Opening Act(s): PJ Harvey
Elevation, Beautiful Day, Until The End Of The World, Discothèque-Staring At The Sun, Mysterious Ways, In My Life-Stuck In A Moment You Can’t Get Out Of, Kite, Gone, New York, I Will Follow, Sunday Bloody Sunday, In A Little While, Desire-Gloria, Stay (Faraway, So Close!), Bad-40, Where The Streets Have No Name, Pride (In The Name Of Love). Encore: Bullet The Blue Sky, With Or Without You, The Fly, One, Walk On.
Bono sings the first verse of The Beatles’ ‘In My Life’ as an intro to ‘Stuck In A Moment You Can’t Get Out Of.’ For the first time this tour, ‘Desire’ is played by the entire band at the tip of the heart. During the concert, Bono accidentally botches the concert location and exclaims “Detroit, Ohio!”
Review: U2 In Auburn Hills, Mich.
by Christina Fuoco, LiveDaily Contributing Writer
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. - As the saying goes, less is more. But “more” might have improved U2’s Wednesday (5/30) performance at the Palace of Auburn Hills, a show that was hampered by the Irish rock band’s vibe of apathy.
U2 is taking a minimalist approach to this tour, leaving behind theatrics, props and banks of lights. Instead, it’s opting for a large stage layout, featuring a heart-shaped runway that juts midway through the main floor.
Lead singer Bono used the runway early in the set to run laps around a group of fans enclosed in an orchestra pit-like area, but he seemingly lost interest in such calisthenics after a few songs. He refrained from stage banter throughout most of the performance, save for a few political statements and a show of love for the recently deceased Joey Ramone.
“The band that got us into wanting to be a band is called the Ramones,” Bono told the crowd of more than 19,000 in introducing “In a Little While,” a song from the band’s most recent album, 2000’s “All That You Can’t Leave Behind.”
“I recently got to meet Joey Ramone,” Bono continued. “He was sick, but he loved this song.” Bono claimed that the song was the last song that Ramone heard before he died.
Bono eschewed Irish politics at this show, opting to speak his piece about third-world debt relief. One speech, which led into “Pride,” urged fans to speak to their congresspeople.
U2’s politics didn’t always go over so well. In an attempt at irony, a videotaped statement by National Rifle Association chief Charlton Heston was projected on a large screen. When Heston said that guns are O.K. as long as they’re in the hands of good people, the audience responded with cheers. U2—who followed the videotape with “Bullet the Blue Sky”—is staunchly anti-guns.
The band’s limited interaction with the crowd wasn’t the only problem with the performance. Some songs, such as “Mysterious Ways” and “Pride,” were slowed down a bit. The result turned what could have been highlights into low-lights.
But the evening wasn’t without its rewards. The band’s one-by-one entrance—after Stevie Wonder’s “Higher Ground” blared from the sound system—was surprising, as the the house lights were still on. During the instrumental portion of “Bullet the Blue Sky,” the house and stage lights were cut off and Bono used a search light to illuminate the arena. The lights dropped dramatically during “Beautiful Day,” revealing four black and white video screens, one for each band member.
Bono fashioned devil horns with his fingers and lunged toward guitarist the Edge during the third song, “Until the End of the World”; this would be the last bit of playfulness until deep into the gig. At the end of the song, the Edge aimed his guitar at Bono, who was laying on the floor, as if to say he won the battle of the lunges.
At the tip of the runway, the foursome—which also includes drummer Larry Mullen and bassist Adam Clayton—played an acoustic rendition of “Desire,” which wrapped up with Bono’s spirited, bluesy harmonica solo.
All told, however, U2 failed to provide the spectacle that fans have come to expect. Perhaps next time, U2 will bring back the interesting diversions— like the giant martini glass or cars hanging from the ceiling—it used on previous tours.
All images are © Associated Press; © Wendy; © Tim Jones; © Daniel Hazard