Opening Act(s): Kanye West
City Of Blinding Lights, Vertigo-She Loves You, Elevation, I Will Follow, I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For-In A Little While, Beautiful Day-Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, 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-All I Want Is You. Encore(s): Until The End Of The World, Mysterious Ways, With Or Without You, Stuck In A Moment You Can't Get Out Of, Crumbs From Your Table, Yahweh, 40.
U2 perform in Nebraska for the first time ever. With no club dates in Omaha from 25 years ago to talk about, Bono instead chants 'Oh, Nebraska' early in the show. Bono sings a bit of 'Jesus Walks' during Vertigo.
U2 rocks Omaha with atomic force
by Niz Proskocil, Omaha World-Herald
With passion and precision, U2 delivered an exhilarating concert that transcended entertainment.
During the Irish rock band's sold-out performance Thursday night at the Qwest Center Omaha, the arena took on the reverence of a worship service and, at times, the urgency of a human-rights rally.
Before a crowd of more than 16,000 fans, the band used its music to convey compassion, hope, tolerance and spirituality during a jubilant two hour and 20-minute performance.
The veteran rockers stopped in Omaha as part of the third leg of the band's "Vertigo" tour, which has grossed $260 million and was recently named the year's top-grossing tour by Billboard magazine.
The concert started with a 40-minute set from confident, charismatic rapper-producer Kanye West.
Accompanied by an all-female, six-piece string section, a harpist and a turntablist, West delivered an entertaining set of songs from his latest album, "Late Registration," and his Grammy-winning debut, 2004's "The College Dropout."
About 9:25 p.m., U2 took the stage as confetti rained from the rafters. The band opened with "City of Blinding Lights" and "Vertigo" from its latest album, 2004's "How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb."
The opening numbers, and the rest of the set, for that matter, generated deafening cheers, enormous applause and lots of crowd participation.
"I don't know why we don't come down to these parts more often," Bono told to the crowd. "Thank you for giving us a great life."
Though the Omaha show was the band's third-to-last concert of a North American tour that began in March, band members showed no signs of wear.
Frontman Bono commanded the stage with his powerful lyrics and rock-star charisma. Guitarist the Edge laid down one searing riff after another. Drummer Larry Mullen Jr. and bassist Adam Clayton provided solid, muscular rhythms.
The show was a visually stunning production with retractable curtains of beaded lights that flashed images during certain songs. Other cool elements included the "ellipse," an oval-shaped ramp that served as a catwalk for band members and enclosed several hundred lucky fans on the arena floor.
The set list featured a nice mix of old and new songs. For old-school fans, there were classics like "I Will Follow" from 1980. Newer cuts included "Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own," which Bono dedicated to his late father, Bob Hewson.
He dedicated "Original of the Species" to Omahan Susie Buffett, who serves on the board of his DATA organization (Debt, AIDS, Trade, Africa).
An outspoken political and social activist, during the opening notes of "Sunday Bloody Sunday," Bono exclaimed: "This is your song now, America."
During the chills-inducing performance, he pulled a young girl on stage with him to help him chant "No more!" over and over again. He also told the audience that "we must not become a monster in order to defeat a monster."
The band then launched into an explosive version of "Bullet the Blue Sky," in which Bono pulled a white bandanna with the words "coexist" over his eyes, fell to his knees and put his hands over his head like a prisoner of war.
Before the anthem "One," Bono asked crowd members to hold up their cell phones, which lit the arena with thousands of blue-tinted screens. He encouraged fans to join his ONE Campaign to combat AIDS and end poverty.
After a short break, the band returned for two encores. Among the highlights of the first encore was "With or Without You." Bono plucked a young woman from the crowd, then danced with and embraced her onstage throughout the song.
U2 proved that the band hasn't lost its ability to take fans on an awe-inspiring, musical journey.
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