DAYS 66&67 – JULY 18&19
After the horrible days I had driving from Miami to Nashville in one day and Philadelphia to St. Louis in one, I decided to break up the drive from St. Louis to New Jersey into 2 days. I left St. Louis around noon the day after the fantastic U2 show in St. Louis. In fact it was so fantastic that I didn’t get much sleep, so I only drove about 350 miles to Dayton, Ohio. I originally wanted to make it to Columbus, which was only about another hour, but I just couldn’t do it. So I ordered an amazing pizza from Donatos (thin crust with lots and lots of cheese), settled into my Motel 6 hotel room, and watched Bono and Edge on Letterman. Unfortunately, I didn’t get much sleep that night either and I had to drive 600 miles to New Jersey. I left Dayton at 6am, stopped twice, drove across the Pennsylvania turnpike again and arrived in our Homestead Suites hotel across the street from the New Meadowlands stadium.
DAY 68 – JULY 20 – U2 360 #14 – NEW JERSEY
The U2 360 show in East Rutherford, New Jersey was the longest of the US tour at 2 ½ hours – it included two extra songs. U2 played Out of Control, not instead of I Will Follow but in addition to. They also played both The Fly, in its typical second spot, and Magnificent, after Get on Your Boots which was a first. And as in Philadelphia, it was the original album version of Magnificent, not the remix of the earlier shows. And Edge came out to greet the fans before the show.
I finally got a great night’s sleep the night before the U2 show in Jersey and also took a nap a couple hours after I woke up. But I was awakened by the fire alarm going off, which was luckily a false alarm. Then on to my normal show day routine of watching tv, ordering lunch, walking the dogs before going to the stadium. Even though I was at the Homestead Suites across the street from the New Meadowlands Stadium, I couldn’t walk there because of the highway, so luckily the Sheraton next door had a shuttle going over. I thought that would be easier than driving over myself and parking, but I was wrong. It was $20 for one person, since I didn’t want to wait until after 5pm to go over. I had to be there when U2 arrived because I knew the one time I wasn’t there, Larry would stop.
I picked up my red zone ticket and wristband and walked around to where everyone was waiting for U2 to arrive. Quite a large crowd had already gathered to wait for U2 to arrive. I met Anisha, Melissa, Krystal, Sadie and Dafna whom I’ve been chatting with on Twitter and Facebook for months. I also met Patrick, who is Chuck’s friend from Austin and the lead singer of Austin’s U2 tribute band, and Matt’s cousin and his girlfriend, as well as talked friends with Barb and Alice.
U2 finally arrived, well everyone except Larry. Paul McGuinness drove in, then Adam, then Edge and then Bono. Edge came out to greet everyone as he did in Chicago. I walked around and asked Jerry in security if Larry would stop to sign, but he just smiled and said he didn’t know. I waited forever for Larry to arrive. Not sure why he didn’t arrive with the rest of the band. About two hours later around 6:30 or so, Larry finally arrived. There were still a few of us left waiting, but he didn’t stop.
For the first time, I had a red zone ticket. It was on Adam’s side of the stage, but decided to watch U2 walk in as I always do. I didn’t want to walk all the way around to Edge’s side to watch them walk onto the stage because the sun had really worn me out. So I just stayed on Adam’s side because they were walking out of the tunnel on his side. I ran into Mike, my oldest U2 friend – from The Joshua Tree days in high school. We saw a set list that someone had that said there was going to be an encore of Out of Control, Bad, and 40closing the show, but we didn’t believe it. Interpol didn’t come on until about 7:45. I realized that the lead singer must be an Elvis fan. He had Elvis-like sunglasses and said, ‘Thank you very much.’ I liked their first two songs, but then his voice started to get on my nerves.
It was pretty exciting to watch U2 walk all the way down the tunnel – usually I just see them walking up to the stage. I could have sworn that when Larry and Adam emerged from the tunnel, they saw me (because I was directly in front of them and don’t really blend in with the crowd) and Larry sort of jokingly hid behind Adam grabbing him as if to say, ‘oh no there she is again!’
After U2 walked by, I ran over to the red zone to watch the show. It seemed I was a bit more excited than everyone else there, especially when U2 added an extra song, Magnificent, after Get on Your Boots. The red zone was more crowded than I thought it would be. I stood two people back from the catwalk and had a side view of the stage, so I could see everything. I still liked my spot behind the stage better though. It’s closer and had a better view of Larry. Also, Bono and Edge go behind the stage more than they come over to the catwalk on Adam’s side where I was. The red zone was great for I’ll Go Crazy if I Don’t Go Crazy Tonightthough. I got to see Adam, Edge and Larry up close.
