My 12 Favorite Concerts - #7 U2

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Nov. 19, 2005, Philips Arena (Atlanta)

I remember missing the Joshua Tree tour. My sister went, and I, being the jobless 15-year-old, stayed home. I remember that The BoDeans opened, and I instead listened to the Joshua Tree cassette on my boombox. I apparently was one of the few people who actually liked the follow-up, Rattle and Hum, and was initially bored by Achtung Baby, Pop and Zooropa. So in 2005, I somehow found myself never having seen one of the best bands of my generation. And they really are. Bono still seems to draw his energy from the adoring masses, and he acts like it's the first stadium show he's ever played and is awed by the crowd. There's still so much joy and camaraderie on the stage, with each of the members playing off their bandmates. And the catalog is so deep and rich—and only getting deeper and richer. I was just as excited to hear "City of Blinding Lights" and "Beautiful Day" as I was to hear "Pride (In the Name of Love)" and "40." They may be the most hyped live band since The Beatles, but that's only because they actually live up to it.

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The Countdown:
#12 Radiohead - Oct. 6, 2003, HiFi Buys Amphitheater
#11 Guadalcanal Diary - Sept. 15, 1989, Center Stage
#10 The Hold Steady - Oct. 25, 2007, The 40 Watt
#9 Uncle Tupelo - Feb. 11, 1994, The 40 Watt
#8 The Ramones - Nov. 22, 1988, Center Stage
#7 U2 - Nov. 19, 2005, Philips Arena
#6 INXS - March 3, 1988, The Omni
#5 Midnight Oil - Aug. 28, 1993, Lakewood Amphitheater
#4 Sufjan Stevens - April 1, 2005, Calvin College
#3 Beck - Oct. 28, 2006, The Knitting Factory
#2 Pixies - Oct. 15, 1989, The Roxy
#1 Arcade Fire - May 1, 2007, Atlanta Civic Center