U2 360 St. Louis 7.17.11 – one of my favorites!
The U2 360 show in St. Louis was amazing! Definitely one of my top 5 for the tour behind Chicago and Anaheim2 and tied with Seattle and Baltimore. Even though it was a standard set list, the band had such a great energy, especially Bono – he was really excited and happy. The Fly returned after its brief departure in Philadelphia, and Magnificent disappeared again. Both Bono and Larry acknowledged me on their way onto the stage and then Bono gave me a ‘shout out’ during the band introductions. This St. Louis show was the hottest show so far, beating Baltimore and Nashville, with it’s 110 heat index.
My friend Beth flew in the morning of the show. We talked the day before as she made last minute plans to come to St. Louis, so we decided that she would share the hotel room with Elvis, Cilla and myself. We relaxed in the hotel for a bit, then went to lunch on the way to Busch Stadium, which was only a couple blocks away. We had a great pasta lunch at Caleco’s thinking we should carb up to sustain the long day in the 110 degree heat!
After lunch, we made our way to Busch Stadium to try to figure out where U2 would drive in. Luckily, the spot we chose was in the shade. My friend Chuck and Beth’s friend Tim were there. We also ran into Cathal and a few others. There was a bit of discrepency where the band was actually going to drive in. There were a lot of people on the other side of the stadium waiting, and only about 10 of us on our side. Turns out we were right and the band drove in just after 5 where we were waiting. Bono rolled down his window and waved, and Edge and Adam waved from inside their cars. The guy in the fourth car, who I assumed was Larry, didn’t wave or look at us – just looked straight ahead. About 15 minutes or so later, another car drove in and this time it was Larry and he waved. We were surprised when no one came out to greet us, since there was only about 10 of us there.
I walked into the stadium and over to the inner circle on Edge’s side, but it was closed. So I had to walk around to Adam’s side, get my stamp for re-entry, then walk back over to Edge’s side. Even though I could see that U2 was going to walk into the stadium from the tunnel on Adam’s side, I wanted to be on Edge’s side so I could watch them walk onto the stage, or under the stage actually. My friend Jason from Memphis joined me. He had contacted me earlier and drove up that afternoon and luckily bought a GA from someone outside the stadium around 6. I met a guy and his young son Tyler, I mean like 7 years old young, who had been to 9 shows this tour. Turns out, they read my blog and Tyler’s favorites are Larry and Bono. A guy from the crew asked me how many shows I’ve been to. When I told him all the US shows and I’m driving to all of them with my dogs, he said I was crazy and should just give my money to him. I told him I should work for U2, so I could get paid to follow the tour.
Interpol took the stage around 7:30 and played their usual set. I’m still not a fan, but they are ok. U2 didn’t come out until about 9:15. On the way to the stage, Larry saw me and smiled and waved. And not his usual obligatory smile and wave, but he actually seemed to recognize and acknowledge me. Then Bono smiled, waved and said Hi to me. I could definitely see recognition in his face – and it’s been a long time since I spoke with him in Seattle and Oakland. Please watch my video of U2 entering Busch Stadium, even though it isn’t very good because I got distracted when both Larry and Bono acknowledged me http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ubhKJGvXwyA
My excitement grew even greater when U2 followed the opener Even Better Than the Real Thing with The Fly, which they had removed from the set list in Philadelphia and replaced it with Magnificent. After The Fly, I knew the St. Louis show was going to be one of my favorites. U2 had such a great energy, and Bono seemed really excited and happy. The Fly was followed by Mysterious Ways and Until the End of the World, as usual but I just love 4 straight songs off Acthung Baby. And it doesn’t hurt that Larry starts Even Better than the Real Thing with his pounding drums and he and his drumkit turn around and face behind the stage during Mysterious Ways. The inner circle wasn’t that crowded, so I moved from my usual spot behind the stage and stood toward the side of the stage during Until the End of the World and I Will Follow and actually got pictures of the whole band.
As if I wasn’t excited enough, or hot enough, from Get on Your Boots, Bono started his usual talk before I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For. He read the set list from a show U2 played in St. Louis 30 years ago. I thought they would play an impromtu old song, especially when everyone cheered when he read Out of Control, but they didn’t. Then Bono started the band introductions. He said, ‘Larry is still upset that we changed our name to U2 from the Larry Mullen Band and there are some people here that agree with him’ – and Larry busted out laughing. Everyone thinks Bono was referring to me, and maybe he was since he and Larry did clearly notice me on the way to the stage. Please watch my video of Bono’s band introductions http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZliD-wUhH_8
This St. Louis show was so hot that Bono took off his signature jacket during the second or third song and performed in his tee shirt. Then he left Edge to introduce Stay while he went down to the underworld to change his shirt. Adam even went shirtless under his jacket during I’ll Go Crazy. But as hot as it was, U2 chose last night to wear their lighted jackets during Zooropa and City of Blinding Lights. I love Larry in that black jacket (it’s so Elvis), but I can’t believe they chose the hottest show of the tour to wear them. In the past, it’s only been at the cold shows.
After watching Larry start I’ll Go Crazy, turn around facing the back during Sunday Bloody Sunday, and his drum solo during Scarlet, I walked around to Adam’s side of the inner circle to watch the rest of the show. Even though I like Edge’s side better, I knew U2 would would leave on the tunnel on Adam’s side of the inner circle. As they walked by very quickly, I shouted out to Larry and he waved and smiled, but at my friend Chuck not at me.
Please watch my video of Larry starting I’ll Go Crazy http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tCbMrCcNYPw
Please watch my video of Bono and Larry singing LET ME IN THE SOUND http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3w1GTNu-z3I
Please watch my video of an overview of the St. Louis 360 show http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C8B-u712OO0
July 17th was the 8th anniversary of my bloved Grandmother’s death, so maybe Grandmom had a hand in making the U2 360 show in St. Louis special for me. It was a great night. A fantastic show. One of my favorites! Now it’s on to New Jersey for the U2 360 show on Wednesday.