Monday, May 7, 2018

U2 - St. Louis - May 4, 2018

Whenever U2 comes to town, we always try to get General Admission tickets. The only show we did not have them for was back in 1997 right after my husband and I were married, when the band was here on their POP tour. But they didn't even have GA for that show, and it was just reserved seats on the floor.

After they had to cancel the Joshua Tree show scheduled here last September, I was sure that was it for U2 coming back to St. Louis for awhile if ever. But surprisingly we found out that St. Louis was going to be the second stop on their new tour. We were so happy to get another chance to see them here!

The morning of the concert (May 4, 2018), my husband, son and I arrived down at the venue around 4:30 am to get our General Admission line numbers. We were still pretty high up at 194-196 considering how early we made it down there. It was the earliest we had ever arrived for GA and the highest for numbers ironically. They told us to go home and come back at 7am when they would line us up again for new numbers. If you weren't back at that time you lost your spot and those behind you could move up.

When we came back we were given new numbers and made it to 163-165 for the three of us. Still pretty good though because the stage set up had plenty of room to be close to a rail. Once again they told us we could go home but had to be back by 2pm to get our bracelets. So thankfully we didn't have to hang out in line all day as we've had to in the past. We actually had a few much needed opportunities to go home and rest.

After 2pm we decided to just stay in line and were finally let in sometime between 5:30 and 6pm. We started to go for one of the open side rails next to the long catwalk part of the stage...
but at the last minute we decided to risk it and headed toward the main stage area by where the Edge usually stands. Luckily, there were spots!

And then the hardest part of all. Waiting for them to come onstage. It always seems to take forever!

There is nothing to really describe the feeling when they finally arrive and you realize that they are standing right there in front of you :)
They played The Blackout on the catwalk, but then they came back to the main stage for the next eight songs (Lights of Home, Beautiful Day, I Will Follow, New Year's Day, All Because of You, The Ocean, Iris, and Cedarwood Road) with Bono moving down the catwalk and back for part of Beautiful Day and I think Cedarwood Road.
Sunday Bloody Sunday had the whole band back on the catwalk. And then Adam and Larry returned to the main stage while Edge and Bono stayed on the Catwalk for Until the End of the World. Always a favorite for us.

They had a really cool (to me) Intermission with a cartoon type story on the screen that played along to a recording of Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me from the Batman soundtrack.

After the Intermission, they went down to the little round stage on the opposite end of the catwalk for Elevation, Vertigo, Desire, and Acrobat (which was a song Mike and I, as well as a ton of other U2 fans, have been wanting to hear live for years!) Next they played a stripped down version of You're the Best Thing About Me, and I really hope they record and release it because I loved it!
Edge and Bono stayed down that way doing an acoustic version of Staring at the Sun while Larry and Adam once again came back towards the main stage for a little break.
Then we had Pride, Get Out of Your Own Way, American Soul, and City of Blinding Lights with the whole band back at the main stage.

For their encore we heard One, Love is Bigger Than Anything in it's Way, and 13 (There is a Light). I'll speak more about the what Bono said before they played One in a little bit. But I just have to say, that Love is Bigger was one of my favorites of the night. Bono was on our side a lot during that song and really connecting with the crowd there. And 13 (There is a Light) was the perfect end for me.

It was an amazing show in so many ways, but not without it's flaws. I didn't expect perfection, because it was only the second stop on a new tour for them. There were lyric slip ups (Bono during Acrobat). And Bono even said something like "let's try that again" during one song (I can't remember which one now) that had a little bit of a rough start. There was some sound distortion and a few technical issues at times. But I don't mind that type of stuff. It makes them more human to me :) And really the first few shows of a new tour never go smoothly. That's why we usually wait till later in the tours to go, but there was no way we were going to miss St. Louis.

I could also see though how much more concentration and focus Edge and Adam seemed to need when a show is newer as opposed to how more relaxed and engaging and in tune with the audience they become as a tour progresses and it all becomes second nature.
He had his eyes closed a lot during the concert this time around.

