Wembley Popmart concert

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Wembley Popmart concert, August 22 & 23, 1997

Fan Review By TRiSH on Alt.Music.U2

It's 1.10am and i have just got home after Wembley. WOW.

The 1st support act were AudioWeb; a solid "manchester" band. Great music guys. But when you talk does every second word have to be "f*ck"...?

The 2nd support act were the Longpigs. I thought they were ok - my husband liked them more than i did. But this was ok; i liked AudioWeb more than he did. :) AudioWeb were good for a boogie.

Then Howie B did his thang (sic). I must say that, after some of the comments made about the Howie "interval" in this group, i was not particularly looking forward to this. My preconceptions were misfounded and to quote a friend of mine, he was STORMIN'. I mean to get his album on monday...

Then came the moment we had all been waiting for; "4 boys from Dublin".

The set was sonically superb: The sound was crisp and STORMIN'. (That word again...) And Bono's voice was as good as i have ever heard it. (Top? What top?... :) And the visuals were astounding.

The whole concert was astounding. I suspect it was one of - if not THE BEST - POPMART to date... And the thing that really made it? IT WAS AT WEMBLEY.

If you've never been to a concert at Wembley it will be hard for you to appreciate what a huge factor this is. 72,000 people (sold-out and packed up to the rafters) all shoulder to shoulder - even the seats around the standing-only pitch were standing!- and singing so LOUD and IN UNISON that Bono was awed by us.

The Setlist:

- POPMusic - as they enter. (Boy did we scream!)

- Mofo

- I Will Follow - you should have heard us!!!

- Gone

- Even Better Than The Real Thing

- Last Night On Earth (Bono - "this isnt the last night on earth; its the first night in THE stadium...")

- Until The End Of The World - awesome. (And Bono proved he sure can PLAY GUITAR like a guitar hero, even.)

- New Year's Day (Possibly THE highlight of the show. The best i have ever heard it performed. And I suspect everyone in London heard us sing it. The walls of Wembley were shaking!)

- Pride (In The Name Of Love) (This is where we got EVEN LOUDER and continued WITHOUT BONO for about 5 minutes!!! Oooo-oooo-oooo-oooo Oooo-oooo-oooo-oooo Oooo-oooo-oooo-oooo Oooo-oooo-oooo-oooo... Bono just stood and grinned at us and held out the mic - it was OUR show!)

- Neon Lights

- I Still Havent Found What I'm Looking For (Bono couldnt get us to shut up here either - he wanted to go into the next song and couldn't! :)

- All I Want Is You. (And then we REALLY erupted! All singing with him all the way.)

B Stage - Staring At The Sun (Acoustic version - B & Edge only) (Very very good. That acoustic guitar intro sounds like something familiar that i can't quite put my finger on...)

- Edge - Karaoke - Suspicious Minds :))

- MIAMI!!!!!! (In a fidel castro outfit)

- Bullet The Blue Sky. (WOW. Again i was half expecting not to like the new version as i love the old so much but they just blew us away.) (They didn't do "I want to live in America" on the end.)

- Please. (Good but not as good as Rotterdam. I wanted the In The Name Of The Father bit but he didnt do that. Still, i cant have everything in life.)

- Where The Streets Have No Name/End of Playboy Mansion part. (72,000 bellowing every word along with them.)

-Lemon (Perfecto Mix)

- Discotheque/Black Betty (It is impossible for me to describe how MIND BLOWINGLY GOOD this was!!!) (The lights! The COLOURS! The sound!!!) (Also had a section of "Love To Love You Baby" in it.)

- If You Wear That Velvet Dress. (Interestingly he didnt sing the scratched at my door/drawn its curtains verses.)

Encore. -Hold Me Thrill Me Kiss Me Kill Me (Bono took off his glasses, kissed the camera and put his glasses on the lens for the camera to see through!!)

- Mysterious Ways

- One (Achingly beautiful - 72,000 singing along and meaning every word, Wembley awash with lighter flames.)

- Wake Up Dead Man (Bono alone in a spotlight. First verse first chorus only)

2 hours of solid perfection. And i'm going back tomorrow.

Wembley Stadium Night 2

It's 1.15am and i just got home from Wembley Night 2. Remember i said i thought last night was good?! (Huge grin)

How can i explain to you about tonight?....It's very difficult because i think we have just been to one of the greatest U2 gigs of ALL TIME.

For years I have listened to my husband say, "there will never be another gig as good as Wembley 13th June 1987." (The Joshua Tree.) Half an hour ago, after driving home in stunned silence, he said, "that was as good as 1987."

You see, if last night was electric, tonight was THERMO-NUCLEAR. If last night was 9.5 out of 10, tonight was 17!!!

The Setlist was very very similar to last night but nothing was the same. Everything was MORE..

-POPMusic - as they enter.

- Mofo (At the point in the song where the lyrics go, "now i'm still a child (but) no one tells me no," Bono yelled "Tell me No!" "No!" we all yelled back. "No!" Bono shouted. "No!" we yelled back, "No!" he shouted. "No!" we replied ...."No!" "No!" "No!" "No!") (Then he sang "Move me a mountain!" after the woo me sister/brother/mother/father part.)

- I Will Follow - again, you should have heard us!!! (Those new lyrics? The part i caught says "You took a hold of me, You put the soul in me, I will Follow...!!!!")

- Gone (A STORMIN' song - even better tonight than last night. Bono has sure learnt to PLAY THAT GUITAR!!!)

- Even Better Than The Real Thing (Before starting to sing, Bono said, "We're on Holy Ground!!!")

