U2 rocked Glendale

GLENDALE, Ariz. — U2 brought its 360 Tour to the Valley Tuesday night playing at University of Phoenix Stadium.

While U2’s latest tour has sold out in many cities — and added extra shows — that is not the case in Phoenix. Tickets were still available at the stadium and some were for sale on e-Bay.

The band performed on a stage that cost $40 million to build. Five-hundred people worked four days to set it up at University of Phoenix Stadium.

Dave Long/U2TOURFANS 2009“It’s one of the largest rock ‘n roll touring productions that’s ever been put together,” said a member of the crew.

The stage looks like a massive alien spaceship, 90 feet tall, complete with lights, the sound system and a wrap-around video screen that weighs 55 tons. Four claw-like legs extend outward into the crowd to make the stage seem as big as the stadium itself.

Black Eyed Peas performed the opening act for the Irish band.

There was no tailgating in Glendale Tuesday. Although tailgating was allowed at previous concerts, Glendale has changed its policy. Alcohol was sold inside the stadium.

U2 came to the Valley from a concert Sunday night at Oklahoma Memorial Stadium. A highlight there was Bono singing a bit of the Beach Boys’ “God Only Knows” at the end of “Beautiful Day.”

The band will be at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif., on Sunday. That show is sold out, with an audience of 96,000 expected, and will be streamed live on the YouTube video sharing site. It will be the first time for such a large show to be streamed live.

“The band has been wanting to do something like this for a log time,” said manager Paul McGuinness. Fans often travel long distances to come see U2 — this time U2 can go to them, globally.”

U2’s sound has transformed over the years from power ballad to techno. But the band has managed to keep its heart amid the dance groove, and it’s managed to keep its soul in the midst of the rock machine that’s lifted U2 about as high as a band can go.