I really enjoyed my 28 1/2 hour runner in Pittsburgh. There was no traffic driving to and from Pittsburgh, I had a great hotel, enjoyed some of the sites, hung out with old friends and of course got to see/hear a great U2 show!
I left my house at 6am Wednesday morning the day of the show and was parked at my hotel in Pittsburgh by 9:45am. By the way, the new super deluxe Joshua Tree plays the exact amount of time it took me to drive from Ellicott City, MD to Pittsburgh, PA.
I checked into the Holiday Inn Express & Suites North Shore with the nicest lady ever. She made me feel like a rock star! Her name was Luscious (yes she is kind of mortified with it too), and she was the best! She gave me a $20 voucher for the casino and told me the Andy Warhol Museum, Rivers Casino and Heinz Field were all within walking distance but there was also a hotel shuttle that went within a three mile radius.
I settled into my room then around 11am walked around the corner to the Andy Warhol Museum. Around noon I took the shuttle to the Rivers Casino where I met Sharon. We played the slots for a little while (I walked away with $50) then went to the buffet for lunch (learning from our living off protein bars and pizza in Chicago). We got an excited text from Autumn saying the SUVs had left for the airport to pick U2 up, so we hurried across the street to Heinz Field (forgetting to bring our cookies for later in the day).
We were standing at the players entrance (and for that day U2’s entrance) by 2pm. Besides Sharon and Autumn, I got to hang out with Tasha and her family as well as Drew – these were my old friends since the Elevation Tour days. I also hung out with Sherri (and her son) who I met in Memphis in October at the Grand Opening of the Guest House at Graceland. We are both obviously huge Elvis and U2 fans – small world! We all talked and caught up while we waited and waited and waited for the lads to arrive. And just like in Chicago, they drove in around 5:15pm. Bono came out and signed autographs for about 15 minutes. The crowd was pushing and yelling and the autograph hounds were out, so I did not get to speak with Bono.
By 5:45ish, Sharon, Sherri, her son and myself were inside Heinz Field similar to where Sharon and I stood for the first Chicago show – to the left of the Red Zone leaning on the rail looking into the redzone on the far left of the main stage. But this time they had the part closest to stage where you actually enter the red zone closed off so we were further back from the stage but actually a better view – and we were closer to the tree stage and directly across from Larry’s drum kit. My oldest U2 friend Mike (we met and became friends in high school over our love of U2) showed up and stood with us.
For some reason, this show in Pittsburgh had a 6:30 start time on the ticket. The Lumineers took the stage at 7:20 and played until 7:53. I spent that time to catch up on my social media correspondence while charging my phone. I like the lead singers voice, but not the music. The Lumineers are talented, but they are just not my thing. Right before U2 took the stage, we noticed the general admission was only about 2/3 full and the Red Zone was only half full. Also, 12 sections in the upper deck were empty – they were blacked out.
U2 came out at 8:55 and played for two hours until 10:55. Larry walked out in a black leather jacket over a white tee like he stepped right out of the 1950s. I went nuts! He looked even more amazing than usual. He immediately took off his jacket and left it off until “Running to Stand Still” then kept it on for the rest of the show until the last song. Not that I saw a lot of Larry on the tree stage because Edge’s keyboard completely blocked him, well his head anyway. I could only see Larry’s arms drumming. So I will not be standing in that spot again – will just have to move a few feet left or right next time.
After “Red Hill Mining Town,” Bono said to Edge (quieter and not to the audience), “If this was Rattle and Hum we’d be here all night.” I thought I would love “Red Hill Mining Town” in concert because I had waited 30 years to hear it live and thought I never would. And while it was amazing the first night to finally hear it and even though I did cry all the way through it, I just do not like this new version. I don’t know why they had to change it (I don’t believe he can’t sing the original) – they didn’t change “Trip Through Your Wires” or “Exit.” So I don’t believe “Red Hill Mining Town” will be my favorite song of this tour, now I am pretty sure “Exit” will be my favorite of this tour. It is completely amazing live and sounds just like it did on Rattle and Hum. I also love “Bullet,” which is funny to me because I never liked this song and used to wish they would stop playing it live. But I loved it on the ieTour, and I really love it again this tour! I’m guessing it has something to do with the drums.
The encore again started with “Miss Sarajevo,” which if they have to play it that is the perfect spot for it in the set. “Beautiful Day” has the best video screens. They are in color and shows everyone singing. This is the first show I saw these. I guess because we had a more full view of the screens. During “Elevation,” Larry again turned to the audience (no kiss this time though) and Bono said, “We believe in you Larry Mullen Jr!”
Pittsburgh had the same set list as Chicago2 except they played “Bad” instead of “A Sort of Homecoming.” It was a good show, but Chicago2 was better – just had a better energy. The traffic was unreal after the show. Luckily I was walking back to my hotel. It was almost a mile. I was back just before midnight, but didn’t fall asleep until about 3am. I was up at 6am and on the road home by 6:30am. I had to stop for gas and had to pull over one exit before my house so I could buy a ticket for the Detroit show in September (thanks to Bob Hay). I was home by 10:30am.
Here is the set list from U2 The Joshua Tree 2017 in Pittsburgh June 7th:
Sunday Bloody Sunday
New Year’s Day
A Sort of Homecoming
the complete Joshua Tree album in order
The Little Things That Give You Away
Please click here to see all of my photos from U2 The Joshua Tree 2017 show in Pittsburgh. It’s on to Miami next to see the show from the Red Zone! LET ME IN THE SOUND!