Everybody was feeling grateful at last night's final show of 2005: the fans with their signs around the venue; Bono thanking Edge, Larry and Adam as well as management and crew; Edge thanking Bono; and the crew themselves, who came on stage and stretched out around the ellipse wearing t-shirts which read 'The U2 crew would like to thank Bono, Edge, Larry and Adam for a great 2005.'
It was one of those unforgettable tour moments, one we'll talk about for years to come: as the familiar opening bars of Elevation arrived thousands of fans, standing and seated, raised banners reading 'Thank You'. It was pretty obvious that the band were touched:' No! Thank YOU!' said Bono in response.
A night of gratitude all round - what great fans U2 have, no-one comes even close!
Plenty of highlights from the show too, including a soaring Miss Sarajevo ('A beautiful city above the sea, a capital of CoeXisT') where it seemed like this was the loudest American audience of the year - and there have been some pretty deafening nights. The ellipse seemed to be fuller than ever and the cellphone Christmas tree for One was glittering as bright as any tree in any home. Thousands more people signed up to the ONE Campaign and it prompted Bono to thank Paul Allen of Microsoft and 'the Nike people... doing great things in Africa.'
'Let's celebrate John Lennon!' announced the singer as U2 broke into Instant Karma. Who could have predicted nine months ago that this track should have turned into such a highlight ? After that Bono is reciting, with thanks, name after name of members of U2's crew and management.. and still reciting them, even as he is wandering off stage.
Returning and still giving thanks, Bono shakes champagne over the audience as the band break into a celebratory Until the End of the World before heading into a very groovy Mysterious Ways - with Edge and Adam heading out down the ellipse. Two girls find their way on stage and both can dance. Bono, meanwhile, is still reeling out the names of crew members. At which point, the crew themselves start arriving on stage for the final encore - wearing their thanks on their shirts. Great to see the band follow them out and applauding them for their work.
Vertigo '05 comes to a psalmic close with Yahweh and 40. Enough said. (For now)