Mexico City of Blinding Lights
'From Guadalajara to Monterrey/Cabo San Lucas, Acapulco Bay/A new world is in motion/ From the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean...' Beautiful Day got a lyrical makeover last night, to reflect the band's time in Mexico in the past year and from the dazzling epiphany of Blinding Lights to the moving benediction of 40, this was some show in Mexico City.
Right from the get go, people all around the top of this huge stadium were jumping and they were still pumped more than two hours later. Three shows in to the fourth leg of Vertigo '05/'06 and the band have found their stride. They barely took their foot off the pedal before Until The End of the World when Bono walked down to the front of the crowd to spray water over everyone. As New Year's Day rang out, Adam seemed to be swinging his bass into Bono, but then rolled off around the stage, the epitome of cool. Edge at piano and guitar was in total control and the huge audience sang 'Ole, ole, ole...'
'Muchos gracias Mexico
Thank you to The Secret Machines for opening the show,' said Bono, introducing Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For. 'This is for our friend Kirsty MacColl. Extraordinary woman, voice, wife, mother.
'Wanna thank all the people in Mexico who keep her memory alive. So this song is for Kirsty MacColl.'
The cameras were on stage tonight, second show in succession, and the band were using them more, playing with them, reacting to them. Something interesting is going on...but our lips are sealed, we'll bring you more on this in the coming days. As Beautiful Day arrived the new words appeared on screen, a literary and cultural acknowledgement to Mexico, reflecting some of the places the band have visited in recent times.
'See the world in red and green
Mexico city in a waking dream
From Guadalajara to Monterrey
Cabo San Lucas, Acapulco Bay
A new world is in motion
From the Atlantic to the Pacific ocean
See Cancun with a leaf in her mouth...
After the flood all the colours came out...'
'Sorry it took us so long to come back,' apologised Bono, at the close of the song. 'Mexico we love you
Mexico is a country of the future
U2 is the band of the future.'
And with that we were into a beautiful duet for Stuck In A Moment which led into 'Sometimes' ('para mi padre') in which the singer found the opera in him, eliciting a massive ovation. By now this show had achieved elevation and the night just flew past. New visuals from Willie Williams, Show Designer, were on view for Mysterious Ways with Edge and Adam grooving down the catwalk and 100,000 people lost in music. One young woman was pulled from the crowd to dance, offered a seat on Larry's drum riser and given a welcome drink: by the time With or Without You arrives, she was applying to become lead vocalist.
'We're going to try something new,' explained the singer, returning for a second bow and with that came the flamenco passion of Fast Cars. Didn't matter that most people had no previous experience of this track, they followed Larry's slamming style and that was enough - turned out to be a bit of a moment. We can do no better here in fact that close with an extract from Willie William's tour diary which he keeps for U2.Com Subscribers.
'Last night's set list was generally deemed a triumph so we tweaked it a little further, bravely including an unrehearsed Stuck in a Moment and Fast Cars. The latter received its finest rendition to date (according to me) which rounded out a great show.
'I couldn't believe how many cell phones there were in the building, and with most of the audience going for the double-fister - cell phone held high in one hand, cigarette lighter in the other - being in the centre of this high-sided stadium was more immersively beautiful than is possible to convey in a few lines.
'I love the way the audience 'flick' their lighters in this part of the world. They hold them up, then on the beat they 'flick' them to produce a momentary flame or spark. Seen from afar, this produces a wave of flashes, like expanding rings of ripples on a pond. Everyone flicks in time to the beat of the song as they hear it, so what you're seeing is the sound wave traveling through the stadium - lighting at the speed of sound.'
And you can't ask for more than that at a rock'n'roll show.