Opening Act(s): PJ Harvey
Elevation, Beautiful Day, Until The End Of The World, New Year’s Day, Stuck In A Moment You Can’t Get Out Of, Gone, Even Better Than The Real Thing, New York, I Will Follow, Sunday Bloody Sunday, The Sweetest Thing, In A Little While, Desire, The Ground Beneath Her Feet, Bad, Where The Streets Have No Name, Mysterious Ways, The Fly. Encore: Bullet The Blue Sky, With Or Without You, Pride (In The Name Of Love), One-Wake Up Dead Man, Walk On.
It might be Friday the 13th but there was nothing unlucky about tonight’s show.
“Thank you for the gifts that you bring to us” reads the sign of one fan, while another - let’s face it, pretty optimistic fan - has a t-shirt with the request, “Bono, Take Me With You.”
“We played our first gig here 20 years ago this week in a place called The Commodore Club,” says Bono at the opening chords of Stuck In A Moment. “Is it still here?”
“Thanks for hanging around so long, for all the people who didn’t exist then, you didn’t have to hang around so long, this is for Michael Hutchence, a great singer, who never used to hang around….”
Gillian Anderson from the X-files is here tonight, so is Charlize Theron (Ciderhouse Rules), Stuart Townshend (Shooting Fish, About Adam) and the writer William Gibson.
Edge is wearing his ‘55’ t-shirt tonight - how many numbers has he got in his wardrobe ? Even if it gets to ‘55,000’ the singer will still be kissing photographers and dancing with fans on the heart walkway round the elevation stage.
This is what happens during The End of the World, before Bono, bull-like, duels with the matador Edge and declines the first of several cowboys hats to be offered. He is wearing one by New York, which is followed by the deafening appreciation which greets the arrival of Sunday Bloody Sunday. And after The Sweetest Thing come the introductions - and a revelation.
“I’d like to do something that’s new for us,” explains Bono. “It’s almost impossible for singers to do, I’d like to introduce the band. “The man that gave me my first and perhaps even only job, Larry Mullen Jnr - get up and take some credit.”
“U2,” he explains, “For the first day of our life it was The Larry Mullen Band.”
At this point Larry whispers something in Bono’s ear - no prizes for lip-reading.
“He just said it still is,” laughs Bono, “But God is fair in his wisdom and Larry can’t sing…thank God.”
And so to “our first manager, the jazzman and musical conscience with the biggest instrument, Lord Adam Clayton, the poshest member of U2.”
And of course, “The scientist of the band, even his mother calls him The Edge, our very own card carrying genius, come on down The Edge!”
In A Little leads into Desire, with Bono on mouth organ and an explanation at the start of The Ground Beneath Her Feet.
“When you come from the northside of Dublin, you’re allowed to sing a love song, this is a good one…it’ll have to be good, we had help on this one, it’s written by Salman Rushdie.”
For Mysterious Ways he is lying atop the video screens again while Edge grooves at the front of the stage. So he is on his knees, dancing with his image on the screen and then, when a girl in the heart holds out flowers to him, he tries to bite a stem.
It’s just out of reach and Bono gets petals in his mouth, grins and spits them out. It’s Friday the 13th, but it’s not unlucky in Vancouver.
All images are © U2.com; © Randy Greencorn