November 1, 2005 - Los Angeles, California, USA - Staples Center

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Opening Act(s): Damian Marley


City Of Blinding Lights, Vertigo, Elevation, The Electric Co.-Send In The Clowns, The Ocean, I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For-In A Little While, Beautiful Day, Miracle Drug, Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own, Love And Peace Or Else, Sunday Bloody Sunday, Bullet The Blue Sky, Miss Sarajevo, Pride (In The Name Of Love), Where The Streets Have No Name, One-Ol' Man River. Encore(s): The First Time (acoustic), Stuck In A Moment, With Or Without You, Happy Birthday, All Because Of You, Out Of Control, Fast Cars, Yahweh, 40.


It's a day after Larry Mullen's 44th birthday, and the show has a party-like atmosphere. Bono mentions Larry's birthday during Elevation, then leads the crowd in singing Happy Birthday to Larry during the encore. The entire band is wearing 'The Larry Mullen Band' t-shirts when they come out for the 2nd encore. After All Because Of You, Bono invites EXIT, a 4-piece, all-female former U2 tribute band to come on stage and they play Out Of Control to great applause from the crowd. At the end of the show, Larry approaches the mic and thanks the crowd for coming to his party, and thanks Bono, The Edge and Adam for being in his band.

Media Review:

Was it U2 or the Larry Mullen Band? Either way, it was great

Fontana Herald News


After nearly six months, U2's "Vertigo" tour returned triumphantly to Los Angeles last week.

At the start of the concert, it was all about teasing drummer Larry Mullen on his birthday, and from that point on, U2 became the Larry Mullen Band.

This was definitely one special show. Talk about a party; if you were not there, you should have been. "Happy Birthday" signs were all over the place in the crowd, paying tribute to the drummer.

The band members even had shirts on that said "The Larry Mullen Band."

As Bono opened up the show with "City of Blinding Lights" and "Vertigo," the crowd was on fire, and there wasn't an empty seat in the house.

I understand there were also quite a few celebrities in attendance; Bono mentioned Salma Hayek, Heather Graham, Winona Ryder, Charlize Theron, Val Kilmer, and Lionel Richie. I'm sure there were plenty more, but none compared to Mullen; after all, it was his party.

As praises and compliments were paid to Larry, he took the mic alone on stage (wearing Bono's cowboy hat) and thanked the crowd for coming to his celebration. "You can leave your gifts at the door," he said, and then thanked Bono, Edge, and Adam Clayton for being his backing band.

There was surprise after surprise throughout the evening.

"Edge, it turns out, is from the future," said Bono, "but ah, we already knew that." He's from a very different planet in the future, coming to us in a time-traveling space ship, Bono said. The guitarist played the same four notes over and over, which opened "Miracle Drug."

Bono's speech got lots of laughs, and by the time Bono had finished his latest version of the early U2 mythology, the fans behind the stage were chanting "Edge, Edge, Edge."

Someone in the audience gave Bono a United States flag (there were lots of flags in the crowd). Hanging the flag over the mic stand for "Sunday Bloody Sunday," Bono found a girl from the audience who joined him on stage, embraced in his arms, while he sang "for the sons and daughters of Abraham" who are serving in the Armed Forces. I'll bet she felt like a million bucks.

Song after song was played, including "One" and "With or Without You," when the place lit up with cell phone lights.

Bono walked to the front of the horseshoe-shaped stage and stated that it pays to advertise. The boys pulled four girls up on stage - the all-girl band called Exit. Bono asked them if they wanted to sing "Out of Control." I think they were a little freaked out; nevertheless, the girls played the band's instruments and sang with U2, giving them a night they will never forget, I'm sure. I wonder if we will be hearing about these girls in the near future.

This was a wonderful night of celebration, surprises and the Larry Mullen Band.

1 Comment

Last night's show was indeed wonderful - U2 was in top form. 'The First Time' was magical, and what can one say about Miss Sarajevo? What a beautiful song. 'Streets' brought down the house as usual and 'With of Without You' was deeply emotional. 'City of Blinding Lights' is a great opening song with a wonderful light show, but it really lacks the drive as a show opener when compared to 'Love Peace or Else', and ends up setting the tone for a more mellower show. For 'Out of Control', Bono invited up on the stage an all-girl band to play it. They played the song well enough with help from Edge on guitar, though the girl drummer uncomfortably rushed the songs tempo towards the end - but hey, I guess it's supposed to be 'out of control'.

I also saw them play Staples and Glendale arena in Arizona last April, and compared to those shows last night's Staples show was more relaxed with overall less drive and push by the band (the edges were smooth rather than sizzling and jagged). Also, the sound mix at Staples last night was quite crappy and muddled, both for U2 and the Bob Marley Jr band who opened the show. Edge's guitar playing specially was at times almost completely lost within a wall of diffuse and undefined sound. That's my one real criticism of what was otherwise a splended show by easily the best band ever.

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This page contains a single entry by Jonathan published on November 2, 2005 4:51 AM.

October 29, 2005 - Dallas, Texas, USA - American Airlines Center was the previous entry in this blog.

November 2, 2005 - Los Angeles, California, USA - Staples Center is the next entry in this blog.

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