Opening Act(s): Kanye West
City Of Blinding Lights, Vertigo-She Loves You, Elevation, Gloria, I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For-In A Little While, Beautiful Day-Many Rivers To Cross, 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, Mysterious Ways, With Or Without You, Stuck In A Moment You Can't Get Out Of, Instant Karma!, Yahweh, 40.
Kanye West joins the tour for the first of his opening night slots, and Bono does a surprise introduction before West takes the stage. West admits to being nervous about opening for U2. During U2's set, Bono also adds a bit of West's hit 'Jesus Walks' during Beautiful Day and Sunday Bloody Sunday. But many in the crowd boo later in the show when Bono thanks West for opening tonight's show. U2 calls a fan on stage to play piano during Yahweh. The fan struggles a bit with the end of the song, but gets some vocal direction from Bono and hands-on help from The Edge and brings it to a nice close.
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
U2/Kanye West Sing From Heart
by Kevin C. Johnson
The Rolling Stones may be offering a bigger bang, but U2 remains the biggest band in the land. It's also the most important - and, possibly, the most self-important.
All of this was evident Wednesday night at Savvis Center, where the long-running Irish band - Bono (vocals), the Edge (guitar), Adam Clayton (bass) and Larry Mullen Jr. (drums) - performed its blowout of a show in front of a sold-out crowd of more than 18,000. Some fans began lining up outside Savvis the night before the concert to ensure a spot in the pit in front of the stage.
Opening for the band was one of the few artists who can match U2 in the self-importance category, Kanye West. Thankfully, in the case of both of these passionate artists, their music is potent enough that we're willing to indulge most anything.
A surprise appearance from Bono at the top of the evening kicked things off, as he introduced West in typically overblown, though not necessarily inaccurate, fashion. The controversial West, one of Grammy's top dogs when nominations were announced last week, nicely lacked a posse, dancers and other often unnecessary rap-concert conventions, keeping the focus squarely on himself as he performed songs from his "The College Dropout" and "Late Registration" CDs.
Flanked by a DJ and an all-female string section that sometimes overshadowed his vocals, West opened with the message-laden "Diamonds From Sierra Leone." "The New Workout Plan," "Touch the Sky" and "Heard 'Em Say" were among the early songs in his set. "Slow Jamz," "All Falls Down," "Through the Wire" and, of course, "Jesus Walks" and "Gold Digger" finished out an entertaining set.
West's performance was his first on U2's seemingly never-ending "Vertigo" tour. But when a tour is the year's biggest grosser, bringing in $260 million from 90 sell-out concerts, why end it?
From the opening moment of "City of Blinding Lights," amid a confetti shower, it was clear the band was out to thrill, and it's a testament to U2 that it's still able to deliver at this level. Though any real fan is familiar with the U2 live set, either through a past tour or the new concert DVD, the performance never felt stale or repetitive. Even the heavy proselytizing, both political and religious, was presented in ways that made it tolerable.
Bono and the boys still know how to put on a heck of a show - visually, vocally and musically - and at this point can probably mount a tour in their sleep. They remain amazingly on top of their game live, even without benefit of gigantic lemons. The show felt stripped down from past road treks, which sometimes leaped over the top from a production perspective.
U2 offered such staples as "Pride (in the Name of Love)," "Mysterious Ways" and "Where the Streets Have No Name," songs the band can never - and should not - escape. Some songs came in pairs: "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For" with "In a Little While," "Beautiful Day" with "Many Rivers to Cross" and "Sunday Bloody Sunday" with "Rock the Casbah." Future staples were worked in nicely, with the band performing "Love and Peace or Else," "Sometimes You Can't Make It on Your Own" and "Yahweh" from last year's "How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb," another Grammy favorite.
The two-hour show ended with band members exiting the stage one by one after John Lennon's "Instant Karma" (newly added to the set in honor of the recent 25th anniversary of his death), "Yahweh" and "40." And fans left feeling better for the experience.