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U2 Tours (formerly part of AtU2): A Comprehensive Guide To U2’s Live Performance History
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by CoExIsT


Well what can I say? A dream has finally been fulfilled.

I woke up at 6.00am on the morning of the first show planning to be at Telstra Stadium as early as possible in order to be at the front of the line. I didnt sleep too well. I couldnt sleep the night before. I was in bed for literally 2 hours just thinking about the concert and had the song Kite play over and over in my head, mainly due to watching the live Boston 2001 version that day. It is such a emotional and beautiful song. By the time I got to my section at 9.00am, there were already approximately 200 people already waiting. There wasnt as many people as it looked. Before lining up, I went to the mens, not only because nature called, but to contact work and call in sick. The mens was perhaps the least nosiest place to speak, and also, I indicated to those in the mens to not make noise due to my call. I actually got one of the guys to block off the entrance of the mens to prevent people from coming in and making noise. That worked and I called in sick and my mission was accomplished. After this, I made my way to the end of the line. By that time, it was 9.00am. I immediately began to converse with fellow U2 fans and felt part of a close knit legion of fans. It was great. It was extremely hot by 11.00am and the line began to slowly become longer. I made the stupid mistake of not putting on sunscreen, thinking I was strong enough to handle the strength of the sun. The effects of this remained a month after the concert, but looking on the bright side, I had the sun burn marks on my shoulders as pretty darn good memories lol. At 1.00pm, I swapped shifts with my mate Thomas to allow me to rest. By 3.30pm, I met my mate Abraham. He wasnt too familiar with U2 and therefore, had no idea that he was going to experience the most unforgettable night of his life. Once we got something to eat, we returned and waited in the queue again with Thomas. During this wait, I could hear U2 rehearsing some songs like New Years Day and The Saints are coming. I messaged my mate Adrian of this. He was pumped for the second concert we were going to. Once 5.30pm hit, the gates were opened and it was like a stampede. We quickly ran to the front area to ensure we were guaranteed a spot in the eclipse. The stadium looked unbelievable in daylight, and I imagined what it would be at night. Once we ensured our place in the eclipse (on the tip of the right side), we patiently waited for the big event. Before the concert started, I met 2 ladies (probably in their 30s), who were huge U2 fans. They had been to all the Australian shows U2 have played over the years. They mentioned that once, they waited for 8 days for tickets. That was when the concerts were held at the Sydney Entertainment centre. I also met a Irish fan who happened to go to the Slane Castle 2001 concert, the ultimate U2 experience. I was so jealous because the biggest thing ever in music occurred on that, which was when Bono sung All I want is you and blended in with Where the streets have no name through his amazing vocals. We had a brief chat, before the lights went out and the concert was on the verge of commencing. Rain started pouring down.

