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U2 Vertigo Tour

Vertigo Tour 1st leg: North America

: Wachovia Center - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA

View all performances at Wachovia Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.

U2's Vertigo Tour Brings "Beautiful Sonic Architecture" to Phila.

Chris Meloy (published on 2005-05-20)

Source: The Triangle

By Chris Meloy
Published: Friday, May 20, 2005

During the Irish rock band's recent induction to the Rock'n'Roll Hall of Fame, music legend Bruce Springsteen praised the spiritually enriched compositions of U2 as "some of the most beautiful sonic architecture in the rock-and-roll world."

U2 arrived in Philadelphia to perform at the Wachovia Center on May 14 continuing their 2005 Vertigo Tour in promotion of their newest album "How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb" released in late 2004. This is the band's 12th original album since its formation 29 years ago. As a paying member of U2's online fan club, I was given an advanced ticketing opportunity through Ticketmaster. This proved essential as the North American tour dates sold out within minutes. I tried for a "general admission" floor ticket but was reverted to a seat assignment. It wasn't long though until I learned I was put first row, stage height, and roughly facing center.

Philadelphia's Wachovia Center was transformed into an intimate concert venue with U2's veteran road crew piloting the integrated lighting and video effects to contribute to an absolutely stunning rock 'n' roll show. Coming out to see U2 play music is a family occasion. I was impressed with how all age groups were represented in the swelling sea of fans. U2 has always been known for their rousing live performances with charismatic front man Bono leading the charge. The band's choice of songs for the evening truly reflected their diversified career while championing their biggest and newest hits. Now universal favorites of "Elevation", "Pride" (In the Name of Love), and "Beautiful Day" found spots on the set list as the band continued to showcase their beloved trademark songs with the same fiery enthusiasm as their freshest material. U2 and especially Bono have always stepped out from inside the studio and beyond the stage and into the outside world. It is not just utilizing rock stardom to promote a cause, but an unabashed and vivid manifestation of the band members' Christian faith. The don't take their pleads for peace and tolerance lightly. Of his humanitarian work Bono is most known for his passion concerning the struggling third-world nations of Africa. The musical dedication for his case in Africa was delivered through a soaring rendition of "Where The Streets Have No Name" and a stirring performance of the song "One" naturally following a brief contention for the "One Campaign" (www.one.org). Bono also touched on the ongoing religious violence in the Middle East by wearing a headband tied around his forehead with the Muslim crescent moon, Jewish Star of David, and Christian crucifix drawn on it. He explained to us how all of these people share faith in the "God of Abraham" and must all turn to that unity to work through their feuds.

Then U2 lead guitarist Dave Evans "The Edge" took to his keyboard and began with the haunting solo piano introduction to "Running to Stand Still". Bono revealed his harmonica and announced, "This song is dedicated to the brave men and women of the United States military," before joining in.

The final song of the night was a peaceful serenade that sweetly concluded the "War" album released in 1983. The song was also a favorite concert finale for the band through the following decade. The peculiar song title "40" actually refers to it's lyrical origins from Psalm 40 of the Bible. U2 has returned "40" to the set list for most of the Vertigo Tour thus far and has received overwhelming euphoric acclaim. The evening of May 14th slipped away into the night with the sold-out Wachovia Center singing the chorus to "40". We continued in spiritual reverie even after the band had left the stage, only stopping when the Wachovia Center event staff fired up the lights and played in-house background music to get us to leave. But even then I encountered fellow fans continuing to sing while packed in the crowded hallways waiting in line to exit the building.


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