Tuesday, October 11, 2005

An abbreviated autobiography as told through the music of U2; one in a series

But first: the October 10th, 2005 setlist for U2's Vertigo Tour at Madison Square Garden:

1. City of Blinding Lights
2. Vertigo
3. Elevation
4. I Will Follow
5. Electric Co.
6. I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For/In A Little While
7. Beautiful Day
8. Miracle Drug
9. Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own
10. Love And Peace or Else
11. Sunday Bloody Sunday
12. Bullet The Blue Sky
13. Miss Sarajevo
14. Pride (In The Name of Love)
15. Where The Streets Have No Name
16. One

Encore 1:
17. Zoo Station
18. The Fly
19. With Or Without You

Encore 2:
20. All Because of You
21. Yahweh
22. Bad
23. 40

The Joshua Tree - I remember how I would scam those Columbia House music clubs all the time by making up names for myself. Just changing my first or last name ever so slightly so the alias would have a semblence of authenticity (and also that my parents would believe that the company mispelled my exotic name and the contents of the package were not ordered under false pretenses). Every few weeks Arbe Dwarken, or Alye Dwopken or Brye Sworken would get a package of eight cassettes in the mail costing Arye Dworken only a penny. And this would have gone on for years had my father not accidentally opened an ominous legal notice threatening eternal credit ruin for one Albee Dwarfkin. Somehow Dad was able to figure out that Albee and I were indeed one and the same. He guilted me into giving up the scamming and even paid for my retroactive booty.

Out of all the experiments I ordered (after all, I was more willing to take chances when the music was free) none had greater impact on me than The Joshua tree. I was just a teenager transitioning from Billy Joel and Elton John to finally recognizing that there was music out there that my parents weren't listening to. Two years after Joshua Tree exploded U2 into mainstream superstars, I finally caught on. While I was familiar with the hit songs, I never realized that a semi-alternative rock band from Ireland was capable of creating a perfect album that could resonate with me. But I learned that I was wrong.

"Where the Streets Have No Name" felt the most urgent to me. The song moved me in a way an apathetic teen is rarely moved. The glowing synth in the beginning of the song, the twitching staccato of the Edge's guitar, the way Bono declares that he wants to run. All of this sent chills up my spin. I honestly felt like I was running alongside Bono in that nameless street. To this day, this song remains one of my favorites. The first time I saw it performed live I was almost brought to tears. While I could neve replicate that specific experience, ever since then, whenever I hear it live, I feel warm.

[To be continued]


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