Artist: R.E.M.

Date: 1997-06-27

Location: Chicago, IL - Soldier Field

Medium: SHN

Equipment / Source: KM184 / D8



Soldier Field
June 27 1997

Popmart Tour

Neumann KM-184 mics >
Aerco Pre Amp >
Sony D8


Main Set:

I Will Follow
Even Better Than The Real Thing
Pride (In the Name of Love)
I Still Haven't Found-Stand By Me
Last Night On Earth
Until The End Of The World
If God Will Send His Angels
Staring At The Sun
Sweet Caroline
Bullet the Blue Sky-America
Where the Streets Have No Name
If You Wear That Velvet Dress
With or Without You
Hold Me Thrill Me Kiss Me Kill Me
Mysterious Ways

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U2 steals its own show this time

Chicago Sun-Times, 06/30/1997

by Jae-Ha Kim

"This is where we spent the cash you gave us," U2 vocalist Bono said,
referring to the mind-boggling stage set while staring out at the crowd
of more than 40,000 fans at Soldier Field.
"You've turned us into a great big rock group."

The great big rock group kicked off its spectacular three-night stand in
Chicago on Friday surrounded by a larger-than-life stage setup that included
a 40-foot lemon mirror ball (from which the four musicians would emerge to
play their first encore song, "Discotheque"), a 100-foot yellow arch that
supported an orange basket-shaped sound system, a 12-foot stuffed olive atop
a 100-foot swizzle stick and a collage of pop art images by Roy Lichtenstein
and Keith Haring that were projected on a $6 million, 56-by-170-foot LED video
screen (which may be sold piecemeal to sports stadiums across the country when
the yearlong PopMart tour ends). Tickets? They went for $52.50.

But unlike their April 25 tour kickoff in Las Vegas where the eye candy
overwhelmed the music, the Irish supergroup was ready for its two-hour concert
this night. (They performed another sold-out show Saturday and closed their
run here Sunday.)

They had all the kinks worked out and there was no hesitation in the performance,
which was almost identical to their Vegas show.

The band omitted "Do You Feel Loved," replaced a Monkees cover with Neil Diamond's
"Sweet Caroline" and performed a reworked acoustic version of "Staring at the Sun."
That piece featured just Bono and guitarist the Edge playing on a smaller second
stage set up about 20 rows into the crowd, which included Nine Inch Nails frontman
Trent Reznor, Chicago Bull Steve Kerr, actors Robert Downey Jr. and Ashley Judd,
and Judd's mother, Naomi.

As M's "Pop Muzik" rang through the stadium, U2 made its entrance from between
the aisles of Soldier Field. There was Bono in a shiny, hooded fighter's robe
(that he would wear later at the aftershow party in the Bears' locker room),
shadow boxing his way across the stage. He was followed by a Fu Manchu-mustached Edge,
bassist Adam Clayton wearing an orange dust mask that covered most of his face and
stoic drummer Larry Mullen in classic rock 'n' roll black.

They confidently opened the show with "Mofo," which was laced with wild feedback.
Next was "I Will Follow," their single concession to 1980 debut album "Boy."
The fans cheered wildly when the Edge played the instantly recognizable chiming
intro to the innocent, uplifting number.

Though the band has been making records for almost two decades, the musicians opted
to concentrate on the new rather than indulge in nostalgia. But that's not to say
that they didn't have fun with a few oldies. While their set list included nine cuts
from their current "Pop" album, one of the evening's highlights was the Edge's
campy solo turn at singing "Sweet Caroline," karaoke style. The guitarist appeared
to be having a great time, punching his fist in the air and encouraging fans to sing louder.

There were a few awkward moments, such as when Bono invited a young woman on stage
to slow dance with him during "Miami." Their stilted movements only detracted from the song.

And the vocalist hit a couple of rare, off-key notes on the evening's closer
"One," which he dedicated to musician Jeff Buckley, who recently drowned.

"I want to thank . . . the people who have the funk and the spirit to be alive,"
Bono said earlier in the evening. Friday night, the feeling was definitely mutual.

© 1997, Chicago Sun Times.

Chicago, IL
June 27, 1997
Soldier Field

U2's music reveals new textures beneath the special effects
Chicago Tribune, 06/29/1997

by Greg Kot
"What do you think of this?" said U2's Bono, waving his hand toward a stage sparkling
like a tacky convenience store fit for Goliath. "This is where we spent the cash
you gave us . . . you've turned this into a great big rock room."

A 40-foot lemon, 100-foot golden arch and 170-foot video screen shimmered in the
Chicago night Friday as the first of three shows began over the weekend at
Soldier Field. And somewhere beneath all that tackiness and splendor were Bono
and his bandmates -- guitarist The Edge, bassist Adam Clayton and drummer Larry Mullen.

They needed all the personality they could muster not to become a mere
soundtrack for their special effects.
But Bono has never been shy.
"We're going to eat the monster before the monster could eat us," he vowed.
Not every one of the faithful was persuaded.
A woman who claimed to have seen every U2 concert in Chicago since the
band formed in the late '70s said of her heroes, "They once had so much heart,
but now it's too much of this," her hand sweeping in derision toward the same
stage to which Bono had just pointed with pride.
She was not alone.

It was the 1980s anthems associated with a more innocent and earnest U2 that drew
the biggest cheers: "Pride (In the Name of Love)," "Where the Streets Have No Name,"
"I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For."

But U2's journey as a band isn't over, even if some of its fans want
to remain in the past.

The oldies were integrated into a 22-song, two-hour performance that demanded
more than mere nostalgia.

U2 has grown up, and its increasingly textured, increasingly ambiguous music
acknowledges that life doesn't become easier or simpler. Instead, the show is
structured like a wrestling match between opposite impulses -- love and selfishness,
introspection and glamor, bombastic rock and intimate folk.

With a giant screen as a backdrop flashing images of cartoon mayhem and pop
disposability, U2 challenged itself to find the humanity within the artifice.

The scale of the event occasionally forced U2 to become less of a band and too
much of the Bono show, with the singer dancing out toward the second stage in the
middle of the audience while his comrades toiled hundreds of feet behind him.

The Edge's solo turn on a karaoke version of Neil Diamond's "Sweet Caroline" had
its charms, though the mild humor was a bit disappointing given the double-edged
depth of most of the evening's entertainment.

But as stadium rock goes, the concert has only improved since the "Pop Mart" tour
opened impressively in Las Vegas two months ago.

The band has stripped away many of the effects and backing tapes that augmented
the guitar-bass-drums attack in Vegas, and the simpler arrangements have made the
music sound bigger and even more gripping.

The most resonant moments were the most intimate, such as a haunting
"If You Wear That Velvet Dress" performed as atypically hushed encore.

There was Bono on the small stage reaching out to The Edge on the large one,
dueting on a poignant version of Ben E. King's soul classic "Stand by Me,"
then making like the Everly Brothers as they harmonized on an acoustic "Staring at the Sun."

And "Please" was a tour de force that floated, faded and then returned riding
Clayton's magnificent bass line, before once again winding down to just
a voice and a guitar, two musicians silhouetted against a blood-red screen.

Those who came looking to hear only the old U2 missed the beauty of the
new as it soared quietly, in the shadow of its own monster.

© 1997, Chicago Tribune.

No cover available for this show.