It was threatening to rain tonight and once or twice it began to drizzle but in the end it held off right until the close of the show and, compared to Winnipeg, it even felt quite warm. Anyway, from the moment Bono greeted Edmonton as 'City of Champions' after Even Better Than The Real Thing', the forecast was always looking promising.
Or, as The Edmonton Journal put it, 'Under a partly cloudy Wednesday sky, and a 50-metre alien crustacean known as The Claw or The Spaceship, Bono and his boys took fans to new heights of excess, excitement and hockey hysteria at Commonwealth Stadium - 14 years after the band's last visit to Edmonton.'
The Fray got things off to a great start and it's been good having them join the tour which Bono thanked them for following Until The End of the World: 'Thanks to The Fray for getting the space station off the ground, this is their last show with us on the 360 Tour - Isaac, Joe, Ben and Dave - playing some great new songs, I think we might be guest support on their next tour...'
This being Canada, there was a serious sporting motif in the show tonight, references to ice hockey, rugby, American football and, er, hitchhiking... 'Edge and I used to play rugby,' remembered Bono. 'There's none of this dressing up as cars and crashing into people like in American Football. You play ice hockey...'
Judging by the reception to this innocent remark, they don't just play it here, they live it. 'You won what? The first game, of course you did. One game up!' As luck would have it, on his day off, Bono had picked up some firsthand experience of the local ice hockey team, The Edmonton Oilers. 'I like people who play ice hockey, they stop for hitchhikers, I know this from experience. I was hitchhiking in Vancouver yesterday, actually I was! And this guy and his girlfriend picked me up. He was cool, an ice hockey player, his name was Gilbert Brule as it happens, I'm so grateful I've decided I want to be Gilbert Brule.(*more below). Brule, being an Oiler, this led Bono to compare the rest of the band to Oilers. 'Larry is more like the Mark Messier of the band, the dude gave us our first and only job. 'On my left, the Grant Fuhr of this band, need I say more? On the bass Adam Clayton Jnr... 'On my right, now who might he be? He's kind of great, the Great One. Who am I talking about? The Wayne Gretzky of U2. On lead guitar - The Edge! 'What do you want to play The Edge?'
All I Want Is You gave way to Stay as 65,000 Canadian fans joined in word-for-word and ahead of Beautiful Day a girl arrived on stage to read lyrics from Heart of Gold by a Canadian rock'n'roll legend Neil Young and Bono ended the song by returning to it: 'Keep me searching for a heart of gold...'
Scarlet, Walk On and One were a celebration of Aung San Suu Kyi and the continuing campaign to free those imprisoned for their political views in Burma. Some of that light drizzle at the end of City of Blinding Lights gave us a snatch of Singing in the Rain but with Vertigo ('are you ready for lift-off?) this space station took off again and Edmonton was kissing the future.
Did we mention that the band were on fine form again tonight? Unusually the set list was pretty similar to the one in Winnipeg but tonight Moment of Surrender was back and with a special dedication to the survivors of the fire in the Alberta town of Slave Lake.
'I have some people here from Slave Lake I'd like to dedicate this song to. Whoever it is you want to hold in your hearts, hold them in your heart.'
Were you at the show in Edmonton tonight? Or have you picked up Bono while he's been hitchhicking in Canada? Add your own review and post your photos below.