The show in Philly was hot! It was as hot as Louisville, which is crazy for a show in the Northeast. But it was a great show with two firsts: the tour debut of “Mysterious Ways” and the first proper band introductions of the tour.
I was particularly exhausted on this day of the show as I had just flown in from Louisville the previous morning (after little sleep), was home for about four hours then drove about an hour to a friend’s wedding which was luckily on the way to Philly. Sunday morning June 18th I drove just over the hour drive to Philly and arrived at the Linc just before 11am. I parked at Xfinity Live as I knew that’s where I would be spending most of my day – inside in the air conditioning. But first I had to do my interview for the Dream Out Loud film that I had postpone from Miami. I tried to tell all my Larry stories from over the years and my touring experiences the past 25 years and about writing my book. I think it went ok. I had them laughing, so that’s a good sign.
After (at about 11:45) I met Sharon and Autumn for lunch at Xfinity Live and literally didn’t move until after 4:30. I shared my U2 scrapbooks with them – 25 years of touring complete with photos, all 90 ticket stubs, set lists, picks, newspaper reviews etc. They left just after 1pm and Abbey and her friend joined me about 45 minutes later. We just caught up and I ate again and kept drinking water, all the while with my feet up. I went to my car around 4:40 to charge my phone and I heard the band sound checking with vocals, more specifically with Bono’s vocals. So now there was no need to rush over to try to see them arrive. They were sound checking “Mysterious Ways” and “Mysterious Ways” again. Ed Ross found me and bought my book and we chatted for a while – great guy!
Then I made my way over to the Linc. I was in my spot on the far right front rail by 5:40pm. I could have been about five people back from Larry on the tree stage, but I would have been so uncomfortable in the middle of those pushing people. I need a rail to lean on especially during the three and a half hours before U2 comes on. I was actually more center than in Louisville or Chicago2. I got to catch up with Jenny, Michelle, Abbey again and Steve. It is not just the U2 shows I love, it is the traveling I love so much (even though at times exhausting and frustrating) and the catching up with old friends I haven’t seen since the last tour. The Lumineers came on at 7:33 and played until 8:22pm. It was my first time seeing them since Pittsburgh, and I did not miss them one bit in Miami or Louisville.
U2 took the stage at 9:23, the latest I’ve seen so far this tour. Figures they would start the show late the one time I have to drive two hours home. Larry was of course in his black tee shirt and black jeans (or are they just pants?). During “New Year’s Day,” I got to thinking that maybe it was Bono who coined the phrase ‘Reality TV?’ Yes the original lyric is ‘tv reality,’ but maybe that stuck in people’s minds and years later the term ‘Reality TV’ (which is now the lyric he sings) was born. Just a thought.
Larry had some technical difficulties both on the tree stage and on the main stage, and he was really hot (I mean temperature-wise, obviously he is always hot!). Before “Where the Streets Have No Name,” he disappeared for a minute and both Edge and Adam kept looking back to see where he was. Then after “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For,” Larry whispered something to Bono. During “Trip Through Your Wires,” Bono referenced Larry and Edge in Drifting Cowboys when they were 15 and 16 years old.
“One Tree Hill” was dedicated to Dennis Sheehan, whose wife was in the audience. At the end of the Joshua Tree set, Bono did the band’s first proper introductions this tour (sadly I missed recording Edge’s since he was first). Bono introduced Larry saying, “The man who beats things for a living and gave us all our first job, Larry Mullen Jr.”
Larry again changed into his white tee for the encore. “Mysterious Ways” (instead of “Ultra Violet”) followed “Miss Sarajevo.” So sound checking MW four times was not for nothing. This was the first time on this 30th anniversary Joshua Tree tour that “Mysterious Ways” was played. In the place of “Ultra Violet,” “Mysterious Ways” was dedicated to women and the women’s movement.
In one of Bono’s political speeches, he said something about the Democratic Party and the Republican Party and then said “I don’t know what party this president is with.” Amen brother! Larry gave a sort of hang 10 / hang loose kind of sign during his “Elevation” cam.
Vertigo was especially electric in Philly Edge and Bono were right in front of me battling it out like “Until the End of the World.” It was great! But then sadly the show was over at 11:26, and I ran out of that stadium as fast as I could. But I walked the long way around to get to my car, so I was stuck in about 12:10 then another twenty minutes to get all the way out of the lot onto 95. It was still 86 degrees and humid at 12:30am and it was still 82 degrees and humid when I got home at 2:11am.
The set list for U2 The Joshua Tree Tour 2017 in Philly June 18th was as follows:
Sunday Bloody Sunday
New Year’s Day
the complete JOSHUA TREE album in order
Please click here for all my photos from the U2 The Joshua Tree 2017 show in Philly. On to DC!