DAY 43 – JUNE 25
Day 43 of my U2 360 tour across America brought me from Maryland to Michigan for U2 360′s show at Michigan State University in East Lansing. I left my parents’ house in Ellicott City, Maryland at 10am and arrived in East Lansing, Michigan at 7:30pm – driving 578 miles stopping only twice. It was a long, boring drive along the Pennsylvania and Ohio turnpikes, costing me a total of $22. in tolls. Over the next month, I would drive back and forth across the Pennsylvania and Ohio Turnpikes over and over again. Please watch my video of my drive from Maryland to Michigan.
They were very excited in East Lansing for the U2 360 show. There was a U2 flyer and a newspaper with U2 on the cover at the front desk of my hotel, the Howard Johnson. Apparently U2 hadn’t played in East Lansing since the early 1980s and there hasn’t been a stadium concert there since the Rolling Stones in the early 1990s. I had never been to Michigan before, but I didn’t have time to do any sight seeing. I just had just enough time to drive up from Maryland, see the U2 show, and then drive down to Miami for the next U2 show.
DAY 44 – JUNE 26 – U2 360 #8 – EAST LANSING
The U2 360 show at Michigan State in East Lansing was good. The same set list as Baltimore, except Hold Me Thrill Me Kiss Me Kill Me was played instead of Ultra Violet. It stayed light outside through Elevation, which was really cool because I’ve never seen a U2 show in the daylight before. This East Lansing show was the least crowded 360 show I went to, even though it was sold out. They didn’t sell many GA tickets, so there was plenty of room inside the inner circle and the rest of the floor wasn’t even half full. There were no red zones and the catwalk of the inner circle went almost to the stands.
I started off my day in Michigan relaxing in my hotel room, ordered a pizza and walked to Spartan Stadium around 1:30 – it was only about a mile away. I walked around the stadium to the GA line, which seemed very calm and happy. I finally met Lori-Jo (EdgeFest) whom I had been talking with on Twitter. The GA line was right by the entrance the crew was using to go in and out of the stadium, so everyone assumed U2 would be arriving there – but it was at the opposite end of the stage. I walked around the stadium to see if there was anywhere else U2 could drive in. When I returned to where I started, Dallas and Sammy were also walking back. I asked Sammy if U2 were really arriving here in front of the GA line, and he said there was no else they could come in. Then Dallas asked how I was doing and shook my hand. A little while later Rocco informed us that U2 was not doing a sound check, so this indicated to me that U2 was going to arrive very late.
I decided to go back over to where the catering was set up and where the crew was going in and out of. There was no back stage in the stadium – no dressing rooms. They had set up a ‘backstage’ at the hockey arena around the corner. I waited there, later joined by Beth and Tim. Even though I had met Beth in Denver, I didn’t really hang out with her or get to know her until East Lansing. We stayed until almost 8 and nothing. We saw Florence and the Machine arrive and leave, but no U2. We learned later that U2 was driven right up to the stadium and let out there. This was the first time on this leg of the tour that I had not seen U2 arrive at the stadium, unfortunately it wouldn’t be my last. This was also the 4thshow in a row that Bono did not stop and greet the fans before the show as he did for the first 4 shows of that final leg of 360.
I went into Spartan Stadium at 8pm and still got inside the inner circle. There was so much room and behind the stage was smaller, narrower. We didn’t have wristbands and were not allowed to go up into the stands for concessions or bathrooms. There were no red zones. I stayed on Adam’s side of the stage because I realized U2 were again going to enter on Adam’s side – this was the first time I haven’t been on Edge’s side of the stage to see them walk under the stage. But they actually entered through the stands – walking down the bleachers through the fans. U2 started their walk to the stage just after 8:45, and it was still light out and stayed light until 9:40 through Elevation. Please watch my video of U2 entering through the stands at Spartan Stadium.
I watched the first part of the show from Adam’s side of the stage and could even see Edge. It was nice to have a good view without being squished. True I like it behind the stage, so I can watch Larry, but I also like having a lot of room around me. During Even Better Than the Real Thing, Bono said, “Go green. Go white. Go orange. Where the you going to take the Irish tonight? You take us higher.” I was very excited when Bono said, “Achtung Y’all!” during The Flylike he used to on ZooTv. He said it in Anaheim2 and Baltimore, but he seemed to really scream it in East Lansing. During the time Bono usually introduces the band, he said they were very happy to be at MSU and how U2 never made it to university. He said, “U2 became our university. Rolling Stone became our text books. We’re still students. I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For.”
The video screens were black for the Mark Kelly intro to Beautiful Day, but then came back on during the song. Bono did quick band introductions during Elevation saying “Larry Mullen is a prince of a man.” During Mysterious Ways when Larry turned around I went behind the stage. He saw me and gave me a big smile! I went back to up to the side of the stage until the end of the Pride when I went behind the stage and stayed there until Larry started I’ll Go Crazy. I got my usual nod and smile from Larry. Then I moved around to wait for Larry to make his way around the catwalk and watch him trot over the bridge and throw his conga to Sammy.
The East Lansing 360 show was good, but not my favorite. The crowd was loud, but more cheering than singing along like in Baltimore. Although they did really love I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For – as they should. This U2 show in East Lansing was the halfway point of my 360 tour – 8 out of the 16 US shows.
The set list was as follows: 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 / The Promised Land, Stay, Beautiful Day – Space Oddity, Elevation, Pride, Miss Sarajevo, Zooropa, City of Blinding Lights, Vertigo / T.V. Eye, I’ll Go Crazy / Discotheque / Psycho Killer / Life During Wartime, Sunday Bloody Sunday, Scarlet, Walk On / You’ll Never Walk Alone, One, Will You Love Me Tomorrow / Where the Streets Have No Name, Hold Me Thrill Me Kiss Me Kill Me, With or Without You, Moment of Surrender / Jungleland.