U2 still running high off their Rose Bowl show came in to Vancouver for the last stop of 2009. Yes more dates have been announced as we said earlier we can expect to see this tour roll thru 2011. (just a guess on 2011). The crowds packed the ferry to capacity as the crossed over to see the world’s largest tour. U2 knows how to keep the show current and fresh with their ever-evolving set list mixing in tracks off their latest album which I confess took some time to slip into my U2 rotation mix. As they has said early on this was going to be different. However after a couple of listens and a couple of shows, this could be possibility be their finest work.
The stage — a sprawling entity dubbed “The Claw” — acted as Bono’s pulpit.
Head thrown back and arms open wide; he lifted the adoring crowd, even if just for a moment, out of the stadium’s concrete confines with the sheer power of his voice.
And the audience was ready to receive his word.
They were ready, fists raised and hearts pounding, to go forth unto Vancouver’s streets and spread the gospel according to U2: one love, one heart.
We will skip telling you that the set change for this tour was a bit longer than most in the past; however it’s clearly due to the size of the stage and the amount of gear that has to come on and off the stage. We have photos that suggest that it takes the band about10 minutes per show to reach the stage. Sometimes they begin the walk as early as 15 minutes.
The show kicks off at 9:00PM local time as most twitter fans on the east coast have retried for the night. However you have a small group of dedicated twitter U2 fans that tweet every show, every song and Vancouver’s show was no different.
Kicking off the show with a trio of tracks from their latest release, No Line On the Horizon: Breathe, the decidedly un-U2-like Get On Your Boots and Magnificent. Bono, clad in traditional all-black and patented sunglasses, is basking in stadium love and has already covered more square footage than any of the Peas. (which was to be expected the opening act is never allowed to use all of the stage)
“Where are we going on the SkyTrain? Millennium Line. Expo Line. Canada Line.”
The reference to Vancouver’s public transit system sent the crowd into a frenzy and was one of the very few surprises of the night for anyone who has been following the band’s much-publicized tour – in particular, Sunday night’s live web cast of their Los Angeles concert which featured an identical set list and some of the same word-for-word on-stage banter from Bono.
The show took off when Bono launched into Mysterious Ways, strutting across the enormous catwalk – and the crowd was on its feet.
What we have always said from the beginning of this tour was “City of Blinding Lights” fits so well with this stage is as if the two were made or each other. Every tour stop Bono drags someone on stage to walk with him as he sings about the youth he misses, the beauty in side of me, as if we did not know that each show the person selected was pre-selected. The only difference tonight was that it was a little girl.
Back to our twitter fans, we all seem to have differences on the encore set. Tonight everything matched up, due mostly to this was pretty much the same set list from the last 4 shows.
The main set end around 10:30pm with the standard Sunday Bloody Sunday and Walk On/You’ll Never Walk Alone. BC Place came alive once more for “Where the Streets Have No Name” most will agree one of their best songs that never won a VMA award.
The encore was three songs, Ultraviolet which gives Bono the chance to drive a glowing red steering wheel dangling from above. Next “With or Without You” the wheel turns blue at this point. Closing out 2009 with Moment of Surrender, not before Bono asks “Let’s turn this place into the Milky Way” and as true fans do, they followed.
A couple of notable shout outs to Liam Neeson and football great Warren Moon in attendance, guitarist The Edge’s mother (“our very first crew member,” said Bono) and Bill and Melinda Gates. Bono led the crowd in a rendition of Happy Birthday for Mr. Gates, who celebrated his 54th birthday at the concert.
The sound was inconsistent, not surprising for this venue. But if anyone can sound good at BC Place, it’s U2.
U2 never let on that they just finished playing to 95,000 people and millions watching online. The energy was high and Bono’s voice was fine for the most part, of course in play back we will hear some stress points.
Closing out the show, Bono said” this was the best crew we’ve ever worked with” and while we can’t help but remember all the other crew members tonight was for this crew. Let of pats on the back for the set designer and big hugs for all the band mates.
“It’s getting very emotional around here,” Bono said toward the end of the show.
It was, indeed.
Now on to Germany for a free concert at the Wall.
We want to thank all our twitter followers, the U2 Twitter writers group.(with most we shared information back and forth, learning how to play in the sand box better)
To our photog Dave Long to whom made this tour light up for us and millions of fans
To our Youtube Channel team, you guys did a great job after some bumps early.
Our hosting provider, which at times we know we shocked you, we shocked ourselves.
Most of all we want to thank you the FAN for this wonderful experience.
Cheers, we will see you in 2010