Chicago U2 Fans Scream OMG !

Chicago:  Many U2 fans have heard or met Deena a long time U2 fan and dedicated Larry Mullen Jr. sent in her report from opening night Chicago. 

Deena Dietrich: OMG! That was amazing! Nothing will ever beat the Elevation Tour for me, but this Joshua Tree 30th Anniversary Tour has my favorite set list with the exception of one. I was excited for every song except of “Miss Sarajevo.” 

Each of U2’s first five albums were represented except October, and only two of the last seven albums were represented. There was nothing off Rattle and HumPopHow to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb, No Line on the Horizon and Songs of Innocence. 

We were inside by 5:45 – just going in after the GA line was already in. We walked all the up front on the far left (Edge side) on the outside of the Red Zone. We had a great view of the main stage, the huge b (Joshua Tree shaped) stage and the video screens (Larry was on the screen facing us). Plus we had a rail to lean on – and saw some VIPs go back stage. The Lumineers took the stage at 7:30 and played until about 8:25 – they are not my cup of tea. 

U2 took the stage at 9:10 and played until 11:15, probably one of the longest U2 shows I’ve seen at over two hours. I knew nothing about the show as I’ve stayed off U2 social media since rehearsals started. So when Larry strutted on stage in his black capped sleeve tee and black pants all the way down the catwalk to the b stage, I about lost my mind. The screams they were loud! I love Larry in black! 

U2 opened the show with four songs on the b stage: “Sunday Bloody Sunday,” “New Year’s Day,” “Bad” and “Pride.” Then I realized what they were doing. Two songs of War and two songs off The Unforgettable Fire leading into The Joshua Tree.

U2 went to the main stage and played the complete The Joshua Tree album in order. I missed the original Joshua Tree Tour in 1987 when my mom wouldn’t let me go because I was 14. The Joshua Tree got me into U2 and is still my favorite album 30 years later, so hearing this album live in its entirety in order was a dream come true – and something I thought would never happen. 

I was blubbering throughout “Red Hill Mining Town” (even though I prefer the original). I was obsessed with this song in 1987 and is still one of my faves, and I truly thought I would never ever hear it live. Edge and Larry were on fire during “Exit,” which took right back to Rattle and Hum. It was great to hear “Trip Through Your Wites” complete with Bono on harmonica. 

The concert could have ended here, and I would have been happy. But U2 left the stage long enough for Larry to change from his black tee into a white capped sleeve tee (very 1950s!) and played six more songs starting with “Beautiful Day.” Then into “Elevation” where Bono said “Larry Mullen we believe in you!” Just as on the 360 Tour, “Miss Sarajevo” does not fit in this set list at all – really brings the crowd down. 

“Ultra Violet” was a tribute to women complete with famous women and the feminist movement on the video screens. I am pretty sure Bono is more of a feminist than most women, and I love him for that! “One” included the extra ‘do you us coming Lord…’ verse, and U2 returned to the b stage to conclude the show with their first single “I Will Follow.”

Deena Dietrich /U2TOURANS

Deena Dietrich /U2TOURANS

I think this may be the first concert of the 91 U2 shows I have been to the past 25 years where they did not play “Mysterious Ways.”

Also I think this was the first time I have not seen Larry and Adam leave the stage for Bono and Edge to do an acoustic duet. Keep the rhythm section on stage! Larry and Edge were having a blast tonight, especially Edge.

The Edge was dancing and twirling and jumping like it was 2001. Bono was struggling a bit with his voice and drinking lots of water. 

Well those are my thoughts on my first Joshua Tree show. Hopefully it was coherent as I have been up for 22 hours and stood for 11 of those without a proper meal.

Check back later for a full report on my entire Chicago trip – and tomorrow for my thoughts on the second Chicago Joshua Tree 30 show.  Deena's site called   On The Road With U2




ON THE ROAD WITH U2: My Musical Journey Part 2

by Deena Dietrich @OnTheRoadWithU2

Over the past 23 years, I kept a journal with me at the 75 U2 shows I went to so I could remember every magnificent moment.

About five years ago I used those journals to start a blog to share my stories with other U2 fans.

It was about that time I was inspired to write my U2 tours memoir after I watched Hunter Week’s documentary, 10MPH, and read Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat, Pray, Love.

