06/11 - Hard Rock Stadium - Miami, FL

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So let's kick this off with a view from my seat. IMG_8876.JPG

About the performances:
I've been to many arena shows alone, but this was the first stadium concert that I went solo, and in an area that I'm not so familiar with. Those who saw 360° with me skipped this one cause they couldn't work it out, so I splurged on an upper level ticket with a perfect view. Got to the stadium at around 4:30, and gates opened at 5:30.

OneRepublic started playing at 7 PM sharp. I'm a big fan of theirs and have never seen them live. It turns out that they are an incredibly energetic live act. Ryan Tedder may get a lot of hate around these parts, but he can really sing and play the hell out of the piano and guitar. They were great, and finished at 7:55 PM.

To my surprise, most of the crowd was already in their seats by 8:30, and were really anxious for U2 to take the stage. At 8:47 PM, they stopped the music and The Whole of the Moon started playing. It's a much better walk-out song than A Rainy Night in Soho.

Sunday Bloody Sunday
One of their best concert openers. The crowd jumped out of their seats as soon as Larry started, and bopped away. Set the mood for the rest of the show.

New Year's Day
This was the first surreal moment of the night for me, as it was one of the songs that I really wanted to hear live. Very happy they are playing the album version.

Another surreal moment. Never thought I would hear it in person. It really is one of their ultimate live songs, and although it probably works better later in the set, it was a highlight, with the stage lights off and all the phone lights on.

It was great right until the second verse, where Edge started to have guitar trouble. He went back to the main stage where Dallas helped him fix the problem, but he was still having issues, so he walked down one of the staircases and disappeared until Streets came around. Bono did a great job of distracting the crowd by doing his usual preaching.

The Joshua Tree
I loved all of it. The visuals were great, the performances were tight, and the crowd was really into it. What an amazing feeling it was to have heard Side 2 in the flesh.

Miss Sarajevo
In my opinion, it really doesn't fit in with the rest of the setlist. Yes, it may work better as the encore opener than the penultimate song, but there's so much energy in this show that it was an absolute downer. The Syria video and the photo of Omaima going around the stadium is nice, but not even playing an electric version of it could maintain the energy. You could see the relief in the crowd when Ultraviolet started, everyone shook that off.

My 2nd favorite U2 song. I didn't hear it at my 360° show, and I thought they would never, ever play it again after that tour. As soon as the band kicked in, I immediately lost it. It was glorious, and you can bet your lunch money that I rocked the hell out to that song. When it comes to the HERSTORY video, it works just fine.

It was great not hearing a karaoke version of One. Before the song, Bono trashed Trump's proposed budget cuts and praised Marco Rubio for helping out with the (ONE) campaign, which led to a very awkward silence in the crowd. I guess he was in attendance.

Beautiful Day / Elevation / Vertigo
We may be really fucking tired of these songs "on paper", but you can't deny the reception that they get - especially when played one after the other. I loved it. The crowd went apeshit and the stands were bouncing, it was a really fun and energetic way to call it a night.

Happy to have gotten the chance to see them again, it was an amazing show. It's most likely going to be my last concert for a while, so I enjoyed it as much as I could.

I thought the crowd was fucking awesome, a lot better than the 360° show. A great mix of Latinos, Americans and other nationalities. My section was amazing - many of them knew The Joshua Tree from start to end, and we stood up and moved around for most of the show. There was a drunk Portuguese couple in the row in front of me and they had a blast. Ruined most of my videos, but that's fine. GA looked like it was a lot of fun, but I'm glad I wasn't down there. Wouldn't have been able to stay standing for 4 hours.

Bono was really into it. His voice was in good shape for the first two songs, but struggled a bit from Bad onwards. He commented multiple times about how the humidity was taking a toll on him, but on the upside he was also impressed by the love the crowd was showing. The rest of the band looked like they were enjoying themselves as well.

For some reason, I don't feel like I'm in the position to criticize the setlist (other than Miss Sarajevo) or the length of the show. They were able to keep the crowd's attention for 120 minutes, and each song had a great reception once it was over. If they played a few more songs, I would have been thrilled. But for now, they seem to be comfortable with a 2 hour show, and I have to accept that. I also have to accept that the setlist might get better from here on out.
About the experience at the venue:
We lucked out with the weather - not a single drop of rain, and there was a very nice breeze throughout the show - at least in the upper level. Hard Rock Stadium is a great place to see a concert - acoustics weren't the best, but they did a fantastic job with the renovations, and I see that they still have some work to do before it's fully finished.

However, this venue has always been famous for having shitty cell phone reception, and for being a nightmare to get out of. Last night was no exception. In a 75-minute period, I got lost in two parking lots, canceled an Uber ride (they closed all the freeway exits and surrounding streets), walked more than a mile to escape the surge pricing (it shot up to $100), and found a second driver. Lesson learned - avoid the stadium's Uber Zone.

It was a great night, would gladly do it again.
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