Opening Night in Belgium 'Remember Us? It's been a while...' First of two in Antwerp.
'Hello. Remember us? It’s been a while. We didn't intend to be away for so long. We got lost in our songs but somehow we've found our way back to Antwerp. To this small perfectly formed country of Belgium.
'We come from a small but perfectly formed country too and for the next few songs, we'd like to take you to our hometown, to the Northside of Dublin where myself and my bandmates are from because there's a part of us that's still there...'
It has been a while - almost a decade and a half since the band last played Antwerp, on the Elevation Tour in 2001. But if the temperature has fallen outside, with the journey from sunny Barcelona to chilly autumnal Antwerp, it was cooking inside the Sportpalais.
As BalazsHorvath put it, the first to post a comment on the show afterwards, 'Amazing night in Antwerp! Great set, good energies, wonderful sounds, voices, and visuals. This was my 5th U2 show and the 1st for my 17 year old son...'
The arena was packed, might have been the biggest capacity of the venues we've played this year, and the Belgians were well up for it. Technically it was a Tuesday night but as @SilRigote put it on Twitter, 'I love how it is always Friday or Saturday for Bono...'
The folks of @atu2 don't miss a trick, observing last night that 'at the start of Even Better Than The Real Thing Bono tells people to put their hands in the sky to feel the heartbeat of Innocence... ...and when the band exits the screen to the e-stage, it's feel the heartbeat of experience? Nice shift.'
More and more people online signing up for the Meerkat experience and this time Helen was up on stage (see video) to send Elevation around the world. 'Antwerp goes global' as @FabienneMartens put it.
Sweetest Thing was in the mix last night ('not bad for a two fingered piano player') before Every Breaking Wave took us into the special European sequence of tracks opening with October.
A beautiful little girl found herself centre stage for City of Blinding Lights - she knew the words and got to sit on the drum riser, the best seat in the house. 'See the world in green and blue - here's Lianna right in front of you...'
And Paul Simon's Mother and Child was dedicated to a beautiful new mother and her beautiful new daughter. 'I wanna dedicate this song to a strong, beautiful woman... who's always been our mother.. but just until the last hours she hadn't got a child.. the child's name is Grace... this is for you.... this is a Paul Simon song, we're stealing it to tell the tale...'