Opening Act(s): Kelis
Elevation, Beautiful Day, Until The End Of The World, Mysterious Ways, Kite, New York, 11 O’Clock Tick Tock, Out Of Control, Sunday Bloody Sunday, In My Life-Stuck In A Moment You Can’t Get Out Of, The Sweetest Thing, Desire, The Ground Beneath Her Feet, All I Want Is You, Where The Streets Have No Name, Pride (In The Name Of Love). Encore: Bullet The Blue Sky, With Or Without You, One-Unchained Melody, Walk On-Hallelujah.
‘Beautiful days, beautiful days’
…..which is the way Bono ends Beautiful Day tonight in Vienna, second of two shows and, if possible, as good as the night before.
‘Hi Austria,’ announces the singer in Austrian, to some acclaim. And before you know it he is walking down the catwalk, kneeling down, reaching into the heart of the audience where a girl puts her fingers in his mouth in a traditional gesture. (Not sure whose tradition…) Bono rolls over, someone throws a t-shirt, he catches it and throws it back, heads back to the mainstage and swaps sides with Edge, now both heading down opposite sides of the catwalk.
Which leads Mysterious Ways into Kite: ‘There’s some folks down here who want to hear quite an obscure song from the past. If you give us a few minutes to set it up we will put that together for you.. ‘Thank you, thank you, thank you for last night and tonight, it’s really going off for us.
And then, with Bono on his red guitar, comes an obscure song or two, 11 O’Clock Tick Tock, to be followed by Out of Control, unusual for the band to play both of these veteran numbers on the same night.
‘Alright, hold it right there, we’re gonna try and put together this tunejust hold on two seconds, just don’t make a habit of this alright. We do this for a living, this is our first single on Island Records, it’s a long time ago, 11 O’Clock Tick Tock.’
‘This is our first single in Ireland, Out Of Control’ and as the song begins he introduces the people who wrote it so long ago.
‘On the bass guitar he’s 18 years old Adam Clayton, on the drums Larry’ and the introductions sort of fade away as as the singer drop kicks a glass of water into the crowd. ‘This tune was started on my 18th birthday, Edge was 17, Larry was 16, Adam Clayton was 60 years old, him a wise man, his head full of big ideas, we could take what we had anywhere, everywhere if we had faith in ourselves and people who bought our record would have faith in us and if God smiled on us then things would get out of control’
Which they did, for at least twenty three years and counting.
‘We’re going off, are you coming ?’
There is no need for an answer, Austria has already gone off for the second successive night.
‘Stand up for your rights but never take a life…. I’m so sick of it’
And Sunday Bloody Sunday gives way to Stuck In A Moment, which opens with another Beatles reference and In My Life and a glittering sky of sparklers held aloft by fans who have evidently discussed this in advance.
‘Anyone else out here with big dreams in their little heads like we had,’ Bono asks, with Adam and Larry joining him at the point of the heart. ‘This is for you, this is a song about blind ambition but the blindness really helps.’
The Ground Beneath her Feet is introduced as ‘a song we wrote with the lead singer of that infamous punk rock band The Salman Rushdies’ which becomes All I Want is You and Where The Streets Have No Name and Pride (In The Name Of Love).
‘Thank you for giving us a great life, for following us down the Jubilee Road, on from the civil rights to human rights, for Africans the right to live like a human…’
While the band are offstage, footage of global statistics on arms trading appears on the video wall now in Austrian and then comes Bullet the Blue Sky and With or Without You which effortlessly segues into One.
Unchained Melody introduces Walk On which is for ‘Aung Sang Suki, stay free…’
All images are © Martin Stieglmayer; © Orf On; © Zsuzsanna Ohly