City Of Blinding Songs
As a Manchester City season ticket holder and regular at the City Of Manchester Stadium, people often joke to me that I will not have much to smile about on the way home. Well last night I had everything to smile about as I had spent two and a half hours with U2 and oh what a night! I was bouncing all over and the music was fabulous with twenty-three songs played in all, and the strong political message of Make Poverty History.
When Bono comes on to introduce Mr. Larry Mullen, Mr. Adam Clayton and The Edge, and then explodes into 'Vertigo' in the daylight, you know this is going to be a very special night. Songs from their first album, 'Boy', such as 'Electric Co' and 'I Will Follow' brought the crowd to their feet and bouncing on the pitch, arms raised. Thrown in for good measure was a great version of 'Elevation' that kept the fans bouncing like there was no tomorrow.
With 'New Year's Day' sung in glorious sunlight, Bono shouted at the end of the song 'Manchester kind of summer, a Dublin kind of summer.. summer is coming'. Quickly followed by 'Beautiful Day', the glorious evening shone on the righteous at the City Of Manchester Stadium. After the song Bono plucked a young girl from the eclipse in front of the stage and sat her next to Larry Mullen as they played 'City Of Blinding Lights', a song that just grows and grows on you.
Bono paid tribute to Manchester's scientific legacy (The first computer was built in Manchester and it is where the atom was first split) before launching into 'Miracle Drug' and then dedicated the next song to his now deceased father Bob. It was a very emotional 'Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own'. Do grown men cry at U2 shows? I would say they do as they cut through the rubbish of life and tug at your heartstrings, as this one does.
Launching in to 'Love Or Peace Or Else' before 'Sunday Bloody Sunday', and 'Bullet The Blue Sky', the band turned to deal with the darker sides of life in the dusk light. 'Running To Stand Still' came next followed by the Universal Declaration Of Human Rights to round cheers and clapping. After which they jumped straight in to the powerful song 'Pride', after which came one of the most energetic and powerful performances of 'Where The Streets Have No Name' I have ever seen. The band just seemed to feed off the energy of the crowd. This whole section was packed with the messages that we should co-exist and we should Make Poverty History, and two Poverty Campaigners joined Bono on the eclipse to wave their banner. Saying that, Tony Blair and Gordon Brown were thanked for their work and trying to make poverty history, and reminding us our time is now to end poverty.
When they finished 'One' nobody had realised that the band had left the stage, but there was no mistaking their re-entrance into the arena with Bono appearing on the video screens before launching in to 'Zoo Station', 'The Fly', 'Mysterious Ways', and reviving the wonderful 'With or Without You'. Then the band disappeared again and the final encore was made up of three songs 'All Because of You', 'Yahweh' and an even more energetic version of 'Vertigo', with thanks for all those that sent texts as part of The Make Poverty History Campaign.
Everywhere you looked there were people of all ages at this concert, from those of us that saw U2 at the Manchester Apollo over twenty one years ago, to the people that brought their kids. There was a mum and dad by me with their young son having a great night's entertainment and non-stop dancing. The reason these tickets sold out so quickly is that U2's music has always remained relevant, with twenty-five years in the business they are still attracting new fans while fans of twenty years plus look on with memories of great gigs of the past.
To try and describe what the Vertigo Tour is like is a bit impossible, as they have drawn from so many things in their last twenty-five years. There were elements of the Pop Mart Tour and the ZooTV tour, as well as those stripped down moments from the Elevation Tour, to blasts from the past such as the War Tour.
The tickets might not be the cheapest in town, but the show is most definitely the best in town. This tour is off round Britain and Europe before heading back to the USA, and everyone who has a ticket is off for a fantastic night's entertainment with a very serious message.
There are many bands that claim to be the best band around at the moment, well those in Coldplay need to eat their hearts out as the best band by a country mile is most definitely U2. Even Oasis will struggle to try and emulate the kind of hysteria on display at the City Of Manchester when they play the venue in July.
If you can get a ticket to go and see U2 on the Vertigo Tour go to it, there will be no disappointment.