Side note: This was my third show (10/31/2001 Providence, RI; 05/26/2005 Boston, MA)
The U2 concert on Saturday was INSANITY.
What an unbelievably fantastic show! It's hard for me to compare U2 concerts I've been to, but this one definitely gave the other two a run for their money.
C and I waited outside the Mellon Arena in the cold and the rain for over an hour in the afternoon hoping to meet Bono on his way into the Arena. Finally I asked a crew person for some info and he informed us that Bono had not yet arrived, but it sounded like when he did come, he probably would not be getting out of the car to say hi to fans because he wasn't feeling well.
So we waited a little longer and decided to go, figuring that odds were slim we'd get to meet him -- and it was only about 3 or 3:30 - I thought that if he wasn't feeling well, odds were good that he might come late.
So...maybe next time :)
Once we were back at the Arena for the show I bought a great t-shirt and we found our seats -- I swear my seats get closer and closer each time I see them!! Once again I purchased side-view seats (Adam's side). We were only five rows up!! If not for the gap between front row and stage, we would have been insanely close. Excellent seats.
Damian Marley was good -- much better than Kings of Leon. Would have enjoyed him more if his sound was better -- why do opening acts always have shitty sound?
Then the lights went out and everyone was cheering and it hit me -- Oh My God, I'm Seeing U2 AGAIN!!!! We watched the boys walk up to the steps from back stage (a benefit of side-view seats!!) and I somehow forgot that at the last show I saw Bono somehow magically appears at the far edge of the ellipse for the beginning of City of Blinding Lights so I was just as surprised this time as the last when the lights went up and there he was!! That opening moment just doesn't get any less magical.
City of Blinding Lights rocked even though Bono suffered some severe technical difficulties. He kept taking his ear moniters out and taking them back in again, and gesturing madly at tech people. At the end, during applause, a couple techies came out, ripped off all the wiring he was wearing and gave him all new stuff. I bet people who weren't as close as we were didn't even notice.
I Will Follow was such a freaking awesome surprise!!! How I love that song!! And they rocked it so hard.
They played The Electric Co. which was fantastic, and a great version of I Still Haven't Found... I think that might have been when Bono added in a little of In A Little While (!!!!!) and The Hands That Built America - but I just can't be sure.
Beautiful Day was a religious experience as always.
Bono's story about Edge being from the future was very cute and I was surprised by how positive the crowd response was -- people were laughing and cheering.
Of course Sometimes You Can't Make it on Your Own was beautiful again, and Bono talked a little about his father before it - it was an emotional performance.
The "heart of darkness" portion of the show totally rocked the house. Larry and Bono wailing on that snare drum is just awesome!! Sunday Bloody Sunday is always so fantastic live and this time definitely did not disappoint! The song is just so relevant and really strikes a chord.
Bullet the Blue Sky - great.
Then... I never really had an appreciation for Miss Sarajevo -- until this show. Bono gave it a great intro, and it was just performed so very beautifully. And Bono KICKED THE SHIT OUT OF the opera section usually sung by Luciano Pavaratti. When he first started it, I was like -- OK, he's just going to sing this part -- but then when it got to the very strong part that Luciano booms out, Bono NAILED IT. It was absolutely incredible and the crowd loved it. Amazing. Bono never ceases to amaze.
Then was Pride which was very emotional and the crowd response prompted Bono to hold his mic at his side, look all around the arena for a moment before picking up the mic again and just saying, "Wow." The noise in that arena was astounding on the "Oh, oh-oh, oh"s. And then Bono said "That was crazy" - and it truly was.
At the end of One, Bono did the oh-so-lovely "Hear us comin' Lord" ad lib part. LOVED IT.
First Encore: The First Time. Acoustic. AHHH!!!!! EXCITEMENT!!!! Absolutely gorgeous.
Then acoustic Stuck In a Moment -- Bono messed up, had a conference with Edge, then they tried again -- classic.
Then they brought a fan up onstage to play Party Girl!!! It was so fantastic! Bono sang "I know a girl, a girl called party..." and then held the mic to crowd who boomed back -- inexplicably "PARTY GIRL!" just the way it's supposed to be sung. U2 fans are nuts!!! That song is a non-single rarity from like...oh... 1983?? And yet enough people in the crowd (including myself, of course!) knew the song to sing along with power! It was a really really fun moment in the show.
Ever the rock star, Bono sprayed a bottle of champagne over the fan playing guitar and then over the crowd -- the guy got to bring it back to his seat.
Then was a With or Without You -- beautiful of course.
Second Encore: All Because of You -- rockin. Then acoustic Yahweh with Larry on keyboards -- it was a nice version. Then the show closed with the 40 in FULL -- the WHOLE song -- which was really really gorgeous.
The crowd was just crazy and U2 gave back in a BIG way. I think it was during Electric Co. when Edge was travelling around the ellipse totally rocking on the guitar like the guitar god he is -- so awesome!
Bono actually signed an autograph for a fan at the head of the ellipse and handed it to Edge to sign also. And Bono sent a song out to a girl in the front row who had her name on the sign.
At the beginning Bono said something about Pittsburgh and how they've been coming here for a long time. Then he asked, "Who painted the bridges yellow....was it you?.... I love that." :)
And he said a very gracious thank you to the crowd and said that it was a special night.
Oh! And I cannot for the life of me remember when, but Bono included a snippet of Please in one of the songs! It was so exciting!
So, yes -- an absolutely wonderful show. Wonderful experience. And Cecilia really enjoyed it too. :)