Just two of the elements in a cracking opening night in Denver, Colarado.
Wow can this Denver crowd make some noise!
Maybe it's because the band are getting so physical with their show but from the moment Love and Peace ignites the proceedings tonight. the Ellipse is more like a mosh pit, fans going spare from the opening chords.
"Here's where it all started for us," explains Bono, finally taking a moment's breath after Elevation , before applying his lips gingerly with some lipstick during Electric Co. (Aren't some fans generous... they think of everything!)
'Look at the people standing behind you,π he indicates as Beautiful Day lights up the Pepsi Centre and the audience behind the stage≠ rapidly discovering these are among the best seats in the house ≠ lights up in recognition.
"See the hailstorms," he adds, referencing the sensational weather that greeted U2's arrival in the city.
Already, it was turning into a great show.
No wonder Mark Brown of the Rocky Mountain News called it 'yet another triumph in a string of memorable Denver shows dating back nearly a quarter century - a heritage Bono himself recalled onstage, introducing Electric Co. with the comment, "We played this in a club called The Rainbow a few years ago."
With the big screens showing better than ever the growing vocal contribution of Larry, notably on Elevation and Miracle Drug, perhaps the biggest cheer of the night was the local one - as Bono sang 'under a blood red sky' in New Year's Day. As everyone seemed to cheer the local reference. suddenly there are girls on shoulders all over the place, and we might be in an open air stadium twenty years ago!
'Sometimes You Can't Make It on Your Own took its place with the best of U2's soaring ballads. The rush from the coupling of the newer songs City of Blinding Lights with Beautiful Day was only exceeded by the crushing midset oldies combo of New Year's Day/Sunday Bloody Sunday/Bullet the Blue Sky.
Yet it had nothing like the feeling of greatest hits, as The Edge managed to find new ways to chop at his guitar strings in Sunday Bloody Sunday and stood the guitar solo on its head in a deconstructed Bullet the Blue Sky.'
For the 'One' sequence, it seems like everyone gets their phones out to text their digital sign-up details to the anti-poverty campaign.
'Lets say No to stupid poverty,' suggests the singer, explaining that 'stupid is kids dying for lack of a twenty cent immunisation. 'History will make this look ridiculous...We're not looking for your money we're looking for your voice.'
And out come the phones, illuminating the arena like candles in the dark.
'You look beautiful with your cellphones out !'
And we cannot let the evening pass without reference to Dallas Schoo, legendary assistant to Mr The Edge and tonight in his hometown -basking in the local admiration.
A great show and a great night.
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