This was 2011 here in St. Louis, but on the third leg of the tour when they had already been in North America once. Then over in Europe, South America and Mexico for the second leg of the tour and back here to North America. So lots of practice. And he was definitely all smiles with eyes wide open a lot back then. But I am NOT complaining. I love being that close to them and watching them play no matter when the concert is taking place!
 And he really does have a lot of guitars. A new one came out for practically every song!

When it comes down to it, I thought it was a great show (mistakes and all). A lot of people were disappointed that they didn't play any songs from the Joshua Tree album. And I totally get why they felt that way. It's the album that put U2 on the map over here and many people have a huge connection to the band through it. But they just finished a whole tour dedicated to the Joshua Tree! And while St. Louis technically lost out seeing it when the show was cancelled, this is a completely different tour and I'm just glad they came back here. Bono definitely mentioned it more than once that they were happy to return and apologized for the wait.
As for politics, Bono definitely had a lot to say. And the message is one I get behind 100%. I neither consider myself Republican or Democrat, but more Independent in my political views. Somewhere right down the middle. Before they played "One", Bono spoke out:

"You can only solve these problems if you reach out to the people who you don't normally want to sit across from. So, forget the White House, left and right. Working together: That's what we learned in the One Campaign. We can work together, whatever it is: budgets, gun violence health care - it won't be solved by half the country that's for sure. And you can disagree on almost everything if the one thing you agree on is important enough. Choose what that is."

This. I'm so tired of left and right and so little compromise or meeting in the middle. People can complain what does it matter to Bono, he doesn't even live here. But it does matter. He has always professed a love for America and the idea of America. That is why Joshua Tree was even made. And right now America is a mess. And it doesn't just affect us, but other countries as well. Anyway, I'll leave it alone for now, but it was a very meaningful moment for me as someone who is just frustrated about how hurtful and selfish so many seem these days. Especially those in power.

I'll leave you with a photo of Adam Clayton because I think he is just about the coolest bass player ever!

And Larry who I have a new appreciation for now that my son plays the drums. The look on Evan's face as he watched Larry play was priceless. So he had me watching and all I could think was so amazing. To think where they came from to where they are now.

Would really love to be able to see them again on this tour - when it's a little more polished and they are a little more relaxed. Not sure it will happen since there aren't many shows left over here, but I've learned to never say never when it comes to U2. I think the next time though we would probably sit in regular seats just to take in everything. I know there is quite a bit we missed when they played at the other end, and that big screen just does not have the same effect when you are so close.

I have to say, their show here back in 2011 for the 360 tour still remains my favorite one ever. As much as I appreciated this concert for what it was, and I will never, ever take for granted any opportunity to see my favorite band up close, it's hard to top that 2011 one for me. Although I think the original Joshua Tree tour that came here is a close second along with when we saw them in Dublin, Ireland in 2009! :)

Have you ever seen U2 live? (Julie, I know you have lucky girl! lol)
What is your favorite all time concert?


  1. I WISH!!
    They have always been one of my favourite bands from when I first heard them on Much Music as a teen...has it been that long!!!
    You are such a lucky girl to have had them visit your city so many times and to have seen them afar....yup a bit envious here, lol

  2. LOL!! I love you!! Thanks for the shout out!! :) I love his views and totally agree with you!! This country is a mess right now, and it needs fixing and that's all I have to say about that! ;) LOVING the photos!!! Looks like an amazing time!!!!

  3. Great review! I’ve only seen them live once, the Joshua Tree tour last year. Sadly, I was so exhausted after tabling for ONE (out there hours beforehand), that I was falling asleep in my seat! Lol! Would love to see them again one day...when I can keep my eyes open. ;)

  4. I have to admit I probably wouldn’t have seen them as much as I have if it wasn’t for my husband! He has aleaysbtaken Care if travel arrangements and getting tickets. He thinks big! Lol And I’m grateful he does!!