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"It is my ambition to travel to America and give it what I consider it wants and needs." — Bono, 1981

by Kevin from Massachusetts

July 20, 2011


I feel so fortunate to have attended a date on this leg of the tour.   After seeing it, I am convinced that it is one of the top legs of any tour in U2's career.    The new Meadowlands Stadium is the best stadium I've ever been in. Incredible facility, perfect viewing angles, and easy access to food and anything you could need.  This was one of the few stadiums that the 360 staging could not be seen from the outside.    Once inside, the 360 stage was so big it seemed as though you could reach out and touch it.     I drove from Massachusetts to be at this show.    There were extra lights for the stage mounted on the upper ring of the stadium, and this added to the impressive effect of the lighting on the Claw staging itself.   Because of this extra lighting, I had the thought that the band might be filming this, but nothing has been released to this point.

It was a very hot, muggy night in New Jersey. One of those nights when shorts and a t-shirt would have been enough to wear even after midnight.   It was THAT HOT.   It would have an effect on the band, especially Bono during the set.  Bono had to leave the stage prior to Miss Sarajevo to get a change of clothes and to hydrate.

The Set:

The band's arrival on-stage, preceded by Space Oddity, had the band walking into the stadium and being shown on the 360 screen, which had a massive impact on the crowd.   The stadium had an electric atmosphere.  

The setlist was standard for this leg, and played into the excitement of the Expanded editions of Achtung Baby.  The night became emotional when it became apparent that Bruce Springsteen was in the house - Bono sang a snippet of Promised Land at the close of ISHFWILF, and he mentioned the E-Street Band over the course of the night.   Clarence Clemons passed on less that a month prior to this show, and everyone was still mourning the loss.   The resulting effect on U2's setlist on this night was beyond spectacular, culminating with the dedication of Moment of Surrender in the memory of Clarence, and Bono dedicated the song to Bruce and the E Street Band.   There was not a dry eye in the stadium.    The surprise of the night was that there was a song played after Moment, and when the crowd heard the opening to Out of Control the entire stadium became un-glued.

An amazing show, fitting for a hot summer night in Jersey.   

One of the best Bootlegs of the tour was generated through The Edge's IEM feed, and offers an interesting and entertaining look inside a night where the band takes it to the highest level.

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