Happy X-Mas, This Leg of The Tour is Over

December 22, 2010

The season for holiday snippets at the U2 shows is over. As the band completed the down-under dispatch of the 2009-2011 world tour, many meditations on the meaning of the journey and bountiful holiday greetings were due.

As John Lennon clips and rarely-heard tracks from Rattle & Hum were rendered,  we’re reminded that back in 1988 around the time of the movie release, U2 performed a brilliant acoustic version of Lennon’s famous holiday peace prayer on television.

Brief breaths of “Happy X-Mas, War Is Over” found the show this past weekend, just as “Instant Karma” and “Happy X-Mas, War Is Over” were performed five years ago as a Vertigo leg ended.

The tour resurfaces in 2011 for many more shows.

U2 Goes Up Against Cricket, Busts Out Surprises in Perth

December 19, 2010

U2 performed their ninth and tenth shows Down Under at the Subiaco Oval in Perth on Saturday and Sunday.  They were the band’s first performances in the Western part of the continent in nearly 13 years.

With well over seventy shows already in the books for the 360 Degrees Tour, the Saturday setlist could – perhaps – be excused for seeming a bit “ordinary”.  However, high spirits and hijinks prevailed, with the band once again showing their ability to connect with local audiences by acknowledging the major cricket match between Australia and England that was taking place concurrently across town.

[Read more]

U2 Big in Sydney

December 13, 2010

The band played the first of two shows in Sydney, Australia at ANZ Stadium. The set remained similar to previous night’s sets with no major surprises.

The Sydney Morning Herald reveled in U2’s star power:

(Review by Bernard Zuel)

ANZ Stadium

It probably helps if you have the Pope on speed dial – direct line upstairs and all. While Oprah may be threatened by rain today, last night at the first of two massive outdoor shows at the Olympic stadium, U2 had only a zephyr breeze and blue skies.

Endless clear skies, of course, because the band who could probably repay Ireland’s sovereign debt don’t do things small or by half measures.

The stage is an island under a giant claw rippling with speakers and screens facing 360 degrees. There’s an inner ring of devoted fans, an outer ring of jealous fans, and then the high-rising stands.

Unlike those troublemakers and rebels at the Jack Johnson concert, no one here has tempted fate with a rug or home-made food. Phew.

Incidentally, how big are U2? Forget measuring by ticket prices or beer sales, take a look at who the Irishmen get as their opening act.

Jay-Z, the hip-hop mogul, pop juggernaut and squire of a certain Beyonce, does not normally defer to anyone – “the best rapper alive” he says at one point. But here he is, “arming up” the crowd.

Admittedly this one punchy, brassy and loud support act, is not short of hits either. And for every rock-centred U2 fan sitting with a pained expression of the “why this hippety hop business, why?” variety there are two bouncing, making some noise and singing along with the sample from Forever Young.

If you’re going to invite a giant presence to play before you, you either have balls of titanium or a show which blows away all comparisons.

Or maybe, if you are U2, both.

So you can come on stage to the strains of David Bowie’s Space Oddity, strut about for several minutes to a locked groove before cutting the lights and kicking into Beautiful Day, a song whose chorus lifts off and parts the hairs of everyone downwind.

Yeah, they can do big. Big enough to mention Oprah en passant, to drop in a bit of the Beatles’ Blackbird and then to make the 30-year-old I Will Follow sound like it was written during the current economic gloom, not the last one.

Big enough to make Jay-Z seem small.

That big enough for you?

13 December 2010

ANZ Stadium Sydney, New South Wales, Australia


1. Return Of The Stingray Guitar
2. Beautiful Day / Blackbird (snippet)
3. I Will Follow
4. Get On Your Boots
5. Magnificent
6. Mysterious Ways
7. Elevation
8. Until The End Of The World
9. I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For
10. Do They Know It’s Christmas (snippet) / Stuck In A Moment
11. Bad / Need You Tonight (snippet) / Never Tear Us Apart (snippet)
12. In A Little While
13. Miss Sarajevo
14. City Of Blinding Lights
15. Vertigo
16. Crazy Tonight / Relax (snippet) / Two Tribes (snippet)
17. Sunday Bloody Sunday
18. Scarlet
19. Walk On

20. One
21. Amazing Grace (snippet) / Where The Streets Have No Name
22. Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me
23. With Or Without You
24. Moment of Surrender

Thanks to U2Gigs and The Sydney Morning Herald for the info. Photos by Edwina Pickles and Arya Hudaya. Video by dsam900.

By kramwest1.

U2 in Brisbane, Night One

December 8, 2010

The band continued their 360 adventure in Oz with a trip to Queensland. There are rumors that Adam was turned away from a bar because he was wearing a sarong and sandals. Bono called Brisbane “Amazing.” Edge responded, “It’s okay, if you like that tropical paradise thing.” The new song “North Star” made its debut outside of Europe.

The night was a sort of memorial on the 30th anniversary of the death of John Lennon, and the set was peppered with Beatles and Lennon snippets.

Bangers of Triple M Australia 104.9 FM reports:

U2 Rocket Ship Mesmorises Brisbane Post

The U2 International Space Station took over Suncorp Stadium for the night. Yes, U2 are genuine, bonefide rock stars.

And yes.. U2 rocked Brisbane.

