Opening Act(s): Timoria, Verdena, Fun Lovin’ Criminals
Elevation, Beautiful Day, Until The End Of The World, New Year’s Day, Kite, Gone, New York, I Will Follow, Sunday Bloody Sunday, In My Life-Stuck In A Moment You Can’t Get Out Of, In A Little While, Desire, Stay (Faraway, So Close!), Bad, Where The Streets Have No Name, Mysterious Ways, The Fly. Encore: Bullet The Blue Sky, With Or Without You, One, Wake Up Dead Man, Walk On-Hallelujah, Pride (In The Name Of Love), Out Of Control.
U2 perform at their first outdoor concert of the tour in front of over 70,000 people in Delle Alpi stadium.
It is the biggest show to date with 70,000 Italians packed in as Bono arrives to meet Adam, Larry and Edge direct from his visit to the G8 Summit.
Headlines in the following mornings newspapers capture the sense of occassion.
‘The Most Beautiful Voice In Rock Conquers Delle Alpi’ reports La Republica.
‘U2: A Night Of Rock and Tears.’ says Il Messaggero. ‘70,000 people in Turin with their hearts in Genoa.’
‘People Went Wild Around U2’s Heart Shaped Stage’ announces Corriere Della Sera.
‘Tell me,’ asks Bono in Italian to the Delle Alpi masses, ‘Is it true that the whole of Italy is here tonight?’
The answer suggests they are.
The lighters are aloft for Kite, seemingly tens of thousands of them, adding to the already dazzling visual effects and within minutes it is clear that despite the political frustrations of earlier in the day, this show will be a celebration.
‘Turino!’ shouts Bono midway through I Will Follow. ‘Ring those bells Edge, make those bells ring, wrote a love song on two strings, ring those bells Edge, silver and gold, ring those bells Edge, those bells never grow old, our spirits not old, my spirit will never grow old, our spirits will never grow old…never grow old Turino, let the lines disappear off my face, our spirits will never grow old.’
During Sunday Bloody Sunday Bono recalls the violence of the Genoa protests earlier in the day.
‘If there’s one lesson we can learn from history, violence is never right,’ he says, walking the catwalk which is, inevitably, bigger than ever for this outdoor show. ‘Be angry. I’m angry but violence is never right… ‘In the streets of Genoa, violence is never right, in the streets of Northern Ireland, violence is never right but we will always stand up for our rights’ and the speech segues into Marley’s Get Up Stand Up and with a new twist for the day. ‘Get up stand up for your rights, but never take a life, never take a life’
‘We’re so sick of it, we’ve had enough,’ he closes, then adds with longing, ‘For better times’ before thanking the audience in Italian.
The first verse of In My Life introduces Stuck In A Moment and Bono shouts ‘Michael’ and everyone knows who he means. With Desire he introduces the rest of the band to their Italian fans: ‘The Edge - Seven - Larry Mullen Jnr come on down here, on the drums Larry Mullen Jnr. ‘On the bass the first manager of U2, Lord Adam Clayton.. a song about blind ambition, what do you think about blind ambition? ‘Never, ever would this group have any ambition without this man here Adam Clayton, thank youand never would this group have any humility without this man here and never would this group have any balls without this man here and never, never would this group have any problems without this man here …’
Bad is about ‘addictions, about ordinary addictions’ and ends with 70,000 people singing a song from an album that came out nearly two decades ago based on a poem written 2,700 years before that. ‘How long to sing this song…’ and there’s more from the same poet before Where the Streets Have Name as Bono embarks on a longer than usual lap of the heart.
‘You walk out into a stadium, lights go down, everything changes, light and motion you blow me away Turino, you blow me away Turino, blow us away’
The Fly becomes With or Without You and the instruction to ‘Get ready to turn out the lights Willie!’
And the lights go off.
‘Let the people light up, God bless you, God bless you, we’ll shine like stars in the summer night, we’ll shine like stars…’
And they do.
All images are © Luigi Salituri; © Rudy; © Luca D’ Ambros; © A. Ramazzoti; © Webrizio