The U2 360 show in Oakland, California at McAfee Coliseum on June 7, 2011 was an easy pick for my favorite ‘O’ U2 concert. But not because it was an amazing concert. It wasn’t. It had the same set list as the previous three shows. What made Oakland one of my favorite U2 360 shows was that Larry sang! It wasn’t a full song, and he didn’t get up from behind his drum kit, but he sang, Larry sang!
I spent the first half of the day resting in my hotel room to conserve energy for the show, as I did before every show. My routine was stay in bed reading and watching tv until about 1, take Elvis and Cilla out, eat and shower, and then head over to the stadium around 2 or 3. I would wait out for U2 to arrive, then go into the show. Even though my hotel was less than a mile from the stadium, I took the free hotel shuttle over just after 2:00. I walked around the stadium and arena and finally found my friends, Matt, Melissa and Kim waiting for U2 to arrive. Barb found us and then I met Paula, who brought me a cool pin and later sent me the review from the Oakland paper and pictures she took at the show.
Bono arrived just after 5pm, stopped the car right in front of us and hopped out. As soon as Bono got out of the car, I pointed at him and then at my ‘Larry Mullen Band’ shirt and said, “Now Bono…” He put his hands in the air and said, “I tried.” Then he walked right over to us, and I said, “So he’s not coming (referring to Larry)?” Bono said, “I tried.” While he was signing autographs, I told him that it’s ok because I’ll be at other shows. Bono asked me, “What is your name, Deah?” I said, “Deena.” He said, “Yes, I remember.” He went on to talk to others. Bono looked tired, his voice was scratchy, and he said he was sick. Before he got back into the car to go inside, Bono looked over to me and shouted, “I’ll try again.” It was in Oakland that I realized my quest on the 360 tour, besides driving to every U.S. show, was to meet Larry. I thought it would be easy, since Bono had come out to greet the fans at the first four U.S. shows and I had already talked with him twice about meeting Larry. Little did I know that day in Oakland would be my last chance to speak with Bono.
I went into the Coliseum after 6pm and still got into the inner circle. It was a strange set up though. The baseball infield was fenced off, so the GA section was a lot smaller. And the back of the inner circle behind the stage where I usually stand was a bit narrower as well. Also, there was a wall of sky boxes behind the stage, which made for an echoing drum sound. Because the GA was smaller, the inner circle was more crowded. It was a very laid back crowd and very cold and windy that night. There were two opening bands for U2 in Oakland. Local band Moonalice played from 7:00 to 7:30. I was not impressed. The sound was bad and just not my cup of tea. Lenny Kravitz played from about 7:50 to 8:30. It was the same set list as Seattle. Lenny puts on a really great show. I waited for U2 to enter the Coliseum – a late start at 9:30. They were going to enter from directly behind the stage rather than come around from the side, so I could get great video and pictures of their entrance. As they walked to the stage, Larry looked at me and smiled and waved – and I was actually able to capture it on video!
The set list in Oakland was the same as the previous three shows in the U.S. with one notable exception (and for me the highlight of the show) – Larry sang a part of Lou Reed’s “Perfect Day.” There were no band introductions. Instead, Bono talked about the G3 Summit the night before with Greenday and Metallica and the possibility of doing a music festival with them. Edge spoke a bit about it and then Bono asked Larry what else was discussed. Larry said, “What goes on at that summit, stays at that summit.” Bono then asked Larry if any individuals names came up. Larry responded, “Lou Reed perhaps” and sang a bit of Lou Reed’s “Perfect Day,” then concluded by saying, “Lou, we love you man.” Lou Reed was at the show that night. I couldn’t believe Larry sang! I was SO excited! I have not seen Larry sing in concert since ZooTv!
The set list for U2 360 in Oakland was as follows: Even Better Than The Real Thing, I Will Follow, Get On Your Boots, Magnificent, Mysterious Ways, Elevation, Until the End of the World / Anthem / Where Have All The Flowers Gone, Perfect Day / Happy Birthday, All I Want Is You, Stay, Beautiful Day / Space Oddity, Pride, Miss Sarajevo, Zooropa, City of Blinding Lights, Vertigo, I’ll Go Crazy / Discotheque / Life During Wartime / Psycho Killer, Sunday Bloody Sunday, Scarlet, Walk On,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.
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 ‘P’ U2 show.