Via Las Vegas U2 arrives

U2 moment ever in Vegas if not for the November 2001 show during its Elevation Tour. The opening act was No Doubt, stripped of the elaborate staging common in its own headlining shows and allowed to just rock it out for nearly 30 minutes. With the crowd of 18,000 roaring to “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band,” U2 took the stage as the house lights stayed up. During the performance (and in one of the great moments for a member of Vegas media), Bono ducked his head into the photographers’ pit and made out for a bit with freelance photog Denise Truscello.

But the moment to remember for everyone who was not Denise Truscello was when the glowing LED screen behind the stage rolled with the name of every person killed in the attacks of Sept. 11 as Bono sang out “One.” A band capable of evoking any emotions onstage reduced 18,000 fans to tears.

U2 TOUR FAN SUBMIT 2009 When U2 returns to Vegas tonight for another whopper of a production at Sam Boyd for its 360 Tour, they’ll show off a cylindrical video display of connected LED panels held high by a 150-foot steel frame. One of the biggest concert productions ever, again, of course, even without the oversized citrus effect. Whatever happens, count on them for something different. It’s a U2/Vegas tradition.

A limited number of tickets for Friday night’s previously sold-out U2 show in Las Vegas have been released. The band will play Sam Boyd Stadium Friday night along with opening act The Black Eyed Peas.

The just-released tickets can be purchased through the UNLV box office by calling 702-739-FANS.

Meanwhile, an army of roadies recently descended upon Las Vegas and is now feverishly working to the stage for tomorrow night’s U2 concert. Working to set up the stage, that is.

It took 135 trucks to haul the 500,000-plus pounds of equipment used to construct the claw-like structure. Once complete, the massive stage will stand more than 150 feet tall.

Because it takes six days to put everything together, multiple crews and stages are being used to make the band’s “360 Degrees” tour possible. Caravans are currently playing a large-scale game of leapfrog as they take turns along the band’s 16-city North American tour route.

Along with opening act the Black Eyed Peas, Bono and the boys were in Phoenix on Tuesday and will play the Rose Bowl in Los Angeles on Sunday. More than 40,000 people are expected to be at Sam Boyd Stadium for Friday night’s sold-out show.