Apr 6 2005
Los Angeles, CA, US / Staples Center
with Kings of Leon
Another song from the back pages returns for second night in Los Angeles.

U2 mixed it up again for the second Los Angeles show opening with City of Blinding Lights - which seems to be alternating to kick things off with Love and Peace - and pulling out a total surprise from the late '70's with The Ocean, which will leave younger fans racing home to check out an album called 'Boy'.

'We played a club here that was called The Country Club,' explained Bono, recalling one of U2's earliest visits to Los Angeles. Then, as now, they played Electric Co and with material from that era sounding as fresh as it does, speculation is rife (as they say) about what other surprises will make it into the set. According to one well-informed source, the band have not played The Ocean for 23 years.

You can check the set list below but here's some highlights.

For the second night running the show was heaving with faces you thought you knew. Actually, you didn't - you'd just seen them on a screen. Getting down to the groove tonight was, in no particular order, Jon Bon Jovi, Cyndi Crawford, John Cusack, P Diddy, Orlando Bloom, Quincy Jones, David Hasselhoff, Mick Fleetwood, Paul Oakenfold and Herbie Hancock.

When Bono rapped about Pope John Paul II he recalled that Quincy Jones ('here tonight') was with him when they met the Pope at his private summer residence in Rome in 1999 . He dedicated Miracle Drug ' to anyone who is very sick.'

The smoke clouds at either stage of the elipse stage were particulary effective in hosting the disembodied voice of the young woman reciting the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Coming at the end of Running to Stand Still, alleluiah's in the background, this is proving to bit of a spine-tingler as people break into applause with the words scrolling across the screen.

Very LA moment when Bono found himself chased along his own catwalk by a glamorous young woman who, in the spirit of Los Angeles, was clearly intent on impressing any agents in the audience.

A snatch of a Red Hot Chilli Peppers made it into the set, no doubt in homage to Flea of the Chilli's who was in the building. The previous night there was a snatch of Leonard Cohen - when he too was at the show.

Another 'moment' rapidly gaining momentum is the ONE( section, where the lights go down and the phones light up. As if he didn't have enough on his plate, Bono had been in Hollywood earlier in the day with Brad Pitt to launch a new public service announcement to fight poverty and AIDS.

'We're not just asking for people to put cash in the pot here. ' he told reporters. 'Americans are generous, we know they'll do that. We're not actually asking for their money, we're asking for their voice.'

More on this in the coming days but meantime, we are six shows in to Vertigo//2005, the set list is still changing but the band are getting into a new groove after three years off the road. Any day now, we'll be hosting a new area where you can post your own reviews of shows, but in the meantime if you've been to one of the opening shows on the US west coast, join the discussion and tell other fans what you think.

All Because Of You
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My First U2 Show ever
The electronic marquee on top of the spire outside Staples said "Tonight, the Biggest Band in the World: U2", and the boys lived up to the hype. I had been a fan since the 80's, but had become more and more avid around the time 'All That You Can't Leave Behind' came out. I had passed up the chance to see them on the Zoo TV Tour, and a debilitating illness had forced me to give up my ticket to the 'Elevation' tour. Healthy by the time the boys dropped '...Atomic Bomb', I was thrilled to see them. Two high points for me: "Cry / Electric Co.", and “New Year’s Day” (long my favorite U2 song – from as far back as high school). Additionally, I became somewhat choked up when Bono introduced “Miracle Drug” by dedicating it to “anyone who, tonight, is very sick”, as that had been me a few years earlier. Finally, as an ‘Entourage’ fan, I was tickled later down the road to find that U2 live footage used on the show had been shot at Staples the night I was there (“Hey! Johnny Drama! Feliz Cumpleanos, Amigo.”) Happy Birthday, indeed!
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