“Miami hot as hell tonight! Miami hot as hell tonight!” Bono sang at the end of “Beautiful Day” in Miami June 11 on the 30th Anniversary of The Joshua Tree Tour. And it was HOT. The heat index during the day was 101. Even at night it was hot because inside the stadium there was no air, so it was quite stifling. So hot I got a free water from security. But it was a great show in Miami with a fantastic moment with Larry – bring on the heat!
I arrived the night before – after being stuck in the plane on the runway for an hour because there was no gate for us. I finally got to the Stadium Hotel (just a mile and a half from the Hard Rock Stadium) around 9:30pm and did my usual order a pizza so I would have it the next day before and after the show. Being that it was 101 outside, I stayed in my room until 3pm the day of the show. (Felt like I was back on the 360 tour, conserving energy where I could). There was a $15 roundtrip shuttle from the hotel to the stadium, but it did not leave until 4pm and check in for RedZone was at 4pm, so I called Lyft. Sadly my drive did not speak English and security at the stadium was a little nutty with drop offs, so I just had him pull over on the side of the road and walked around to the entrance.
I arrived at the RedZone entrance around 3:20pm. There were 33 people ahead of me. I know this because we had to get numbers. I haven’t lined up this tour (just going in after GA), but I got a number and lined up for RedZone – crazy! (I did not go around to wait for the band to arrive this time, but my friends said they didn’t stop.) Surprisingly, it was actually nice out. It did not feel like 101 degrees (it did inside the stadium however). We were in the shade and there was a nice breeze. I ran into Patty, my friend from 360, and caught up with her while in line. We checked in promptly at 4pm and got our wristbands and laminate and got in line again. At 4:45 they let us into an air conditioned corridor right off the floor. They divided into two lines, but still kept us in order by our numbers. At 5:15 we were walked into the RedZone. I could have broken off and went into the GA, but I could see all the rail around Larry was already occupied. I was lucky to get rail inside the RedZone.
I stood almost at the end of the RedZone toward the top of the tree, directly across from Larry and behind the boom (which was a little annoying at parts but mostly ok). I purposely chose RedZone for Miami because I know it would be hot and RedZone would be less crowded than GA and I none of my close friends were going to Miami so I’d be on my own. And I heard stories that GA was extra pushy and there were a lot of fights and security were kicking people out, so I made the right choice with RedZone in Miami. One Republic took the stage promptly at 7pm – on time just like our ticket said (Lumineers always started a half hour after the time of the ticket). They were a nice welcome break from the HEY HO HOO HA of the Lumineers, which I had heard the previous three shows last week. I am not sure how I feel about One Republic as it was so hot and I just wanted U2 to come on, but I liked them better than the Lumineers and I am guessing after seeing them two more times (in Louisville and Cleveland) I will like them more. They did a great cover of Louis Armstrong’s “What a Wonderful World.” One Republic played until 7:55pm.
U2 took the stage at 8:50 when Larry in black shirt and black plants walked out to the Waterboys “Whole of the Moon,” not the Pogues as previous shows I had seen. (Waterboys “Whole of the Moon” started at Bonnaroo). My spot was great, even behind the boom, as I was directly across from Larry facing him. It was beautiful. I took two photos then put my phone in my bag, so I could fully enjoy being on the rail of the tree stage for these first four fantastic songs! “Sunday Bloody Sunday” was of course first then “New Year’s Day.” Then there was a pause and a silence and I think Bono was talking.
The spotlight shone on me making my ‘The Larry Mullen Band’ shirt really stand out – plus I was on my tip toes so I could have a clear unobstructed view of my Mr. Mullen. In the silence on my tip toes while the spotlight on me, I shouted “LARRY!” He saw me in the shirt he always see me in and nodded and waved. Then I blew him a kiss and he SMILED almost a chuckle actually and nodded. Then they went into “Bad,” and I didn’t even care it wasn’t “A Sort of Homecoming” because I made Larry smile and sort of almost laugh. “Pride” was next, and I love seeing Larry lean back as he drums into the chorus. Ah! After “Pride” Larry walked in my direction laughing then he and Bono hugged – not sure what that was about but I loved it! Then they took off for the main stage never to back again.
I had a perfect view of the main stage – a great angle for the video screens. After The Joshua Tree songs, Larry changed into his white tee for the encore. During “Beautiful Day,” Bono sang “Miami hot as hell tonight! Miami hot as hell tonight!” During “Elevation,” I made sure my phone was out of my bag so I could video Larry on the big screen. This time it was a smile and a thumbs up.
U2 ended the night with “Vertigo,” but from the main stage. First time I heard “Vertigo” this tour, as they only played it at Bonnaroo two days earlier and first time I saw them end the show on the main stage – of course the one time I was on the rail at the tree stage they end on the main stage. At the very end of “Vertigo,” Bono finally said “MIAMI MY MAMMY!” We thought maybe U2 were going to play an extra song and end the night on the tree stage because Edge’s keyboard and Larry’s drums popped up, but I guess they do that to tear down the stage. Sadly it was all over at 10:58pm.
Then I had to walk back to the hotel. I had to walk around the stadium through the crowds of pedestrians and honking cars to get to the right side to find the street to get to the hotel. One and half miles and 40 minutes later (and I walk fast) on sidewalks and n the the grass, I was back in my room downing a 20 ounce Orange Crush because the vending machine stuck on my orange gatorade. I haven’t been that hot since Elvis Week in Memphis in 2007 when people died because it was 115 degrees (and that was without the heat index, the actual temperature). I never went to sleep that night after as I am always too amped up after a show. The airport shuttle picked me up at 4:15am (he was early) for my 6:25am flight home. We arrived early and I was back home with my dogs by 9:20am.
The set list for U2 The Joshua Tree Tour 2017 in Miami June 11th was as follows:
Sunday Bloody Sunday
New Year’s Day
the complete JOSHUA TREE album in order
Click here for all my photos from the show.
Let’s see what the lads have for us in Louisville on Friday. It will probably be almost as hot as Miami (good luck to those going to Tampa tomorrow). Before the tour started, I predicted the Louisville show would be a favorite of this tour for me. Check back Saturday to see if I was right.