Opening Act(s): No Doubt
Elevation, Beautiful Day, Until The End Of The World, New Year’s Day, I Will Follow, Sunday Bloody Sunday, Stuck In A Moment You Can’t Get Out Of, Kite, Wild Honey, Please, All I Want Is You, Where The Streets Have No Name, I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For, Pride (In The Name Of Love). Encore: Bullet The Blue Sky, What’s Going On, New York, One-Unchained Melody, Peace On Earth-Walk On.
No Doubt’s Gwen Stefani joins U2 on stage to sing ‘What’s Going On’ again just like last night.
I went to the 11/13 show at Staples a couple weeks ago and was hoping to also post some great pics I took with my review but I can’t get my scanner working. I can’t wait any longer so I’ll just post the review now and the pics later.
The concert was pretty much everything I thought it would be; being in the heart made it an unforgettable experience.
I got there at 7:00 a.m. and there were about 50 people in line. Of those 50 I’d say 10 camped out overnight.
We waited in line all day along side members of the U2 cover band Exit. Their guitarist, Courtney, had been pulled up on stage the night before to play a tune with U2. As a result she was somewhat of a minor league celebrity in line. People kept coming over to hear her story and get pictures with her. (Their website is http://www.geocities.com/andisono/exit.html if you’re interested).
At one point Jed the Fish (KROQ deejay) came over to speak with Courtney for a few minutes before interviewing the other members of Exit for a spot on his show later in the day. It was rather surreal seeing him in person, having first listened to him way back in the early days of KROQ back in the 80’s. It was even weirder that these kids in Exit weren’t even around at that time!
Sat around all day, made some cool friends (thanks Alex for all your help), basking in the Southern California sun.
Around 4:30 people started packing up their chairs and blankets and an anxious vibe spread over the line as 6:00 came closer.
Some VH-1 cameras had been conducting interviews with people in line in the early afternoon, and they came back between 5:00 and 6:00 to capture some of the frenzy.
The doors opened at about 5:50, and I entered the doors about 10 minutes later. When I first got into the heart, there were about 30 people massed up at front by the stage, with only 10 people occupying spaces along the rest of the railing. It was wide, wide open. Got a great rail spot at the back of the heart on the left side. Thanks to all the people who posted reviews and recommended this spot. It is indeed one of the best vantage points.
No Doubt was great, but I think they suffered a bit from the fact that the crowd was slow to get in. The heart was only half empty when they started; same thing with the rest of the arena. I was actually kind of stoked to see them, but I could tell a lot of U2 fans weren’t. I think Gwen Stefani even got a little annoyed during “I’m Just a Girl” that the fans weren’t going off like she thought they should.
So anyway, on to the show.
It was excellent. What else can I say. The crowd was on fire when Elevation started, and they never calmed back down. Looking back on it, the whole show was really a blur, but here are some highlights, particularly handing the flag to Bono.
During Sunday Bloody Sunday, a UCLA student named Carrie was standing right next to us along the inside rail of the heart, holding an American flag she had brought. During the point in SBS that Bono has been doing his flag hugging routine, she whipped it out and my friend Scott and I held it up. Bono had been up on the main stage for a couple minutes at this point and we weren’t sure he was going to come back to the tip. Well, he did, and he walked right up to us and bent down to pick up the flag. What happened next is kind of a blur.
First of all, I was handing him the flag with my left hand, frantically trying to take pictures with my right hand. I thought I had one picture left on the roll. I didn’t. I was all out. Huge bummer, but I had no time to think about that.
Bono bent down and grabbed my side of the flag, looked at me, and then started motioning/pointing towards something on my left, I didn’t know what, and then he got this urgent, impatient look on his face when we all kind of looked at each other. We then realized he was motioning for Carrie to come up on stage with him. One of the stagehands came over, we lifted her up, and she got up on the ramp.
Since I was out of film I just sat there enjoying Bono singing “wipe your tears away” while holding the flag and Carrie in his arms, all about 2 feet away from me. He did this for, I’d say, a minute.
Next thing I knew, she was coming back down and I helped her over the rail. Carrie was - frantic, hysterical, delirious, screamingly happy all at the same time. What a moment. The rest of us were just beside ourselves from what had just occurred.
If anyone out there has pictures of us holding the flag then handing it to Bono, I would really, really appreciate getting a copy. I took some great pictures and would be more than willing to trade, and/or pay for the cost of duplicates. From what I understand we were in the spotlight for 2-3 minutes during this little episode, so I know there must be some good pics out there.
The rest of the show was great, the only (minor) flaw for me personally was the absence of Bad, but All I Want Is You in place of it was a very worthy substitute, since I’d never seen that before, and I saw Bad in Anaheim on 4/23/01.
I was thrilled to hear them play I Will Follow as they haven’t been playing that at every show. The crowd loved it to.
Right after Wild Honey, Bono surveyed the crowd for signs. There were only about 3 or 4 asking to play guitar (including mine, which he definitely looked at), but apparently he wasn’t impressed because he said something to the Edge and they started in on Please.
After AIWIY, Streets whipped the crowd in to a frenzy. Pride and ISHFWILF were as transcendent as I could have imagined. And of course, One, with a great version of Unchained Melody in the middle.
Looking back, I’d say the Anaheim show had a better set list, but at that show I was in the corner of the top deck behind the stage. This set list included Wild Honey, Please, and a kick ass version of New York, all of which I had never seen before, and being in the heart, I have to say this was a better overall experience than last time.
After I got my film back the next day, and studied the pictures I took, I developed a whole new appreciation for how hard it is to take concert pictures. I now look at the photos posted on this site in a whole new light.
Thanks to all the U2 fans who stood in line all day, and then stood, sang, and rocked out at this show. That was half the reason I even went. Thanks also to a few folks who gave me advice on and inspired me to get into the heart, especially Steve and Jon Bliss.
All images are © Charlie; © Dan Thomsen