U2 in Honolulu, 12/9/06 - The end of the Vertigo Tour


16 déc. 2006, 0h59m

Well, the tour is finally over after nearly two years. I feel very fortunate to have been present at the final show at Aloha Stadium last Saturday.

I live in California, so I had the pleasure of only a 5 hour flight to get to Hawaii. Most people I met in the GA line had come from much further away. This truly was an audience of diehards. When Bono asked who was local and who had flown in, nearly everyone indicated that they had travelled to be there. It was pretty cool to see the dedication of our fanbase.

I got to the stadium at 4:00am on the day of the show, so I only waited for about 17 hours until U2 came on. That was nothing compared to the people who had been there for two days, but it was plenty for me. I think I was close to 700 in line, but they stopped numbering after the first few hundred, so it was hard to tell. I was happy just to be in the first thousand (floor capacity was around 10,000).

After a very long wait and lots of line drama and confusion, we were finally let into the stadium at around 4:30pm. I made it into the inner circle, and was second row at Adam's b-stage. Rail would have been nice, but I was happy to be as close as I was. The people in front of me on the rail claimed to have been there since Thursday morning. I'm happy I didn't camp out because the line got so jumbled that it didn't give anyone much of an advantage to have been there super early.

The first opening band was Rocko and the Devils, and they were surprisingly great. They played a short set of a few covers and a couple of original songs. They performed pretty much just to the GA crowd, because the rest of the stadium hadn't filled up yet. Rocko is U2's tour manager and a pretty awesome guy. He can sing, too!

Next up was Pearl Jam. I have to be honest, I do not like Pearl Jam. I've tried to get into them, but I just can't make myself enjoy their music. I wasn't that interested in seeing them live, and was mainly wishing they'd hurry up and finish. I'm glad I can at least say I've seen them, though. This was a pretty momentous show due to the hugeness of the opener.

Finally after what seemed like an eternity, Wake Up came on over the PA and the crowd went batshit crazy. It's hilarious how we've all developed a Pavlovian response to that song now. Crazy.

Then City of Blinding Lights began and Bono emerged from the b-stage right in front of me, waving a huge American flag. I went nuts. Everyone around me went nuts. I hadn't seen the band in a year (my last show was 12/14/05 St. Louis), and it felt like I was finally home again. I fucking adore this band. I adore them with every fiber of my being.

This was the setlist:

1. City of Blinding Lights
2. Vertigo
4. I Will Follow
5. I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For
6. Beautiful Day
7. Angel of Harlem
8. Who's Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses
9. The First Time
10. Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own
11. Love and Peace or Else
12. Sunday Bloody Sunday
13. Bullet the Blue Sky
14. Miss Sarajevo
15. Pride (in the Name of Love)
16. Where the Streets Have No Name
17. One

18. The Fly
19. Mysterious Ways
20. With or Without You

21. Window In The Skies
22. The Saints Are Coming (with Billie Joe Armstrong)
23. Rockin' In the Free World (with Pearl Jam)
24. All I Want Is You

They had a marquee scrolling at the top of the light screens at the beginning of COBL, listing all of the Vertigo tour dates, ending with 131. Honolulu. That's pretty damn impressive, I think. 131 shows is a hell of a lot.

Bono pulled a fan up during Angel of Harlem to play piano. The fan insisted that he couldn't play that song, and that he wanted to play Who's Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses instead... so they did! It was fantastic. They clearly struggled to get through it, but amazingly Bono remembered most of the lyrics. The audience freaked out, because it's rare to get something unexpected like that at a U2 show. The setlists are fairly static. When they finished the song, Bono made some comment about U2 becoming wedding singers.

I realized later that the fan who got pulled up was the same guy, Michael, who got pulled up in St. Louis to play piano during Yahweh last year. "Play it like a bell! LIKE A BELL!" I met him in line for that show and he was a really nice guy. He certainly added a little extra specialness to both of those shows.

LAPOE made a surprising return, which I was thrilled about since Bono did his drumming bit right in front of me.

The second encore began with the new song, Window in the Skies. I was totally thrilled to hear this live, especially since there's a high probability it'll be forgotten by the time the next tour rolls around. I guess it just depends on what the new album is like and how Window fits in with that theme. Only time will tell, but I feel privileged to have heard it live. It's really beautiful.

Billie Joe Armstrong of Green Day joined the band for Saints. I really hate Green Day and wish it had just been U2, but this was still a pretty cool song live. It's better than All Because of You, anyway, so I didn't mind it being in the set. Billie Joe promptly exited the stage after the song ended, so I was happy about that. I was afraid he'd stick around for another song.

Next was Rockin' in the Free World, for which Eddie Vedder and Mike McCready of Pearl Jam came back out. This was alright, and we all knew it was coming, but I wish they had performed it during Pearl Jam's set instead of U2's. I would have preferred One Tree Hill or Kite to take this spot in the set, but oh well.

The band ended the show and the tour with a final performance of All I Want Is You, which was beautiful. I fully expected Vertigo2 instead, so I was thrilled that they decided not to go that direction. AIWIY isn't as good of a closer as Bad or 40, but it seemed oddly appropriate for the final show. 50,000 people singing "all I want is YOUUUUUUUU" to U2 pretty much said it all.

Larry was the last to exit the stage as usual, and was given the final words. "See you soon," he said.

"Soon" probably means 2009 (late 2008 at the absolute earliest), but I'll be here waiting. Thanks U2 for giving me the time of my life at all of the shows I went to. Thanks for being my inspiration. Thanks for EVERYTHING. See you soon.

