When U2’s 360° tour ends in Canada this July, it will have made over $700 million dollars. It’s already the highest grossing tour of all time (it surpassed The Rolling Stones back in April.) This staggering revenue is not hard to fathom when you see U2’s consistently devoted, all-aged, fan love – as evidenced last night when U2 invaded Anaheim for the first of their two-night spectacular at Angel’s Stadium.
[photogallerylink id=118715 align=left]Case in point? Some fans had camped out since Wednesday 6 a.m. to guarantee a good spot with General Admission Field tickets. Also, it was hard to imagine Friday was a work day as the parking lot was packed by 5 PM with red-faced pre-gamers and traffic flooded all major freeways heading to Anaheim.
You couldn’t help but feel a little bad for opener Lenny Kravitz – who has got a shelf full of hits on his own right – as the crowd slowly filtered in. While he briefly had the crowd clapping along to “American Woman” and “I Want to Get Away,” it was clear the crowd was anticipating the main course.
By the time U2 bounded onstage, their 50,000 + fans was rowdy and ready. Uber-fans, drunk fans, balloon-bouncing fans, Irish fans, German fans, fans who’d been to 176 U2 shows, preggers fans, wave-instigating fans – all had commuted via car, train, limo or Winnebago to see the show. (KIND NOTE: We recommend train if you are coming from LA. Metrolink has special trains running specifically for this show ($7 round trip.) Under a 390-ton claw of electronics and lights, U2 did not disappoint.
Thirty years in, the band works the stage with expected ease – but still manages to remain animated and alive. (You’d imagine that after singing a song a thousand times, Bono may not sing with the same conviction – but you’d be wrong.) From drummer Larry Mullen to The Edge and the silver fox Adam Clayton, the band works like one part of a throbbing, riveting whole. Meanwhile, Bono does what he does best: motivates the crowd better than any politician or lead singer before him. He encourages the fans to participate and loose themselves in the sound. They eat it up. The cycle repeats.
Highlights from last night? Bono dedicated “Pride (In The Name of Love) to Maria Shriver (who knew they were buddies?) and then had the whole stadium sing happy birthday to long time manager Paul McGuinness’ 60th birthday. Oh, and rumor is Bono has a compost bin in his dressing room. So if you were the asshole who left your beer can on the ground last night, feel very very very bad. The rest is a daze of blinding lights, sing-a-longs and friendly strangers. Till tonight at least.
1. Even Better Then The Real Thing
2. I Will Follow
3. Get On Your Boots
4. Magnificent (Bishop Tutu mix)
5. Mysterious Ways
7. Until The End Of The World
8. Happy Birthday (to band manager Paul McGuinness)
9. All I Want Is You
10. Stay (Faraway, So Close)
11. Beautiful Day (Cmdr. Mark Kelly intro and dedication to U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords)
12. Pride (In The Name Of Love)
13. Miss Sarajevo
15. City Of Blinding Lights
17. Crazy Tonight Remix
18. Sunday Bloody Sunday
20. Walk On
22. Where The Streets Have No Name
23. Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me
24. With Or Without You
25. Moment Of Surrender