Then, the sound of Everyone, Everyone, emerged. It had begun. The Edge and co came out, and the piano and guitar sounds of the City of Blinding Lights emerged. I couldnt believe where I was. I couldnt believe my eyes. The stadium erupted when Bono came out, and at that time, it was real. I was at my first U2 concert, a lifelong dream. Just hearing Bono singing the City of Blinding lights was something special. Hearing his vocals live was electrifying. It must be noted that due to where I was standing and the amount of noise people were making next to me, it was difficult to hear Bonos voice clearly initially. But that soon was forgotten. Hearing his vocals and feeling the atmosphere of such a beautiful night was something I will never ever forget in my life. Being part of a mass crowd of 80,000 plus crowd and right up the front was something I only dreamed about. I had waited almost a year since initially buying the tickets. I had originally waited for 24 hours to get the tickets back in December 2005. And to be there, It was truly something special and worth it. Lighting etc was phenomenal. COBL was a excellent opening song and the lyrics were powerful. Once COBL ended, Bono rocked in Vertigo and got the crowd going wild. We were loving it. Again, Vertigo is also a huge live song. Whilst watching and listening, I would drift back to the days and nights I constantly listened to them and had remind myself that I was watching them live. They have been a huge part of my life. Bonos vocals for Vertigo were strong. After this, the Edge began teasing into Elevation, a great live song with good crowd involvement. Everyone was so into it, even my mate Abraham. Hearing this song added spice to a great party celebration. After this, the Edge changed gears and raced into Until the end of the world. He was on fire. Ive long liked the groove and attitude of this song. It sounds and feels mysterious. Its a great live song. During this song, the Edge and Adam Clayton approached the tip of the Eclipse on my side. It was surreal seeing them so close. Sometimes you doubt whether you are truly there or just dreaming. I had to pinch myself. Then, as it ended, Adam Clayton and The Edge combined to rip into New Years Day. This song is instrumentally great and Bonos vocals were as good as they were in 1982. He had no trouble reaching the high notes. The piano sound to this song always gives me shivers down my spine. It sounds awesome. Then, as NYD concluded, the moment came when Bono would define the 10th November 2006. To be honest, I hadnt looked at the set list prior to the concert, so I didnt have a definite idea of what songs they would play and in what order. However, I had a feeling they would play Beautiful Day because it was due. Even though expecting it, when I heard the piano/guitar style intro, I was blown away. This was the ultimate experience. I had seen many live versions of this song on DVD, but to be at the heart of the eclipse and to experience it was something that words could not explain. As Bono sang the lyrics, the build up to the chorus increased, and once the chorus hit, the whole stadium literally exploded and Bonos vocals were absolutely perfect. One note I would never forget is when he held the words Touchhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh me for literally 6 long seconds. His vocals were so strong and that was transmitted very emotionally. I didnt want the song to finish. It eventually was to become a memory. Next, the band went into slow gear. Bono picked up his acoustic guitar and made a speech thanking everyone for waiting for them. I had no idea what they were to play next. As they began to play Yahweh, I was slow to pick it up. Tommy was quicker and knew it straight away surprisingly. I was surprised they were playing it. However, it was done so beautifully. I had begun to love this song. Bono did a really good job in orchestrating the performance. Then, another surprise out of the hat came when Larry Mullen Jnr combined the Edge to unleash Walk On. As it commenced, Bono said were back. I was so surprised and at the same time, thrilled because it was one of my favorite songs with deep meaning and emotion. I just stood back and listened to his vocals. It was beautiful. I was hoping that when he got to the part and I know it ackes and your heart breaks, you can only take so much.Walk on.WALKKKKKKKK ONNNNNN, he would hit and hold the high note. He did. it was breath taking. It was sensational to hear it live at such a huge stadium and such a beautiful night. Once that ended, Bono charismatically took of his glasses and said If my father Bob was still alive, the first thing he would tell me is to take of those fucken glasses. Indeed, Bono took of his glasses, gave them to a fan and walked into Sometimes you cant make it on your own. This is another powerful song which Ive long waited to hear live. The chorus was slowly building up and to our delight, Bono made his way to our side of the Eclipse. He sang it with extreme emotion and it got to the point where I could almost touch him. He was in front of my eyes when singing the chorus You hear me when I sing, youre the reason I sing, youre the reason why the opera is in me etc. This is definitely the closest I will ever see Bono reaching his peak. All I can say is absolutely unbelievable, truly special. Then, the concert took a whole new turn, as Bono ripped into Love Peace or Else. This was the extremely political, social, and religious period. The stadium transformed completely. Bono really lets rip here, especially when banging the drums, and lighting the flame. Then, perhaps the most electrifying crowd highlight of the night was when the drums to Sunday Bloody Sunday were powered into. This song really defined U2 and the stadium erupted when this came on. Bono emotionally sang his way through song. I was really taken by the power and meaning on this song. I could feel every bit of it. Its a feeling that will never leave me. Undoubtedly, the highlight of this song was when Bono wore the head band with the graffiti symbols of the Star of David, the crucifixion and Islamic crescent. Bono shouts This is your song now. They dedicated the song to the victims of the Bali bombing and send the message that we dont have to become a monster to defeat a monster. This was a true message. Then, he expresses the notion of COEXIST, much to the interest of Abraham, who was Muslim himself. This moment really impacted on Abraham and witnessed his new appreciation and