U2 The Joshua Tree Tour Louisville 6.16.17

The show in Louisville was my halfway point of this leg of the tour, my 5th show of this 30th Anniversary Joshua Tree tour and my 95th U2 show overall. It was a great show, but not my favorite of the tour that I had predicted back in May. Even though it was the 16th of June and the lyrics to “Breathe” are “16th of June nine 0 five … 16th of June Chinese stocks are going up,” Breath was not played. It was the same set list as Miami and almost as hot. How does someone get sunburned in Louisville and not in Miami? I don’t know, but I sure did!

My trip to Louisville started off terribly when my flight was delayed for three hours. I had worked almost a whole day and then was stuck in the airport for over four hours. It honestly wasn’t too bad though. I had downloaded Gilmore Girls second season so I was watching that while charging my devices and eating the best airport cheeseburger I’ve ever had. I was finally on the plane at 8:20pm and off the ground at 9pm for my 5:45pm flight. My taxi service was cancelled, so I grabbed a taxi at the airport who charged me $10 for a two mile ride to my hotel because he took the long was around the hotel parking lot. By 10:45pm I was in my hot room (because the air conditioner was not yet turned on) ordering a pizza from Papa John’s (with my 40% discount from the front desk). Say what you will about Super 8, but these folks were nice and the hotel was clean and convenient.

The next morning around 11:15 Sharon picked me up and drove us across the street (literally the gps said it was 700 feet but it was SO hot) to the Cracker Barrel where we had a scrumptious lunch! We walked to the stadium (just under a mile) a little after 1pm. We found three possible entrances where U2 might drive in. We were the first ones there waiting as we were sure U2 would stop in Louisville since it was not crowded and they hadn’t played Louisville since 1982 (they played Lexington in 1987 on Joshua Tree and in 2001 on Elevation). After walking back and forth and back and forth between the three entrances, we decided on the middle one where the signs for Dressing Rooms and Catering were – and the same entrance we saw One Republic pull in and we saw Sammy walk out of. I asked Sammy if it was hot enough for him. He said anything was better than rain (they had just come from the horrific rain at the Tampa show). But we chose the wrong entrance.

Our friends who had just arrived also scoped out the three possible entrances and decided on the first one. Around 5pm we saw one of them motion to us, so we walked over – no way could we run in that heat and humidity. We got there just as the police were pulling away and they were closing the gate. U2 had arrived and we had missed them, but at least no one stopped. Well that is not entirely accurate. One inside the backstage area, Bono climbed up the stairs and greeted the GAers who were making their way inside.

At 5:30, after getting drinks (a huge pepsi for me and huge moutain dew for Sharon), we went to the far right front rail like where we were for Chicago2, but maybe one or two more people center. It was more difficult to see Larry though on the main stage. Promptly at 7pm One Republic took the stage and played until 7:53. I love the last song they play where everyone plays the drums. Looking forward to seeing them open again in Cleveland. I noticed a young blond boy between the front rail and the stage taking photos during One Republic’s set. I found out later that was none other than Ezra Mullen, Larry’s son. Oh I wish I would have known that then.

The guy behind us asked who Dallas was, so I explained he was Edge’s guitar tech – blank stare. I then explained to him Edge was U2’s guitarist. I asked if he knew who U2 was and he said yes. This same guy was the biggest fan when the band took the stage jumping up and down and hitting me with hit hat. But he didn’t know who Edge was? WTH?! There were two extra pre-show songs before the Waterboy’s “Whole of the Moon.”

It was still daylight when U2 took the stage at 9pm, much like the East Lansing show on 360. I love seeing a U2 show in the daylight (anything different) but it also meant we were in the sun for four more hours than usual – especially in that college stadium that was more open than a NFL stadium. Since was daylight, there was enough light for my iPhone to record Larry’s strut onto the stage in his black tee and black jeans. 

During “With or Without You,” Adam laughed at us in our The Larry Mullen Band shirts that both Sharon and I were wearing. Then Bono pulled Brigitte up on stage – first time a fan has been on stage this tour. A bit later Bono said, “Even if you’re not Irish it’s hot. We’re not even white, we’re pink.” After “Mothers of the Disappeared,” Bono introduced Dallas in his hometown. Larry changed into his white tee for the encore. During this post “Ultra Violet” speech, Bono said ‘luminous’ three times and ‘times’ twice. WTH?! Please “LUMINOUS TIMES” already! Edge did his Chuck Berry impersonation in front of us during “Vertigo.” Larry gave us a twinkly wave on his “Elevation” cam as Bono asked, “Do we believe in Larry Mullen, or what?” (Our synchronized screaming might be my favorite moment of the show. Sharon and I played the video I took over and over again in our hotel room, hysterically laughing every time.) 

The show was over at 11:01 and we walked back to the Super 8. So hot and sun burned, got up to our room and the key wouldn’t work, so back down to the front desk (the elevators were not air conditioned) and got a new key and back up to our room. Finally at 11:44 we were relaxing with gatorades and leftover Papa John’s pizza – it was Louisville after all (home of Papa John’s).

The set list for U2 The Joshua Tree Tour 2017 in Louisville June 16th was as follows:
Sunday Bloody Sunday
New Year’s Day
the complete JOSHUA TREE album in order
Miss Sarajevo
Ultra Violet
Beautiful Day

Please click here for all my photos from Louisville.

The next morning after maybe one hour of sleep (I just can’t sleep after a show, takes me several hours to relax), I was at the airport at 6:20am for my 7:40 flight home – my flight of this leg of the tour thank goodness. There was a really long security line, but I got through fine and this time my flight was on time. I was at my house by 9:45am and had about four hours before I had to get ready for a friend’s wedding that night an hour away (but on the way to Philly for the next U2 show the next day). I couldn’t really rest until about 10:30 because there was a problem with our house alarm and it kept going off. Finally I was able to rest for three hours and slept for one of them before leaving for the wedding at 3pm. I was at the wedding until 10:30pm then out the door by 9:45am the next morning to drive to Philly for the U2 show.


2 Comments on U2 The Joshua Tree Tour Louisville 6.16.17

  1. Valerie Hartman // May 23, 2019 at 2:15 pm // Reply

    Hi, I have just found your website. Thank you for sharing your experience. I am a huge U2 fan and have been since the 80s, the Joshua Tree era. Is there a chance we can chat in private? I am Instagram @valhartman22. Thanks.

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  1. U2 The Joshua Tree Tour 2017 1st leg recap – On the Road With U2

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