Opening Act(s): Jay-Z
Return Of The Stingray Guitar, Beautiful Day - In My Life, I Will Follow, Get On Your Boots, Magnificent, Mysterious Ways - Rain, Elevation, Until The End Of The World, I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For - Stand By Me, North Star, Pride (In The Name Of Love), In A Little While, Miss Sarajevo, City Of Blinding Lights, Vertigo - Thunderstruck, I’ll Go Crazy If I Don’t Go Crazy Tonight (Remix) - Two Tribes, Sunday Bloody Sunday, Scarlet, Walk On - You’ll Never Walk Alone. Encore(s): One, Dear Prudence - Where The Streets Have No Name, Ultra Violet (Light My Way), With Or Without You, Moment Of Surrender.
On John Lennon’s 30th anniversary of his assassination, Bono pays tribute to the Beatle during “Stand By Me”, “Pride” and “Dear Prudence”. Bono tells the crowd that he was happy to be back in “Bris-Vegas”, alluding to all the royal treatment the city has given U2 over the years. Kevin Rudd, the Australian Foreign Affairs Minister is also in attendance. “North Star” is also performed for the first time on the 4th leg of the U2 360 Tour.
U2 fans find what they are looking for
by Dan Nancarrow
Reviewer Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Did all these people pay to see a rock concert or a science fiction movie?
After an initial glance at Suncorp Stadium last night you could be forgiven for thinking the latter - half the stadium was filled with a monstrous production rig resembling something out of War of the Worlds.
Fears of a full-blown sci-fi convention soon took over as the band hit the stage with David Bowie’s Space Oddity blasting over the speakers. Advertisement: Story continues below
But any thoughts that U2’s mind might not be on the here-and-now were quickly erased as the band launched into their anthem for living in the moment All that You Can’t Leave Behind’s Beautiful Day.
It was an inspired start and one that got the crowd on side early, the audience a slave to Bono’s every thrust and fist pump.
Bono ended the song by trailing off into a short take of In My Life - a nod to the 30th anniversary of John Lennon’s death, on this very day three decades ago.
By the end of the night he had sung snippets of Rain, Dear Prudence, All You Need is Love and Stand by Me as well as replaced the lyrics to the band’s ode to Martin Luther King, Pride (In the name of love) to honor the slain Beatle - “1980, December 8, A shot rings out in a New York sky…”.
It was a touching moment and a reminder Bono is capable of shining the spotlight on others with as much intensity as he hogs it for himself.
When he does grab the crowd’s attention he has them in the palm of his hand, hamming it up along the band’s circular runway, mugging for the camera, taking photos of audiences members on their phones, as well as dragging one lucky woman up on stage to dance with, sing to and lean his head on her lap.
He even delivered a nod to Brisbane’s suburbs before one track, name-checking West End, the Valley and Paddington.
With any stadium show there are plenty of distractions and U2 360° had distractions like few others - the massive 72-foot screen pumps out fluid animation synchronised with the live sound and the light show on stage is truly awesome.
But there was little danger the decadent stage - what Bono affectionately referred to as “the spaceship” - would steal the show.
What mechanical monstrosity could overshadow a set list which contained flawless takes of Where the Streets Have No Name, City of Blinding Lights, Walk On, I Will Follow and Mysterious Ways?
No Line on the Horizon is the band’s commercially under-looked new album and two of its finest cuts were on show last night - Magnificent and Moment of Surrender.
Both tracks seamlessly fitted in with the classic material, a fact which hopefully inspires more fans to give the record another listen.
Miss Sarajevo was a heart-wrenching highlight, Bono tastefully handling Luciano Pavarotti’s operatic bridge, while In a Little While was heart-warmingly sweet, especially with footage of an astronaut from the International Space Station singing the lyric about a man taking a rocket ship into the sky at the songs climax.
An unreleased song, North Star, received an airing but the most obscure choice of the night was a brief run through October’s Rejoice as Bono paid tribute to recently released Burmese political prisoner Aung San Suu Kyi.
With representatives of Amnesty International walking candles out on to the stage, Bono made it clear he would not be rejoicing for long with more than 2000 political prisoners still detained in the country.
Following a short break Bono returned to a darkened stage looking like an extra from Tron.
Wearing a laser suit with a bright red glowing microphone, he led the band through one of Achtung Baby’s finest cuts which previously had little more than a brief live outing on the Zoo TV tour - Ultraviolet (Light My Way).
They followed with crowd favourite With or Without You which had the audience singing like an English football crowd before the band said their goodnights to the strains of Elton John’s Rocket Man.
The spaceship had landed but it was a typically life-affirming and out-of-this-world flight.
© 2010 Brisbane Times
Photos by Michelle Smith