'Couldn't quite play in time, sing in tune or write a song...'
'We're a band from the north side of the city,' explains the singer of U2, just as he did two decades ago. 'We're called U2, this is our first single, we hope you like it'
Out of Control begins as Bono introduces... 'on the bass Adam Clayton, on the drums Larry Mullen Jnr, on the guitar Edge'.
'This is our first single and, 17 years old, took a tape of this on a boat and a train from Dublin to London to talk to the record company men, tell them about our band, tell them about how we were gonna take over... just we couldn't quite play in time, sing in tune or write a song, but we were gonna take over, we were out of control, we were out of control, we were out of control, we were out of control (repeat)...'
'It's coming out on CBS at the end of next week,' adds Bono, lost in the late 1970's.
Stars and Stripes, Canadian and Irish flags perforate the audience tonight and special guests include Daniel Lanois - and family - and Willie Nile. 'Bono-fied rock'n'roll' reads the headline in next morning's Toronto Sun, praising 'arguably the biggest rock band in the world right now'.
'Just want to say hello to the folks,' says Bono, taking a breath after Sunday Bloody Sunday. 'Seeing as it's our first time in Hamilton, but it's not of course we've been to Hamilton many times but not playing a place like this but visiting good friends here, visiting the Lanois family who are here tonight. We would like to thank you for the loan of your son Daniel without whom, without whom the boast that you made when you were 17 years old would have meant very little, people like Daniel Lanois, Brian Eno and Steve Lillywhite.. 'This is a song about letting go of somebody you don't want to let go of, I thought I wrote this for my children but I think my father wrote it for me. He passed away Bob Hewson, a month or so ago and I still think of him every day...'
The song ends with a local lyrical flourish, 'When Willie Nile was a friend of mine...for you Willie.'
Word has obviously caught on about the possibilities for auditioning with U2 during the show and tonight one guy catches Bono's eye with his sign reading 'Me + guitar = People Get Ready' 'There's a man here who wants to play some guitar, you're not fucking me?' inquires Bono. 'I'm a worse guitar player than you, does that matter?' he replies. Bono: 'Where's the sign? (holds it up) It pays to advertise.' The fan begins playing and he was evidently right about his modest ability. Bono explains the chords. 'You can do it, you can do it, I believe in you... maybe play the drums as well as keep time and maybe you might take your brother to play the bass too, we can get there, we're going to get there, 'cos we have faith!'
Edge and Bono walk their new guitarist back to the main stage as Bono sings: 'People get ready, got a new guitar player, picking up chords from I don't where, faith is the key to keep the pistons running, don't need no guitar tune to get on board.' 'You know you can be crap at the guitar,' he tells him, 'Just don't be so tall...'
Then our hero of the night takes the vocal: 'People get ready when you don't know the lyrics, gotta make up the tune as you go along, this muscular memory you rock stars must have, you don't need a print out to know what's going on...'
Much applause as Bono sends him on his way with the judgement, 'One half of a rock star...' and then dedicates Staring At The Sun to him.
Centre stage for Bad, he reaches in to the fans and holds various hands, adding, at the close of the song,'I'm not a stranger in the hands of the maker, I'm not a stranger in the hands of the master... how long to sing this song...'
For Still Haven't Found, the stunning constellation projection makes an appearance, as Bono spots another sign reading, 'Our church'. He adds, 'This feels like a church to me...'
And there is a powerful new feature as One opens, the video screens at the back of the stage, scrolling down the names of people killed on September 11th. The opening verse of Peace on Earth introduces the closing number, Walk On.
What They Played:
Until The End Of The World
New Years Day
Out Of Control
Sunday Bloody Sunday
Stuck In A Moment You Can't Get Out Of
Angel Of Harlem
People Get Ready (With A Fan Taking The Stage For Guitar And Vocals)
Staring At The Sun
Where The Streets Have No Name
Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For
Pride (In The Name Of Love)
Bullet The Blue Sky
What's Going On
With Or Without You
Walk On (Introduced With Opening Verse Of Peace On Earth )