Second and final night, O2 Arena, London, Wednesday October 24th, 2018
Set List Hello, Hello...'
A second great night in London and what a sound from another packed house when all four band members step out of the barricage and onto the e-stage for Elevation, Vertigo, 'Real Thing', Acrobat, 'Best Thing' and Summer of Love.
'Welcome to the experience of innocence. This is the chapter in our story called Vertigo, the moment where it all went to our head. What being a rock'n'roll star does to the mind of a young man...'
There aren't too many bands that can boast having forty years' experience, but this week saw U2 showcase their excellence as they returned to the O2 Arena for the second leg of their multi-million pound double-bill tour, Experience + Innocence. In 2017, fans were treated to the 30th anniversary of the 1987 album 'The Joshua Tree', which saw the band celebrate by playing stadia across America, Canada and Europe. However, the Experience + Innocence tour finds the four-piece Irish quartet return to the journey they began on the Innocence + Experience tour, which bowed out almost three years ago. Those lucky enough to have witnessed the first leg back in 2015 will remember the captivating transparent visuals of the arena-filling screen; which saw Bono literally immerse himself inside, allowing himself and the band to be creative and playful with perspective. Thankfully this was one of the many returning features for this leg; and the compelling double-stage setup, separated by a raised elongated cat-walk for their charismatic frontman to strut along was also a welcome return… The show opened with a song of darkness and despair as the "lights go out" for Blackout, the second song from their most recent studio album. Hope was then restored for Lights of Home before the exhilarating, yet simplistic, lyrics of I Will Follow allowed exuberant fans to passionately sing-a-long. After slowing things down for a while, the crowd were soon uplifted once again for the adrenaline-fuelled Elevation and Vertigo, before moving back to some of their lesser-known newer tracks. Although the previous Innocence & Experience tour recalled the death of Bono's mother in 'Iris', and explored growing up on the Glasevin, Co Dublin street 'Cedarwood Rood', it also allowed fans to reminisce in the nostalgic back catalogue of the band. And whereas this tour, and album, give an honest present-day reflection of the band's more mature wiser lifestyles, it's apparent that they are refusing to lean on nostalgia this time around. Instead they opt for songs that relay the typical messaging you would expect from a place of parenthood. You're the Best thing About Me and Get Out of Your Own Way almost offer a sense of honour, content and wisdom from the foursome, while there is an ongoing lyrical theme throughout the new album of darkness and light - possibly a true reflection of most family lives. This was never expected to be a greatest-hits show, but there was a sense of shared satisfaction when hearing a mere few of the classics in Pride (In the Name of Love), One, New Year's Day and a surprising choice of Acrobat (a song that has never been played in public before this tour)… Although the production is highly elaborate throughout, there were also some beautiful stripped-back moments, especially when The Edge and Bono joined together for a duo of Summer of Love, in a similar style to their performance of Every Breaking Wave in the first leg of the tour. Although they may receive judgement from their critics, U2 are a not a band that can easily avoid expectation from their fans. In fact, their ability to consistently exceed expectation is probably the main reason they are considered by many to be one of the greatest live bands of our generation.
On The Socials @iancnoble (via Twitter) 'This gig is insane - new levels for the greatest rock & roll band ever #U2eiTour #U2'
@atu2 (via Twitter) One (Invisible snippet) - dedicated to Brian Eno, Daniel Lanois and Flood - Love Is Bigger Than Anything In Its Way dedicated to @guyoseary and his wife Michelle who are celebrating 1st anniversary
@CatBUniKent (via twitter) Well that was some show #U2eiTour #U2 #onelove where the key messages were love, kindness, and unity
@ZooropR (via Twitter) U2 superb yet again tonight. Sitting behind the stage (with minimal visuals) made the show feel totally different to the day before. Hearing 6 songs from Achtung Baby both nights a real personal treat (my favourite album). A privilege to be there
What Did Bono / Macphisto Say? "I first slept with my Mrs in London… and there were thousands of witnesses! It was in Victoria Station… we slept on the floor in Victoria Station in this great city…"
"Four Irish boys who came to London, full of dreams about something. Something unknown, unforeseeable. Tonight the dream is still there. Tonight, you're IN the dream.. London… tonight we dare to believe…"
"Blessed is London… blessed are the people who keep us safe in London"
"Macphistos's back… and he hasn't lost the plot. In fact he's all fired up for a giant bonfire.. Guy Fawkes night. Tell me my little Cock-er-neys.. what vanities shall we heap up up on the bonfire.. shall we start with facts? What about journalists. Did you say experts burn… and how to set it alight… oh, thats easy. Just do nothing at all.. just sit back and watch it all combust."