Band rolls through decades of songs in two-hour set
David Menconi, Staff Writer
U2 singer Bono once said that " 'Where the Streets Have No Name' [is] the one song we can guarantee that God will walk through the room as soon as we play it."
That's a bold declaration; but danged if it didn't feel as if the Almighty turned up around 10:05 p.m. Monday as U2 went soaring into that song at the Charlotte Bobcats Arena.
It's not bragging if you can pull it off, and the performance Monday night was a start-to-finish triumph of arena-rock stylings. The two-hour-plus show started with "City of Blinding Lights" and "Vertigo" from U2's 2004 album "How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb," and the set list went as far back as U2's early-1980s salad days with "Gloria."
U2 brought in a state-of-the-art production with lots of lighting effects whizzing about. An oval-shaped catwalk extended from the stage into the crowd, and Bono scampered about as he worked the room. He was the frontman in every sense, commanding attention and giving shout-outs to everyone from former Sen. Jesse Helms to the late Frank Sinatra (Monday would have been Sinatra's 90th birthday).
"Thank you for givin' us a great life," Bono declared at one point. "We're tryin' to live it as large as we can."
Guitarist Dave "The Edge" Evans served as Bono's primary foil, coaxing his usual array of wide-open sonic effects from his guitar over bassist Adam Clayton and drummer Larry Mullen Jr.'s solid martial rhythms. Highlights included "Sunday Bloody Sunday," "Bullet the Blue Sky" and the encore version of "Until the End of the World."