U2 larger than life at Giants Stadium

By Jay Lustig/The Star-Ledger

September 24, 2009, 1:57AM

Editor Note: We removed the set list from this orginal story because we have it posted.

Fall officially began on Tuesday. But U2 kept the summer vibe going on Wednesday, with a stellar Giants Stadium concert on an unseasonably warm night.

It was the biggest concert in the stadium’s history. More than 82,000 tickets were sold, and though an attendance figure was not immediately available, it didn’t look like there were many empty seats.

It also had, probably, the tallest stage set: a towering structure with lights and video screens suspended over the band. The stage could be seen from all sides, which made it possible for tickets to be sold in every seated section of the venue, as well as much of the floor.

A second Giants Stadium show is scheduled for Thursday.

Wednesday’s setlist mixed classics like “New Year’s Day,” “Sunday Bloody Sunday,” “With Or Without You” and “One” with newer hits, tracks from the band’s March album “No Line On the Horizon,” and occasional surprises.

In honor of Bruce Springsteen’s 60th birthday, which the Boss celebrated on Wednesday, the band performed a loose version of his “She’s the One” — with frontman Bono changing the title phrase to “he’s the one” — and segued from it to “Desire,” which has the same Bo Diddley beat. Bono also urged the crowd to sing along, during “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For,” by saying, “Sing it for the Boss.”

In honor of Quincy Jones, who was in attendance, Bono sang a portion of the Michael Jackson hit “Don’t Stop Til You Get Enough” (which Jones produced) during “Beautiful Day.”

While the stage was daunting and some of the special effects on the video screens were dazzling, musically it was a no-nonsense show — one great song after another, played with precision and power by four rock masters.

The always outspoken Bono occasionally spoke about political issues, and “Walk On” became a tribute to Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi of Burma, who was elected prime minister in 1990, but was prevented from taking power by a military junta, and is currently living under house arrest. At the end of the song, approximately 70 volunteers walked onto the stage, holding photos of her over their faces.