Returning to Indianapolis for their first stadium show in Indiana’s capital since the original Joshua Tree tour in 1987, the band celebrated the past and looked toward the future Sunday night in a jubilant show that included the first concert performance of their new single ‘You’re The Best Thing About Me’ from the forthcoming album ‘Songs of Experience.’ Indy is the birthplace of the Dalton Brothers—U2’s country-western alter ego, which made their world debut during their 1987 tour stop—a fond memory the band mentioned several times throughout the evening. The new song, greeted enthusiastically by the Midwestern audience, replaced ‘Mysterious Ways’ in the encore, which ended with ‘One.’
Social Posts @austinhostetter: ‘There are concerts and there are experiences. Tonight was the latter. #U2TheJoshuaTree2017 #Indy’
@matalanomartin: ‘U2 were fantastic tonight in Indy. It was a genuinely beautiful & unexpectedly emotional show. More than a concert. #U2TheJoshuaTree2017’
‘You're the best thing about me/I'm the kind of trouble that you enjoy…’
‘Tonight we want to do the song that we’ve never played in front of our audience before,’ Bono said introducing YTBTAM to the roaring crowd. ‘It’s a proper rock ‘n’ roll 45, like what they used to do…big melody, write a song, tell the woman next to you that you love her and are terrified of losing her.’
Bono later shared with the audience a story about the inspiration for the new song: ‘It’s a song, I might tell you, written about a dream I had—a nightmare, really—where I woke up in a strange house and my wife and my kids had left me. Or I had left them.’ When he awoke, shaken by the nightmare, he said, ‘I told my darling wife Ali and she just laughed at me. She said, ‘It’s OK. I’m not going anywhere. You’re not going anywhere. And if you wanted to find the door, you wouldn’t even know where it was, wouldja?’
As the song finished, Bono polled the room: ‘Do ya like this’ he asked. ‘Was that alright?’ The crowd in the stadium answered in thunderous applause, while fans took to social media to rave about the new song’s concert debut online:
@theboyonthebike: ‘Never seen a band play with more fire. The live show debut of You’re the Best Thing About Me was pure exhilaration! #U2TheJoshuaTreeTour201’
@srj68: ‘Well, that sounded fantastic. Definitely ready for prime time. You're The Best Thing About Me. #U2
@girlindc said: ‘I’ve been listening to ‘You’re The Best Thing About Me’ nonstop—but hearing it live is something else. Wow. @U2 #U2TheJoshuaTree2017’
What (else) did Bono Say? ‘Shooting off my mouth/That's another great thing about me…’ Bono mentioned The Dalton Brothers a number of times during the show in Indianapolis where, on Nov. 1, 1987, Alton (Bono), Luke (Edge), Duke (Larry,) and Betty (Adam in drag) made their world debut and one of only three live concert appearances. ‘You were there?’ Bono said to an audience member who had, evidently, been present for the ’87 Dalton debut. ‘Were you changed by the experience of the Dalton Brothers? So were we.’ After ‘You’re The Best Thing About Me’ the he quipped, ‘For those of you who haven’t heard The Dalton Brothers, you’re not missing anything, but we looked great! Especially Betty Dalton.’
Early in the show, Bono quoted one of Indianapolis’ most famous sons, the late writer Kurt Vonnegut, to describe his vision for the evening: ‘I want to stay as close to the edge as I can without going over.’
Hearkening back to another significant moment in Indy’s history, in his introduction to ‘Pride (In the Name of Love)’ Bono quoted part of a speech the late Robert F. Kennedy delivered in the Indiana city on the night of April 4, 1968, hours after Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., was assassinated: ‘What we need in the United States is love, and wisdom, and compassion—a compassion toward one another.
During his introduction to One, Bono gave a shout out to NASA Astronaut R. Shane Kimbrough, former commander of the International Space Station, who was in the audience.
Other Noteworthy stuff: Two Indiana Hoosier ‘she-roes’ were featured Sunday among the ‘luminous icons’ of the HERSTORY installation: Madam CJ Walker, the African-American entrepreneur and socio-political activist heralded as the first self-made female millionaire through her empire of women’s hair care products; and Mari Evans, the poet and author perhaps best known for her poetry collection I Am a Black Woman. Evans died March 10 in Indianapolis at the age of 97.
Review from the Indianapolis Star 'U2 vocalist Bono asked Sunday's crowd at Lucas Oil Stadium to support and "hold up" his band as a type of invocation for the show celebrating the 30th anniversary of "The Joshua Tree" album and tour. But the Irish quartet led by example, delivering a two-hour musical pep talk for the United States.
Thinking locally, U2 showcased some of the best things about Indianapolis — things Hoosiers may undervalue or not even know about. Bono mapped out his plan for the evening by referencing a quote by Indianapolis native Kurt Vonnegut. In his 1952 novel "Player Piano," Vonnegut wrote, "I want to stay as close on the edge as I can without going over. Out on the edge you see all kinds of things you can't see from the center."
Review on U2.com mukundsrinivasan: 'Maan the show was mind boggling. Bucket list show - flew down a long long way from Dubai just to do this show and well worth it all. Great to hear the music that a generation grew up around and also to hear the passionate views regarding dreamers, women's empowerment, Trump and his follies. All in al superb venue, great sound, awesome videos.'