During Even Better Than the Real Thing, Bono said, “Jersey on a hot summer night. Where you going to take us?” Even though St. Louis was way hotter than Jersey, Bono only called St. Louis a ‘warm summer night.’ Bono commented all night how hot it was in New Jersey (not even 90 degrees), even though it was much hotter in St. Louis (110 degrees) a few days earlier. I think he was still overheated from St. Louis. Bono again introduced The Fly as “crowd rock circa 1991.” Bono was really into The Fly – almost angrily screaming the lyrics. At the end of Mysterious Ways, Bono again threw in a little Trying to Throw Your Arms Around the World as he did in Chicago, but a very little this time with “going to run to you run to you run to you.” During Until the End of the World Bono said, “Love and Peace” but no ‘bass and drums.’ Bono again said the most special word of the night was ‘surrender’ during I Will Follow saying, “I surrender. We surrender.” After Magnificent, which was played after Get on Your Bootsfor the first time, Bono said, “Magnificent new stadium. We have played East Rutherford 24 times.” I realize I have been to 9 of those East Rutherford shows.
As he had done at the St. Louis show, Bono read a set list from 30 years ago. Also just like in St. Louis, Bono said, “Some things change but so much remains the same in this band. I’d like to point out that Larry Mullen is still trying to figure out why it’s called U2 and not the Larry Mullen Band. And I think he has a point. We’re very greatful Sir for taking us off the streets of Dublin. Thank you.” But this time no mention indirectly of me. During I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For Bono said, “We want to thank Father Springsteen for the lend of the hall and some other things besides. Thank you Bruce.” Just like at the St. Louis show, Edge spoke before Stay while Bono changed his shirt and then started to play Stuck in a Moment by accident. Too bad, I would rather hear Stuck than Stay. During Elevation Bono said, “So hot tonight I feel like I could die.” After Pride, the audience kept singing the “oh oh oh ohs” for quite some time and Bono said, “Noisy New Jersey.” Before Miss SarajevoBono said, “If you’re Irish, this is really hot.”
After I’ll Go Crazy, I went to my usual spot behind the stage and felt right at home. It was less crowded and I was closer to Larry – and closer to Bono when he came back for Sunday Bloody Sunday and Streets. Someone rushed the stage from behind the stage on Edge’s side during Streets. I saw Sammy and security run after him, but couldn’t see what happened. It figures one of the few shows I’m not on Edge’s side that happened. After Walk On Bono said, “Oh my God New Jersey thank you!” During With or Without You, I walked back to the tunnel to wait for U2 to leave. Paul McGuinness was standing behind me watching the show. Bono said, “Feeling a little faint earlier. I hope you don’t mind. It’s hot here!” Bono dedicated Moment of Surrender to the E Street Band and Bruce. After Moment of Surrender, U2 walked to the front of the stage and took their bows. I was of course watching Larry and saw him lean to Bono and say something like, ‘Do you want to play another one? It’s up to you.’ Then Bono said, “Let’s do one more.” I heard the beginning of Out of Control and ran back to the stage, since some folks had left I was able to stand up front at the side of the stage. It was SO great! Please watch my video of an overview of the U2 360 show in New Jersey.
After Out of Control, I went back to the stairs to watch U2 walk off stage and then I ran back to the tunnel to watch them leave. As Edge and Bono approached the tunnel, they hugged this man. Security said it was Bruce Springsteen, but I didn’t think it looked like him. I had to wait over an hour to catch the shuttle back to my hotel after the show. The entire parking lot was almost empty before we got on the shuttle back to the hotel. It figured that the longest show of the US tour coupled with an unfortunate late shuttle happened the night before I had to get up and drive halfway to Minneapolis for the next U2 show.
The set list for the U2 360 show in New Jersey was as follows: Even Better Than The Real Thing, The Fly, Mysterious Ways, Until the End of the World / Anthem, I Will Follow, Get On Your Boots, Magnificent, I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For / Promised Land, Stay / In the Wee Small Hours, Beautiful Day / Space Oddity, Elevation, Pride, Miss Sarajevo, Zooropa, City of Blinding Lights, Vertigo, I’ll Go Crazy / Discotheque / Psycho Killer / Life During Wartime, Sunday Bloody Sunday, Scarlet, Walk On, One, Hallelujah / Where the Streets Have No Name, Hold Me Thrill Me Kiss Me Kill Me, With or Without You, Moment of Surrender / Jungleland, Out of Control.
After the New Jersey show, I didn’t feel like it was that great of a show. I remember being really excited for Out of Control of course, but just thought it was the typical U2 show – nothing particularly extraordinary. But after listening to the bootleg, that U2 360 show in New Jersey was really good. U2 really did end with four fantastic shows in the US – St. Louis, New Jersey, Minneapolis, Pittsburgh.