Opening Act(s): Institute
City Of Blinding Lights, Vertigo, Elevation, Gloria, The Ocean, 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-Help. Encore(s): Until The End Of The World, Mysterious Ways, With Or Without You, Stuck In A Moment You Can't Get Out Of, Instant Karma!, Yahweh, 40.
U2's plane doesn't arrive in Buffalo until 7:30 pm (three hours late) thanks to a snowstorm in Boston that had closed the airport there temporarily this afternoon. The show goes on, and Bono again includes several reference to John Lennon on the day after the 25th anniversary of his death. He mentions that U2 were playing in Buffalo the night of Lennon's murder.
Democrat and Chronicle
U2 concert embraces you, too
by Jeff Spevak
I don't know if I can do justice to the opening moments of U2 at Buffalo's HSBC Arena Friday night. But I'm paid to try.
First, set the stage: An oval ramp covering one half of the arena floor, with the stage set inside one edge, and a couple of hundred fans holding randomly marked tickets escorted inside the oval for an intimate experience with the band.
Nineteen-thousand fans in the darkened, sold-out arena, their presence betrayed by the flicker of blue cell-phone screens, unleashed an unearthly howl. Guitarist The Edge walked out, playing one of his familiar, chiming riffs, drummer Larry Mullen Jr., and bassist Adam Clayton took their places, vast curtains of shimmering lights were lowered, red-and-silver confetti fell from the ceiling and lead singer Bono emerged from beneath the far end of the ramp for the opening "City of Blinding Lights": "Oh, you look so beautiful!" That led straight to "Vertigo," from the latest album, How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb, with red light patterns bouncing off the curtains as the crowd sang along.
Right there, that $165 ticket had paid for itself in pent-up anxieties and frustrations flung to the rafters. The final encores, including an arena-rattling "With or Without You," and acoustic "Stuck in a Moment You Can't Get Out Of," were too sweet for these words
Friday night, we got the ultimate U2 mix tape in a stunning and inspired performance.
Midway through the show was a prime example of how to dismantle an atomic bomb: A brilliantly conceived anti-war set of old U2, opening with "Sunday Bloody Sunday," then "Bullet the Blue Sky," with Bono tacking on, "When Johnny comes marching home again, hurrah, hurrah." I believe the line he improvised at the end was "Johnny stay home," before dedicating the song to the men and women of the U.S. military.
The ballad "Miss Sarajevo," with Bono tackling the Pavarotti parts with gusto, led to a woman reading the Geneva Convention as the words scrolled across huge video screens. "Pride in the Name of Love," with Bono making a reference to peace and John Lennon, before the anti-war set was brought home with "Streets With No Name."
Bono turned to Lennon throughout the night, noting that his murder 25 years ago coincided with the Irish band's first trip to America: Bono said he was playing a video game before the band was to play a show at a Buffalo club when he learned about the tragedy in New York City.
"He whispered things in our ear that have brought us to where we are now," Bono said of Lennon, setting up "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For," then "Beautiful Day." He broke in to describe a scene of a 12-year-old kid in his bedroom, listening to the Beatles: "We're Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band," he sang.
With encores that included "Instant Karma," Lennon does live. U2 was Instant Karma in Lennon's name Friday night, doing what a great band does: Embracing people and urging them to come together.