Opening Act(s): Kings of Leon
Love And Peace Or Else, Vertigo, 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-The Hands That Built America, Running To Stand Still, Pride (In The Name Of Love), Where The Streets Have No Name, One. Encore(s): Zoo Station, The Fly, Mysterious Ways, All Because Of You, Yahweh, 40.
The crowd is loud and energized tonight and a full ‘wave’ makes several circles around the arena before U2 comes on. The band match the crowd’s energy from the start. Three fans make it on stage at various points in the show, including a male fan wearing a shirt that says ‘ME, ME, ME’ - Bono pulls him on stage and cracks a joke about singers’ egos. ‘One’ is dedicated to Steve Reynolds of World Vision and Bill and Melinda Gates, all of whom are at the show tonight. Also in attendance is Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder.
U2 delivers potent performance to pro Bono crowd
By Gene Stout, Seattle Post-Intelligencer Pop Music Critic
“Where is the love?” lead singer Bono asked during the opening song of U2’s sold-out concert last night at KeyArena.
In fact, the love was all around him — in the hearts of concertgoers who cheered every song, as well as in the heartfelt messages of world peace Bono spread throughout the two-hour show, which will be repeated tonight at 7:30 at KeyArena (tickets are sold out).
The concert drew an unusually festive crowd on a balmy Sunday afternoon on lower Queen Anne Hill, where every parking lot, restaurant and bar was filled to capacity.
After a short opening set by Southern rockers Kings of Leon, the Irish supergroup took the stage at about 9 p.m., opening with “Love and Peace Or Else” from the current album, “How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb.” The band has been alternating sets since the start of the “Vertigo” tour (named for the first hit from “Atomic Bomb”) last month in San Diego. Tonight’s set will likely be different from last night, opening with “City of Blinding Lights” and “Beautiful Day.”
Backed by an unusually clear and powerful sound system, Bono, drummer Larry Mullen Jr., bassist Adam Clayton and guitarist The Edge took advantage of an extended stage ramp that encircled about 400 concertgoers on the main floor like the rim of a pool. A string of neon lights accented its circular shape. Behind the stage were several curtains of tiny ball-shaped lights that displayed various images. Above the stage were four sequential video screens showing closeups of the band in black and white.
Bono, dressed entirely in black except for a white bandana decorated with a cross and the star of David, used the circular ramp to full advantage, occasionally dropping to his knees or lying on his back after finishing a song. “Love and Peace Or Else” came to a close with Bono playing Mullen’s drums.
“Vertigo” exploded in an audience singalong as the entire band moved back to the main stage. But Bono finished the song by strutting around the entire circle.
The set mixed U2’s early songs with classic hits — “Beautiful Day,” “Sunday Bloody Sunday,” “Bullet the Blue Sky” and “Where the Streets Have No Name” — and a handful of selections from the current album, resulting in a satisfying show that ended with a six-song encore starting with “Zoo Station” (Bono sported a conductor’s uniform) and closing with “40.”
Confetti fell from the ceiling and stadium lights flashed during “City of Blinding Lights.” Bono dedicated a moving version of “Miracle Drug,” another new song, to a brave friend undergoing medical treatment. “We need science,” he said. Another touching new song, “Sometimes You Can’t Make It on Your Own” honored Bono’s late father, who had inspired him to be a singer.
Politics also played a big role the show, especially when the United Nations’ 1948 Declaration of Human Rights scrolled on the video screen and when Bono talked about his One Campaign. He encouraged concertgoers to hold up their cell phones, much as people used to hoist their cigarette lighters, saying “We are more powerful when we work together.” The message kicked off a powerful version of “One.”
Copyright © 2005 Seattle Post-Intelligencer. All rights reserved.
All photos by Scott Eklund/Seattle Post-Intelligencer.