Opening Act(s): Rage Against The Machine
Mofo, I Will Follow, Even Better Than The Real Thing, Do You Feel Loved?, Pride (In The Name Of Love), I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For, Last Night On Earth, Gone, Until The End Of The World, If God Will Send His Angels, Staring At The Sun, Daydream Believer, Miami, Bullet The Blue Sky, Please, Where The Streets Have No Name. Encore(s): Discothèque, With Or Without You, Hold Me Thrill Me Kiss Me Kill Me, Mysterious Ways, One.
U2 gives hot show on cold night
by G. Brown
As special effects on U2’s “PopMart” tour go, a 100-foot-high toothpick and giant olive are fine and dandy. But at Mile High Stadium last night, the crowd of nearly 30,000 could have used the martini to go along with it - it was cold enough to warrant a belt of antifreeze.
Ticket sales for U2’s Denver show (the third date on the tour) were slow, and skeptics looked at Mile High as half-empty rather than half-full. But what really mattered was that those in attendance were U2 fanatics. They cheered wildly when the band walked through the crowd onto the stage - Bono, clad in a hooded robe, looked like the flyweight champion of the world entering a ring.
And when the band launched into “I Will Follow,” U2’s earliest hit, Mile High shook (shivered?) like John Elway had just engineered a fourth-quarter comeback.
Bono referenced the inclement weather before the classic “Pride,” citing the steady rainfall that marked their legendary 1983 “Under A Blood Red Sky” performance at Red Rocks Amphitheater. “Now snow is in the forecast … what’s wrong with you people?”
Bono and the lads didn’t seem to gain inspiration from the conditions, but the concert was less posed and abrasive than the band’s “Zoo TV” of four years ago. That visual carnival set a new standard for what an entertaining rock concert would be, so why did U2 feel wedded to another mega-venue tour?
Apparently the Irish band was challenged to be more high tech and tacky than ever before in the post-MTV age of diminishing attention spans. The eye-gouging stage set - 1,200 tons of equipment - consisted of a 100-foot-high golden arch that supported most of the suspended big orange sound system. A 170-foot-wide television screen containing a million LEDs served as an enormous video monitor.
Like it or not, concertgoers got a case of “Pop.” The biggest rumor about the new album was that it would be a radical reinvention of a great band, knocking alternative dance sounds into the mainstream.
In concert, songs like the opening “Mofo,” “Do You Feel Loved,” “Miami” and “Please” combined techno, trip-hop and neo-psychedelic approaches, but the Edge’s guitar commanded the pivotal role.
And there were plenty of old favorites like “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For,” “Where The Streets Have No Name” and “With Or Without You.” The biggest surprise? Folks seemed baffled by the Edge singing a rad karaoke version of the Monkees’ “Daydream Believer.” For an encore, the guys lightened up a bit and gave fans “Discotheque,” something to groove to.
A self-propelled 40-foot-high mirrorball lemon opened up to reveal the band (the Mothership has landed!).
The two-hour set ended with “Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me,” “Mysterious Ways” and Bono’s rendering of “One.”
Inquiring minds want to know: In Las Vegas, where the tour launched last Friday, there was a heavy celebrity turnout.
And at the second show in San Diego on Monday night, Mick Jagger, Countney Love, Billy Corgan and Tiger Woods showed up.
The biggest star in the Denver galaxy was talk radio host Peter Boyles. That’s show biz!
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