- Last Night On Earth (You know the middle section - the part that was replaced in the single by the "You got to believe in someone" bit? Tonight Bono sang these words just there; "this isn't the last night on earth; its the last night at Wembley, its the last night at Wembley Stadium, the last night i dream at Wembley, I used to come to this town, I was broke and feeling down, I used to dream, I still dream of Wembley Stadium, the world turns and we get dizzy, slipping away.") (Then, at the end of the song, from the B-stage, Bono crowd dives, red guitar in hand! And ends up a good 25' from the stage! manages to make his way back there then stands there in the crowd, doing the chord fingering while he gets members of the audience to strum the strings for him!)

- Until The End Of The World - Totally Awesome. Totally totally awesome. (Bono makes it back up onto the B stage and swings the red guitar around above his head like a battle axe as he walks back to the main stage.) ("I kissed your lips and broke *my* heart...")

- New Year's Day (Again, as last night, the walls were shaking as we sang.) (After the song Bono says, "Wembley, this place is supposed to be cool. Well i don't think you're cool; I think you're HOT!!!")

- Pride (In The Name Of Love) (Again, this is where we got EVEN LOUDER and continued WITHOUT BONO!!! Oooo-oooo-oooo-oooo Oooo-oooo-oooo-oooo Oooo-oooo-oooo-oooo Oooo-oooo-oooo-oooo... Bono just stood and grinned at us and held out the mic - it was OUR show!) ("One man* washed-up* on an empty beach...") (NO "Neon Lights" tonight.)

- I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For ("Take me to church now!!! Take it higher!!!) (Like, we needed asking to? :) We took it higher.) "You broke the bonds and you loosed the chains, Carried the cross of my shame of my shame, You know I *believe* it, *I still do*...."

- All I Want Is You. (sigh...)

B Stage - Staring At The Sun (Acoustic version - B & Edge only) (This version really is the business.)(Bono kisses Edge as he walks off the B stage.)

- Edge - Karaoke - Daydream Believer (Introduced with the words, "This ain't Rock n Roll; this is suicide!!!) (This was the karaoke we wanted!!!! We erupted! Edge held out the mic to us and let 72,000 of us sing it to him.) (Edge, to us, afterwards, "You're an amazing set of bast*rds!!!")

- MIAMI!!!!!! (In a fidel castro outfit) (The link between these two songs is amazing - as is the temple of lights built by the spotlights throughout Bullet.)

- Bullet The Blue Sky + two lines of "America" (It was a lot clearer tonight.)

- Please. (Good version tonight - more intense than last night.)

- Where The Streets Have No Name/End of Playboy Mansion part. (Mind-numbingly brilliant; 72,000 bellowing every word along with them.)

Lemon (Perfecto Mix)

- Discotheque/Love To Love You Baby/Little Black Dress/Black Betty. (Again, it is impossible for me to describe how MIND BLOWINGLY GOOD this was!!! Definitely one of the highlights of the evening - and tonight we were boogie-ing to it!) (My husband did make the most worrying comment of the evening at this point, however, when he said, "what a cute bottom Edge has in his white jeans..." Although i agree with him wholeheartedly!!! :)

- If You Wear That Velvet Dress. (Again, the shortened version. Brilliant.In fact these last two sections of the show were just incredibly intense throughout.Yesterday, the first half of the show ruled. Tonight it was the second.)

- WITH OR WITHOUT YOU. (For me, the highlight of the show. The PASSION.... The INTENSITY...)

(2nd?) Encore. -Hold Me Thrill Me Kiss Me Kill Me (Bono took off his glasses, sang "They want you to be Jesus, they want you" (words and music stopped mid line) and just looked the camera full in the face, all vulnerability and questioning, the camera holding the image of him doing this on the screen for 20 or 30 seconds... Then he restarted that verse and sang, very clearly, "They want you to be Jesus, to go down on one knee, but they'll want their money back if you're alive at 33." Later he acted out dragging a mic stand down the B stage as if it were a very heavy object and then "impaled himself upon it, mimicking a death scene. I found it a very uncomfortable moment. Well done Bono.) (And then there's the small matter of him playing air-guitar during The Edge's solo at the end. That image will stay with me a long long time. :)

- Mysterious Ways (Oh i could say a lot about this! It was funny, reverent, irreverent, touching, and spiritual all at the same time. The funnies? Well last night he nicked Adam's cigarette from his mouth and took a drag on it during this song. I think Adam must have told him off for that. Bad move, Adam; he got a smooch from behind tonight instead! Then Bono moved across to Edge and "flirted" with him whilst Edge played guitar, at one point mimicking a belly dancer.) The spiritual? "My love is growing strong, my love is big and my love is strong - she moves in mysterious ways, we move through miracle days, Spirit moves in mysterious ways, lift my days, light up my nights, lo-o-o-ove.")

- One (Achingly beautiful again. A blue guitar not a red one now.) "It's too late, tonight, to drag the *dirt* out into the light". "Have you come here to play Jesus, to the lepers in your *bed*?" "Sister.... Where's my brother?..." With these word at the end: "Do you hear me calling love, do you hear me call Hear me knocking, knocking at your door Do you hear me coming love, hear me come Hear me scratching, Will you make me crawl? Aaa-haa-aaa, Aaaa-haa-aaa......(etc)" )

- Unchained Melody. (Bono alone in a spotlight.)

It was an AWESOME evening. I am still totally blown away by it. This was everything and more than i'd ever dreamed of. Thankyou Bono. And Edge - who played a stonker tonight. As did Adam and Larry too. Everyone seemed more.... (i have no adjective for this. MORE will have to do.) It was a poignant evening in many ways too. There was much hugging going on between the band members. Lots of comradely arms around each other. Lots of smiles - from all 4 of them.

Bono's closing words still haunt me: "We won't be returning this time".

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This page contains a single entry by Jonathan published on August 22, 1997 4:46 AM.

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