U2 @ Etihad Stadium, Melbourne (Wed 1 Dec 2010)

went to this 13 years ago

This was my 5th U2 show in 21 years, and I was pretty excited to say the least. As per usual, tickets were bought as soon as they went on sale.

For the Vertigo tour, I saw them twice- in [intlink id=”91″ type=”post”]Brisbane[/intlink] and [intlink id=”92″ type=”post”]Melbourne[/intlink]. I’d planned to do that this time too, but logistics, time and money got in the way. As I type this, I’m pretty tempted to grab a GA ticket for Friday’s show here in Melbourne and go again…

I’d been following the tour a little through U2gigs.com, so had a fair idea of what would be in the set. The three biggest “Oh my GOD” moments were Bad, Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me & Scarlet. I thought Scarlet might be in the set as they’d done it in New Zealand the previous week (after not playing it live for almost 30 years). Bad in particular was a complete surprise,as it’s not a regular in the set by any means. I almost went to the 2nd Melbourne show in 2006, but decided against it in the end- I was bummed to hear (selfishly) that that crowd got Bad as a closer- but that’s [intlink id=”92″ type=”post”]a different story for a different day[/intlink]. I was holding out for One Tree Hill but knew the chances were slim to none.

U2 Melbourne 1 Dec 2010Our seats weren’t as good as we’d hoped, but you can’t have everything. The pricing structure of the tickets was Cat 1 ($300- Red Zone), Cat 2 ($230), Cat 3 ($175), Cat 4 ($110) and Cat 5 ($40).  We went for Category 3, thinking we’d be relatively close (as in low to the ground).  Cat 4 and 5 must have been pretty bad.

We did have a great view, but it was hard to feel ‘involved’ being that high up. As I said, the last U2 show I saw was in [intlink id=”92″ type=”post”]1996 in the same stadium[/intlink], although it was Telstra Dome back then. I was on the floor for that in GA, and managed to get pretty close.

We missed all but the last 2 songs of Jay-Z’s set, but according to reports it was pretty good. I’m not a fan so didn’t feel like I missed out on too much.

U2 Melbourne 1 Dec 2010

You would NOT want to be afraid of heights up there.

As we arrived, the anticipation was building through the stadium, and the obligatory mexican waves started. I was pretty happy when “One Day Like This” by Elbow came over the PA- this was my wife and I’s wedding song. I think my ultimate show would be seeing Elbow and U2 on the same bill.

The logistics of a show like this are obviously incredible, but for me, it wasn’t until being there, and seeing the size of the claw, as well as the sheer number of crew working on that thing, that it really came apparent as to how big the whole thing was. In each arm of the claw, there were at least 3 or 4 lighting people alone, as well as God knows how many around the rest of the stadium. And lets not forget the multitudes of camera operators as well. And that wouldn’t even be a fraction of the size of the entire crew.


As you can see from the video above, there was a giant clock above the stage.  It took us a while to realise it wasn’t telling the time, it was counting down to showtime.

As the clock struck 12, there was a short wait and Space Oddity came over the PA.  When they came on towards the end of the Bowie tune, everyone went nuts (obviously), and they opened with one of the new ones they’ve been playing on the 360 tour, Return Of The Stingray Guitar.  Was mighty impressed we were in a position to see them walking up to the stage area.

Intro / Return Of The Stingray Guitar / Beautiful Day


Here Comes The Sun / I Will Follow

I Will Follow is one of my favourite U2 songs and although no surprise to see it here in the set, it was muchly appreciated.


Get on Your Boots

As far as songs from No Line On The Horizon, I really don’t rate this track at all. Same goes for Magnificent and I’ll Go Crazy to be honest. Personally, I think there are far stronger songs on the album- such as No Line…, Unknown Caller, Fez and Breathe. Yep- pretty much every song on the album except the ones they played!

Get on Your Boots / Magnificent


Mysterious Ways

Always a killer song live- how can you not at least tap your foot to this!


I think I was maybe expecting more ‘cool’ stuff in this show, and Elevation sums that up- I’ve heard so many different live versions of this song (delayed intros, Bono pulling out for the ‘ELEVAAATION’ bits so the crowd does it etc) and I was a bit bummed that this was pretty much a reproduction of the studio version.

Until The End Of The World / I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For



A new track they’ve been playing for a little while now. Bono intro’d it by saying they’d probably stuff parts of it up, but it sounded pretty good to me. I think I need to give it a few more listens to really get into it though.



This was unexpected. I couldn’t believe it when it started and was absolutely thrilled to hear it again live, especially after missing out on it in Melbourne 4 years ago.

In A Little While / Miss Sarajevo

When I first heard Miss Sarajevo live in 96, I was amazed at how Bono pulled off Luciano Pavarotti’s part in it- tonight was no different- absolutely amazing.

City Of Blinding Lights

Spine tingling song- the opener on the Vertigo tour and still a big fave.  Edge had some issues in this one and had to change guitars.  Quickly done but still a very noticeable hole in the sound- interestingly though, there was more than just bass and drums.  I’ve always wondered how much of U2’s live sound is pre-recorded – especially for a lot of the post Zooropa stuff.

Vertigo / Highway To Hell / Devil Inside


I’ll Go Crazy If I Don’t Go Crazy Tonight / Relax / Two Tribes


Sunday Bloody Sunday / Scarlet

Somewhat surprising to see Sunday Bloody Sunday back in the regular set (in my opinion), but very much appreciated. I’ve read a few differing thoughts on Jay-Z’s part in it. Personally, I wasn’t into it, but having said that, I’m not a Jay-Z fan so I’m sure fans of Mr Z thought this was nothing short of rad.

Hearing Scarlet live was obviously a very special treat.


Walk On




Where The Streets Have No Name


Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me


With Or Without You / Moment Of Surrender


Leaving the stage


The full setlist courtesy of U2gigs.com

1. Return Of The Stingray Guitar
2. Beautiful Day / Here Comes The Sun (snippet)
3. I Will Follow
4. Get On Your Boots
5. Magnificent
6. Mysterious Ways / My Sweet Lord (snippet)
7. Elevation
8. Until The End Of The World / Anthem (snippet)
9. I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For
10. Mercy
11. Bad
12. In A Little While
13. Miss Sarajevo
14. City Of Blinding Lights
15. Vertigo / Highway To Hell (snippet) / Devil Inside (snippet)
16. Funky Town (snippet) / I’ll Go Crazy If I Don’t Go Crazy Tonight / Relax (snippet) / Two Tribes (snippet)
17. Sunday Bloody Sunday / Get Up Stand Up (snippet)
18. Scarlet
19. Walk On / You’ll Never Walk Alone (snippet)

20. One
21. Amazing Grace (snippet) / Where The Streets Have No Name / All You Need Is Love (snippet)
22. Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me
23. With Or Without You
24. Moment of Surrender


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went to this 13 years ago