vertigo_-_1st_leg_-_north_america

April 10, 2005 - San Jose, California, USA - HP Pavilion

| 3 Comments

Opening Act(s): Kings of Leon

Setlist:

Love And Peace Or Else, Vertigo-Stories For Boys, Elevation, The Cry, The Electric Co., An Cat Dubh-Into The Heart, City Of Blinding Lights, Beautiful Day, Miracle Drug, Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own, New Year's Day, Sunday Bloody Sunday, Bullet The Blue Sky, Running To Stand Still-The Hands That Built America, Pride (In The Name Of Love), Where The Streets Have No Name, One, Original Of The Species. Encore: The Fly, Mysterious Ways. Second Encore: All Because Of You, Yahweh, 40.

Remarks:

'Original Of The Species' makes its Vertigo Tour premiere tonight with The Edge on piano as Bono sings, and Adam and Larry joining in with cues from Bono. Bono brings a female fan on stage during 'Mysterious Ways.' The crowd on the floor outside the ellipse is more spirited and rowdier than usual, and security helps at least two fans over the barrier away from the crush early in the show. Perhaps as a result, the band doesn't come out to the edge of the ellipse during the rest of the show.

Media Review:

East Bay Express

Bono for Pontiff

The only problem: Who could possibly replace him in the arena rock pantheon?

Rob Harvilla

Published: Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Bono would make an excellent candidate for pope. Yes, pope. He is outlandishly charismatic, reasonably eloquent, vaguely spiritual, tremendously photogenic. His popularity, meanwhile, is unparalleled -- the devout already deify him, and even skeptics and nonbelievers offer grudging respect. No one alive can more effectively claim to be a uniter, not a divider.

Does Bono crap in the woods?

This pope thing was not my idea. No, I most properly credit it to Coma Guy, thus named because he spent the first half of U2's Sunday night San Jose arena-rock hootenanny ass-out passed-out, slumped in his $160 HP Pavilion seat, face buried in his hands, motionless. Fellow concertgoers showed interest and concern, as did, briefly, an usher. But we let Coma Guy lay, and after an hour, he suddenly, drunkenly embarked on an epic song-by-song comeback.

"Sunday Bloody Sunday"

Coma Guy raises his right arm, shakes it rhythmically. All other body parts still motionless.

"Bullet the Blue Sky"

Coma Guy starts air-drumming, while seated. Eyes closed, lower half still motionless.

"Running to Stand Still"

Coma Guy whoops "C'MON, BONO!" repeatedly during this quiet piano ballad.

"Pride (In the Name of Love)"

Coma Guy rises to his feet and begins gyrating enthusiastically. Midway through the song, Bono starts preaching about Martin Luther King Jr. and the universality of his Dream. "There's an American dream," Bono intones. "There's a European dream ..." "YOU'RE IRISH!!!" shouts Coma Guy.

"Where the Streets Have No Name"

Coma Guy barrels down the aisle and attempts to bum-rush the barrier to the standing-room HP Pavilion floor. He is politely but firmly rebuked, and returns to his seat.

"One"

Coma Guy starts shouting "DO YOU WANNA BE POPE?!" as Bono slyly alters the last verse: Have you come here to play Jesus? 'Cause I did.

"Original of the Species"

Coma Guy shouts "POPE BONO!!" repeatedly.

Finally, in the interim before the first encore, Coma Guy attempts to lead a chant of "POPE! POPE! POPE! POPE! POPE!" A few drunk guys sitting nearby actually pick it up.

Ah, U2 concerts. Liking U2 has not been cool for ten years, and will in all likelihood never be cool again. But the absolute stranglehold on Biggest Band in the World honors remains. When this band dies, its insanely high ratio of public adoration to artistic quality dies with it. Ain't nobody else selling out HP Pavilion two nights in a row within minutes, with two November Oakland Arena dates added on and nearly filled up as well. In fact, I will use Coma Guy as a metaphor for the entire American concert industry -- wayward and nearly dead, only temporarily revived by Pope Bono and his unique blend of propriety and piousness.

Because U2 arena shows are entirely about Bono. Bassist Adam Clayton and drummer Larry Mullen Jr. have never done anything that suggests they weren't simply hanging out with the right people in the right place at the right time -- Larry even soft-pedals the monstrous "Bullet the Blue Sky" drum fills now, and I myself could train you to play bass in U2 while we drive down to San Jose. The Edge, meanwhile, displays absolute delay-pedal mastery, but very very quietly, with nary an indulgent solo or ridiculous Guitar God pose in sight. (He ripped shit up on "The Fly," though.)

