Ataturk Stadium, Istanbul, Turkey
Set List of Show:
- "Return of the Stingray Guitar"
- "Beautiful Day"
- "New Year's Day"
- "Get On Your Boots"
- "Mysterious Ways"
- "Until the End of the World"
- "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For"
- "Pride (In the Name of Love)"
- "In a Little While"
- "Miss Sarajevo"
- "City Of Blinding Lights"
- "I'll Go Crazy if I Don't Go Crazy Tonight"
- "Sunday Bloody Sunday"
- "Mothers of the Disappeared"
- "Yiğidim Aslanım Burda Yatıyor"
- "Walk On"
- "Where the Streets Have No Name"
- "Ultra Violet (Light My Way)"
- "With or Without You"
- "Moment of Surrender"
Pre-Recorded Intro Song: "Space Oddity" - David Bowie
Pre-Recorded Exit Song: "Rocket Man" - Elton John
Snippets of Other Songs Performed by U2:
"Always Forever Now" (Passengers) /
"My Sweet Lord" (George Harrison) /
"Discothèque" (U2) /
"John, I'm Only Dancing" (David Bowie) /
"Get Up Stand Up" (Bob Marley) /
"You'll Never Walk Alone" (from Carousel by Rodgers and Hammerstein) /
"Amazing Grace" (John Newton and William Walker) /
Istanbul is a city where U2 have not played before. The band had not performed in Turkey before for that matter. A single show is booked at Atatürk Olympic Stadium. (Not that it held an Olympics, but the stadium was built in order to put in a bid for them.) The attendance at the show this evening sets a record for the biggest rock concert in the country’s history. And although it is a record, and big concerts are not the usual in this city, the security and venue seem well organized to handle the influx of fans. The show in Istanbul ends the first half of this leg of the tour.
The start of the show is delayed for some time. Just as the lines start to move inside, torrential rains hit the venue, which being in the middle of nowhere is prone to these types of weather events. (When China won the Olympic bid much of the development around the stadium came to a halt.) There are also long traffic tie ups outside. Whether these issues lead to the delays or something else is not known. The rain passes quickly, and by the time of Snow Patrol’s performance has stopped. The good news about playing in the middle of nowhere? There’s no curfew and a full show can be played.
Snow Patrol join U2 for the show in Istanbul. It is their final show with U2 in 2010, and like their final show in the US last year, the U2 crew come out to say goodbye joining them on stage for their final song, laying themselves across the stage when Gary Lightbody sings “If I just lay here”.
“Return of the Stingray Guitar” is the only new song performed tonight. Although the band has played four songs throughout the tour at various points, for shows in Moscow, Istanbul and Athens where the band has not performed before, they seem to be keeping with more well known songs. Starting out the stadium is not full but as the music starts, people take their seats quickly, and the stadium gradually fill in as traffic troubles subside.
After “Beautiful Day” Bono speaks about Istanbul being this years European Capital of Culture. He talks about the beautiful city, the Bosphorous bridge that spans between Asia and Europe, and how the previous day he had walked the bridge from West to East with Egemen Bağış. Bağış is a State Minister and the EU Chief Negotiator. This leads to a loud round of ‘boos’ through the crowd. Istanbul is in the midst of a constitutional referendum, with a vote coming up, and they do not want to hear about politicians tonight. Bono pulls the crowd back in talking about the beauty of Turkey and has cheers again before he moves along, calling the bridge “A bridge carrying the past into the future.”
During “In A Little While” Bono brings a girl out of the audience to dance with him. The crowd is enjoying themselves tonight, and like Athens a few nights previous, the voices are loud. The band is drowned out by the assembled audience during “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For”.
Before the show tonight the entire band met with Hanim, the widow of Fehmi Tosun. Tosun was an ethnic Kurd, who disappeared into custody on his way to work in 1995 and was never see again. U2 highlighted the incident in the Pop liner notes, and they performed the song “Mothers of the Disappeared” for Fehmi Tosun this evening. It is the first time “Mothers of the Disappeared” has appeared on the U2360, with the exception of a short snippet in Dublin. And it is the first time a full version of the song is played outside of South America since 1987.
For “Mothers of the Disappeared” U2 are joined on stage by Turkish singer Zülfü Livaneli, a folk musician, activist, newspaper columnist, poet, filmmaker and politician. After “Mothers of the Disappeared” Livaneli shares “We are the music makers, we are the dreamers, welcome Bono! Welcome friends to Turkey!” and he is invited to sing a song of his own. His guitarist borrows one of The Edge’s guitars and the two perform “Yiğidim Aslanım Burda Yatıyor”. (A rough translation is “My Valiant Lion Lies Here”) At the end of the song Livaneli leads the audience and U2 in singing the end of the song. The additions to the show mean that “MLK” is not performed tonight, and it is the first time on the U2360 tour it is not performed.
Snippets tonight include a surprise “Always Forever Now” by Passengers during “Beautiful Day”. It’s the first time it has been added to a song. The band have been adding touches from Passengers throughout the tour, including singing “Your Blue Room” on the second leg, “Miss Sarajevo” on the current leg, and an encore video during the second leg set to “Theme from the Swan”. Other snippets include “My Sweet Lord” during “Mysterious Ways”, “Discotheque” and “John, I’m Only Dancing” during “I’ll Go Crazy”, “Get Up Stand Up” during “Sunday Bloody Sunday” and “You’ll Never Walk Alone” during “Walk On”, “Amazing Grace” is also performed at the start of “Where the Streets Have No Name”.
About the show Willie Williams shares in his U2.com diary, “U2 had a great night also, though we were most amused at the audience’s response to Bono name-checking the politician with whom they had walked across the Bosporus bridge the day before. The bridge links Europe to Asia, so Bono had said what a beautiful bridge and talked about East meets West and their walk with this particular politician. The audience broke out into a round of very audible booing – it was good-natured, but it was also very clear. Bono has always credited U2’s audience with being the smartest rock audience on earth and later he was amused to acknowledge that part of the deal is that if the audience doesn’t like something they’ll tell you straight. ‘OK,’ says Bono over the booing ‘how about the bridge then, I can just talk about the bridge, right?’”
Also joining Fehmi Tosun’s widow Hanim at the show is Salil Shetty, the Secretary General of Amnesty International.
The trek home is not an easy one for fans. There is no public transportation near the stadium. It is located well outside the city centre, and it’s a three kilometer walk to reach any major roads. To avoid the gridlock earlier in the day, access to the venue is shut off at the main road in, and cars attempting to reach the venue are unable to, and attendees to the show are forced to walk out to meet their transportation, unless they have parked inside the traffic cordon.
A soundcheck in the afternoon had included “Mercy” as well as “Mothers of the Disappeared”. Of the two only the second was played this evening. “Mercy” is a new song, not yet played on the U2360 tour, and this was the first time it was sound checked.
Tickets for this show went on general sale on November 2, 2009. U2.Com presales were held starting on October 29.
Officially Released Tracks