In July of 2008, I quit my well-paying job, sold my house, left my family and friends in Maryland and moved to Memphis for a less-paying job where I knew no one - just because I loved Memphis.

A year later I decided to quit my job in Memphis and live off my savings for a few years, so I could have the freedom to pursue my passions. It was then I decided to follow the last leg of the U2 360 Tour, every concert in the U.S. After watching 10MPH, I felt a little less crazy about my decision. In the film, Hunter Weeks and his friends quit their corporate jobs to pursue their passion of making documentaries. It was a huge risk, financially and otherwise. It was mentioned in the film life is too short not to take these risks and adventures when they arise, which is exactly what I did by quitting my job and following the 360 Tour.

I then read Eat, Pray, Love about a woman who took a year off of her life to take a pilgrimage for self-awareness through adventures she had always wanted to take – and then wrote about it. I had always wanted to drive across the country, and I had always wanted to follow U2 on tour, the whole tour. And I decided to write about it.

One of the greatest days I had on the last leg of the U2 360 Tour was in Seattle on June 4, 2011. Before the U2 concert that night, I talked with Bono about meeting Larry. This is what happened,

After a short time, we saw the flashing lights of the police escort and black SUVs. Edge, Bono, Adam AND LARRY drove into Qwest Field right in front of us. We looked down the long driveway and saw Bono get out and head back toward us. He hopped on the back of the policeman’s motorcycle and in seconds was talking with us. Jenny and I were in our ‘Larry Mullen Band’ shirts as usual. I shouted, “Is Larry ever coming out to greet the fans … of the Larry Mullen Band?” Bono responded, “He only likes you. I love you.” Everyone laughed. Then Bono went on to say, “You like that kind of cold stare” (referring to Larry). Before Bono was about to leave, he asked the small crowd of about 30 people, “Where are the Larry Mullen people?” I shouted, ‘Right here!” and pushed my way toward Bono. He read my shirt as if to make sure I was the ‘Larry Mullen Band’ girl he had been talking to earlier. Then Bono asked, “Do you have a message I can deliver?” I was confused and frantic. I thought he was going to tell me a message from Larry, but I quickly realized what he had said and I replied, “Yes, tell Larry to come out in Oakland since he didn’t come out here.” He said, “OK.” I then went on to tell him that I would be at all the US shows, but I don’t think he heard me. Bono then asked my name and repeated it back to me, “Deena.” When he got in his golf cart to go back, I saw him write something down. I was hoping it was my message to Larry. I had no idea what this conversation would eventually lead to almost two months later in Pittsburgh.

ON THE ROAD WITH U2: My Musical Journey

by Deena Dietrich @OnTheRoadWithU2

My passion, some say obsession, for U2 began 28 years ago in 1987 when I was a freshman in high school. A classmate showed me a picture of U2. I noticed right away that one of four guys was very good looking, drummer Larry Mullen Jr.

I was hooked. Since that time, I have seen U2 75 times in concert from the ZooTV tour to the 360 tour, and I started a blog,, to share my stories with other U2 fans. This month just in time for U2’s iNNOCENCE + eXPERIENCE tour, I published my book about the 75 U2 concerts I’ve seen and my adventures along the way.

One of my greatest adventures was the first time I met Bono on August 12, 1992 at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. It was the day of the Zoo TV Outside Broadcast Tour Opener. This is what happened,

When Bono came to me, he noticed the shirt I had made with “One” on it, which looked very similar to the “One” on the video. I handed Bono my “Outside It’s America” book for him to autograph. I noticed he was taking a while, so I looked at what he was doing and saw he was misspelling my name. I said, “No, Deena is spelled with two e’s.” He kind of gave me this sly smile as if to say ‘are you correcting me? I’m bono?’ In my book, Bono wrote, “A nice t-shirt Din…Deena Bono 92” As soon as he was finished, I threw my camera to Mike, so he could take a picture of me and Bono, both with our big sunglasses. Almost knocking me down, Bono hugged me putting his arms around my waist and resting his head on my shoulder. After the photo, I asked Bono if U2 would ever play “Heartland” in concert because it was one of my favorites. He said, “Yeah that’s a great song. We’re thinking of putting out an album of b-sides soon.” Huh? That’s not what I asked. That was my first encounter with Bono, and what a great encounter it was.