Of the 75 U2 concerts I’ve seen since I started my musical journey in 1992 on the ZooTv Tour, my favorite that begins with ‘A’ is Anaheim2 on June 18, 2011 on the 360 Tour. Anaheim was the only city in the U.S. where U2 played back-to-back shows on that final leg of the 360 tour. I almost didn’t go to the second show because it was on a Saturday night, and I had to drive across the country to be at the show in Baltimore on Wednesday night. People tried to get me to skip the show to make the drive easier. I have always done what I wanted, though, even if it seemed unreasonable. I had made this challenge to myself to drive to every U2 show in the U.S. on this leg of the 360 tour, and that is exactly what I was going to do. Thank goodness I did, because Anaheim 2 was my favorite show of the U2 360 tour.
The day of the show, I stayed in my hotel room until I left for Angels Stadium at 2:30. It was just a short walk. I got my GA wristband and went around to wait for U2 to arrive. Like the day before, they again arrived in 2 helicopters and again did not stop. I went in after the GA line had already gone inside the stadium. It was a more relaxed feel than the previous night. The inner circle wasn’t as crowded. I again got a soda and sat in the stands until Lenny Kravitz came on. As I walked around the general admission area, I saw Cindy Crawford. She was stunning and very nice – posing for pictures. I went behind the stage and stood at the tunnel where U2 walks into the stadium. I again watched the show from behind the stage, so I could watch Larry – as I did almost every show of the tour.
That second night in Anaheim, U2 finally changed the set list! With every new change, I grew more and more excited! For the first and only time in the U.S., U2 started the show with five straight songs from Achtung Baby, celebrating the album’s 20th anniversary. During “Even Better Than the Real Thing” Bono said, “Southern California. Orange County. Where you gonna take us tonight? You take us higher!”, and that they did. The second song of the night was “The Fly,” which had not been played since 2006 in Hawaii. During “The Fly” Bono yelled, “Achtung Ya’ll!” just as he had during ZooTv. “The Fly” would remain in the set list for the rest of the tour. “Where the Streets Have No Name,” which is usually in the encore, was the sixth song of the night.
During “Get on Your Boots” right before my favorite “LET ME IN THE SOUND,” Bono said, “Larry Mullen, do you know how beautiful you are?” Bono introduced Larry as “a movie star” saying, “it had to happen.” He went on to say, “our Lawrence plays opposite the great Donald Sutherland in The Man on the Train.” My favorite part of the night was when my favorite song, “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For”, found its way back into the set list for the first time that leg – and it remained there for the rest of the tour. Bono dedicated it to Quincy Jones, who was in the audience, and said, “This song means a great deal to us.” I cried like a baby, literally, tears streaming down my face. This was one of my favorite moments of the entire 360 tour – very special to me.
”Stuck in a Moment” was played instead of “Stay,” which made me extremely happy. Bono, of course, dedicated it to Michael Hutchence, but also talked about Edge and how he would be a great neighbor (referring to the petition against Edge building a house in Malibu). Bono also mentioned that it was Edge’s wedding anniversary. The black lighted jackets made their return during ”Zooropa” and “City of Blinding Lights.” Larry smiled at me during “I’ll Go Crazy,” as he usually does since I’m the only one behind the stage in a Larry Mullen Band shirt jumping up and down screaming his name. There was only one encore at that second show in Anaheim. A sixth song from Achtung Baby, “Ultra Violet,” made its way into the set list for the first time that leg, replacing “Hold Me Thrill Me Kiss Me Kill Me.” Before “Moment of Surrender,” Bono paid tribute to Springsteen’s saxophonist Clarence Clemons, who died earlier that day, and sang a part of Bruce Springsteen’s “Jungleland” after, as he would for the rest of the tour. ”Magnificent” was left out of the set list for the first and only time that leg.
The set list of my favorite show of the U2 360 tour (Anaheim2) was as follows: Even Better Than The Real Thing, The Fly, Mysterious Ways / Don’t Speak, Until the End of the World, One, Amazing Grace / Where the Streets Have No Name / All You Need Is Love, I Will Follow, Get On Your Boots / She Loves You, I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For, Stuck In a Moment, Beautiful Day / Space Oddity, Elevation, Pride, Miss Sarajevo, Zooropa, City of Blinding Lights, Vertigo / It’s Only Rock and Roll, I’ll Go Crazy / Discotheque / Please, Sunday Bloody Sunday, Scarlet, Walk On / Never Walk Alone, Ultraviolet, With or Without You, Moment of Surrender / Jungleland
I had the best time at this show! I am SO glad I did not skip it just to get a head start on my cross country drive. Never listen to reason. Follow your passion. I made it from Anaheim to Baltimore in three and a half days, in time for the next U2 show. If I had thought logically, I would have skipped the second Anaheim show to make it an easier cross country drive, but then I would have missed my favorite show of the tour. And if I had been thinking logically, I would have never even gone on the trip to begin with because I could not afford it, but then I would have missed out on the best summer of my life On the Road with U2 on the 360 Tour.
This is part of my Blogging from A to Z Challenge about ‘My U2 Concerts A to Z.’ Thanks for stopping by. Please come back tomorrow as I write about my favorite ‘B’ U2 show.