The U2 concert in Tampa, Florida on November 10, 1997 at Houlihans Stadium was my favorite show of the PopMart tour. At the time, it was actually my favorite U2 show I had ever seen, including all of ZooTv. I think I enjoyed it so much because I stood right at the B stage, rather than staying in my seat. This was a big deal in the days before we had GA (general admission). There was nothing between me and the B stage. Not only did U2 play a set on the B stage, they also entered the stadium through the audience and onto the B stage. Talk about exciting! Opening act Third Eye Blind also made use of the B stage, and I found the lead singer Stephen Jenkins very appealing.
I traveled to Florida for the third leg of the PopMart tour. My parents have a condo in Ft. Myers, so I had a free place to stay. My friend Laurie, who’s not really a U2 fan but wanted to vacation in Florida, flew down with me to attend the shows in Tampa and Miami, both about a two hour drive from Ft. Myers. U2 sounded better in Tampa than at the shows I had seen on the first leg of PopMart. Even though it was raining and the top deck of the stadium was empty, it was a great show and a great energy that night in Tampa! Instead of karaoke like on the first leg of the tour, Edge sang “Sunday Bloody Sunday” – by himself! That night a belly dancer from the audience came on up on stage for “Mysterious Ways,” like during ZooTv. I didn’t know it at the time, but that belly dancer was Melissa Pruitt who would meet four years later on the Elevation Tour and has been my friend ever since. Also in attendance that night was a young U2 fan seeing her first U2 show. Her name is Beth Nabi, and I would meet her 14 years later on the 360 Tour, and we have been friends ever since. So in many ways, that U2 PopMart show in Tampa is very significant for me.
The set list for Tampa Popmart 11.10.97 was as follows: Mofo, I Will Follow, Gone, Even Better Than The Real Thing, Last Night On Earth, Until The End Of The World, New Year’s Day, Pride, I Still Haven’t Found, All I Want Is You, Staring At The Sun, Sunday Bloody Sunday, Bullet the Blue Sky-America, Please, Where the Streets Have No Name, Discotheque, If You Wear That Velvet Dress, With or Without You, Hold Me Thrill Me Kiss Me Kill Me, Mysterious Ways, One-Wake Up Dead Man.