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U2 – Neon Hearts (Godfather GR 94/95)

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Neon Hearts (Godfather Records GR 94/95)

Sports Arena, San Diego, CA March 28, 30, 2005
Arrowhead Pond, Anaheim, CA April 1, 2005

Disc 1  01: Intro, 02: City of Blinding Lights, 03: Vertigo → Stories For Boys, 04: The Electric Co. → Send In The Clowns → I Can See For Miles, 05: An Cat Dubh, 06: Into The Heart, 07: Beautiful Day → Blackbird, 08: New Years Day, 09: Miracle Drug, 10: Sometimes You Can’t Make It On Your Own, 11: Love And Peace Or Else, 12: Sunday Bloody Sunday, 13: Bullet The Blue Sky, 14: Hands That Built America → When Johnny Comes Marching Home Again, 15: Running To Stand Still, 16: Zoo Station, 17: The Fly.

Disc 2:  01: Elevation, 02: Pride (In The Name Of Love), 03: Where The Streets Have No Name, 04: One, 05: All Because Of you, 06: Yahweh, 07: 40, 08: Gloria, 09: With Or Without You, 10: Love And Peace Or Else, 11: Bullet The Blue Sky, 12: Hands That Built America → When Johnny Comes Marching Home Again, 13: Running To Stand Still, 14: Human Rights Video, 15: I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For, 16: Mysterious Ways, 17: City of Blinding Lights.

Sports Arena, San Diego, CA March 28, 2005 (Disc 1, Disc 2 Tracks 1-7)
Sports Arena, San Diego, CA March 30, 2005 (Disc 2 Tracks 8-9)
Arrowhead Pond, Anaheim, CA April 1, 2005 (Disc 2 Tracks 10-17)

Here in all its glory is the first show from the North American leg of U2′s 2005 Vertigo tour.  The band seems to be having a great time and dive back into their catalog and play “The Electric Co” and “An Cat Dubh”.  During The Intro to Vertigo Bono tells the crowd “Spanish Lessons in San Diego…. I Don’t Think So!”.  During the beginning of “Sometimes You Can’t Make It On Your Own” Bono mentions how his father would have loved to have been in show business. 

His father had passed away a few years earlier and it is well known that he was really close to his father.  There are a few “1st show” problems but they are quickly remedied.  Bono mentions that the band hadn’t played “40″ since 1983 but I seem to recall it being played at the Astoria show in London on February 7, 2001.

Next up is “Gloria” and “With Or Without You” from March 30, 2005 in San Diego.  This show was added due to ticket demand.  Gloria hadn’t been played live since January 9, 1990 and the band nails it perfectly.  Would you expect anything less from U2?  Pure and simple “this song rocks” and the crowd knows it.  There’s just something about hearing those classic songs live that brings back all the memories of Red Rocks.  This release closes out with 8 songs from April 1, 2005 at Arrowhead Pond in Anaheim, CA.  The band pulls out “Running To Stand Still” which is a fantastic tune to bring the tone down a bit and allow Bono to pull the crowd in. 

The sound quality of all three shows featured on this release are comparable in quality and are of excellent audience quality.  All of the instruments are equally represented in the mix and there’s not a ton of audience noise to distract from the listening experience.  The artwork is fantastic and goes right along with the motif of the official art for this tour with black and red being the dominant colors.  The packaging contains many great live shots of the band spread throughout the tri-fold. 

This release is definitely one to have and to listen to.  I found it to be great driving music and perfect for a long drive I recently made.  Both discs went by quickly and before I knew it I found myself putting disc 1 back in for one more listen.  My kids enjoyed the tunes as well which is a rarity for anyone who has teenage kids.  They don’t understand Dad’s music.  Godfather hit another Home Run.

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