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Posts Tagged ‘360 tour’

After what can only be described as a triumphant set at Glastonbury, U2 were ready to rejoin their final leg of the US tour. While the band were headlining the pyramid stage, people had begun to queue in Nashville for a concert that was going to happen days later.

U2 had only played Nashville once before on the Joshua Tree, when they were starting to turn into the massive band that they are now. There was a lot of anticipation for this gig, people had waited for over 20 years for the band to return and now it was actually happening. the venue was vanderbuilt University stadium, the same venue they had played on their debut performance in Nashville. According to a local, they had wanted to play a bigger venue that belonged to the Tennesee Titans however the Titans declined as they didn’t want their pitch ruined. Honestly I am thankful, it was the smallest venue I had seen the band play in for years, it seems fitting that their most intimate gig would be in Nashville.

And so on a hot Summer’s evening, the familiar Space Odyssey starts to play and the lights dim. the crowd are about to be treated to one of the biggest shows on earth. Starting with Even Better Than The Real Thing, the crowd are captivated as the claw comes to life and those mega Irish rockers go straight into the hits, following on with The Fly and Mysterious Ways. It is almost the same set as Glastonbury, but in this case, the crowd had already been won over.

There can’t really be a gig in Nashville without paying tribute to Johnny Cash and tonight, Bono pays a fitting tribute by performing The Wanderer, a song the band have never performed live before. It is beautiful and the crowd are loving it. there have been a couple of gigs that I have been to where Bono’s voice hasn’t been the best but tonight it is ultimate perfection. there’s a big cheer as he finishes the song and talks about the time he spent with Johnny and June.

Surprise songs included Miss Sarajevo which was highly impressive, everyone whooping and cheering as Bono hits those high notes and of course the oh so beautiful Stay which almost acts as a nice intermission between all of the energetic, well known hits.

They return to the stage and start with a snippet of Amazing Grace. as a visitor in  this part of the world it felt amazing to be stood in a stadium with 40,000 Americans singing their heart out. In my mind, there was no where else I would rather be.

The band then hit us with ‘with or without you’. when they play that song you know the gig is coming to a close. It always gets me when you heard everyone singing along to the ohs at the end. Bono and co feel this too as they all look like they don’t want to leave.

Just as you think it’s over, you see Bono point at someone in the crowd and ask “what do you want to play?” and yes for all those u2 haters it sounds hillarious but Bono gets a blind man up onstage. Apparently he wants to sing a song for his wife Andrea. the rest of the band have already gone offstage but come back looking somewhat bemused. The man is given bono’s guitar to play and so he starts to strum. Bono gets him to keep going and so he begins to sing along, Larry gets back on the drums and Adam puts his bass back on and the audience are treated to all I want is you by u2 and their special guest with his face beaming. The song finishes and bono shocks everyone by saying to him “you can keep the guitar.”

And so the night ends with that really, what an amazing band, what an amazing crowd and what an amazing town. The band give one final wave and promise they won’t leave it long until they are back again. And this time, no one seems to doubt them.

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U2 they’re like marmite, you either love them or you hate them. For some people they don’t understand how a band like U2 can be so popular or so famous and others just really don’t like Bono. But for the people who have been queueing in the September cold overnight, U2 are one of those bands that manage to create a spectacle that can never be matched by any other band no matter what.

Tonight U2 bring the 360° tour to Paris and with it comes the giant claw – each one being worth £12m each and taking almost three days to set up.

The doors open and eager fans are crushed as they try to fit their tickets through the automatic scanners on the gates. Then it’s a free for all, people running everywhere wanting to get to the places on the barrier that they’ve been hoping for. The Stade de France fills up quickly as darkness falls and Interpol step onto the stage to open up for the Irish mega rockers. It’s a shame that they just really don’t have the umph about them tonight, they just seem really uninterested about being there although to be fair to them, it must be really hard to interact with the crowd when everything feels so far away.

The tension begins to build as Interpol leave the stage and the big giant clock appears on the claw, counting down the minutes until U2 grace us with their presence. Time goes by and that familiar David Bowie song is played. It’s time. And the four Irish geezers enter the stage with a wave and smile. Here we go.

They start with a bit of jamming which is apparently called The return of the stingray guitar and then go straight into Beautiful Day which is a bit of a shock but fits perfectly with the evening and the occasion. Old favourites remain on the setlist such as I Will Follow and Sunday Bloody Sunday which prompt a mass sing along and jig amongst the 80,000 strong crowd. Newer songs off No Line On The Horizon are just as popular as the older songs.

They continue with a lot of upbeat songs such as Magnificent, Mysterious Ways and Elevation before slowing things down a little with classic I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For. With a song like that it makes you wonder how anyone can really hate U2. Songs like these don’t grow on trees and hearing the whole stadium of European fans sing it word perfect in English is truly amazing.

Bono and co play Walk On in honor of Aung Sung Suu Kyi who is still currently under house arrest in Burma. It’s such a beautiful song anyway but now it seems to have more meaning and emotion to it.

The two big ones are left for the encore. With or Without You and Where The Streets Have No Name – both from The Joshua Tree album. Probably the best of all the U2 albums with it’s anthemic biggies like these two. There’s something emotional about this one because for every single person in the crowd there is a complately different meaning to these songs – for some they just like them because they are stunning musically and lyrically while for others they remind them of poignant moments in their lives. Tonight’s crowd show how amazing those songs are when they continue the choruses without Bono – they didn’t even need the band onstage!

The night draws to a close with Moment Of Surrender which has closed all of the 360° tour dates. It’s a slow one, calming the audience down and rounding of a magical night in Paris. As Bono hesitantly leaves the stage and says in his perfect French accent ‘ I will never forget tonight’ it’s clear that U2 are still the stadium mega stars to beat and aren’t willing to be pushed off their pedastool too soon.

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