Wembley Stadium, London, England
Set List of Show:
- "No Line on the Horizon"
- "Get On Your Boots"
- "Beautiful Day"
- "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For"
- "Stuck in a Moment You Can't Get Out Of"
- "Unknown Caller"
- "The Unforgettable Fire"
- "City Of Blinding Lights"
- "I'll Go Crazy if I Don't Go Crazy Tonight"
- "Sunday Bloody Sunday"
- "Pride (In the Name of Love)"
- "Walk On"
- "Where the Streets Have No Name"
- "Mysterious Ways"
- "Ultra Violet (Light My Way)"
- "With or Without You"
- "Moment of Surrender"
Pre-Recorded Intro Song: "Space Oddity" - David Bowie
Pre-Recorded Intro Song: "Soon" - U2
Pre-Recorded Exit Song: "Rocket Man" - Elton John
Snippets of Other Songs Performed by U2:
"Blackbird" (The Beatles) /
"Movin' On Up" (Primal Scream) /
"Acquiesce" (Oasis) /
"I Don't Want to Join the Army" (Traditional, World War I) /
"Two Tribes" (Frankie Goes to Hollywood) /
"Reverend Black Grape" (Black Grape) /
"Rock the Casbah" (The Clash) /
"You'll Never Walk Alone" (from Carousel by Rodgers and Hammerstein) /
"All You Need is Love" (The Beatles) /
"Norwegian Wood" (The Beatles) /
U2 are heading into the final stretch of shows on the first leg of the U2360 tour. The next four cities are all in the UK, taking us to the end of the tour leg. Up tonight is Wembley Stadium in London. The iconic venue is a new stadium, recently torn down and rebuilt from the ground up. The new stadium reopened on March 9, 2007. U2 are playing two shows at the stadium.
The first Wembley show is opened by The Hours, and Elbow, who are new to the tour. Elbow get the crowd going early on in the day with their song “One Day Like This” which has the audience singing along. The show breaks an attendance record for a concert at Wembley Stadium, before tonight the Foo Fighters (2008) and Rod Stewart (1995) shared that record with 83,000 people, but U2 tonight are playing to 88,000 people.
Early on in the night Bono predicts, “I think something’s going to happen tonight,” and the crowd is up to the challenge. Willie Williams in his U2.com tour diary shares, “The audience were great though and there was an undeniable feeling in the air of being at a special event.”
“Stuck in a Moment” sees Bono getting a bit ahead of himself in the vocal, and The Edge having to play catch up.
During the show, “One” settles in almost at the end of the main set. It’s jumped from the middle of this set and back again a number of times. The Desmond Tutu speech which has been appearing before “Where the Streets Have No Name” is now being used ahead of “One” where it seems to make more sense.
“Mysterious Ways” leads the band into the encore break tonight. “With or Without You” is dedicated to Eunice Kennedy Shriver, a longtime friend of Bono who has died this week. Bono also pens a piece for Shriver, which is published on U2.com.
Noel Gallagher was in the crowd tonight as wes Lars Ulrich from Metallica. Others in the crowd included Richard Curtis (Screen writer), Bill Nighy (Actor), Roman Abramovich (Owner of Chelsea Football Club), Will Champion (Coldplay), Paul Greengrass (Director), and long time collaborator Brian Eno, and high school friend and writer, Neil McCormick.
With Noel Gallagher in the audience, Bono adds a snippet of Oasis’ “Acquiesce” to both “Vertigo” and “Where the Streets Have No Name” tonight. Other snippets include “Blackbird” in “Beautiful Day”, “Movin’ On Up” at the end of “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For”. For “I’ll Go Crazy” Bono includes snippets of “I Don’t Want to Join the Army”, “Two Tribes” and “Reverend Black Grape”. “Rock the Casbah” appears in “Sunday Bloody Sunday”, “All You Need is Love” appears with “Acquiesce” in “Where the Streets Have No Name” and “Norwegian Wood” makes an appearance at the end of “Mysterious Ways”. “Beautiful Day” also includes references to the nursery rhyme “London Bridge is falling down”.
In his diaries for U2.Com Willie Williams explains about the retractable roof on the stadium, “Another eccentricity about the new building is that it has a partial roof that is able to retract. The roof covers the grandstand areas and – according to one of our sound team – reflects the crowd noise back onto the pitch, which makes it a very exciting experience for the players. If true, it would be understandable that it might raise some problems for an event at which quality sound was paramount. The roof retracts but apparently part of the licensing agreement is that the roof has to be closed for concerts. Consequently, Joe had a real struggle tonight, though the sheer power of the sound did win the day.”
Alexis Petridis in The Guardian gives the show 4 stars out of five. In a write up about the show they say, “whatever objections you might raise about U2, you would have a tough time indeed saying that their music isn’t fit for purpose when it comes to stirring vast crowds, and a tougher time still remaining unstirred yourself. Indeed, you could argue that songs such as Vertigo or Where the Streets Have No Name only really come into their own accompanied by the weird, disembodied sound of tens of thousands of people bellowing along. Understandably, tens of thousands of people seem perfectly happy to oblige.”
The band had worked on the show on the day before this concert. They play with video footage for the shows, including changing around the lighting for “Where the Streets Have No Name” and redo the video and lighting for “Mysterious Ways” which is still somewhat new for the production. On the day of the show the band is heard rehearsing during soundcheck including “Mysterious Ways” and “Your Blue Room”. “Mysterious Ways” makes it to the set tonight but “Your Blue Room” won’t appear in this leg of the tour. Also worked on during the soundcheck are “Beautiful Day” and “Get On Your Boots”.
Officially Released Tracks
- With or Without You (Live from London, Aug. 14, 2009)
- Unknown Caller (Live from London, Aug. 14, 2009 - Fade In / Out)