This innocuousness frees U2's frontman to engage in mostly charming but increasingly erratic behavior. The band's stage show still features an enormous full-circle walkway that juts out deep into the crowd, permitting Bono to stroll among his devotees in damn near slow motion, strutting less like a sex machine and more like a narcotized ape. At one point he crawled around on his belly, grabbed an elated young lady's arm, and repeatedly tapped his fingers slowly up her arm like a spider: Whether this represents innovative showmanship, Rock Icon Economy of Movement, or too many bottles of Captain Morgan on the tour rider is anyone's guess. A trail of lit-up cell phone cameras follows him everywhere he goes, as though he's trapped in some sort of Silicon Valley nature preserve. The evening's one awe-inspiring moment came when he told everyone to hold up their phones and ordered the stage lights turned down -- his face was perfectly illuminated by a sea of tiny pixelated screens. If this guy now truly believes he's playing Jesus, it's only because we've let him.

Ah yes: He also sings, most passionately on the new tearjerker ballad "Sometimes You Can't Make It on Your Own." Most other tunes on U2's new How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb were safe, blandish sorta-rockers that, oddly enough, still revved up the crowd just as intensely as hungrier cuts from 25-year-old debut album Boy and all the monster hits in between, from "New Year's Day" to "Mysterious Ways" to "Beautiful Day." All were delivered straight-faced and workmanlike -- pointedly, we heard nothing from U2's much-sneered-at mid-'90s Pop and Zooropa irony records, sonically experimental but overly cute. Just no-bullshit rock now, thanks. Ideally, a band with a quarter-century of material to plunder delivers a few outta-nowhere deep-cut tunes at a show like this, but only the Joshua Tree highlight "Running to Stand Still" really qualifies for that.

So they're getting older, subtler, weirder, more visibly fatigued. U2 can still do what no other band alive can -- deliver two hours of highly entertaining arena rock that justifies the cost without anyone embarrassing themselves. Who will replace these dudes? Certainly not show-openers Kings of Leon, fashion rockers with decent tunes who looked terminally cool and terminally bored. Hey, knuckleheads, this is the sweetest gig you'll ever get; I can mathematically prove your lives are entirely headed downhill from this day forward. Because though they're holding back, falling short, and insufficiently mining a ludicrously fertile back catalogue, Bono and the boys are still scintillatingly singular deities of a sort we may never find cause to worship again. When they finally ride their gilded Popemobiles into the sunset, we will all turn into Coma Men and Women, slumped into arena seats we're no longer willing to buy.

3 Comments

U2 ROCKED San Jose! They were awesome. Bono's voice sounded awesome! Bono interactive with the crowd alot,he talked alittle to the crowd, took someones cowboy hat and wore it, took a bandana from someone and wore it for awhile, a girl even got up on stage a dance with him! The EGDE rocked too. They sounded really good.I missed not hearing "I haven't found what I'm looking for" I've been to the Elevation tour (which rocked too) but this crowd was definietly not the same, luckily for us we were by people that never sat down we danced and sang every song!Looking forward to seeing them again at Staples Center in November.Also they have nice U2 mechandise for sale!

This show was absolutely an incredible performance. Of course fans and first timers will always find a rough comment about this show to post. However, U2 did an outstanding job. When U2 ripped into "Electric Co." The Edge did a very aggressive solo version that made the house go wild. I have seen U2 live many times and hearing that song was awesome. Bono did another tribute to the late Pope John Paul II before busting into "Miricale Drug." "Love and Peace" was hot and Bono had alot of energy on that song drumming away at the large tom drum on the far edge of the cat walk. "Bullet the Blue Sky" was played at a slower tempo and The Edge tuned down the usual aggressive solo of the song to a more mellow version. The band did play it slower. "Elevation" was dragged out a couple of verses before the band drove into the song with Bono. I noticed The Edge used an acoustic guitar for songs like, "Love and Peace, The Fly and Yahweh." It sounded great! After Bono picked a girl up from the audience danced with here on stage during "Mysterious Ways," the band waited for Bono after eneding the song, to let the girl back so they could leave the stage for the first encore. While The Edge shrugged his shoulders to Bono, U2 decided to run through the first encore with out a break. They did however break for the last encore. The highlight of the show was when the band played "40" Adam Clayton was so engrossed in making sure he played the notes right with The Edges guitar! As the band slowly left one by one during the performance of "40" proceeding with first Bono, Adam and The Edge. Larry Mullen Jr. just kept playing the drums while the sold out crowd sang, "How long...," He stopped drumming puased and I saw him close his eyes, he looked out to the crowd shock his head. Almost in a state of aww...maybe he was taking a breath and taking it in after so many years since that posting at his old school, Mount Temple he would never dream of a sold out crowd singing while he alone drummed away to "40." Then out of no where he fiercely bagen to drum louder for another minute then Larry dropped his sticks and waved goodbye to the fans and the crowd went wild.

Keep on Posting the Tour Songs! I want to see whats coming to Vancouver!

Leave a comment

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Jonathan published on April 11, 2005 5:24 AM.

April 9, 2005 - San Jose, California, USA - HP Pavilion was the previous entry in this blog.

April 14, 2005 - Phoenix, Arizona, USA - Glendale Arena is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

Categories

Monthly Archives

Pages

OpenID accepted here Learn more about OpenID