Opening Act(s): The Arcade Fire
City Of Blinding Lights, Vertigo, Elevation, I Will Follow, I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For-In A Little While, Beautiful Day, Original Of The Species, Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own, Love And Peace Or Else, Sunday Bloody Sunday-Rock The Casbah, Bullet The Blue Sky, Miss Sarajevo, Pride (In The Name Of Love), Where The Streets Have No Name, One. Encore(s): Until The End Of The World-Instant Karma!, Mysterious Ways, With Or Without You, Stuck In A Moment You Can't Get Out Of, Yahweh, Bad-The Maker-40.
The Arcade Fire take the stage with 'Where The Streets Have No Name' on the PA, a tip to U2 taking the stage to their song, 'Wake Up.' The Montreal crowd, which is well-known for being LOUD, doesn't disappoint tonight. A local radio station has given out 5,000 multi-colored flashing light sticks, and the audience holds them up during 'Sometimes.' Clearly moved by the sight, Bono changes a lyric during the song to describe what he sees. A stunning version of Bad ends the show with Daniel Lanois joining U2 on stage. During the song, they sing bits of Lanois' song 'The Maker' and a bit of U2's '40', before picking 'Bad' back up and closing out the show.
Vive U2 ... a Montreal!
by T'cha Dunlevy, Montreal Gazette
'Vive U2 ... a Montreal!'
The Arcade Fire may not have been the only hometown band to ignite 20,300 delirious fans last night at the Bell Centre, as Bono proclaims 'U2 vient vivre a Montreal.' Whether they're serious or not, the world's biggest rock band proved they would be more than welcome
Sunday, November 27, 2005
"On a une annonce tres importante," said Bono, after U2 played its fourth song, I Will Follow, to a capacity crowd of 20,300 at the Bell Centre last night.
"U2 vient vivre a Montreal."
The audience, obviously, went nuts. And though Bono never explained exactly what he meant by the statement - when, why, for how long - there was definite synergy between band and fans as the group powered through hit after hit, interspersed with moments of spirituality, theatrics and politics.
This was, after all, U2; perhaps you've heard of them - world's biggest rock band, given to pomp, larger-than-life songs, activism, feel-goodism and occasional existential wisdom.
They opened with City of Blinding Lights, off last year's How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb. Confetti raining down, glittering disco curtains, Bono putting the cat in catwalk, venturing out onto the circular ramp surrounding the stage. It was the first song, and already we were in encore mode.
"Ca va bien aujourd'hui?" Bono asked, after. Then: "Vive les Montrealais. Et les Habs! Vive U2 ... a Montreal!"
The last words were swallowed by the roar of the crowd, into which Bono shouted, "Un, deux, trois, quatre," as the band kicked into Vertigo, Atomic Bomb's rockin' first track.
Even a nearby beer vendor couldn't resist the swelling energy; he set down his wares and turned to sing along and dance.
Then came Elevation, I Will Follow, I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For, Beautiful Day - in that order. There was no stopping this runaway train.
Along the way, bits of poetry, trademark Bono spontaneity and showmanship. During elevation, he paused on the catwalk, motioned for the Gazette photographer to hand over his camera, and snapped a few shots.
After I Will Follow, he took a moment to praise openers the Arcade Fire, hailing the Montreal band as "troubadours, psychedelic minstrels," and "the most (amazing) musical thing we've seen in a very long time."
He took off his shades for Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own, striding slowly back onto the catwalk and basking in the deafening cheers of the crowd.
"Wow," he said.
Love and Peace or Else, Sunday Bloody Sunday, Bullet the Blue Sky and Miss Sarajevo - time to get serious. After Pride (In the Name of Love) and Where the Streets Have No Name, Bono donned his humanitarian cap.
Saying he had spent the previous day meeting with Canadian politicians, "all of them - Jack Layton, Stephen Harper, Gilles Duceppe and Paul Martin" - he urged everyone to push them, during the coming election, to eliminate Third World debt.
In this first of two sold-out shows (the band returns tomorrow), U2 proved it can still be all things to all people, while remaining relevant, pushing its humanitarian agenda and putting on a helluva show.
Copyright © 2005 The Gazette (Montreal). All rights reserved.