This weekend Denver was treated to two back-to-back night from Irish rock-and-roll icons U2. This tour, titled the The iNNOCENCE + eXPERIENCE Tour brought it's incredible production to the Pepsi Center for a night full of new material as well as a trip down memory lane with a powerful blend of classics, as well as first plays for some songs off the group's 2014 release Songs Of Innocence. The tour brings fans a more intimate feel than the normal stadium shows we are accustomed to seeing from the band. With a catwalk going through the crowd, and long screen LED projection boards hanging above it, the layout gives the band a variety of locations to perform from, allowing fans anywhere in the room to feel that much closer to the band. I had my first experience seeing U2 live in 1992 in El Paso, Texas at a sold out Sun Bowl performance for their the ZOO TV tour. I had never seen such an elaborate production from a band in person before, and while times have changed, U2 continues to set the bar for what stadium tours should be (I mean just take a look at their other tours, Zooropa, Pop Mart, Elevation, 360, etc.).
Starting a little late in the evening, Bono, The Edge, Larry and Adam got things going with "The Miracle (of Joey Ramone)", the title track to Songs of Innocence. The setlist dug into crowd favorites such as" Vertigo", "Sunday Bloody Sunday", "Even Better Than The Real Thing" early into the show, played amidst intriguing visuals affects as the band interacted with every part of their stage. As intermission hit, a portrait of Johnny Cash singing "The Wanderer" appeared on the big LED screen, allowing fans and the band to catch their breath before diving into what would be an epic second set. Bono is never one to shy away from political banter, and maintained his customary rants and mentions past and present issues - the inspiration for many of the songs within the bands catalog. An epic sing-a-long to "Pride"(In The Name Of Love) set the crowd into an epic frenzy that was followed by classics "Beautiful Day", and "With or Without You" to finish off their set.
In between songs Bono shared with fans that a memorable Red Rocks performance was one of the few catalysts that helped begin the band's timelessly successful career. Operating on a small budget, they wanted to help fans experience this majestic place that only a handful of people got to witness, and I feel it safe to say that although Red Rocks was a highlight of their career, it was certainly only the beginning. The final encore of the night consisted of "City of Blinding Lights", "Where The Streets Have No Name", and "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For". Looking into the crowd it was apparent that many loyal fans have maintained love for this band over the years, helping a younger generation take notice and grow their own appreciation for Bono and his band of brothers. A wonderfully reminiscent show for me, I say "cheers" to this historical group that I will always remember as my first concert back in '92.
Setlist June 6, 2015 | The Miracle (of Joey Ramone) | The Electric Co | Vertigo | I Will Follow | Iris | Cedarwood Road | Songs For Someone | Sunday Bloody Sunday | Raised By Wolves | Until The End Of The World | Invisible | Even Better Than The Real Thing | Mysterious Ways | Desire | Angel Of Harlem | Every Breaking Wave | Bullet The Blue Sky | Pride (In The Name of Love) | Beautiful Day | With Or Without You | ENCORE: City of Blinding Lights | Where The Streets Have No Name | I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For |
-Word and Photos Robert Castro