U2 @ Foxboro

Seventeen years. Let that one roll off your tongue a few times. Seventeen years. That's how long it has been since U2's first album (not CD, they weren't invented yet). Longer than The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, and many of the other "Greatest Bands of A ll Time" stuck together. Make no mistake about it -- U2 is still the premiere band. With their new "POP" CD still fresh in the minds of their fans, Bono and the boys did nothing to disappoint. From their opening song Mofo to their encore ending One, the boys from Ireland gave everyone their money's worth.

Unlike many new bands, U2 has the luxury of not having to force feed any of their new work onto their fans. Yes, "POP" needs to be listened to a few times to appreciate the art work, but their mix of old and new songs could not have been better. Rarely were two new songs performed back to back, rather, they were spaced out enough to allow the fan to appreciate it on its own. Staring At The Sun was a classic example of Bono and The Edge using their musical talents in blending the biggest hit on "POP" into a fantastic acoustical version of the song. Discotheque saw the boys doing their best Village People imitation, with a huge disco ball-looking lemon opening to reveal the band members. And the blending of Miami and Bullet The Blue Sky couldn't have been better.

Aside from the new songs, U2 performed the hits that made them what they are -- New Year's Day, Pride (In The Name Of Love), With Or Without You, ... the list goes on and on. The only glaring exception was Sunday, Bloody Sunday but one can't complain. And if the lists of hits was not enough for you to spend your money, the stage was something you just had to see. A 170' x 60' video screen took up the entire end zone, as well as a stage extension which made its way to about the forty yard line, allowing the people on the field to have a close up with the boys. And if that was not enough, we all had the pleasure of singing karaoke with The Edge to Neil Diamond's mega-hit Sweet Caroline (only The Edge could pull this one off, trust me).

In summary, if you haven't seen U2 on this tour -- SPEND THE MONEY!!! $52 is a steal to see the best band in the world. R.E.M. is a distant second as far as I'm concerned. And, no new alternative band has the money to put on a show like this. As Bono said to the crowd when asked why the band didn't go with corporate sponsorship, he merely explained "... it was either do it their way or get eaten by the monster. We decided to eat the monster."

-Mike Squatrito