The whole reason I went to Vancouver was because I managed to get my hands on a U2 ticket for the Innocence and Experience tour before they sold out. The last time they were touring relatively close I for some reason decided not to get tickets. I can’t remember why now, but I really regretted the decision.
I was sitting at the computer right as tickets when on sale back in December was was pretty excited when Ticketmaster said I had one if I wanted it. Seriously, so excited! I then booked my flights and hotel and waited for what felt like forever until the concert date.
On the half hour walk over from my hotel to Rogers arena where the concert was being held, I was almost giddy. I couldn’t believe that I was finally going to see a band that I’d been a huge fan of for so long. The stage setup was pretty cool. The main stage was at the far end of the arena from where my seat was. There was then a walkway down the middle that led to a round second stage. Above the walkway was a two sided screen. Another cool thing was that they’d decided to have the speakers set up throughout the arena, not just at the main stage. I think the sound was better this way, and no matter where you were sitting, it was a good seat.
For the first few songs the band stayed up on the main stage. They opened up the concert with The Miracle of Joey Ramone. Their first few songs about the past and growing up in Dublin. They sang Iris, which I didn’t realize until then was about Bono’s mom.
They then sang Sunday Bloody Sunday and Raised by Wolves which were both about the politics and divide in Ireland. During Sunday Bloody Sunday the entire band came down along the walkway and played the song from there. It gave me goosebumps. The entire arena was singing along with Bono.
The second half of the concert they spent most of their time on the walkway or the smaller stage on my end of the arena. The crowd went crazy when a piano came out of the floor of the stage and The Edge sat down at it to play Every Breaking Wave. It was a very different version than the one on the album, but I really liked it. It’s amazing how they were able to make an arena of almost 20,000 people feel so small during this song.
When they came back out for their encore I was only expecting them to sing two more songs. I was in for a treat though because they ended up singing four. City of Blinding Lights was their first one after they came back on stage and one of my favorite songs from their How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb album.
Their last song of the night was I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For. One by one each band member walked from the main stage, down the walkway, onto the circular stage, and then off. First Larry, then Adam. The Edge was next to leave, but just before he got to the circular stage he walked right off the edge of the walkway! I’m pretty sure that a lot of people didn’t realize what had just happened. Some techs and security rushed over to him to make sure he was alright. He ended up leaving the arena with his fist in the air, so I figured he couldn’t be too hurt. Finally Bono ended the song as he made it to the round stage and he left as well.
I know I’m a huge U2 fan, but I have to say that this was the best concert I’ve ever been to. Despite it being the opening date of the tour everything was pretty seamless. The lights and graphics on the screen helped to tell the story of the songs, but didn’t take away from the music. I talked to a few people who were also there who’d been to other U2 concerts as well. They all unanimously said that this was the best show that they’d seen from U2.
I’m really glad I decided to get tickets and go. Not only was the concert amazing, but I managed to make a vacation out of it and I had a lot of fun in Vancouver. To hear more about what I did in Vancouver, check out this post for what I did, and this one for what I ate.
Have you seen your favorite band live?