'I Remember You...' Breaking down the fourth wall on the opening Night in NYC.
The first of U2's eight night return to Madison Square Garden started with a truly magical moment: the first performance of The Miracle of Joey Ramone in the birthplace of its inspiration and the immortal Ramones.
The Electric Co took things even higher, the crowd reaction shaking the foundation of the Garden with an intensity of a 70's punk show. (Later a transcendent Beautiful Day segued into 'I Remember You.' dedicated to Joey Ramone and his bandmates, those 'Kings from Queens.')
'When we first played a club called The Ritz in this great city, another century ago, we thought of ourselves as a punk band… and you know what? In all the ways that matter, we still do. 'Still getting into trouble for doing things different. A band of equals… with an audience of equals... an audience of betters.'
If this show was cooking in the venue, it was also bubbling online and the lid came off with one completely unexpected moment on the 'e'stage. 'October. They played October. That's all you need to know.' as @Maxtksukino put it on Twitter. The first live airing of this sparse, beautiful, autumnal elegy since 1989. And adding to the sense of the spontaneous and unpredictable on this tour.
'The #U2ieTour is unlike any other U2 tour,' as @atU2 posted.'The band is embracing the risktaking & sharing in the fun w/us with breaking down the 4th wall.'
The audience are smart too, with @bethandbono tweeting, 'October is innocence, Every Breaking Wave is experience. A perfect, beautiful, sad, poignant pair.'
Pride ('See all the Irish flags here tonight...') went out to Harry Belafonte, a man who marched with Dr King ('We have such a great man in the house tonight...') and was an invitation to 'sing for the peacemakers'. One, was a tribute to the resilience of New York City and also dedicated to Salman Rushdie. As usual, One no longer needs a lead vocalist.
'Bono sings a line from One,' tweeted @Susan_MacD 'Then the fans sing the rest. Breathtaking. Well done #NewYork1'
As @TheGarden themselves put it. 'A night for the ages with @U2 @TheGarden and it's only just the beginning.'