19 September 2005
More Blinding Lights in Toronto
Eddie Veder was on hand to help close a week of memorable shows in Toronto.
From the moment we kicked off with the dazzling City of Blinding Lights to the final 'how long' of '40', this was a Saturday night of celebration.
Who else can start a show with three top ten hits of the noughties - City of Blinding Lights, Vertigo and Elevation - and then soar into Electric Co and The Ocean, a pair of treasures from the 1970's ? Within minutes of the opening bars of tonight's show, the guitar man was soaring mystically around the elipse like a character from Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, eventually passing the singer who was ad-libbing 'People I don't know are trying to kill me.' (Note to trivia fans: a line from the recent self-penned charity single by long-time friend of the band Neil McCormick).
The thundering bass of Adam took the strain for The Ocean while, in near-darkness, Larry stopped the drums, as Beautiful Day kept the spell: 'Maple Leaf Ballroom right in front of you!'
Again Bono rapped enigmatically on the strange extra-terrestrial origins of the one they call The Edge before Miracle Drug was dedicated to a childrens hospital in Toronto. ' We got some nurses down the front there, we do like the nurses.'
No need to mention the volume levels of the Torontonians - they've been off the scale all week - and as Love and Peace signalled a sequence of songs which ricochet between the decades (but all sound as if they were written yesterday), there was a surprise or two still in store.
Danny Lanois was back with us tonight (that's four shows in four nights, such dedication) and also back on stage was director Lian Lunson, again shooting All Because of You and Fast Cars. As Danny came on stage for One, Bono thanked him 'for your guidance over so many years and your poetic spirit.' There was one more player for this band though - with Bono breaking into the lyrics of Old Man River, the band welcomed Eddie Veder of Pearl Jam on stage who took up the vocals while Bono watched from the side of the stage.
Returning after One, cellphones switched off again, could it be, surely not, yes it was... the unmistakeable chords of Discotheque, it's first airing since Elevation in 2001, but it hasn't been a regular since PopMart back in '97. Tonight it included a snatch of that '80's classic from Frankie Goes To Hollywood, 'Relax'. Willie Williams, on his final night of the current run, had come up with some suitably funkadelic visuals with the light curtains and suddenly we were all back in club Vertigo. At the end Bono dedicated Yahweh to Willie remarking that while he thought it was the end, in no way could he leave: 'It's like a priesthood!'