August 14th, Wembley Stadium, London - U2 Feedback

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Old 08-15-2009, 03:51 AM   #1
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August 14th, Wembley Stadium, London

A great, great gig. Have seen U2 many times and this was a good one.

The venue is very good and well organised. Had Ga tickets. Arrived at 4.20pm. Gates were meant to open at 4.30 but band were still sound checking. Finally opened at 4.45. The lines were well policed, everyone got in in the order they queued. Even though we were miles back in the queue we still got into the pit but came out again as it was so crowdedand the stage was very high. got a great speck near the front of the outer rail on edges side. Interestingly could have stood right next to the red zone for free if we had wanted. It was almost empty when we got there. The gig itself was just great.

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Old 08-15-2009, 04:26 AM   #2
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was in RZ last night on Adam's side- last minute ticket change courtesy of cdparky.

highly recommend the RZ experience- you're right next to the stage but you also get to see most of the visuals of the show- which you lose if you're in the GC- even though they started at 8.15pm, because it gets darker earlier the Claw had alot more impact than it did when they played at Croke Park

as usual had a great time, the UF-COBL-V- CT salvo left me completely knackered (this has happened at all the shows I've been to)- and it's my favourite sequence of the show

The sound at the new Wembley is excellent- although judging by the ringing in my ears it was louder last night

am going again tonight- probably will be on the pitch around one of the sides- have to summon up the energy now for the 2 hour drive!

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Old 08-15-2009, 06:01 AM   #3
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(My photos are here.)

Yeah the music was turned up very, very loud in there last night. Definitely the loudest I've heard yet.

London is calling but London Bridge is not falling! Or so said Bono. London was roaring and jumping.

I had a wee notion before the concert that the atmosphere might have a touch of the English reserve last night. And be affected by the UK / London (healthy) cynical attitude to most things. I live in London now and around 99% of my friends and colleagues have zero interest in U2, many actually professing a profound dislike of them.

I thought some of this might carry over into the gig but not a chance. The crowd were well up for it, there was a superb atmosphere. London is (another) one of the big shows on the tour, having a lot of media and music industry big wigs, and it was also an early home from home for U2, they have a huge core audience here.

They responded with a truly great performance. It had the emotional intensity of old friends becoming reacquainted: U2 and London, U2 and Wembley Stadium. Bono even joked about how U2 were older than Wembley at one point, I guess he may have meant the all-new shiny Wembley, compared to the all-dilapidated shitty Wembley from before.

Bono promised something special as London has been so good to U2 since they first got here with a demo tape aged 18. I initially thought it would mean a new surprise song like how The Auld Triangle appeared in Dublin 1, maybe they'd play London Calling! Or Roll Out The Barrels. But no, he just meant a special concert. And it was.

Wembley is a very, very vast and very beautiful stadium. (Can I say very vast?) And the whole place was rocking. It's almost like the bigger the stadium the bigger the performance. There was an Indian family in the row below me: mum, dad, gran and four year old boy. They spent the first four songs seated and watching. U2 had completely conquered Wembley when they were up and dancing and clapping during Beautiful Day and ISHFWILF.

Elevation was wonderfully pogotastic, Vertigo was massive, old-style Streets had the communal blast-off, Mysterious Ways had the English dancing to an Irish beat. Watch out Cuba!

Some random observations:

- Bono put an Irish tricolour and British Union Jack side by side on an amplifier on the stage during Sunday Bloody Sunday, a nice touch to show how far things have moved on since 1982

- I think there was a new little bass flourish from Adam during the choruses of Streets

- the show wasn't recorded for DVD, at least I didn't see any additional cameras like those boom cameras

- the early start time and curfew didn't affect the atmosphere at all I think, many people were drinking outside all day with carry outs

- it was the most multicultural crowd I've seen yet. Other shows have had a very international audience, but still mostly Caucasian. There were more blacks and Asians there last night than anywhere else

- when Bono thanked the audience at the end of Mysterious Ways, a girl behind me roared back "No! Thank YOU!" - which I thought was very English

- Elbow were really good, I love their last CD, they're not an obvious stadium band, but they're a superb live band and got the crowd going well enough

- met a couple of Interferencers. Adrian and Karina have been camping out overnight in the GA queue at many concerts around Europe, they got to be first place for yesterday's show. Also "met" Anji, well she said hello in the GA queue as I was trying (and failing) to do some plugging. Sorry I didn't stay to chat for longer!

