POPMART Leg 1: 1997, North America

Jul
23
2011

'And The Band Played On...'

5
23 July 2011
'And The Band Played On...'
Minneapolis.  Show day.

Amy, Amy, Amy… how very sad to wake up to the news that Amy Winehouse has been found dead in her home.  It’s such a waste of an astonishing, original talent and hard to comprehend that she had no-one to look after her. I appreciate that addiction is an impossibly difficult beast, aggravated a thousandfold by the addition of wealth, fame and press reporters camped outside the front door, but all the same…  Her influence is everywhere (there’s barely a young woman singing now who hasn’t affected something of the Winehouse posture) so she will stay with us, but a legacy of just two records leaves us feeling more than a little short-changed.

Today’s Minneapolis trip was the longest show-day commute that we’ll face, with close to a three-hour flight each way. We’d heard rumours that this would be a wet one but on arrival the skies were clear, if a tad on the muggy side. By show time the sky was threatening but with no hint of the pyrotechnics to come.

A small sprinkle of rain during Until the End of the World preceded some impressive sheet lightning during Still Haven’t Found, with a mighty wind blowing up during Beautiful Day and the heavens finally opening during Elevation. By Zooropa there was ‘proper rain’, as they say where I come from.  It came down so hard that the stadium seemed to be full of steam and boiling vapour, the air solid with water and massive drops smacking the stage then bouncing knee high. It was utterly apocalyptic and I have to tell you, it looked absolutely fantastic. The light bursting through the fully-open screen, the massive noise and the TV freak-out images all going full tilt whilst engulfed in this elemental carnage, turned Zooropa and City of Blinding Lights into a Sensurround meltdown, the like of which I’ve never seen. By Discotheque complete environmental chaos had descended. The band members were all out on the far runways in the torrential rain whilst about thirty people swarmed the stage, swabbing, bailing and battening down the hatches, as the crowd went nuts all around. A giant acid-rave going off during a stadium-wide shipwreck - and the band played on!

The monsoon abated somewhere around Walk On, so at least the volunteers carrying the Amnesty lights didn’t have to swim out to their positions. Some very impressive thunder and lightning accompanied One, which added a whole new dimension to the song (and is an effect I might consider for the next tour). From my position of comparative undercover comfort in the crow’s nest, I could see that band and audience alike were exhausted yet wildly exhilarated by Mother Nature’s contribution to the evening’s special effects. How to say thank you for such a thrilling display?  Over the long intro to Streets Bono found himself singing “Purple Rain, Purple Rain… I only want to see you laughing in the Purple Rain…”  And laugh we did, being Minneapolis and all. 

Overall, we’ve not done too badly for rain-shows on this tour.  Zurich night 2 holds the duration record, Moscow had the best lightning and Glastonbury the most insidious rising damp, but nothing comes close to the brief spectacle of the “Disco on the Titanic” that Minneapolis threw at us tonight.  I won’t forget that one in a hurry.

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COMMENTS

5
Jylppy
09 August, 2011
Jylppy
What at night it was ! It was a really proper rain indeed ! We flyed from Finland (!) to see U360 east rutherford and U2360 minniapolis - if NJ was HOT, was the Minniapolis WET - and it was a concert not to forget !!! Unbeliavable that band played and all technic work as time to time it rain so hard that it was difficult to see anything behind eye glasses - I was so wet that couldnt be any wetter - and I just love that night ! It was magnificent - I would really like to feel that again. Thank you Willy for diary and I really hope to see U2 on tour soon again as I did not had enough ;o) ! Take care !
greydogblues
05 August, 2011
wet and wonderful!!
5th show in a month, and so happy i made the trip from CA. the rain just made it so much fun... hard to explain. it bonded everyone together for a night we would not let drown in complaints. so memorable. wonderful people all around, too.
bonohot
31 July, 2011
minneapolis
Keep watching videos from this show ....the rain ,the thunder and lightening ,U2 and 60,000 fans..a night I will remember FOREVER...wet undies and all....oh yea wet money ....screwed up wet phone ....1.5 hour wait for a cab...WHAT A BLAST...
enigmatic2
31 July, 2011
All the best shows involve torrential ra
I was at Brussels 2, another rainy one, and it was surreal to say the least. Band and audience got absolutely drenched, but it was by far my favourite show of the three I saw.
thatotherperson
30 July, 2011
incredible!!
Wow, would have loved to have seen that all in person....well, aside from the solid drenching that would have accompanied it.... hehe
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