love for U2. Bono mentions that there is a family feud and says its true, Jesus, Jew, Mohamed is trueAll songs of Abraham.Father Abraham, what have we done. Father Abraham, speak to your sons. Tell them no more no more no more.. This was a significant moment in many respects. Abraham was clearly deepened by the events. I also was taken away by that. U2s plea to the world was clear. COEXIST. Once Bono began shouting no more, it was obvious that Bono was a man on a mission and that he had taken command of the whole crowd, including myself. This was one of the most emotional, if not the most emotional, scene I have ever experienced. Once SBS ended, Bullet the blue sky erupted and brought heavy political connotations. Im not a huge fan of the song but I undoubtedly felt the message and atmosphere. I love the snippet of The Hands that built America. That is a great song. Then, once the heavy instrumental work ceased, Bono went into slow mode with Miss Sarajevo. I hadnt listened heavily to this song on previous occasions. I was aware the Pavarotti sings with Bono in the original. I soaked up the drop in pace and Bonos soft and sweet vocals. The most memorable moment came when Bono sang Pavarottis note so sweetly and well. He held the high note wonderfully and it was special to witness it live. Even Thomas commented at the end of the Pavarotti bit that was sweet note. Then, there were huge slides of Human Rights declarations. That was outstanding as well. Then, Pride was next in line. This was a crowd favorite and was sung great. It was one of the all time great live songs. Then, the most anticipated moment Ive waited for as long as I can remember. The end of Pride witnessed the preparation for Where the Streets have no name. Bono yells out This is not just an American dream, but an Irish dream..an Australian dream and also a African dream. Then the flags began coming down with the intro to WTSHNN. The harmony and guitar set in and Bono shouts This is our moment. From the heart of Australia to the heart of Africa, this journey goes on, and on and onnnnnnMAKE PROVERY HISTORY. This truly was a ultimately unique and special moment. This song is the greatest live song of all time and to be experiencing it is something that words cant describe. The feeling and emotion associated with this song is so unique that only the people who experience it will understand. Bonos vocals were phenomenal. I looked up in the and thanked God for this a million times. All the years of waiting have finally paid off. My dream had been made real. Thank you God and U2.
Once WTSHNN finished, the stadium went quite. Bono says wow, what was that? Whatever it was, I want more of that. It showed Bono was as blown away as much as we were. The harmony of the into for One began playing with Bono requesting everybody take out their mobiles to turn the stadium into a milky way. It was a unforgettable sight. Bono pleaded to the crowd to be the generation that will be remembered for putting an end to extreme, brutal, stupid poverty. He noted that it can be achieved if everybody worked together as one. To hear and feel that was also spectacular. One began, and this beautiful song left its mark on the crowd. This, for me, was an all time favorite, and I had to pinch myself to make myself believe I was listening to it. It was sung great and with a lot emotion. Once this song ended, it was the end of the pre encore phase. There was a short break, with the boys returning with Zoo Station and The Fly. I wasnt a huge fan of those songs and I know Bono could of chose better songs like Ultraviolet (which an all time favorite). However, the experience and sound was great. It wasnt until With Or Without You when the principal U2 Ballard was put on show. Hearing the bass intro was spine tingling and then when Bono sung the chorus, it was mind blowing. His vocals were excellent and the amount of emotion felt by not only me but the crowd cannot be described. Just hearing and singing ohhhhhh ohhhhh wooo hoooooooo was something out of this world. I could not and will never ever forget it. Once this song finished, the first encore had ended.
After a brief wait, Bono and the boys returned with their current new single duet The saints are coming. This song, whilst new, truly created a powerful and explosive performance. Then, in anticipation of a favorite, U2 played Angel of Harlem. Whilst I hadnt been a huge fan of this song previously, that night changed my opinion. It was sung superbly, especially the bit when he screams soooo long, this world wont get me down. Then, as time ran out for Bono to produce all time favorite ballard, ideally Ultraviolet, Bono produced a powerful and emotional rendition of Kite, to include the didgeridoo. I was stoked. As soon as the song began, Bono sung a beautiful high harmonic note, which pretty much brought shivers down my spine. It was one of the most unique experiences I had ever experienced. The song Kite truly defined emotion and heart, and that night, I truly appreciated and thanked U2 for playing it. A perfect way to end a concert. The most unbelievable and heart moving movement came was when Bono sung, Im a man, I not a childIm a man who sees, the shadows behind your eyes. That really did it for me. That song specifically was an experience I cant and will never get over. That coupled with The Edges guitar solo truly defined emotion and feeling, which words cant describe. They were the most beautiful feelings which I dont think I can ever re-feel the same way. It really was the pinnacle to an unbelievable dream night. As Bono released the Kite into the sky, his final words were you know that this is not goodbye. I hope so.

As we left the stadium, we reflected on a night which truly blew everyone away. My other mate who was there messaged and called me. He said This is the first time in your life where you have been right (after telling him weeks before it would be the best concert he will ever experience). That was an awesome concert. I wasnt surprised and was so satisfied when he said that. Well, that brought an end to an amazing 15 hour which commenced when I woke up at 6.00am till when I got home, which was about midnight. I was still trying to get over that it had become a memory, a memory that would last forever and forever. I put my head down on my pillow that night, knowing that I was a new man but still the same man I was before. Round 1 concert mission accomplished. 2 concerts to go.

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