- there was one guy jumping around like a complete lunatic for the whole concert on his own in the tennis court sized area behind the stage on Adam's side. He was playing air guitar, air drums, running around, twirling his shirt over his head, down on his knees, hands joyously spread over his head, the whole gamut of a guy in love with the music and having an amazing time, except he probably only caught glimpses of the band very occasionally. I then realised it had all actually been a very prolonged and elaborate mating dance. He was joined periodically by a young female of the species about an hour or so into the gig. I hope they're nesting

More again tonight please boys!
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Old 08-15-2009, 06:23 AM   #4
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Pretty much agree with all the sentiments so only gripe was that Stuck in a moment pulled the crowd down a bit too much after ISHFWILF.....I always think that Angel of Harlem or All I want is you work better in stadiums.

Highlights for me where Elevation, ISH...and hearing TUF and Ultraviolet live again.

I really wish I had got tickets for tonight as well....
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Old 08-15-2009, 07:37 AM   #5
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Was a great gig last night, I was dead centre about 3 heads back from the outer circle. The 4 guys playing right in front of you is such a rush! Disappointed not to hear Your Blue Room!, but pleased they played ISHFWILF and Mysterious Ways which they didnt at Dublin 1.

Also shook Joe O'Herlihy's hand after the gig by the sounddesk, asked him if U2 were going on tour next year. The answer - "I hope so!"
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Old 08-15-2009, 08:04 AM   #6
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It's surprising that the two songs that got the best reception in Elevation (I'm not a great fan of it but it totally rocked last night) and ISHFWILF are not permanent parts of the set.

They ruled last night....and even an old cynic like me had a few tears in my eyes when the crowd sang Still haven't found and the band just almost stopped dead in disbelief that a wembley crowd could be so vocal!

I do think though that the crowd peaked there...but I did have quite a few people near me who were happy to spend £100's on loads of t-shirts, take loads of photo's to twitter to their mates...............and sit on their arse throughout and not even bother to clap.

I hope they come back next year....all being well, I'll definitely be there.
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Old 08-15-2009, 09:10 AM   #7
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I am just getting chills watching some vids of the show, its great to see an english crowd finally become more vocal well done all that where there.
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Old 08-15-2009, 12:18 PM   #8
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Absoloutely knackered.

first gig ever, and was very impressed. I was about the only one partying up in the seats!

All I can say is that it was damned overwhelming and tiring. Therefore, I couldn't fully papreciate how awesome what I had seen actually was, which kind of depressed me. I think the first 4 or something songs where the only low point of the show and kind of sucked hard, but as soon as beautiful day began, I was up for it.

unforgettable fire, what I was least expecting to enjoy, was the highlight for me, along with vertigo (that's some seizure style stuff right there man) elevation, crazy tonight and I still haven't found what I'm looking for where great!

Bono resisted singing over half of Edges outro solo on one, which was pretty insane. I savoured that guitar, and it sounded good. Funnily enough, the only other time I heard Bono shut up during the ending of one was on a london bootleg from '05 or '06, happening to be my favourite version-(up until now!)

Bono hit the high notes in with or without you so much more fluently than any other previous rendition 2001 onwards.

Allround insanity, except for the crappy opening songs-and I LOVE no line on the horizon (album).


Support where top quality, and I loved that elbow guy's apparent modesty and calmness. The hours front man had great persona and the bands music rocked hard. The claw was pretty much jaw dropping, and the shards of light that where projected from the spire and the mirrorball was spectacular. I can guarantee you that the unforgettable fire+city of blinding lights+vertigo+crazy tonight+sunday bloody sunday segment is visually tremendous and sounds as raving and as rocking as ever.

Adam can groove, Bono can rock out, Edge can get funky and Larry can keep one hell of a beat.
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Old 08-15-2009, 12:27 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by smuts View Post
and sit on their arse throughout and not even bother to clap.
Dude, you should have seen the bloke beside my mum. Wouldn't even SMILE, I'm not even joking. He looked plain miserable.
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Old 08-15-2009, 02:15 PM   #10
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Man, I've seen people like this even in GA. In Zagreb, for the first show, there was a guy standing next to me who would hold up his phone to take videos all the time, he never showed any emotions, didn't clap, didn't dance, didn't sing, didn't cheer. Everyone around him went totally crazy, including me, we jumped and danced and sang but it didn't bother him the slightest. I purposely pushed him several times while dancing around, but he didn't react. He and his friend left earlier, before or during MOS. And we were standing right in front of the stage, in front of Bono. I'll never understand these people.
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Old 08-15-2009, 02:26 PM   #11
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Two girls near me were eating bloody burgers while they were playing.

