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, 13/11

Later today, U2 will take the stage in Adelaide to perform their first concert in South Australia for precisely thirteen years. We are endeavouring to have a live setlist for this show, and to whet your appetite, we present a review of U2's previous concert, their last of three in Sydney.

On 13 November, U2 performed their third show at Telstra Stadium in Sydney. Although it is thus far the only Vertigo Tour concert not to sell out (Hawaii is also yet to sell out), over 50,000 fans attended and allowed Sydney to claim the title of city with the highest attendance on the Vertigo Tour outside of Dublin. During the afternoon, as I queued with friends in the General Admission line, we could hear U2 soundchecking and got the feeling something in special was in store. The band rehearsed tunes such as I Will Follow, Mysterious Ways, and Bad, and this soundchecking actually slightly delayed our entry into the stadium.

Once we were in, I staked out a position between the b-stage on Adam's side and the main stage and eagerly awaited the start of the show. Unfortunately, I found Kanye West's opening set to be a complete disappointment: he hasn't appealled to me yet, and I felt his set at this show was particularly flat and uninspired. However, the complete opposite can be said for U2. If I were to sum up their performance with a single word, it would be 'party'. The show had a very jovial, laid-back, fun atmosphere and the band made it feel like a celebration.

The show began with the usual opener, the beautiful City Of Blinding Lights, and although he has been doing it at all the shows so far, this was the first time I actually noticed Bono taking the stage draped in an Australian flag as I had previously been focusing on Edge. After an emphatic Vertigo, Bono made a brief speech at the start of Elevation, observing that although he had sung with Kylie Minogue the night before, "tonight, we're all yours". Elevation was followed by a scintillating, rocking performance of I Will Follow, the first time it has been played since 12 February 2006. Hopes that it would be followed by The Electric Co., which I consider to be the tour's highlight, were quickly dashed by the opening notes of New Year's Day, but I am yet to tire of hearing that great song live.

After New Year's Day was a great performance of Beautiful Day with extended Beatles snippetry at the end, and then the pace was eased a little as Edge played I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For's intro while Bono made a quick, unplanned wardrobe change. He then came back to make a short speech and dash any rumours that U2's career is coming to an end before launching into a rousing sing-along performance of ISHFWILF. It was then followed by an even more enthusiastic sing-along, Angel Of Harlem, which Bono dedicated to "the angel of Sydney", Kylie Minogue. The crowd sung loudly and enthusiastically along with the song, and at the end, Bono pulled some children on stage. Upon noting that they were wearing "Larry Mullen Band" t-shirts, he responded with mock offence and jokingly shooed them from the stage.

Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own has steadily improved since its lacklustre performance in Brisbane, although I still think it is dead weight and would not be missed if it were removed from the setlist. This performance ended with a snippet of No Regrets, which was initially a staple at the end of the song during the early stages of the tour but hadn't been done since late last year after declining to only sparing appearances. Love And Peace Or Else has always successfully regained whatever quality has been lost by SYCMIOYO and did it admirably this time around, and it was followed by a very memorable performance of Sunday Bloody Sunday. Bono pulled a young boy named Sean on stage to sing the "no more" portion with him, and Sean proved to be perhaps the most enthusiastic of all the children Bono has brought on stage. His emphatic yells of "no more" perfectly captured the song's essence.

The next five songs lived up to their usual Vertigo Tour standards: Bullet The Blue Sky was a powerful political statement, Bono's vocals during Miss Sarajevo elicited loud appreciative cheers, Bono made a shout-out to Australian political rockers Midnight Oil (who he said were in attendance) during Pride, Where The Streets Have No Name was an absolute show-stopper, and Bono threw a reference to the Carpenters' Occupants Of Interplanetary Craft into his speech during One's intro. One closed on a strong note with the live-only "do you hear us coming?" verse, which, if I may inject some unpopular opinion here, is the only part of the song I consider worthwhile. For much of the crowd around me, the song seemed to be one of the highlights of the night.

The encore began with the Zoo-themed slot machine graphics and I was fully expecting Zoo Station to burst into life when the wailing intro of Until The End Of The World took me by surprise. The band played a powerful rendition of the song and followed it with the first performance of Mysterious Ways on the leg. It certainly did not seem to be the first time the song had been played since early March as the band performed it superbly, and at the end, Bono made one female fan very happy by pulling her on stage. She remained on stage for the start of With Or Without You, and although I do not feel this performance of With Or Without You can even compare to some of its best performances from the 1987-1992 period, it certainly resonated with the crowd. They responded in an extraordinary manner and gave the song a response even greater than it usually receives, which is quite an achievement for such a popular song. It was possibly the high point of the night's participation and the crowd continued singing the anthemic "oooh oooh oooh oooh" portion after the band had left the stage.

The second encore began with The Saints Are Coming, which has gone #1 in Australia and thus drew a good response from the crowd. However, I feel it was well and truly overshadowed by the following number, Party Girl. The song had not been performed in over a year and this may have been its technically worst performance ever. However, what it lacked in cohesion, it gained in pure fun. It was spontaneous, humorous, and above all, immensely enjoyable. Bono thoroughly flubbed the first verse and Edge had to take the lead in guiding the song, even singing the second verse together with Bono. Near the end of the song, Bono sprayed champagne and celebrated three memorable nights in Sydney.

Finally, the band launched into Kite. It was a fitting and moving conclusion for U2's stand in Sydney, beautiful and rousing at the same time. The show came to an end with "I know that this is not goodbye", and we hope it is not long before U2 are again welcomed to Sydney. The band's New South Wales fanbase certainly showed their dedication and support of U2, and made a very strong case that Australia should be omitted no more from the band's touring schedule.

Posted on by Axver

U2gigs.com Social

© 1996 U2gigs.com

Switch to Desktop design