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U2 – Ullevi Stadium, Gothenburg, 2009-07-31

2009-08-03

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On Friday July 31st 2009, I finally got to see U2 live for the first time. The wife and I have been trying to get U2 tickets since the Elevation tour to no avail. But this time we managed to score tickets to both shows in Gothenburg. Naturally we were both very excited to finally get to experience what we’d only seen on live dvd’s before.

For the first concert we stood in line outside the stadium for about 4 or 5 hours. This was a total nightmare. Security had no sense of organization, and it was basically just a sea of people 20 meters wide that all tried to get in at the same time once the gates opened. We were stuck in the crush for at least an hour before being able to enter the stadium. Out of all my nearly one hundred concerts, this was by far the worst queuing experience.

Once inside though, we did manage to get in to the pit and stood in the third row on the side of the stage by The Edge. The band took the stage at about 21.35, to the sound of future (hopefully) U2 release Kingdom. Larry appeared on stage first, and started up the intro to Breathe, and the rest of the band filed on with Bono entering last, to the enormous roar of the crowd. Many in the crowd waved white rags above their heads to greet the band, and show support for the ONE campaign. Get on Your Boots and Magnificent were really fun to hear. Despite what many people say, I think Get on Your Boots is a great live song. After 4 songs from No Line on the Horizon, they played Beautiful Day, and this was the first time the crowd really got going.

The best songs for me were One, Mysterious Ways, and especially Until the End of the World. It was so cool seeing Edge and Bono doing their little duel at the end of the song on one of the bridges above the crowd. The Edge ended the song by scraping his strings against the bridge railing. There was also a very cool moment when Adam walked over the bridge I was standing under during I’ll Go Crazy If I Don’t Go Crazy Tonight, and he kicked one of the white rags from the audience off the bridge and right over my head. Wish I would have caught it.

For the encore, I really enjoyed Ultra Violet (Light My Way), and seeing Bono wearing his laser jacket. All the effects and smoke, with Bono singing through a steering wheel looking microphone that is suspended from the roof of the claw stage, gave the encore a ZooTV vibe.

Now, as much as I don’t want to, I do have to bring up some negative aspects of this concert. Sadly it was not the euphoric experience I had hoped a U2 concert would be. The problem lies in the fact that this show is made for the masses, and not the hard-core fans. If you stand in the inner circle, you will miss the entire light show, and the sound is well below par since the speakers are hanging on the outside of the stage. Also the stage is so high that if you’re close to the front like we were, it is hard to see all the band members, and the two bridges that are moved around during the set end up blocking your view for certain songs. For example, during The Unforgettable Fire, we couldn’t see anyone in the band because one of the bridges were in the way. And lastly, the audience, I don’t know what to say really, but around us everyone stood completely still for the most part. Unbelievable and yet so typically Swedish! Yes people, I know we didn’t have the best view where we were, but come on, jump around and clap your hands a little and maybe you might enjoy yourself! But I’m still happy we stood so close though, and got a chance to see the band up close, as is evident in the pictures below. And we did get a chance to take in the entire show the following night…

On a side note I would like to mention that opening act Snow Patrol were fantastic! They seemed to really enjoy themselves on stage and were very grateful to be a part of the tour. Their music is really great and uplifting. I advise everyone to check them out.

Feel free to comment with your own thoughts about the show, and general opinions of the U2 360 tour so far.

Setlist: (from u2gigs.com)

Start: 21:35

1. Breathe
2. No Line On The Horizon
3. Get On Your Boots
4. Magnificent
5. Beautiful Day / Rain (snippet)
6. Mysterious Ways / Norwegian Wood (snippet)
7. One / She’s A Mystery To Me (snippet)
8. Until The End Of The World
9. Desire / Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough (snippet)
10. Stuck In A Moment You Can’t Get Out Of
11. Unknown Caller
12. The Unforgettable Fire
13. City Of Blinding Lights
14. Vertigo
15. I’ll Go Crazy If I Don’t Go Crazy Tonight
16. Sunday Bloody Sunday / Rock The Casbah (snippet)
17. Pride (In The Name Of Love)
18. MLK
19. Walk On / You’ll Never Walk Alone (snippet)
20. Where The Streets Have No Name / All You Need Is Love (snippet)

Encore:
21. Ultra Violet (Light My Way)
22. With Or Without You
23. Moment of Surrender

End: 23:40

Pictures (Click on an image to enlarge it)
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3 Responses to “U2 – Ullevi Stadium, Gothenburg, 2009-07-31”

  1. Irma says:

    My favorites for that night were Mysterious Ways and Desire. I was sure I wouldn’t hear Desire, and preparing myself to not hear Mysterious Ways. But those were both pleasant surprises! I just wish, like you said, that the people around us were a bit more into it. Why THE HELL do you stand in the pit if you’re going to stand there like a statue? Damn Swedes!!!! ;)

  2. Luna says:

    Being of Irish descent & loving it, my family is amazed that I don’t like U2. I never have… It’s just not my kind of music. BUT… I’m glad you guys had fun! I hope it was less muddy than the last one! LOL And that “claw” thingy… pretty cool looking! Here in AZ, people would be packed under it like sardines, regardless of what they could see on stage, just to get out of the blazing sun!

    LOL, Irma… the first concert I went to, Huey Lewis & The News… The people around us were like that too! In fact, the lady behind me actually tugged on my shirt & asked me to sit down because she couldn’t see!!! Losers.

  3. HeatherJ says:

    You got some great pictures! I’m glad you got to go to the second show where you could see more!

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