One girl was reading a darn BOOK! She put it down after a bit, but who reads a book while the band are opening up?

Two young boys were in and out buying lager and missed most of the show. They didn't smile at all.

It did pick up when Elevation came on, but most of the people around me were pretty reserved. Me and my mum were going crazy and I refused to let reserved people spoil my evening, so I just blanked them out in the end, but I did wonder why some of them even went when they seemed to have no interest in it whatsoever, like adypole, two of them were just miserable and they may has well just went to a bar if they were going to keep getting up for a pint every 15 mins instead of watching it all.

U2 were fantastic. They sounded fantastic, the set list was great (except Breathe as an opener really didn't work for me and it's my favourite song on NLOTH)

I am on a major come down right now. Feel really down that it is all over
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Old 08-15-2009, 02:44 PM   #12
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hah, I like you're style unicorn. I kept giving the boring guy beside us dodgey looks but he didn't see
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Old 08-15-2009, 02:49 PM   #13
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I posted on here recently expressing some doubts about the tour, and saying they were lacking something. I was very wrong!

I was there last night. Outstanding performance, faultless, which by far exceeded expectations. For me, seeing them on the ZooTV tour will always be special, but this was the best I have seen them play. Bono's voice was incredible for his age, and the whole band just seemed totally up for it.

I did wonder whether they were filming last night for a DVD, but apparently not.

Highlights for me:

- The sound! I've been to a lot of stadium gigs, and the sound is a disaster. Vertigo Tour at Millennium Stadium in Cardiff was shocking. Not sure if it's to do with the venue, but the sound was perfect last night.

- The venue. I've not been to the new Wembley, they have got things so right and hassle free. The Stadium is stunning inside.

- I was looking forward to Unforgettable Fire having watched the YouTube clips, and it was fantastic. Surprisingly Get on Your Boots totally rocked, and the crowd went hyper. Vertigo and Elevation really got everyone going. His vocal on Ultra Violet was incredible.

I take back some of my doubts and critisisms of late. You can knock U2 for many reasons, but last night just showed their level of professionalism and dedication. If they tour Europe next summer, I'll be there!
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Old 08-15-2009, 07:01 PM   #14
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Just came back an hour ago from the airport.... tiring but great weekend!
I will make it quick and short (I'm tired):


- GOYB (Maybe the best of the night for me, really love the live performance)
- ISHFWILF (not a favourite at all, but the crowd singing the first verse gives goosebumps)
- Vertigo (rocked the freeking house!!!)
- TUF (one of my favourite song, great voice)
- Crazy tonight (party time, real crazy....the end of the song might be U2's best groove since Mofo)
- Street (very solid as usual)
- Ultraviolet (WOWWWWWWWWWWW)
- MOS (his voice is not human and the first 3min are magical, tears close to fall....)

"Lower moments":

- Stuck in a moment
- Mysterious ways without the solo...
- Breathe is weak as an opener
- Magnificent is also weak live
- U2 played very safe, setlist-wise, but also during the show, the way the moved, etc... they don't use the claw enough. I was close to Edge, and Bono only came on the bridge 2 times in 2 hours....


- Larry still looks 35 years old, even from a close look
- Organisation was really great, very "english". Not prob at all with the line of fans waiting outside (beers helped...)
- Sound was not that good too close to the main stage, lot's of echo.... better out of the inner circle.
- My 11th U2 concert since 92, not the best, not the worst, somewhwere in the middle, see you in 2010!!!!
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Old 08-16-2009, 02:54 AM   #15
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^ Really? You didn't like yesterday's setlist? Man, what I would have given to be there. I don't understand how you can not enjoy that set. Also, to call Magnificent weak ... it was one of the early hightlights at the shows I went to. Audence very much into it, cheering, singing along, and Bono at the bridges and catwalk. I just the song.

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