My pictures from the show are here:


  • coolian2

    Good to see you enjoyed it...although enjoying a U2 show is sort of a foregone conclusion. I ought to have sold my soul to go there..never a buyer when i need one. Can't wait for the next tour, the longer they wait the less financially crippling it will be for me to travel for some shows. We know a Bono soon means between now and 2012...but what does a Larry soon equate to? Nice photos btw

    16 déc. 2006, 1h17m
  • coolian2

    Nuts to this, i can't seem to find the edit button.... Next time you should also forget about the swaying palm trees of Hawaii and come on down further to the land of the great big grey cloud.

    16 déc. 2006, 1h22m
  • fadsy

    Actually I think I'm going to try to hit up the European leg next time. It'll likely be in the summer again, so that'll work out nicely with school and whatnot (if I haven't graduated by then). I just need a couple years to raise the cash, and knowing U2 I'll have at least that long. As for Larry, he's obviously more reliable than Bono but there is no term more vague than soon. Tour won't happen until Spring 2009, album in Fall 2008 if we're lucky. I will eat my hat if I'm wrong. I think 2007 will be basically a dead year in U2 world. Maybe that IMAX thing, if it ever happens. And there were rumblings about a PopMart DVD, so maybe they'll decide to throw us a bone with that. Probably not, though. I don't think they'll even get back into the studio for another several months. They'll take plenty of time off for the holidays, Bono will go back to saving the world, etc etc. When they finally do decide to put the album together, they'll switch producers a couple times and that will eat up a bunch of time. Get ready for a long hibernation. It's going to be quite a wait.

    16 déc. 2006, 9h29m
  • jarmac

    Would have been an amazing concert, especially with the likes of Pearl Jam as a support! The last show of the tour has 210% effort, and U2 did exactly that.

    16 déc. 2006, 11h17m
  • Poomba_Maniac

    Oh I'm so jeallous of you. How long do you think it will take'em to get here? LOL I don't get how Rick Rubin is planning to work with what? 5-6 bands at the same time? He's got new Metallica I think... Linkin' Park wanted him and not to mention that Johnny Cash record. I hope he speeds them up just a little bit. But after that Brian Eno will come along and they'll end up working with him as usual. :) P.S. I'm still waiting for Milano to be released - I loved the snippets. The stadium shows always beat the arenas. With U2 especially.

    27 déc. 2006, 12h42m
  • fadsy

    Did you buy the deluxe edition of U218? It has the DVD with part of Milan. I don't think they'll ever release it in full, but who knows. As for stadium vs. arena, I much prefer arenas. Stadium GA is just so much more work, haha :)

    28 déc. 2006, 2h28m
  • Poomba_Maniac

    Yep, I have the one with the bonus DVD. I am desperate for them to release it sometime - that looks/sounds pretty amazing. Better than Chicago. Bono sounds better as well. Surprisingly. =/ GA isn't really the matter when they're some thousands miles away, you know. ;)

    28 déc. 2006, 7h44m
  • fadsy

    Bono had a little bit of a cold that week in Chicago. I was only able to make it to the first show (the one before the two that were filmed for the DVD), but he sounded hoarse that night too. It was so early in the tour, too, so the performance wasn't as strong. It was a bad choice for the DVD.

    28 déc. 2006, 7h54m
  • Poomba_Maniac

    Well usually our man tends to get better as the tour goes on. How was he in Honolulu, by the way? I have a pretty good quality bootleg and he's kind of uneven. In A Little While sounds great on the bootleg though.

    28 déc. 2006, 8h33m
  • fadsy

    He sounded great, from what I remember. It's hard to critique the performance while you're busy jumping and screaming. :p He totally nailed Miss Sarajevo and Sometimes. I need to listen to the bootleg more. I've only listened to it 2-3 times so far.

    28 déc. 2006, 9h07m
  • Poomba_Maniac

    No criticism to the performance! :) We know our man sometimes can't sing anymore, but hey - he wasted that golden voice of his ON US. And he still sounds awesome time to time. That date (12/09) is my birthday actually. So I had a kind of a special birthday this year for two reasons - turning 20 and U2 finished their tour. Lucky me! :P

    28 déc. 2006, 21h51m
  • Poomba_Maniac

    How many shows have u been to, BTW, you luckiest person I'm so envious of? :))

    28 déc. 2006, 21h56m
  • coolian2

    His voice on this leg of the tour was superb. Six months off ought to so that. Sometimes and Miss Sarajevo have been done without fault recently, and the way he as holding Touch Me at the end of Beautiful Day was an unexpected favourite of mine.

    29 déc. 2006, 3h50m
  • fadsy

    I only got to go to 4 shows. I had tickets for 5, but something came up so I couldn't make it to Oakland 2. Oh well. I had a behind the stage ticket anyway so it wasn't a tragic loss. Next time I'm hoping to at least double that. The more shows you see, the more you want to see. Aaaand happy belated birthday, Poomba. :)

    29 déc. 2006, 7h42m
  • Poomba_Maniac

    Well, according to the bootlegs I wouldn't exactly call him Freddie Mercury, but he was decent. He sings well - it's just now he doesn't keep the same level through the show - he seems to get up and go down every once in a while. Sometimes is almost always awesome (from what I heard) for obvious reasons - he puts himself so much into this song... I love the Milano version of Miss Sarajevo (nothing beats the studio version for me though). I know that about shows. I've been to a couple of Jovi shows back in 2001 and they also drive you nuts till the end of the concert and just suck you dry. :) With U2 I think it's even best, given all the soulful element which Bon Jovi pretty much lack. :) Thanks! ;)

    29 déc. 2006, 9h15m
  • rglovesu2

    You are so lucky you got to be at the final show of a U2 tour (something I've always wanted but haven't achieved - yet. One day...

    26 mars 2010, 2h54m
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