looking to keep pace with the ever changing news regarding concert performances.

Conveniently located within walking distance of a popular entertainment complex, fine shopping, restaurants and cafes, this Montreal West Island hotel’s central location, just off the TransCanada Highway, allows travelers easy access to all of Montreal. Well-appointed guest rooms at the Courtyard by Marriott’s Montreal Airport hotel combine comfort and functionality to provide guests with a relaxing hotel experience. Spacious bathrooms, pillow top mattresses, featherbeds, luxurious cotton-rich linens and room service are standard, along with coffee / tea service and a mini-refrigerator. Large work spaces make it easy to keep up with the work load or plug-in electronics and keep them charged for long concert nights or busy Montreal days.

Angels Smiling on Anaheim

By BEN WENER: We can split hairs over whether U2’s first show at Angel Stadium this past weekend was fully awesome — a perfectly paced concert as moving and meaningful as their Rose Bowl blast just before Halloween 2009 — or whether it was simply as impeccable as the Irishmen’s performances always are. I’m apparently a cynical, narcissistic, arrogant jerk for suggesting in my admittedly overlong first review that some indefinable spark — some touch of magic — was missing.

I rambled through 2,300 words trying to make up my mind if it really ranked with the inspired and inspiring encounters I’ve had with this band over the years. Days later it still doesn’t feel like a truly marvelous one — only a warm-up to the fiercer, fleeter, far more galvanizing set that seemed to seize the 50,000-plus fans on hand in Anaheim Saturday night, zapping them full of infectious excitement and deep emotional resonance, and never allowing either feeling to let up.

This much is indisputable: The second show was better. Way better. Dare I say: magical.

“I know this is Angels territory and miracles abound,” Bono said after four songs, including terrific takes on “Even Better Than the Real Thing” and “Until the End of the World” that were much more torrential than the night before, plus a funkier “Mysterious Ways” that had the singer shouting out “James Brown!” (like in the Tom Tom Club’s “Genius of Love”) as well as the explosive tour debut of “The Fly.” From further up Katella Avenue Friday afternoon I heard them sound-check that last one, along with another welcome Achtung Baby tune that snuck into Saturday’s show, “Ultra Violet (Light My Way).” (That one replaced “Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me” as the encore-launching piece that Bono vocalizes into a red-glowing ring as big as his head.)

It was already a bold opening, the band attacking the material, the frontman in his trademark leather and shades lurching at the audience. But that wasn’t enough: “There’s a magic trick we’d like to do tonight. We’re gonna try to shrink the stadium. We want to feel right up close to you in the top tier.” I’d never dream they noticed my earlier review, let alone took any of it to heart — why should they care? And still it felt as though they were trying to disprove my notion, that the enormous scope of such shows makes it immensely difficult to leave everyone within earshot feeling overwhelmed.

Rather than rely on the often jaw-dropping sight of this 360 Tour production — which inside the Big A looked less like a giant claw than some strange interstellar craft that had touched down around second base — U2 instead used two of its mightiest weapons of love and hope and peace to achieve that seemingly impossible intimacy. Stunningly, the group yanked forward the back-to-back wow of what until now had been its opening encore: the universal anthem “One” and the ever-thrilling rush of “Where the Streets Have No Name,” here joined together by a verse of “Amazing Grace,” the lights turned stark on Bono and the screens faded to black.

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