Sayonara Japan

U2’s final Vertigo show in Japan on Monday (Dec. 4) focused on paying respect to the country and its people. Early in the show, Bono expressed the band’s genuine love for the country, noting they had a wonderful stay in Tokyo. Bono spoke of his visit to Kyoto, where he toured the Church of Light, designed by Tadao Ando.

Bono was so charmed by Kyoto that he brought back three of its residents to Tokyo with him for the final show. During “Mysterious Ways,” Bono invited the three to dance with him on stage. Mouths dropped open when they saw Bono’s guests were geishas (perhaps actually maikos [geishas in training]) in full traditional wardrobe and makeup. Morleigh Steinberg ran alongside the women in the pit, directing them to dance with their fans, to the delight of the audience and Bono, who grinned from ear to ear. At the song’s conclusion, he bowed to them sweetly.

Another highlight of the show was a particularly moving performance of “Sometimes You Can’t Make It on Your Own,” which Bono dedicated to his father and the fathers of his friends Gavin and Guggi, who watched the show from the mix desk.

Setlist
City of Blinding Lights
Vertigo – She Loves You (snippet)
Elevation
Out of Control
I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For – In a Little While (snippet)
Beautiful Day
Angel of Harlem
The First Time
Sometimes You Can’t Make It on Your Own
Bad – Ruby Tuesday (snippet)
Sunday Bloody Sunday
Bullet the Blue Sky – When Johnny Comes Marching Home & Hands That Built America (snippets)
Miss Sarajevo
Pride (In the Name of Love)
Where the Streets Have No Name
One

The Fly
Mysterious Ways
With or Without You

The Saints Are Coming
Window in the Skies
Vertigo (“For us!”)

Performance in the skies

tvasahi.jpg

Friday night U2 performed two songs, “Vertigo” and “Window in the Skies,” on the rooftop of TV Asahi in Roppongi, a posh area of Tokyo. The performance was aired live on the Japanese television show “Music Station.”

Hundreds of U2 fans gathered outside the studio in hopes of hearing the performance, but were disappointed to hear little over the traffic noise on the streets and the helicopters that were filming the performance. Only Larry’s intro to “Vertigo” could be heard faintly.

Video
Vertigo
Window in the Skies

These videos will likely be removed on YouTube by TV Asahi, so watch them while you can.

R&R in Tokyo

I know many fans are curious to know what the band have been doing in Japan when not performing or doing media interviews. Larry Mullen spent some time shopping in Gwen Stefani’s favorite area of Tokyo, Harajuku. He shopped at Kiddy Land, a famous toy store, presumably for gifts for his children…Adam Clayton visited with Eric Clapton, who is also touring in Japan now and staying in the same hotel as U2…Bono enjoyed a traditional Japanese meal at Gonpachi with his friends Gavin and Guggi. Kanye West was also seen at the same restaurant. Rumour has it that Kanye will perform with U2 for the final show in Japan on Monday…Edge, the zen master, has been keeping a low profile, meditating and such.

All band members have been generously signing autographs and posing for photos with Japanese fans around the city. The band seem to be truly enjoying their visit to Japan.

‘Window in the Skies’ premieres in Japan

U2’s first Vertigo tour show in Japan was so special that the band actually took Promo Bono’s advice and performed “Window in the Skies” for the first time live. My human counterpart introduced the song by telling the audience, “If this doesn’t sound good, blame Edge.” The warning turned out to be completely unnecessary, as the song and the Edge sounded fantastic.

Setlist
City of Blinding Lights
Vertigo (She Loves You snippet)
Elevation
I Will Follow
I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For
Beautiful Day (Sgt. Pepper’s & Blackbird snippets)
Window in the Skies
Walk On (Acoustic — dedicated to the oldest Japanese fan club)
Sometimes You Can’t Make It on Your Own
Bad (40 snippet)
Sunday Bloody Sunday (Rock the Casbah snippet)
Bullet the Blue Sky
Miss Sarajevo
Pride (In the Name of Love)
Where the Streets Have No Name
One

The Fly (Satisfaction snippet)
Mysterious Ways
With or Without You
The Saints Are Coming
Angel of Harlem
One Tree Hill

Japan welcomes U2

Hi, Promo Bono here. After being stuck in a box on a shelf in Vertigo Air for God-knows-forever, I’ve managed to sneak my way into Japan via Adam Clayton’s man purse. It’s time for Promo Bono to get in on some Vertigo tour fun!

The band and I arrived in Tokyo on Monday and were greeted by Japanese fans at Haneda Airport. The band, whose last visit to the country was in March 1998 during the PopMart tour, were warmly welcomed. I snapped this pic of The Edge at the airport from inside a pocket in Adam’s purse:

Looking good, yes?

The band will perform the first of three shows at Saitama Super Arena tonight. Because entrance into the venue is in numeric order, fans have been instructed not to show up at the venue before 6 pm when doors open. The show will begin at 7 pm without an opening act.

On Friday, U2 will appear on Japanese television to perform two songs, “Window in the Skies” and “Vertigo.”

I intend to (secretly) run around in Japan with the band as much as my little Promo Bono legs will allow me, so come back to read about our adventures.

Lisbon: Estádio José De Alvalade


Moblog picture by Marcel van der Steen

Live coverage continued from previous entry: The concert kicks off with the standard 5 songs. During Electric Co, Bono pulls a life size cardboard image of himself from the audience. He kisses and cuddles it and then lets go of it.

Before I still haven’t found, Bono thanks the Portuguese president for the Order of Liberty given to the band a few hours before the show, and he quips the band has now become Portuguese.

Setlist: Vertigo / I Will Follow / Electric Co / Elevation / New Year's Day / Beautiful Day / I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For / City of Blinding Lights / Miracle Drug / Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own / Love and Peace or Else / Sunday Bloody Sunday / Bullet the Blue Sky / Miss Sarajevo / Pride (In The Name Of Love) / Where the Streets Have No Name / One / Encore: Zoo Station / The Fly / With or Without You / All Because Of You / Yahweh / 40

… and that completes the votes of the Zooropean jury. Sgt Pepper’s Only One Set Band will continue across the big pond…