'It was 22 years ago today, that one of your country’s brightest lights went dark… he was a light for me… he was a light for a lot of us…. And tonight some of his loved ones are here… Can we have a moment in the dark to shine our lights for Michael Hutchence? Great singer, fine man…'
In Michael's memory, tonight ‘Bad' made room to include INXS's 'Never Tear Us Apart' while, late in the show, and, for the first time since 2015, a poignant 'Stuck In A Moment You Can't Get Out Of'.
Another memorable set from Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds was enough to send the early evening rain off for the night, although the capacity crowd at the Sydney Cricket Ground still got to hear an impromptu rendition of Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head. Edge recalled the benefits of cash payments during his time with The Drifting Cowboys while Larry discussed the difference between foxtrot and waltz.
IN THE PRESS Cathy MacCabe for Australian Daily Telegraph : 'A sellout crowd was on hand as the Irish rockers turned the Sydney Cricket Ground into a cathedral of rock last night. After the much-needed rain, comes the rock gods and some tears. U2 opened their only two-night stand on the Joshua Tree tour of Australia at the hallowed SCG and quickly got down to the business of elevating it as a cathedral of rock. “Thank you to the rain ... it's a precursor to an epic night of rock'n'roll,” Bono said after a unifying three-song launch of Sunday Bloody Sunday, I Will Follow and New Year's Day. The frontman was clearly emotional as he, The Edge, Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen Jr dedicated the triumphant Bad to their good mate Michael Hutchence to mark the 22nd anniversary of the death of the INXS frontman in Sydney. Encouraging fans to join the tribute mid-song, he segued into Never Tear Us Apart as the sold out SCG crowd shone their camera torches in tribute….'
George Palathingal for Sydney Morning Herald : 'Australia, count your blessings. Not just because the world's biggest rock band are touring but because U2 are here with their Joshua Tree show… U2's first smart move was to open the show with all four members performing on a runway deep into the crowd, without using the enormous screen behind them – so we were at first made to watch the band rather than the spectacle… Here's Larry Mullen jnr, pounding out the righteous march of Sunday Bloody Sunday. There's Adam Clayton with the first of many simple but iconic bass lines (New Year's Day). And then Bad, with its aching heart given added poignancy as singer Bono points out this day was the anniversary of his friend Michael Hutchence's death, and so tries to fit INXS's Never Tear Us Apart to its melody… The spectacle soon followed, inevitably, with The Joshua Tree beautifully mounted with Anton Corbijn's evocative visuals providing the backdrop as the band played it in order in its entirety….'
ON THE SOCIALS
Twitter. @paulcochrane : 'It takes a fuckin good album to be able to release it and then play it to sell out venues world wide 32 years later. Bravo @U2'
@gregoryjclarke 'I can hear the concert from my backyard in Botany Bay! 'Run like a river to the sea'
@maxtsukino 'I am still enchanted / by the light you brought to me... this may be one of the most beautiful tributes to a friend, ever...'
Facebook. Maria Lowenstein : 'First time to see the boys, brilliance comes to mind. Very moving as was the tribute to the late Michael Hutchence and INXS, it brought shivers and a tear of respect and gratitude to you all. Am listening to The Joshua Tree CD again today with different eyes. Loved every minute of the show'
Sally Ryan : 'A brilliantly spectacular concert both musically and visually. U2 delivered several moving and emotional tributes to the amazing Michael Hutchence on the anniversary of his tragic death. Travelled from Melbourne for this especially, as INXS were my favorite band whom I saw many times. Thank you U2 for adding even more wow moments and memories to a wonderful evening'.
Zootopia. xrayjets : 'Holy Moly what a show. U2 delivered. Sydney delivered' mich40 : 'The show was absolutely epic. I felt like Bono was singing his heart out for Michael Hutchence. It was definitely one of the most special shows I've been at. . ' Julesjcg : 'Great show. My first experience in general admission. I'd never go back into seats now… Couldn't believe the location we were able to snag, maybe 4m to the right of the small stage and then a great view of the main stage'. kings : Been a fan since 84. Seen the boys live about 20 times now. Last night's performance was on the podium of best ever I've seen. Just magnificent. They give so much, particularly Bono. No way are they winding things down'.
WHAT DID BONO SAY? 'Rain is gonna glue us all together for an epic night of rock and roll'
'There is such a thing as the Australian spirit… we met 100 fire fighters the other day, men & women, volunteers…leaving their homes and families to protect other people's homes and families. They felt like the Australian spirit alright.'
'We interrupt this broadcast for some Hillbilly Harmonica playing!' ('I Trip Through Your Wires' intro)
'Don't know if this is an argument with myself… or him' (for Michael Hutchence, during intro to 'Stuck In A Moment')
AND ALSO 'Devil Inside' by INXS snippeted in the outro section of Vertigo
Here's the complete set list and if you were at the SCG tonight, tell us all about it.