NYC 1: Fast cars in the City of Blinding Lights

‘Excuse me, who is Michael?’ said the girl whose 5th avenue shopping bags were poking into my calves for most of the show when she stopped screeching ‘Bono, prego!’ for a few seconds.

On stage, Bono was introducing Stuck in a moment, recounting memories of late night parties with Hutchence, Naomi Campbell and Christy Turlington.

‘Michael Hutchence, the singer with INXS,’ said a fan nearby.

‘Excuse me. I don’t know. I am Italy,’ the girl shrugged and continued screeching while Bono wondered at Hutchence’s band’s recent foray onto the small screen: ‘A reality show… I don’t know what Michael would have made of it… he’d probably like it!’

U2 played the MSG in New York last night with an ease of two decades’ practice J.D. Fortune (deserved winner of INXS’s reality show and thus the band’s new singer) can only dream of. Cruising through the familiar first hour of the show (here’s a hit, here’s another one), the band only really kicked loose for the encores, delighting hardcore fans with a string of ‘new’ songs in the set.

From Miss Sarajevo, to Stuck in a moment, Fast Cars, a breathtaking The First Time and a solid, flawless but maybe not yet soaring Crumbs from your table, the band ended the show magnificently (and unexpectedly) with that hoary little ditty With or Without You.

By that time miss Italy had packed her bags and left, still smarting from not being pulled on stage for a kiss ‘n dance.