Opening Act(s): Interpol
Even Better Than The Real Thing, The Fly, Mysterious Ways - Tryin' To Throw Your Arms Around The World, Until The End Of The World - Where Have All The Flowers Gone, I Will Follow, Get On Your Boots, I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For - The Promised Land, Stay (Faraway, So Close!), Beautiful Day - Space Oddity, Elevation, Pride (In The Name Of Love), Miss Sarajevo, Zooropa, City Of Blinding Lights, Vertigo, I'll Go Crazy If I Don't Go Crazy Tonight (Remix) - Discothèque - Psycho Killer - Life During Wartime, Sunday Bloody Sunday, Scarlet, Walk On - You'll Never Walk Alone. Encore(s): One, Will You Love Me Tomorrow - Where The Streets Have No Name, Hold Me Thrill Me Kiss Me Kill Me, With Or Without You, Moment Of Surrender - Rain.
U2 performs in front of 80,000 people at the Montreal Hippodrome. Right after "Get On Your Boots", while speaking French, Bono thanks the fans in attendance for their patience due to last year's cancelled shows. Towards the end of the concert, heavy rains break out and Bono sings a snippet of "Rain" to close out the show.
U2's Friday show in Montreal was awesome
By Bernard Perusse
MONTREAL - Every music writer wants to distance himself from words like "awesome" to avoid sounding like a teenage blogger.
But have you got a better word for a show big enough to bring in astronaut Mark Kelly of the International Space Station by video to greet the city, quote David Bowie's Space Oddity and take a verse of Beautiful Day?
Such was the way-larger-than-life event that was U2's 360 concert at the Hippodrome Friday night.
About a half-hour later than expected, the 167-foot-high stage structure they call The Claw sprang to life, having snoozed benignly over a politely received opening set of post-punk, mildly industrial rock by Interpol. Cellphones were held aloft and 80,000 people howled as U2 took the stage and kicked into the anthemic rocker Even Better Than the Real Thing.
And it kind of was.
Because this was more than just U2 playing for the fans. It was the very definition of rock spectacle, with video on a giant four-sided screen delivering perfect close-ups to all corners of the specially-built stadium and a sound system that acquitted itself quite well.
The group used every inch of its elaborate stage set-up. Moving bridges allowed group members to cross to an outer walkway where they played to all sides of the venue, all the way to the back seats. During Mysterious Ways, for example, Bono and guitarist The Edge -- whose stinging treble chords rang joyfully through the night -- worked different sections of the crowd and met for an encounter stage right. Meanwhile, bassist Adam Clayton faced the back. Drummer Larry Mullen Jr. had little choice but to stay anchored on the principal stage.
Sure, the outer stage setup allowed Bono to reach out, Messiah-like, to his people. But for all the "St. Bono" jibes that go around, there remains an astonishing positive energy that comes with a U2 concert. In many cases, the audience singalong is an irritant, but the sound of 80,000 taking part of a verse and the chorus on I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For transcends cliché. Similarly, a communally sang Pride (In the Name of Love) ended with the audience carrying on the song's wordless chant long after the group had stopped playing.
After riding the snaky guitar riff that drives Get On Your Boots, Bono thanked the crowd, in French, for its patience, referring to last year's cancelled shows that are being made up for this weekend.
As always, the sneaky song quotes were fun to catch: a bit of Where Have All the Flowers Gone during Until the End of the World, a couple of lines from The Promised Land at the End of I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For, a whistle of the Miss You riff at the end of Vertigo - which, along with Elevation showed that U2 can still cut it as a rock n' roll band.
An acoustic Stay, played by just Bono and the Edge also showed they can cut it as a roots act.
The concert demonstrated a wonderful use of motion and video that went some way toward fulfilling the group's promise to make the oversized venue intimate. And if a monsoon broke out at the end of the night, well, that was just awesome.
U2 performs again Saturday night at the Hippodrome.
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