Back for the second night, there were lots of changes. I went with my friend and co-worker Mike who flew in from Oakland. We had a podcast to record earlier in the day which kept us on the run from the time he landed. We dropped by a near to the stadium pub called the Auld Irisher and raised a Guinness in toast. About then, my phone rang…
I hadn’t mentioned it to too many folks, but a friend of mine is friends with the Lighting Director for U2. I’d put out a feeler to see if we could interview him for the podcast and he had time while Lenny Kravitz was doing his sound check. We quickly finished our beers and drove to the stadium to park. I wish I could tell you about some grand opportunity, that he took us backstage, etc…
But, in reality…we sat on a planter outside of Gate 3 and talked with him for about a half an hour about the show, the design, how to engage a crowd….stuff that would be mundane to many reading this. But, was thrilling for me. I’m fascinated by the “machinery” behind concert tours and this fellow has done some of the biggest ever….The Rolling Stones 40 Licks, U2 (of course) and many other really cool well regarded shows/tours like My Chemical Romance, Return to Forever and Fall Out Boy. It was very cool for him to take time to chat and you’ll be able to find the interview int he next day or two on our company podcast site: http://www.meetingspodcast.com
We went inside and found my friend Wayne and his wife and chatted away the rest of the time before the show started.
Kravitz once again was out first. But, to somewhat better effect. The sound was measurably better than the early train wreck of the day before. His set both nights ended up being better than I had anticipated. I may not rush for tickets the next time he hits town, but I gained some respect or his music and the many hits he’s had a hand in. Nice call as an opener.
U2 opened with “Even Better Than the Real Thing” once again, but the second song was a surprising turn to “The Fly” that carried into a very nice versions of both “Mysterious Ways” and “Until the End of the World”. Then, things got very interesting….
Up next was the usually encore (or set closing) paring of “One” and “Where the Streets Have No Name”. A cursory look through the U2 website revealed (as far I can see) that’s a first for this tour and the past three years. And I totally dug it. I really thought it brought the set alive and for all of us who’d seen the show tossed everything in the air. From there on who knew what they might play. With the crowd thus energized, the band went back to “I Will Follow” which had been performed the night before, but as the second song of the night. It’s funny how swapping two songs could change the whole context of the show. But, somehow it did. The songs that followed were mostly the same with “Stuck in a Moment” stepping into the acoustic slot of “Stay…” from the night before. While many were happy to hear “Stay…”, I;m more of a fan of the Elevation album and loved having “Stuck in a Moment” as an addition.
One nice touch both nights was the video written about extensively of Mark Kelly quoting David Bowie about his wife and then singing a verse of “Beautiful Day” with the band. I wasn’t sure what to expect for an encore, but they played a somewhat conventional (by 360 tour standards) of “Ultraviolet”, “With or Without You” and “Moment of Surrender” to close.
A very nice moment at the end was the bands tribute to Clarence Clemons who had died earlier in the day. After brief remarks to intro the song, Bono stepped behind the amps and asked a roadie for something. A short time later he was handed a paper which he read from to close the song.
Outside the streets on fire in a real death waltz
Between flesh and what’s fantasy and the poets down here
Don’t write nothing at all, they just stand back and let it all be
And in the quick of the night they reach for their moment
And try to make an honest stand but they wind up wounded, not even dead
Tonight in jungleland
He repeated them a second time once the band had ended, then wished us goodnight and then they walked from the stage.
Here it is:
Of the two nights, I preferred the second. Swapping a few songs, changing the pacing and then a tribute to Clarence brought it into the realm of legendary in my mind. I think that when I look back years from now, night two will be the one that sticks in my mind.