14 July 2011
'City of the Love Train''City of the love train, where are you gonna take us tonight?
Where you gonna take us on this warm summer night?'
About four or five songs into the show in Philly tonight, Bono recalled that the band haven't been here for some time.
'It’s been a while since we visited this great city, the city of brotherly and sisterly love, the city of Philadelphia Eagles, the city of the Philadelphia Fliers, the city of Philadelphia cheese steaks…'
But where else would anyone want to be on a Thursday night in summertime? Nowhere as it turned out, but in this great city, 'where men would rather be hung for treason than give up on a crazy mad idea called America.
'That’s right - this is not just a country, its an idea, we love that.'
Everybody here loved the idea too.
'Wow! 'Thank you so much. Phil... A... Delphia!'
And as this remarkable journey which began way back in 2009 now heads into a final handful of shows, maybe the band too are sensing something special going on. Bono muses on what he calls 'a bond of unity' between 'this band and its audience.'
' It defies physical proximity, defies age, defies gravity... it's a special thing we've got going and we don't take it for granted.'
'What do you think Adam Clayton? Larry Mullen ? The Edge ?
'We're still a work in progress....'
'Still Haven't Found' becomes Stay, Beautiful Day and soon Philly is a City of Blinding Lights - a city home to some special people too, like the good folk of Clare Brothers, and like Bob Koch who's brought his 94 year old mother Eleanor to the show tonight.
Lights down and phones out for Moment of Surrender and 'one last thing we're going to do': a stadium-wide rendition of 'Happy Birthday to Madiba' - Nelson Mandela - 'this man means so much to us'.