U2gigs.com - Joshua Tree Tour 2019

· Home
· All Tours History
· E+I 360° photos
· JT30 360° photos
· Live Releases
· U2 Pictures
· Bootleg Covers
· Personal Charts
· News
· Twitter Stream
· Twitter Archive
· Contact

Review of Sydney, 11/11

In Brisbane, U2 put on a fantastic and enthusiastic concert to open the fifth leg of the Vertigo Tour. I was unfortunately not able to attend the next concert, the first of three in Sydney, but I was able to arrive in Sydney in time to see the second show with some friends, and at that concert, U2 more than surpassed the quality of the Brisbane show. I was again in the inner zone, this time between the main stage and Edge's b-stage, which afforded an excellent view of the proceedings. Click 'read more' to read the full review.

Kanye West received a much better response from the Sydney crowd than in Brisbane, with few boos and quite a number of people getting into his music. Not long after he left the stage, U2's technicians began preparing the stage for U2 and we noticed something unusual: although Edge's guitars are typically cordless, many (although not all) of them were cabled. However, during the show, it did not appear to provide any limitations to the performance from my perspective.

The band began the concert slightly later than the scheduled time of 8:30pm, and began just as strongly as in Brisbane. Vertigo was even more powerful, and Until The End Of The World was taken to a higher level. The concert then struck one of its peaks with a soaring performance of Beautiful Day, which was concluded by Bono snippeting Blackbird - although this snippet was regular during the first leg of the tour, it has only infrequently ended Beautiful Day since then.

Next was a song not played at the previous two Australian shows, I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For, which concluded with a snippet that had not been used since the last show of 2005, In A Little While. At the start of the song, Bono made a speech thanking the crowd for its patience after the postponement, and then God for all of the band members and their families being healthy. Bono then gave a special greeting to Edge's children Sian and Levi, who were attending the show. That was not the only family connection: Bono's elder brother Norman was in the inner zone.

ISHFWILF was followed by the Australian debut of Stuck In A Moment. This was a full band version, unlike the stripped down version played at previous Vertigo gigs on the third and fourth legs. It was dedicated to Michael Hutchence, a Sydneysider, and it was accompanied by the Australian Aboriginal-themed artwork that had been used at the previous shows for Walk On. Stuck In A Moment was followed by a performance of Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own that was much better than the Brisbane performance and concluded with Bono singing an extended operatic snippet.

The political segment was especially fiery and passionate, with Bono dedicating Sunday Bloody Sunday to the victims of the Bali terrorist attacks, many of whom were Australians. Miss Sarajevo was even more sensational than in Brisbane, although I do not feel Pride quite hit the heights it struck at the opening show. The artwork at the end of Where The Streets Have No Name has been slightly changed - on the red background as the song concludes, the Southern Cross and seven-point star from the Australian flag were displayed. Another interesting conclusion was that of One, as Bono snippeted My Sweet Lord, a snippet usually used during Mysterious Ways. It has only been snippeted during One once before, and not even during a full U2 performance, but when Bono appeared at America's Millennium Gala on 31 December 1999 with Daniel Lanois and an orchestra.

The first encore was even more sensational than in Brisbane, although it unfortunately lacked the genuine Fly glasses! Zoo Station was performed very well, and The Fly was, like in Brisbane, possibly the best song of the night. With Or Without You soared and provided a fitting end to the first encore, with Bono adding snippets from INXS's Never Tear Us Apart and Joy Division's Love Will Tear Us Apart.

The second encore opened with an unintentionally humorous note: Bono announced the upcoming song was about to be played for the first time - and then the band launched into The Saints Are Coming, which had been played at the first two Australian shows already! [Note: this may be inaccurate; see below paragraph for more.] But afterwards, we got a tour debut of sorts. The band seemed about to start on one song when Bono announced an intention to do something different and they launched into Desire. An impromptu acoustic version of Desire by just Bono and Edge had previously been done on 21 February 2006 in Sao Paulo in response to an audience request, while this version was a full band, electric version. Bono and Edge did the first couple of verses alone, and then Adam and Larry joined in. The performance was somewhat of a cross between the Lovetown and Elevation versions and seemed quite ramshackle and unrehearsed - at one point, Bono asked "what happens now?" However, it was this unrehearsed and spontaneous nature that made the performance particularly fun, and it was one of the highlights of the night for me. It featured a snippet of the Rolling Stones' Not Fade Away after Edge's solo, a brief line from Kanye West's Gold Digger after the "for love or money" part, and closed with Bono on harmonica.

[Note: although both of us at the show were convinced that Bono said it was the "first time", other U2VT readers have reported that they heard "third time". In that case, Bono did get it right after all, which certainly makes a change from his notoriously incorrect statements about setlist history! We apologise for any inaccuracy.]

The final song of the night was Kite, just like at the two previous shows, and it again demonstrated how beautiful this new version is, Tim Moriarty on didgeridoo joined the band, and Bono dedicated the song to Cate Blanchett. He also tried to fly a box kite, different in design to the one he used at the preceding shows, and it initially struggled to take flight before finally soaring into the air. The song came to a close amidst thunderous applause from the appreciative crowd, and not long after the band left the stage, the outro music began playing over the PA - Streets Of Your Town by Australian band The Go-Betweens, the same song as that which had been used in Brisbane.

All in all, I would have to say this concert was considerably superior to the Brisbane concert, with more powerful renditions of most songs and some great elements of spontaneity. One interesting statistic that should be noted is that the show contained just four songs from How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb, the lowest amount of any show on tour.

Posted on by Axver

U2gigs.com Social

© 1996 U2gigs.com

Switch to Desktop design