For Maideneer, adamclark52 and all the other closet U2 fans out there, plus Manks (for the Interpol set list), plus just to piss off all the metal purists on here...
Venue: Heinz Fucking Field
Sources: U2 - Yours truly / Interpol - Yours truly, with some help from setlist.fm
So this was my fourth time seeing U2, third time with Floor GA tickets, second time on the 360 Tour (first time was 9/24/09 at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ).
American post-punkers Interpol kicked off the festivities for the evening. Here is their set list:
Say Hello to the Angels
The Heinrich Maneuver
Interpol was just OK. Honestly, I think they are a better band on album than live. I was certainly more impressed with Muse opening for U2 in 2009 - who I think are an awesome band both live and on album. At any rate, Interpol definitely didn't suck, but they clearly don't have the stage presence required to get the huge crowd present that night going like the headliner did (I know...no kidding).
Speaking of which, on to the good stuff - U2. Soooooo many highlights - where to begin? Well first of all, it was rather fitting that they blared David Bowie's "Space Oddity" from the PA system before coming on stage, because the stage itself actually looks like some type of UFO. That, plus we were all taken on a truly expansive journey for nearly two and a half hours that night, and what words could be more fitting to launch that experience than the infamous "Ground Control to Major Tom..."?
Anyway, what else? Let's see...the four-song tribute to one of U2's best albums ("Achtung Baby", to the uninitiated, which is twenty years old this year) was just as awesome as I had expected it to be. Then, they turned back the time machine all the way to Album One, Song One and cranked out an unforgettable version of "I Will Follow" (arguably, the song that first put them on the map). Awesome.
The song "Stay (Faraway, So Close!)" was played acoustically by The Edge, with Bono on vocals while Larry and Adam took a short break, and the lighters and cell phones could be seen everywhere. By the way, that's a really awesome effect in a fucking NFL stadium, let me tell you. What else? Oh yeah, here's one: they actually made one of their less popular songs - namely the title track from "Zooropa" album - sound pretty amazing. I was rather surprised by that. Of course, the visuals helped a lot (this was during the point in the show where the giant cylindrical LCD screen telescoped down towards the stage, hovering so low that it actually became like a cage around the band members who were all "trapped" inside while wearing jackets with blue LED's flashing with mesmerizing patterns of light).
The next highlight is best described by this snippet from the Cleveland Plain Dealer's online review of the show:
"Beautiful Day" featured a recorded video cameo by astronaut Mark Kelly, the husband of U.S. congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. He was shown reciting a verse of the soaring hit aboard the International Space Station.
What a moment that was. Who else has the clout to get a U.S. astronaut to recite part of the lyrics to one of their songs - while in orbit around the Earth aboard the fucking space shuttle, mind you - and then videotape the experience for use in their live show, besides U2? I'll give you just a little hint: The correct answer is "nobody".
Here's another blurb from the PD:
For "With or Without You," Bono pulled a couple attending its 60th U2 show from the audience. As the man and woman swayed in each other's arms and the band played on, spotlights reflected off a mirrorball at the very top of the mammoth stage, creating a swirling galaxy of tiny lights inside the venue. It was a magical highlight.
Indeed. That song just kills me every time I hear it - whether it's in my car driving to work or standing in front of the artists themselves while they perform it for a massive crowd in the home of the Pittsburgh Steelers (or New York Giants, for that matter
Anyway, here is the full set list:
(Snippets are listed in italics
Even Better Than the Real Thing
Mysterious Ways (Someone Somewhere in Summertime / Promised You a Miracle)
Until the End of the World (Anthem)
I Will Follow
Get On Your Boots
I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For (The Promised Land)
Stay (Faraway, So Close!)
Beautiful Day (Space Oddity)
Pride (In the Name of Love)
City of Blinding Lights
Vertigo (Two Hearts Beat As One)
I'll Go Crazy If I Don't Go Crazy Tonight (Remix) (Discotheque / Life During Wartime / Psycho Killer / Please)
Sunday Bloody Sunday
Where the Streets Have No Name
Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me
With or Without You
Moment of Surrender
BAD (In the Garden / Walk on the Wild Side / 40)
Yes, boys and girls who are "in the know", that last entry on the list is not a typo. U2 has not played that song in North America since 2006 (except once in Chicago in 2009), and this was the only time it has been played on this entire leg of the 360 Tour. The song was played for Andy Rowen, whom the song was originally written about in 1984 and who was at the show that night (Rowen is the brother of Bono's Lypton Village friend Trevor "Guggi" Rowen and Peter Rowen, who is pictured on the cover of both the "Boy" and "War" albums). Including snippets, the song ran for almost nine fucking minutes
. What a fitting end to this amazing tour - which I read somewhere grossed around $700,000,000 in ticket sales - and then, as if that weren't enough, Bono started leading the crowd in the familiar chant which has so often signified the conclusion of yet another magical experience at a U2 show...
HHOOOWWWW LLLOOONNNNGGGG...DO WE HAVE TTTOOOOOOOOO WWWWAAAAIIIIITTTTT???
The entire crowd just chanted the lines over and over for several minutes while the world's greatest rock band graciously - and with smiles that clearly indicated the joy inside their hearts - bowed to the crowd, made throwing motions from their breasts to the audience, clasped their hands in sincere thanks, and then finally left the stage.
There's nothing on Earth quite like a U2 show.