A review of LA 1... some songs are out of order and I didn't mention others, but you've all seen the set list already... maybe this will give you an idea of what the show was like!
So the show was AMAZING, of course... we were right outside the ellipse, to the right facing the stage. We got in line at about 3, 3:30 and there were 113 u2.com members in line ahead of us and about 150 general GA ticketholders, on the other side of the arena. people had been there since 7 am but it didn't end up making one bit of difference - when they let us into the arena, you got scanned first, then a green GA bracelet, then you go to a table where they have a laptop set up and they scan your ticket again, if the screen turns blue it says PROCEED TO FLOOR and you go to the floor... if it turned red it would say PROCEED TO CIRCLE or something like that and you got into the ellipse. Out of the 5 or 6 of us that were chatting in line, 2 got into the ellipse. When Kings of Leon went on at 7:30 on the dot the ellipse was only 1/3 full, it didn't fill up completely until just before U2 came on. Terrible system, they should let the first 400 u2.com GAs in, simple as that.
So Kings of Leon played a REALLY LONG set that was not that great. I was standing one person away from the barrier at this point and it was a great spot. They played for about 45 mins. U2 didn't come on for ANOTHER 45 (they go on at about 9 pm, right after the Arcade Fire song plays over the speaker system).
And then oh my god. You know how in GA, everyone inches up closer and closer to the barrier by the time they go on? I could barely move or breathe, and LA fans are tough. For the first 3 songs I was one person away from the barrier, and I gradually got PUSHED so I ended up 5 behind! TERRIBLE.
They opened with . . .
Love and Peace or Else! AMAZING INCREDIBLE WOW - all 4 come on stage with spotlights and walk around the catwalk shining it on the audience while the bass line from Love & Peace plays ... then they go to their respective instruments and all at once the sound DEAFENS around you, it was absolutely stunning... beaded curtains of lights, spotlights, red lights, it was just such a spectacle. From Love & Peace they launched into Vertigo, with red and black targets dancing on the light curtains, totally awesome. Then they played Elevation which sounded totally dirty and more hard rock than when they played it on Elevation.
They went into the Boy trilogy I'm sure you've read about... Electric Co, An Cat Dubh, Into the Heart - a screen came down with the cover of Boy...
Then they did recent stuff, Beautiful Day, and Miracle Drug, (which was AWESOME live), and then Sometimes You Can't Make It ... I am not ashamed to say I cried during this. Bono walks out to the edge of the ellipse (it would've been the point of the heart had it been a heart), takes off his glasses, and just _SINGS_ the song. hit the opera note perfectly. I've never seen him so vulnerable. just him, a bright spotlight, and there were tears in his eyes. God.
One of my favorite parts of the show:
Bono pulled a little boy up on stage, asked him his name... he said Jack.. and Bono said, "Jack, here is your beanstalk... look up..."
And everyone looked up, and there was red, gold, and silver confetti, two-inch pieces as thick as two fingers that came out of the ceiling, oh my god, it was absolutely breathtaking, because the confetti twisted and floated through the ENTIRE stadium and they launched into City of Blinding Lights, I cannot even describe how amazing it all looked and sounded.
Then there was a video about Human Rights during Running to Stand Still, and then... they did ZOO STATION. OH MY GOD ONE OF MY FAVORITE SONGS FROM ACHTUNG, it was so gritty and awesome, it went directly into... THE FLY. you can tell Edge has a blast with that one. it was SO GOOD. Then into.. Mysterious Ways. Again, very gritty, dirty, heavy bass, Bono growling. fantastic.
The Pride that segued into Sunday Bloody Sunday and Streets. I REALLY miss the gorgeous transition they had on Elevation, WOWY into Streets, or Bad into Streets, or whatever it was... Streets was still amazing of course but this entire show was missing those beautiful flowing transitions that made Elevation so unforgettable and magical. anyway those three were big crowd hits and Larry sounded BAD A$$.
One, which was good, it's One, I don't get why people love that song so much. Another video about texting your name to UNITE to end poverty.
Yahweh: acoustic. Absolutely beautiful. Not one of my favorites from the album but this performance will change your mind about it if you didn't like it already.
encore #2: All Because of You
awesome!!! SO GOOD live. HTDAAB is a great live album.
Oh god. A perfect way to end the night. Each member waves goodbye and walks out, first Bono, then Edge, then Adam, and while the entire crowd keeps singing "HOW LONG, TO SING THIS SONG" Larry bursts into this incredible ridiculous drum solo and throws the sticks down and walks off.
What a day. What a night. My final impression is that of course, they put on the best show. But Vertigo seemed to be just a dirtied-up, grittier version of Elevation, the show was essentially the same but with out the love and joy everyone in the room felt during Elevation. The design wasn't different enough. They went from PopMart to Elevation and it was like night and day, but Elevation to Vertigo is like morning to late evening. Vertigo is Elevation's film negative. Elevation was white and gray and blue and hearts, and Vertigo is black and red and scribbles and distortion.