14 December 2010
'Something Special'Sydney. Show 2.
I woke up to a view of the opera house thronged with people (even more so than usual) as Oprah Winfrey was recording her TV show there. The highlight of this was Hugh Jackman arriving on a €˜flying fox€™ aerial runway cable and smacking straight into the back wall of the stage. The happy fact that he got away with just a scratch makes it hilarious rather than tragic, but if you watch the YouTube coverage the Kool-Aid insanity of the proposition becomes abundantly clear.
I realise that in writing, it can be a little fatuous to compare one gig to another or even to try to write about the shows in any detail, but I€™ll admit that I was quite taken by surprise during tonight€™s show. Perhaps I was expecting it to be an anti-climax after last night€™s opening triumph (and stellar reviews, by the way) but there was at least one moment that I felt was unique for this whole tour so far. Having rehearsed it yesterday, the band were up for playing the All I Want is You / Love Rescue Me double-punch. The killer blow though was Bono introducing it by talking about U2€™s history with Sydney, and about having made a film here with Richard Lowenstein called LoveTown. This is where we were mostly based for the LoveTown tour in 1989, a tour that was broadly in support of the Rattle & Hum album. To follow this with three songs from Rattle & Hum (Pride being the third) made it a wonderfully bespoke celebration and the audience were fully aware that this was genuinely something special, put together for this night. The band tentatively picking their way through Love Rescue Me had a vulnerable fragility about it - I guess you had to be there, but there was an atmosphere in the place I haven€™t often felt before.