Party night in Spain for an audience 'with a very loud voice':
OK. When a tour is as consistently exciting as this one, when it has so many high points, when you think one particular show cannot be surpassed... along comes Barcelona, surely a Vertigo Tour highlight.
Spain, on Sunday evening must have been the biggest audience of the tour to date and boy did they let us know it.
'What a birthday present...' says Bono, for a guitarist who is from the future. 'In the future it is your birthday everyday!'
The set list has varied as the tour has moved on but, since the opening shows, the fierce opening quartet, stretching the length of the band's career, have been constant - and are as strong tonight as ever. 'So my father Bob hewson... complicated fella...he would conduct our stereo with my mother's knitting needles... and then had a little boy who broke his heart.'
Larry and Adam are centre stage and bang in the middle of this monster audience for Love and Peace before we have really realised we have reached this point. There is an unusual momentum in the show tonight, driven along by the sheer passion in a venue which is the complete opposite to Nice just two nights ago. Tonight the people seem to roll back for miles and miles and miles and the band, true to their earliest ambition, are always focussed on making those at the back feel just as included as those in the mosh pit.
There are plenty of Irish fans here tonight, slipping in another Vertigo special night during a summer break in the sun. There's even someone out there holding up a giant inflatable lemon, doubtless with four tiny pop stars inside, waiting for their cue.
More contemporary by far is a huge 'CoeXisT' flag which has been unfurled down amongst the sweating, dancing, ecstatic fans. Bono borrows this for Bullet, dragging it across the stage before laying it out flat on the b-stage. Now he lies down on it, slowly rolling himself up into one of the defining symbols of this tour to date. The drama builds as, blindfolded, he climbs to his feet and is guided back to his microphone.
'When Johnny comes marching home...'
It is a moment of classic U2 theatre, especially for the Spanish, before everyone is reminded why it is so significant.
'I want to dedicate this next, song to the families and friends of those who died in the bombings in London, Egypt and Turkey.
'I think back to Madrid and I think this song could be a prayer...we do not want to become a monster in order to defeat a monster."
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights scrolled up the back of the stage in Catalan tonight - making the usually spine-tingling cheers of greeting even more loud, even more magical. As Pride, Streets and One take the vibes up a notch we thought did not exist; Adam takes a graceful bow and Bono can only utter 'Unbelievable!'
The phones create the biggest ocean of lights yet; 'Muchos gracias, muchos gracias...'This is beautiful up here, this is an audience with a very loud voice, let's stick together. This is the year, this is the moment for us to make poverty history. Tell your President, 'Thank you for your vision but we need you to go further.'
'Ole, ole, ole' sings Bono and gets it returned to the pozer of 85000. It is a mighty, mighty show tonight and you sense that the band know it.'Than you, thank you. We'll never forget this.'
'Every year we say to The Edge , 'What do you want for your birthday? And every year he says, 'I want to play Barcelona!'
And as Edge receives a Barcelona football shirt and Bono pops open a bottle of champagne to celebrate, it's time to strike up Party Girl for the Birthday Boy.