June 24, 2011

U2 360… A Day Late

After a lovely and lively dinner last night with Emily Evans Eerdmans and Christopher Petkanas who were in town for Hugo Vickers’ lecture on the Duchess of Windsor (which I missed because of another engagement), I was too wiped out to edit the dozens of images from the U2 concert and then post them.

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The logistics of the 360 tour were massive – there are more than 400 people in the road/stage crew, the tour carries its own generating plant, the top of the stage is more than 160 feet tall – and once I saw everything in situ, it was clear that is was an incredible feat to get the show on the road.U2 063 In each of the four legs, there were three guys who were hoisted up to control the lights and cameras. You can see them hanging below, before they settled in place. Although they were tethered into their seats, you’ve got to be pretty fearless to do this job!U2 071 The evening started with a fun performance by Florence & The Machine, who were great and had the crowd singing and dancing along to her tunes. U2 064 Finally, the sky started getting dark, the stadium began filling and anticipation mounted. A huge screen descended and started showing times around the world, and random facts and figures (Elevation of Baltimore: 38 feet).  These were fun for me, since I adore random things like that.U2 070 All of a sudden, the smoke machines turned on, the lights turned off and the screen showed the band walking from the bowels of the stadium onto the stage. U2 075 The noise was deafening, and got even louder when the band kicked into their first song “Even Better than the Real Thing”. By “I Will Follow”, everyone was on their feet, singing along and dancing.

One of the fun bits was having astronaut, Mark E. Kelly, introduce “Beautiful Day”, recorded on the Space Station, send greetings to Baltimore, and say how much he loves his wife, Gabi Giffords. Hokey, perhaps, but moving.

From our seats (no seats, just feets), on the field, we actually had a brilliant view of the band. Short as I am, I could see the guys playing and moving across the stage, and the bridges that went out over the crowd. U2 083 U2 088 U2 101 But if you couldn’t see as well as we could, the 360* screens gave you an incredible view. Most of it was live footage, but some was overlaid by graphics and video from other sources.  And after a little while, the huge screen became even more massive as it spread apart – and still continued to show the show!U2 131 The whole time, the tower on top of the stage was streaming out smoke, flashing with lasers which pierced the smoke, and turning into a giant disco ball, sparkling lights all around the stadium. U2 136 U2 196 U2 200 The band played for a little more than two hours, and managed to get in a lot of everyone’s favourite tunes, including one of mine, “Miss Sarajevo”.  U2 111 Here’s the set list.

Even Better Than The Real Thing
The Fly
Mysterious Ways
Until The End Of The World
I Will Follow
Get On Your Boots
I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For
Beautiful Day
Pride (In The Name Of Love)
Miss Sarajevo
City Of Blinding Lights
I'll Go Crazy If I Don't Go Crazy Tonight
Sunday Bloody Sunday
Walk On
Where The Streets Have No Name
With Or Without You
Moment of Surrender

“Moment of Surrender” was played as a tribute to the late Clarence Clemons, and it was just incredible when the lights were dimmed and Bono asked everyone to hold up their cell phone, a la the old rock concert days of holding up your lighter!U2 203 I have to say I am super-proud of the pictures that my little Canon SD1100 Digital Elph camera was able to take, including this little series of Bono on the acoustic guitar. U2 182 U2 183 U2 184  It’s got a 12x digital zoom on it, and with our location and the zoom, I got some decent shots. U2 191Thanks so much to my dear friend Cat for inviting me to join her! U2 189It was a memorable night spent with 75,000 of our closest friends!

U2 211 THANK YOU!!!


  1. Thank you so much for the great photos. I saw U2 so many years ago when "Still Haven't Found What I'm
    Looking For" was their #1 hit!!!
    Then saw Bono years later when in Dublin for the horse show in August. You are great to take time from your busy schedule to post these.

  2. I am a fan of the work of Hugo Vickers, so I am sure I would have enjoyed his lecture on the Duchess of Windsor. The book on the Duchess I am really looking forward to, however, is the one by Anne Sebba to be released in August.

  3. do we sand to go to concerts to stand because, because we why does one do that?

  4. Hi Meg, Thanks for sharing--now I wish that I had gone to see them when they were just down the road from me a couple of weeks ago. I have the same Canon camera and it does take great pictures for its size and price point. Have a great week-end with Connor working on the house. Mary

  5. Awesome pictures Meg! Definitely the concert of a lifetime!

  6. Amazing pictures!! I love your post and pictures...it took us forever to figure out the TIME of the different cities around the world. There was one with International Space Station 0:31 and some other place with 21:31 and finally the pieces came together.

    My favorite U2 song is I Will Follow!

  7. Meg, your pictures are incredible! I was in that 75,000, too - wasn't it an amazing feeling just to be a part of a group that big, with that much energy? It was the third time I've seen U2, but the last time was 10 years ago. I loved every minute of it. Well, until we tried to take the light rail home, but that's another story...

  8. What an evening and lucky you...great pictures, and description! Now I'm off to iTunes to download a few tunes...


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