Opening Act(s): Sidewinder
Mofo, I Will Follow, Gone, Even Better Than The Real Thing, Last Night On Earth, Until The End Of The World, New Year’s Day, Pride (In The Name Of Love), I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For-Stand By Me, Bad-Walk On The Wild Side, All I Want Is You, Staring At The Sun, Sunday Bloody Sunday, Bullet The Blue Sky, Please, Where The Streets Have No Name. Encore(s): Discothèque, If You Wear That Velvet Dress, With Or Without You, Hold Me Thrill Me Kiss Me Kill Me, Mysterious Ways, One.
U2 could be this loud and loved
by Darrin Farrant
THEY prefer the huge sports stadiums to the more intimate venues, their ticket prices are high, and their most recent album didn’t sell so well, but the word from the fans is almost unanimous: U2 still rocks.
More than 35,000 people streamed into Waverley Park last night to watch U2, the self-proclaimed world’s biggest rock band, put on the world’s biggest and most spectacular rock concert - part of the PopMart tour.
U2 took to the stage - framed by giant McDonald’s-style golden arch and 14-metre-high lemon and the world’s largest television (which measures 46 metres by 15 metres) - about 8.45pm. The show was expected to last about two-and-a-quarter hours. Last night’s show was the 85th concert in U2’s year-long worldwide series of shows.
Earlier, U2 lead singer Bono greeted excited fans as he and other band members arrived at Waverley Park about 4pm.
Wes Brunnen, 20, said Bono called out “Aussies rock” and “Jolly good” (the last comment leaving Mr Brunnen bemused as to where Bono thought he was).
Mr Brunnen’s sister Kathryn, 17, said U2’s most recent album, ‘POP’ - which brought a mixed reception from critics - was as good as anything the band has done.
“Their songs have got heart. They try to sing about love, politics, things that matter,” said Mr Brunnen.
Katherine, a 20-year-old university student from Canberra, strongly agreed. She rejected even the hint that the band acclaimed for its passion and angst had somehow sold out or lost its integrity.
“Even REM has trouble down a straight road. But the road U2 has travelled has been full of curves and bends, laneways and alleyways that are interesting to look at and listen to,” she said.
Many of the fans had been waiting patiently at Waverley Park since early afternoon despite the fact that the gates did not open until about 5.45.
One particularly devoted fan was Kerry Hollis, a 23-year-old backpacker from Norfolk, England. Ms Hollis and her friends paid $100 for their seats.
“When I phoned up to get the tickets (and heard how far back I was from the stage) … I thought ‘f… it, I’m still seeing it. I’m on the other side of the world and I’ll be seeing U2.
“Where can they go now? They’ve gone the full circle … from punks to blues to dance music.”
© 1998 The Age. All rights reserved.