Thursday, 20 August 2009

U2 360 Tour - Wembley 2, 15th August ..... Magic!

Got up at noon, met up with Dianne and went to pick up our Red Zone tickets. We then decided to wait for the band arriving. Not many fans were waiting and it was pleasant in the warm sunshine. At 3.30 a silver people carrier came in, someone noticed Bono's security man in the front so we knew Bono was probably in the back but of course we could not see because of the blacked out windows. The car stopped a few yards down the entry road and out got Bono and headed towards us. That's always the moment your heart stops and you can't believe what you are seeing that's Bono walking towards us!

The fans were well behaved and formed a line which Bono went along chatting and shaking hands with people. He looked well, dressed in denim shirt and trousers and a black tee shirt. He stopped when he got to Debbi and I, he recognised us which was lovely to see. He said hello and shook our hands, his hand was warm and very soft, his eyes very blue through the gently shaded glasses (they look really dark in the photos).

Debbi said that his voice was really good at the moment to which he replied, (something like this
anyway)"Thanks, I thought I was singing good." He then asked us how the sound was "Because the sound was bouncing back at me". We told him that it was good where we sat. He asked whereabout we were, Debbi said that we were in seats to the side of the stage to which I added, "On Edge's side in the lower tier." Bono nodded and said he was glad the sound was ok for us because he "Was worried about that." He then shook Julie's hand and waved at people above who were shouting down at him, before going back inside.

I looked round at my friends and, like me, they all had big grins on their faces. It's amazing what an effect Bono has on people! We were thrilled to meet him again as it had been quite a while since our last meeting and there haven't been a lot of fan meetings so far on this tour, so we were very lucky too.

We went back to our hotel and had a meal, we were all giddy and over-chatty, I wonder why? LOL! Then we went back to the stadium to the red zone. We got on the barrier towards back of the side of the stage if that makes sense. It was a good position, no one in front to block the view as the security pit around the walkway was in front of us.

We had three hours to kill before U2 were on. We sat for a while, went to the toilets set aside for the red zone (two portaloos). We chatted and time passed. The support bands came on, first was The Hours who I really enjoyed. Then Glasvegas who sounded very like Elvis Costello and were not very impressive in my opinion.

Another early start - 8.15 - David Bowie's voice rang out and the show was blasting off. Being close to the stage in the red zone, we felt part of it as the dry ice flowed out of the claw's legs and from under the stage. Kingdom rang out, the green ticking clocks appeared on the video screens, Larry came on stage and sat at the drums, then played the intro to Breathe, Adam, Edge and Bono came onstage and the show was on!

Bono seemed very relaxed and talked quite a lot during this show. He told a story about Joe O'Herlihy visiting Wembley when the new stadium was being built, and while there he placed one of Edge's plectrums in the foundations. So now Edge is always part of Wembley. Sounds a bit of an Irish tall tale to me, but it got a good reaction from the crowd!

It was noticeable that the band used the walkway more tonight, which was exactly what we felt was needed. Hope they keep that up, that will stop it being a barrier to a "connection" between band and audience.

Bono sang much of The Unforgettable Fire on one of the bridges that was close to us. At the end he put one leg over the bridge as if he was going to jump over, but of course he didn't. At one point, as the bridge was moving he looked round for Edge who was a long way away on the other side of the walkway. Bono could not see him, he shaded his eyes and you could see him saying "Where is he?" as he peered round and laughing. He got off the bridge, took a deep breath and in his own ungainly style ran halfway around the walkway and hung onto Edge for a while before finishing the song. It was very funny and the look on both their faces was hilarious. That Edge is making Bono run for his money!

Actually when you are so close it does make you realise that the walkway is a very big area for a person to cover, and that could be one reason that it has been underused in the shows I had seen previously - except for this night. But it did mean the guys covering large areas.

Bono was very gracious towards Britain, saying we were a generous country, "You stand up for right things, you should be proud of it." It was nice to hear that for him, as in my experience any compliments he gives the UK are usually negated by some comment he adds on the end. But it is true that the UK has been generous in the fight against poverty and has been a pivotal force in leading that fight and influencing other countries. Good to see Bono acknowledge that, we need to hear something good about ourselves in these difficult times.

He also said that it just occurred to him that U2 was older than Wembley Stadium, "130 years or whatever it is...." He used the quip he had used in Dublin, only changed the wording slightly, in another statement "You're a good looking crowd - in your own way." Again he got a big laugh with that. There was a lot of fun in this show, a lot of energy, so powerful it swept over you in waves, it was amazing.

They played Bad, I have always wanted to hear Bad at Wembley because it was seeing that performed at Live Aid that captured me and put me under U2's spell. And here I was 24 years later hearing Bad being performed in the same place. The song was changed slightly, but it was as wonderful as ever. I felt really emotional I wanted to really cry, sob my heart out, but I just shed a few tears, why does that song make so many people cry? It's pure U2, no one else could ever sing that song. And even here, in London, the crowd sang each word along with Bono.

Vertigo was great, with the screen coming low and spinning relatively close to us, a great effect! It's not a particular fave of mine but this performance of it is stunning.

Where we were you could feel the bass in your chest, I haven't felt that anywhere else so far in this tour. Also it was great to be close and not in a crush, there was no shoving and pushing which was just wonderful!

Bono thanked the fans as usual for "Giving us a good life" and then thanked people in the U2 organisation. He also said that once the tour is over London could negotiate to buy the claw for the Olympics! LOL!

It was just one of those special shows that happen with U2 every now and then. It's a spiritual, emotional thing, beyond the music, it takes you to another plane, it's so hard to explain, but any of you U2 fans that read this will know what I mean if you've experienced the same magic. It left us emotionally drained, but happy, U2 at their best are simply THE best. Maybe they did come from another planet in the spaceship claw? They certainly take you somewhere out of this world with a show like this.


  1. ANY travelogue that starts with "Got up at noon" has got me in!

    I'm so happy you met Bono (again) and you had a great gig at Wembley and heard Bad live and fell under the spell all over again.


  2. Thanks - noon was pretty much the norm for a lot of our tour LOL

    I REALLY hope that you get the chance to fall under the spell all over again too next year - fingers crossed!

  3. thank you! crossing it all and i have a good feeling it will happen. x

  4. Just read your blog, I was reminiscing about this show today, as I downloaded a newly released boot from that night.
    It truly was a magical evening, I felt the waves too !!
    And also felt a wee tear or two throughout the show.
    Roll on Sep/Oct I have two more 360's in Paris and Rome.
    Alan, Edinburgh

  5. Thanks for your comments Alan, That show was very special. Enjoy the gigs this year, I'm seeing two as well - in Germany.

  6. Hi, I was at the show and where you were when Bono arrived! It looks like my hand shaking Bono's in your photo, and I was wondering if you have any more photographs? I was wearing a striped shirt and would love to see a photo of this magical moment!

    Thank you!

  7. Sorry, I've checked but I don't have you on any of my photos.