‘… and it’s really going off,’ says Bono in his faux-American accent, having angrily scolded a fan in front row for being on the phone during this tour’s ‘Heart of Darkness’ part of the set.
He’s ‘in the moment’, at least he says he is, and it’s a dangerous moment in a mostly joyous show. Danger, by the way, an important element of rock and roll that support band Keane seem to be lacking. They get everything else just about right, but seriously need to go over to the dark side for a bit.
U2 can still surprise me after all these years as they did tonight, with a setlist that kept me guessing and various impromptu stunts.
Like the two of three sisters who came on stage for With or Without You. None of whom were ‘right’ for Bono, since their focus was on each other, not on him. He sparred with one, pointing at his eyes, ‘watch ME, look at ME’, but she wouldn’t. Bono then pulled on stage the only Sikh male in full regalia I’ve ever seen at a U2 show, giving the song a whole new meaning.
Or a special guest, for example. The funky-hatted Mary J. Blige joined U2 on stage for One, her input a blessing for the song which has sounded a bit stale on this tour.
But most of all for ringing up Gavin Friday very early on in the set to have the audience sing Happy birthday to him on his voicemail. Bono paid tribute to his friend (though he didn’t really mention his name) for playing a big part in the creation of the Vertigo tour, and being its ‘midwife’.
Friday, currently holed up in a studio in Santa Monica with Quincy Jones to create the score for Jim Sheridan’s film Get Rich or Die Tryin’, told us earlier in the day that he declared his birthday ‘cancelled’ this year, due to his work commitment. Consider it un-cancelled, mate, the Garden sang for you.