U2, Providence, 31.10.01 by Dan Brooks
Wow. The only thing missing was the third encore.
U2 is one of the few bands today with crowd-interaction. Sure, every band has their hit songs, their stunning music, their talent, but it wouldn't have been quite the same without Bono's pristine showmanship and fan-participation. Firstly, I went with a special someone and we weren't able to get proper seats. This didn't quite dissuade us, but we hesitated at first to sit the three rows apart, thinking the concert wouldn't be as good without someplace to sit down. Quite honestly, it didn't matter. We were on our feet dancing the whole time, screaming with joy as Bono came around the ramp and held up his hand to rouse the audience. As he knelt down to the fans, people were jumping to simply grab his hand or touch his jacket. He paused during songs and lowered his voice to let the crowd's chanting of the words echo hard and strong, and believe me, everyone knew the words.
But were they good? As good as I expected? Oh yes. Sunday Bloody Sunday was the best version I've ever heard, the crowd pulsed and jumped to the hard drums and guitar. Pride was phenomenal, with a break for an excerpt of Martin Luther King, Jr's speech. One was simply a dream, and I couldn't have wished for it better.
There wasn't a song they didn't play that wasn't a hit, and there wasn't an empty seat in the Dunkin' Donuts Center. The only thing missing was the third encore.
U2, Providence, October 31 by Cathy Hutchinson
This was my 15th U2 show and they only get better and better. It was great to hear "Party Girl", "Slow Dancing", and "Wild Honey" - each an unexpected treat. It was also great to hear Larry thank everyone for spending his birthday with him; to see Bono having fun as he playfully sat at Larry's drum kit; to see Edge taking a swig of Larry's birthday champagne; and to see Adam laughing at the whole thing.
Thanks Bono for truly including everyone in the show. I saw Bono gesturing to and laughing with three girls in the upper tier at the back of the stage. They were jumping and dancing as they noticed that Bono had seen them dressed in identical American flag shirts. I forgot about this until midway through "Pride" when the girls emerged on the stage and followed Bono to the tip of the heart where they danced for the rest of the song. What a great moment! Once again "Please" was so moving. This is the third time I've heard it live and it only gets better each time. "New York" was again amazing - there's just something about the emotions - anguish, pain, hope - that come through on this song that really gets to me.
Thank you Bono, Larry, Edge and Adam for giving back to your fans night after night. Your words and music mean so much to so many, now more than ever. Thank you for continuing to be so relevant and for having the courage to lift the spirits of so many people who have turned to your music to help themselves heal. Thank you for taking the time to talk to and acknowledge your fans in a personal way. And, thank you for continuing to have the strength to go away and "dream it up all over again."