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Live / Corel Centre / Ottawa Canada

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Label: Island Date: Saturday November 26, 2005

U2 returned to Canada's capital for the first time in 20 years to play to a long-sold-out crowd in the city's hockey arena. The Arcade Fire warmed up the crowd with numbers from their critically-acclaimed release and mentioned that is one of their last shows for a while as they head off to the studio to start recording again. They managed to get a decent reponse from the crowd despite muddy sound and some cramped quarters at the front of the stage for the fairly large band.

After an all-too long pause, U2 came out with guns blazing and powered through the first few songs of their set, showing off state of the art lighting featuring lights that appeared to fly in circles around the edges of the stage and curtains of lights which showed moving images like christmas lights mated with a stadium jumbotron display. The only notable omission was "All Because of You" in the band's otherwise varied set which included songs spanning most of their career and albums.

Musically the band played without a stumble and Bono's voice was as strong as ever, as evidenced by his glass-shattering tenor on the operatic "Miss Sarajevo". The band used the saturn-like round stage and outer ring to their fullest, maximizing their interaction with the crowd. As expected Bono brought a woman from the audience onstage during With Or Without You, and a young boy at the beginning of one song. The band's politics were front and center during a few songs and on display on the screens above the stage, without becoming an annoyance.

The second encore unfortunately featured slightly more obscure songs and ended the evening with a whimper rather than a bang but overall the band put on a solid, energetic set which was sure to please fans.

Set list:

City of Blinding Lights
I Will Follow
Still Haven’t Found What I'm Looking For
Beautiful Day
Original of the Species
Sometimes You Can’t Make It On Your Own
Love and Peace or Else
Sunday Bloody Sunday
Bullet The Blue Sky
Miss Sarajevo
(Pride) In the Name of Love
Where The Streets Have No Name

Until the End of the World
Mysterious Ways
With or Without You

The First Time
Stuck in a Moment

•Steve Donnelly Email WWW


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