U2 Vertigo Tour
Vertigo Tour 2nd leg: Europe
: City of Manchester Stadium - Manchester, England
U2 hit new heights(published on 2005-06-15)
HAVING earned himself an audience with the world's greatest politicos and powerbrokers, it was time for Manchester to lend Bono an ear as U2 kicked off their British Vertigo Tour in the city.
And the elder statesman of modern rock and roll chose the occasion to deliver a blistering sermon of song.
It was derived from such a lengthy career that U2 should by now be peddling power ballads from their back catalogue to an audience hungry only for greatest hits.
Instead, the evidence before our eyes and ears at a near sold-out City of Manchester Stadium confirmed that U2's flame is still burning brightly.
Unreconstructed stadium rock for sure but ask yourself how many bands with 25 years under their belt can still sound so cutting edge.
After the opening number Vertigo the fans quickly set to with a number of crowd- pleasing favourites.
Second on the set was I Will Follow followed by the Electric Co.
Addressing the crowd for the first time Bono said: "This is the city which taught white people to dance, right?
"Some people," he said "but not this one."
He also recalled the old friends U2 had made at Manchester Poly when they played there so many years ago.
But let us not forget that the Vertigo Tour is actually designed to provide a showcase to U2's latest studio album, How To Dismantle A Nuclear Bomb.
The recent single City of Blinding Lights saw Bono snatch a lucky young girl from the audience.
There was a further sentimental display as Bono dedicated the emotional ballad Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own to his late father Bob Hewson.
But it's also worth remembering that U2 are so much more than a one-man band.
Bono's shrill yet spine tingling vocal provided the perfect accompaniment to the Edge's distinctive trademark guitar riff.
Equally ahead of their game were Larry Mullen Junior and Adam Clayton.
On the strength of this performance Chris Martin should eat his bleeding heart out as only one band can still realistically lay claim to being the biggest rock band in Britain at the moment, and it certainly isn't Coldplay.
Nor will Oasis have an easy job on their hands in emulating U2 hysteria when they make a homecoming to the City of Manchester Stadium in the summer.
For two nights at least, U2's elevation is so complete that it's little wonder they are singing about vertigo.
Hotels in Manchester were full last night as fans flooded the City. High profile concert goers included Bolton funnyman Peter Kay and singer Ronan Keating as well as Manchester United star Gary Neville.
Often plagiarised, never matched.