Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Last Night in Boston: It's A 'Beautiful Day'

The Boston Globe notes today that John Kerry was among the throng at last night's U2 concert in Boston. It was an emotional performance sprinkled with the politics that U2 and frontman Bono are known for.

The second leg of U2's ''Vertigo" tour hit Boston last night with a full-on bang. The sold-out crowd featured celebrities such as Tom Brady and John Kerry, but also thousands of U2 diehards who sang along so loudly that any decibel meter would have been smashed.

This was like one of U2's classic concerts at the Orpheum when the band was making its move toward superstardom in the '80s. The crowd interaction was breathtaking -- from a pregnant mother who jumped up early to dance with Bono, to hearty, sing-along support when Bono briefly lost his voice during the Martin Luther King tribute, ''Pride (In the Name of Love)." He literally jumped back from the microphone and couldn't continue for a minute -- maybe he swallowed something that went down the wrong way or was just overcome by the moment -- but he raised his arms and beckoned the fans to fill in the verses, which they readily did like eager acolytes.

On the U2 website review of last night's performance are these notes commencing with Bono's thank you to opening act Keane, peppered with mentions of Bono's acknowledgement of John Kerry during the performance:

'We want to thank the beautiful mecurial melodies of Keane that are accompanying us here in Boston,' says Bono, before thanking everyone for 'hanging around for us...and giving us a great life.'

U2, he continues, are just getting going, just at the start of their career. (Not sure where that puts Keane but they went down great anyway.) John Kerry gets a namecheck in Beautiful Day and Bono is 'thinking about America' as he breaks into 'Many Rivers To Cross'. And in a city of learning, Miracle Drug is dedicated to two doctors - 'huge inspirations' - who have come to the show tonight: Paul Farmer and Joia Mukherjee who are AIDS specialists and activists with Partners in Health. (Interesting aside: there is a brilliant book by the Pullitzer Prize winning author Tracy Kidder all about Paul Farmer. It's called Mountains Beyond Mountains.)

A moving performance of Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own follows, and then we're into the fiercely aggressive trio of Love and Peace, Sunday Bloody Sunday and Bullet the Blue Sky before Miss Sarajevo tingles every spine as Bono again finds 'the opera in me'. This is one song that this tour is going to be remembered for.

Just as he hoped, everyone gets our their cellphones to 'turn this place into a milky way' for One and it reminds the singer of an extraordinary man, Tom Brady, who has just signed up as a supporter with the ONE Campaign - the two millionth person to sign up. 'I also want to salute someone (else).. without him we would not see the AIDS emergency taken seriously in Washington DC - John Kerry!'

Big response for that one.

Notably the Boston Globe forgot to mention Bono's nods to Kerry.


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