I chose the 360 show in East Lansing, Michigan on June 26. 2011 as my ‘E’ U2 concert, not because it is one of my favorites but because it was unique. This was the only 360 show I attended where U2 entered through the stands. This was the only U2 show I have ever been to in the daylight. This was the least crowded U2 show I have ever attended.
The day of the show, I relaxed in my hotel room and ordered a pizza. I walked to Spartan Stadium, about a mile away, around 1:30. I walked around the stadium to the GA line, which seemed very calm and happy. 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, so that didn’t make sense. I walked around the stadium to see if there was anywhere else U2 could drive in. When I returned to where I started, Dallas (Edge’s guitar tech) and Sammy (Larry’s drum tech) 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 where else they could come in. Then Dallas asked how I was doing and shook my hand. A little while later Rocco (U2’s stage manager) informed us that U2 was not doing a sound check, so this indicated to me the band was going to arrive very late.
I decided to go back over to where the catering was set up for the crew. There was no back stage in the stadium – no dressing rooms. They had set up a ‘backstage’ at the hockey arena around the corner, so I waited there. I stayed until almost 8:00 and nothing. I saw Florence and the Machine arrive and leave, but no U2. I learned later that U2 was driven right up to the stadium and let out there, on the opposite side of where the GA line had been. This was the first time on this leg of the tour that I had not seen U2 arrive at the venue, unfortunately it would not be my last.
I went into Spartan Stadium at 8pm and still got inside the inner circle. There was so much room on the floor, inside and out of the inner circle. Behind the stage was smaller, narrower. This show at Michigan State University was sold out, but they did not sell as many GA tickets. There was plenty of room inside the inner circle and the rest of the floor was not even half full. There were no red zones, and the catwalk of the inner circle went almost to the stands. The GA did not have wristbands, and we were not allowed to go up into the stands for concessions or bathrooms.
I stayed on Adam’s side of the stage because I thought U2 were again going to enter on Adam’s side – this was the first time I had not been on Edge’s side of the stage to see them walk under the stage. But U2 actually entered through the stands – walking down the bleachers through the fans. I had never witnessed anything like it. 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,” about halfway through the set.
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 to be 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 you going to take the Irish tonight? You take us higher.” I was very excited when Bono said, “Achtung Y’all!” during “The Fly” like 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” then 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. Like I said, there was a lot of room to move around, which made following Larry a lot easier.
The set list for East Lansing 360 6.26.11 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.
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 ‘F’ U2 show.