- Live Review: U2 – The O2, London
U2 were joined by Noel Gallagher for the second night of their Innocence and Experience tour at the O2 Arena, London.
Even if you’re not a fan of U2 seeing them play live is quite a unique and impressive experience. The Irish rockers opened their set with ‘The Miracle (of Joey Ramone)‘, a confident performance with an anthemic chorus and drubbing rhythm.
A packed out arena saw Bono turn a blue Monday night into a Saturday as he articulated to the audience: “We’re a Saturday night-Sunday morning kind of band.” His energy was ceaseless as he introduced his band mates, at one point referring to the Edge as a “wizard”.
“Have you forgotten who you are?! Have you forgotten where you come from?! You’re Irish!” – Bono
‘Until the End of the World’ was an overwhelming performance with the Edge playing his incredible solo inside two gigantic projectors, as frothing, inky blue waves crashed and rolled along the screens. Perhaps what makes this band such an exceptional live act is their ability to engage with the crowd on so many different levels.
In a self-deprecating performance of ‘Bullet the Blue Sky‘, loudspeaker in hand, Bono exclaimed about himself: “Have you forgotten who you are?! Have you forgotten where you come from?! You’re Irish!” An explosive and discordant instrumental steered the highly political song forwards, while white lights coruscated as the Edge struck his guitar.
The band performed a stellar extract of ‘Zooropa’ transitioning into ‘Where the Streets Have No Name’, with the arena on its feet for the classic Joshua Tree song, it was obvious at this point everyone had forgotten all meaning of Monday.
The feature of the night was when Noel Gallagher appeared on stage to perform ‘I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For‘, playing an acoustic guitar and singing a verse of the song. The two hour twenty minute set ended with a rendition of The Beatles’ ‘All You Need Is Love’.
For a band with over 35 years experience gripped with reinventing themselves, U2 abandoned this obsession on the night, instead doing what they do best: being themselves. And there is no other way fans would want it to be.
Watch the video for U2’s classic song ‘Where The Streets Have No Name’ below.