Thursday, October 15, 2009

U2: Updated


Where to start...

Those guys put on one hell of a show!

With huge stadium shows with bands that have been around for ever, you know you're in for something special. You know the will put on a show to remember, regardless of whether you know a lot of the songs.

With U2 however, you know most of the songs.

We arrived at Reliant Stadium nice and early to get a drink and grab something to eat ready to soak up the atmosphere. In line at the gate we got talking to a lady from Colombia who had brought here niece to Houston for the show as U2 weren't playing near where they live. They'd arrived about twenty minutes before us and were walking passed the back entrance to the stadium just as Bono was walking in.

I know what you're thinking, yeah right! But they showed us the close up photo of Bono signing the autograph they then produced. My wife was very jealous!

We were one of the first in the stadium so we found our seats and took some photo's of the impressive stage. We had great seats by the way! I will put up some photo's under separate post.

The roof was closed when we arrived but just after 7pm it opened.

Around 7.30pm, Muse came on and burst straight into their current hit Uprising. No introduction, just straight into the action. They would've blown the roof off if it was still closed!

They put on a great show and looked at home playing in such a big venue. Muse are only just breaking the US but they sell out stadiums this size on their own back in The UK.

After Muse exited the stage, the lights came back on and the roadies hit the stage to get set up for the main event.

Interestingly, one section of lights on each corner of the stage were lowered and we could see that each light was attached to a seat where the operator would go. We watched as 12 guys got in place and were raised up 150 feet into the air.

Just after 9pm U2 arrived. Larry Mullen Jr appeared from the back of the stage to thunderous applause. The remaining members all arrived from below the stage and we were off.

They kicked off with four straight songs from their latest album "No line on the horizon" before mixing it up with some older tracks.

Bono then greeted space city from his own space station stage and declared "Houston, we have no problem!".

One lucky lady was picked from the crowd by Bono who went on to hug her and hold her while serenading her. For the second time, my wife was very jealous!

The stage featured a number of rotating ramps that were set to various positions throughout the night for the band members to get in amongst the crowd.

Luckily, Bono kept his political preaching to a minimum, until near the end. We'd seen a lot of people in the standing section just in front of us wearing paper masks with a woman's face on them. For some reason it was mostly men wearing them and it was starting to bug me, not because I didn't know who the woman was (at one point it looked a bit like Miley Cyrus) but because so many were wearing them even though I'm sure they had no idea who it was either.

It turned out to be Aung San Suu Kyi who was elected Prime Minister of Burma in 1990. However, she has spent the majority of time since then under house arrest. You can read all about her here.

Volunteers from Amnesty International mounted the stage wearing Aung San Suu Kyi masks as her image appeared on the big screen.

Another video message appeared at the end of the show with Desmond Tutu describing how we should all care for each other as we are basically the same person. The introduction to "One" then started as the band reappeared.

You can tell the band like to mix it up a bit to make things a bit more interesting for themselves and at various points throughout the night their songs merged into versions of Ben E King's "Stand by me", "Two tribes" by Frankie Goes to Hollywood and "Amazing Grace".

Stephen Gately, the Boyzone singer who died of natural causes last weekend aged 33 was also given a name check to an unknowing audience. Boyzone performed backing vocals on U2's "The sweetest thing" and also appeared in the video that accompanied the song.

At 11.15pm the band finished and we headed home.

As we made our way to the car we were passed by a prosession of speeding SUV's carrying the band off to their hotel.

We had no problems getting out of the car park, which was a nice surprise for such a big venue.

No problem indeed!

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