The set list was peppered with old and new hits… I will Follow, Mysterious Ways, Vertigo, Where the Streets have No Name, Elevation, Ultraviolet and so on.

With a massive catalogue there was always bound to be the odd song missed out (no Desire, Even Better than the Real thing, New Years Day) but how much can you cram into 2 hours and 15 minutes?

Bono got the gig of to one hell of start praising his Brisbane fans.

“Allow us to let us kiss your arse for one moment. Thank you for the life you’ve given us.”

Bono strutted around the stage, his natural domain with the Edge and Adam Clayton more than happy doing the occasional lap as well.

A brief sprinkle of rain was all we got, enough though for a mechanical umbrella to deploy and cover drummer Larry Mullen Jnr. Yep, this stage has got it all.

You knew all the words, all the songs (perhaps fumbling through of the lyrics of the newer ones) and the crowd was in fine voice.

A criticism? Hmmm….It should have finished one song earlier… With or Without you would have been perfect.. but, not unlike the monstrous stage they just had to go that one step further.

Reposted from:

TripleM Australia

8 December 2010

SunCorp Stadium Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

1. Return Of The Stingray Guitar
2. Beautiful Day
3. I Will Follow
4. Get On Your Boots
5. Magnificent
6. Mysterious Ways / Rain (snippet)
7. Elevation
8. Until The End Of The World
9. I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For / Stand By Me (snippet)
10. North Star

11. Pride (In The Name Of Love)
12. In A Little While
13. Miss Sarajevo
14. City Of Blinding Lights
15. Vertigo / Thunderstruck (snippet)
16. I’ll Go Crazy If I Don’t Go Crazy Tonight (Live 360° Remix) / Two Tribes (snippet)
17. Sunday Bloody Sunday
18. Scarlet
19. Walk On / You’ll Never Walk Alone (snippet)

Desmond Tutu speech

20. One
21. Dear Prudence (snippet) / Where The Streets Have No Name / All You Need Is Love (snippet)
22. Ultra Violet (Light My Way)
23. With Or Without You
24. Moment Of Surrender

Thanks to U2Gigs, TripleM Australia and Interference Setlist Partiers for the info.

Photos by Brusca and Jerry Aurum.

Review by kramwest

U2 proves that size does matter in first Melbourne concert

December 1, 2010

[reposted from Heraldsun]

Last night, U2 has proved that size does matter in the world of rock concerts.

Their 360 Degrees Australian tour, launched in Melbourne, revolves around a super-sized claw-shaped stage that managed to dwarf Etihad Stadium.

It was hard not to be in awe of the Claw; the kind of thing only the biggest band in the world could pull off – they have always dreamt large.

The structure – shoehorned in the middle of the venue – moved all the state of the art screens, lights and speakers above the band for the 360 degree view the tour boasts.

A ring of catwalks and moving bridges let the band get closer to fans in their quest to find intimacy in the world’s least intimate venues.

“What do you think of our space station?,” Bono asked the crowd.

No one works a stadium like Bono, dropping in shout outs to Fitzroy, St Kilda and Richmond before launching into single Magnificent.

But technology and stadium staging aside it’s those songs that drew 60,000 fans out.

Beautiful Day and I Will Follow set the agenda; a clever mix of their biggest (I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For, Mysterious Ways, Vertigo) and best (Bad, One, Miss Sarajevo) to appeal to their wildly diverse and wildly loyal fanbase.

It means Bono can quote Leonard Cohen in one song, AC/DC in another, even Frankie Goes to Hollywood.

Only U2 could manage to get rap icon Jay-Z to open for them, a man whose “limitless talent” Bono praised.

The rapper added a verse to U2′s Sunday Bloody Sunday during their set.

While his lyrical skill was lost on some members of the crowd during his own set – hopefully some minds were opened as Jay-Z and his band showed how hip hop can work live.

His brilliant set featured anthems like 99 Problems, Run This Town and Dirt Off Your Shoulder but it took the instant classic Empire State of Mind to get the rapper the respect he deserved.

Sadly rumored appearances by Kanye West and Jay-Z’s wife Beyonce did not eventuate.

And luckily the predicted rain was another no-show.

–Cameron Adams

Frontpage Photo by Ellen Smith; other photo from  http://www.triplem.com.au/

Reposted from http://www.heraldsun.com.au/entertainment/music/u2-proves-that-size-does-matter-in-first-melbourne-concert/story-e6frf9hf-1225964160889

Setlist from U2gigs.com

Return Of The Stingray Guitar
Beautiful Day / Here Comes The Sun (snippet)
I Will Follow
Get On Your Boots
Mysterious Ways / My Sweet Lord (snippet)
Until The End Of The World / Anthem (snippet)
I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For
In A Little While
Miss Sarajevo
City Of Blinding Lights
Vertigo / Highway To Hell (snippet) / Devil Inside (snippet)
Funky Town (snippet) / Crazy Tonight / Relax (snippet) / Two Tribes (snippet)
Sunday Bloody Sunday / Get Up Stand Up (snippet)
Walk On / You’ll Never Walk Alone (snippet)
Amazing Grace (snippet) / Where The Streets Have No Name / All You Need Is Love (snippet)
Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me
With Or Without You
Moment of Surrender