Sunday 17 March 2019

U2 Experience and Innocence Tour, Manchester 19th October 2018.

Finally got round to updating my blog! I just haven't been into writing it recently but now am ready to catch up with all I have been doing in the last few months.

Manchester 19th October 2018
Debbi and I met up at Piccadilly station and went to our favourite Thai restaurant for a late lunch. We then went to our hotel, the Trivelles, which was a bit out of the centre but near Salford Crescent station. It wasn't the best of hotels, but it was cheap.

Later we headed to the Metro Arena and took our seats. It was a bit thought provoking going there after the awful terrorist incidents when so many young people lost their lives not that long ago.

We had good seats on Edge's side. The set up was much like the Innocence tour, main stage, central walkway that ran almost the full length of the floor with an equally long screen above, then at the end of that a round b stage.

Selfie Time
The band's entry was low key, they just walked out onto the stage and immediately went into The Blackout, which really rocked and I liked it much more live than on the album. I was surprised how emotional I suddenly felt, the power of U2 live is stunning. This was followed by Lights of Home, then two oldies, I Will Follow and Gloria that were very well received, then Beautiful Day which I can do without nowadays.

Then screen sprung into life and lowered and much to my surprise Edge's unmistakable intro chords to Zoo Station blasted out and Bono did the "puppet" dance as I call it (those who saw the band in the Zoo days will know what I mean!) and walked onto the walkway to sing Zoo Station, it rocked, absolutely loved this version. Again I was overcome with emotion, so many great memories flooded back, and to hear this song after so long took me right back to great times. This was followed by Stay, Who's Gonna Ride your Wild Horses and The Fly. It was just wonderful and this Zoo segment was the highlight of the show for me. I could hardly believe I was hearing these songs again. It also made me realise what amazing songs they were. Bono was in good voice and there was a lot of energy.

There was a short intermission and when the band came back on they went onto the b stage and went into Elevation, Vertigo and others. At one point Bono once more becomes MacPhisto, his best ever character, this time his make up was digital and it worked quite well the older version with proper makeup. MacPhisto was as evil as ever, good to see the old man again. The band then went into Acrobat which again was a surprise for me, what a great song that is. It was followed by a beautiful acoustic You're the Best Thing About Me.

The rest of the show was a mix of old and new songs, well put together. The show had, as usual with U2, a low-key ending with the beautiful 13 (There is a Light.) Where Bono stayed on the b stage while the others disappear along the walkway into the darkness. There's a model of his childhood home on the stage and he opens the roof and out comes a light bulb symbolising the light bulb in his childhood bedroom,which he swings before leaving the stage through the crowd.  An echo of the Innocence tour where the light bulb makes an appearance near the beginning of the show, everything has come full circle.

The screen throughout the show was stunning and at times simply beautiful. It didn't take away from the music, it complemented it perfectly. I thought the screen and stages were used to a better advantage than on the Innocence tour. It all flowed perfectly and our seats enabled us to see it all very well.

Afterwards we headed back to our hotel, and picked up a Maccy D from the place opposite our hotel. We had it with a bottle of champagne we had, strange combination but it went down well! First show done, and we were not disappointed, there was another show in Manchester the following night but we were not going to that one, London and Dublin were our next shows.

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