June 18, 2005 - London, England - Twickenham Stadium


Opening Act(s): The Doves, Athlete


Vertigo, I Will Follow, The Electric Co., Elevation, New Year's Day, Beautiful Day-Here Comes The Sun, I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For, All I Want Is You, City Of Blinding Lights, Miracle Drug, Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own, Love And Peace Or Else, Sunday Bloody Sunday, Bullet The Blue Sky-When Johnny Comes Marching Home, Running To Stand Still, Pride (In The Name Of Love), Where The Streets Have No Name, One. Encore(s): Zoo Station, The Fly, Mysterious Ways, Yahweh, Vertigo.


A portion of tonight's show airs live on BBC2 radio, starting with City Of Blinding Lights and continuing for the rest of the show.

Media Review:

Financial Times

U2, Twickenham Stadium, London

by Ludovic Hunter-Tilney, Financial Times

We weren't allowed to bring cameras or recording equipment to the first London date of U2's Vertigo tour, and should have been asked to leave cynicism and scepticism at the gates too.

This was a night of high ideals and heart-on-sleeve anthems, which on closer inspection were full of feel-good liberal pieties and vague spiritual flannel but played live in front of tens of thousands on a warm summer's night had their own undeniable logic.

Is there another band today that can work a stadium with such skill? Having been together almost 30 years, since the moment when Larry Mullen, the drummer, put a notice up at their Dublin school looking for classmates interested in forming a rock band, U2 are currently at their peak. The 1980s will surely be judged their best decade in terms of music, but as fortysomethings they're performing with rare confidence and warmth.

They opened with "Vertigo" from their most recent album How to Dismantle an Atom Bomb whose chorus of "hello, hello" is tailor-made for rousing a huge audience to its feet. The stage set was less flashy than on previous U2 outings: the quartet were backed by huge screens but otherwise there wasn't much gimmickry.

Musically, they didn't put a foot wrong. Mullen and Adam Clayton, the bassist, were the band's unassuming engine room. The Edge was superb on guitar, whether playing the shivery melodies of old songs such as "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For" or the choppier, more inventive texture of tracks such as "Elevation".

But the main focus, inevitably, was Bono, looking the quintessential rock star with his slicked back hair, black clothes and trademark sunglasses and singing with impressive force. His was a highwire act in which he hung suspended between the preposterous and the utterly compelling, at times grandstanding like a born show-off, at others electrifying us.

Preposterous moments included hammy lines such as when he described himself as "a married man flirting with the entire city of London" or his saccharine lyrics to "Miracle Drug", when he sang that "Freedom has a scent like the top of a new born baby's head" (presumably tyranny is like an elderly person with dandruff). And he seemed oblivious to the irony of dedicating a track to British servicemen and women in a setlist that also featured "Sunday Bloody Sunday", a song inveighing against the British army's most inglorious moment in Northern Ireland. Yet then he would redeem himself with a single action. As "City of Blinding Lights" built to its conclusion, he grabbed an inflatable heart-shaped balloon from the audience and let it float gently away over our heads towards the sky, thousands of heads swivelling around to watch it go.

Before beginning "Sometimes You Can't Make It on Your Own", a touching ode to his dead father, he carefully removed his sunglasses, as if to turn his true face to us.

Warming up for London's Live 8 concert next month, he dedicated a trio of U2's most powerful songs to the subject of African poverty: "Pride", "Where the Streets Have No Name" and "One". Whirled up in the great surging choruses and the Edge's fluid guitar-playing, any doubts about their stadium activism melted away into the night. What effect it has when the music stops remains to be seen, however.

Copyright © 2005 Financial Times. All rights reserved.


very big night , loades of old tunes and big zoo station session like old days,
a finish in color with Vertigo!!!!

Did anyone have problems getting home via train on saturday after the u2 concert at twickenham?

yes the transport inadequacies of London spolied the whole thing!!!!!!!!!!!!!

hey guys! after being a fan of u2 for only 6 months lol and going to me first ever concert of theres last saturday in twickenham ive gotta say i wish i liked them earlier lol. When i first heard vertigo i was thinking "oh my god! why are these old guys still around etc etc" but after seeing them i now truly understand how they have lasted SO long. Best moment of that day was when Bono stopped right in front of me after noticing my "make poverty history" banner on several occassions and putting his thumb up to me and saying thanks alot! at that moment i was in complete and utter shock only after 10 seconds after realising people, who i didnt even know, around me tapping me on the back congratulating me, i just thought thats it! i could die at this moment a truly happy person lol... MAN all i can say is thats its just amazing how cool they are, and man when larry sets the beat going its just mad from their on! : D
ive gotta quite a few shots of that day,, but if anyone else had any i would loe it if they could e-mail me some! : )

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This page contains a single entry by Jonathan published on June 19, 2005 3:35 AM.

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