Los Angeles, Show Two April 24th, 2001 The Arrowhead Pond
How must Bono feel ?
To be giving his all on stage, night after night, and then to be confronted with a sign from a fan that reads, 'Dear Bono, I Love Larry.'
So cruel. Still, compensation in another sign, this one back from earlier in the week, 'St Bono'. And anyway the singer is not really unloved, as he observes in the introduction to The Sweetest Thing, 'Sing it up, my baby is in the house tonight...'
Actually the signage is becoming a bit of a tour feature if tonight is anything to go by: while the audience are singing along word-perfect to Angel Of Harlem, a girl at the front raises high her own Angel Of Harlem sign. Soon she is on stage with Bono, dancing at the tip of his heart.
'It pays to advertise....' as he remarks at the end of the song.
Difficult to assess the payment in store for those holding up another sign tonight, 'U2: The Female Orgasmatron'
For the second of U2's three sell-out shows at The Arrowhead Pond in Los Angeles tonight, Edge has his No.55 t-shirt back on again. Elvis (Costello) is in the building again - he was at the opening night in Miami - along with Joseph Kahn, who directed the Elevation 'Tomb Raider' video, Rick Rubin and Adam Sandler.
After Beautiful Day - in which Bono takes a red rose from a fan in the heart - comes The End Of The World, where singer and guitarist are locked in head to head contact on the heart walkway, taunting each other again as bull and matador.
Bono drapes an Irish flag over the piano during Sunday Bloody Sunday demanding to know 'What's the problem', 'What's the problem' in between sampling Bob Marley
'Piano playing, alright?' he asks, before introducing the band. 'Before we were called U2, we had a few other names but for a whole lunch break we were called The Larry Mullen Band...it still seems that way but he will never, ever be the singer in this band.'
That's cleared that one up then.
'Our first manager was not Paul McGuinness. We had cards printed with his name on, he hadn't got his bus fare but on these cards was printed Lord Adam Clayton, the poshest member of U2.'
And not forgetting.
'On my left hand side, stage right, the newest homeboy in LA, wearing 55, resident somewhere north of South Central, the toughest mind in U2, the Edge.'
In A Little ('We had Dee Dee Ramone down last night, we'll play this song for Joey Ramone...') then gives way to The Ground Beneath Her Feet.
'If you're from Dublins northside you can play two accoustic songs in a row
- this was written with us by the singer of the famous punk rock band The Salman Rushdies.'
For the duration of Bad Bono sings almost entirely to the audience at the back of the stage, reaching into the audience, not quite letting them touch him. When the band stop playing, he is walking, arms aloft, down the walkway to the point of the heart, while 20,000 people are asking 'How Long ?'
'My baby's gonna have a baby,' he tells anyone who is listening as The Fly, remade for Elevation 2001, opens up. He takes a silver cowboy hat from one fan in the heart (the girl of orgasmatron fame), puts it on, sucks his thumb and throws the hat back into the audience.
'Thank you to PJ Harvey and Bob Fisher for building this place.' he says, as Adam, Larry and Edge begin playing Walk On. 'Thank you Orange County, Thank you Los Angeles, Thank you, thank you...'
'Hallelujah,' he sings, 'Hallelujah....You're amazing, thank you and thanks for having us around all these years.'