U2 – Heinz Field, Pittsburgh PA 6/7/17

Tuesday night, we were in bed by 11pm, so we could get up early to drive to Pittsburgh for the U2 show. We were going to meet up with Kate and her friends, and later Meredith and her gf before heading home. I did the usual, play games on the phone, read on the phone, to try to get tired while J fell asleep right away, but I just wasn’t tired. Finally after a few hours, I decided to finally try to sleep. J woke up shortly after, played on his phone, got up, came back to bed, got up again. It had been like 4 hours now. No sleep. Finally I sort of dozed off, only to be jarred back awake by J choking. Or rather, throwing up. J hasn’t thrown up in 35 years. But he’s barfing like crazy, clearly sick. Our guess was food poisoning from Pho Dollar, where we had gotten food before going home. We joked around that his shrimp and pork stir fry only had 2 shrimp on it, but thank god, cuz who knows how much more sick he would have gotten (it wasn’t the pork as I had a piece.) Ugh, so now he’s sick, and dying because he’s a boy, so my no sleep continued. Hour after hour went by, 9:30 alarm time inching closer. I tried to sleep on the couch, no luck. He said he was still going to go to the show, but after I got up and showered I convinced him that it was probably not a good idea (which later in the afternoon, he agreed), and sadly he stayed home.

So I picked him up some things, posted my extra ticket on Interference and drove down to PA. Parked at Rivers casino, met up with Kate and the and went over to the stadium. We got in line at about 3:30, got wrist banded (#622), and met up with this guy JD who bought my ticket. I told him he didn’t have to hang out with us after we got into the stadium, but he did, and it was cool, he was a nice guy who had come in from Ohio. Chatted with some other people in line, and got let in around 5. We had been nervous about the weather as rain had been predicted, at least in the afternoon, if not evening as well. It was on the cooler side, and overcast most of the day, which was actually perfect weather for an outdoor concert. It wasn’t hot, I was not sweating and people were not smelly. There was a nice breeze to keep things comfortable and it didn’t rain!

The Lumineers opened. I can’t say it was someone I’d have seen otherwise, and they are not a band I’d choose to listen to but their hour on stage wasn’t bad.

The stage…was HUGE. One huge LED screen, with nothing else on stage for U2. No speaker stacks (must have been behind the screen), no props, just a giant screen with a Joshua tree on it. Trent will probably be jealous because those screens were put to great use displaying super sharp imagery, which sometimes made me ill because it was moving, and it was almost 3d and it made me think I was falling a few times (like how I can’t do simulator rides at amusement parks anymore).

I was so excited when they announced they were playing all of the Joshua Tree, as even though it’s not my favourite album, there are so many songs I’ve never seen, and probably WOULD never see if they weren’t going to play the entire album. I got a little butterfly-y in my stomach waiting for it to start, which hasn’t happened to me in a long long time. The stage also had a walkway with a 2nd stage mid field, as they have had for the last several tours, and they actually started the show by Larry first walking out to a drum kit out there, and the rest of the band members each joining him to open with Sunday Bloody Sunday. They did a kind of “Greatest Hits” of their early era before returning to the main stage to begin with JT. That’s where the screen kicked in, with all sorts of nature, and “Americana” imagery to accompany each song from the album.

Holy Crap. While the album opens with songs that are staples in their sets the last 30 years, so everyone was familiar with them, they still sounded great, and Bullet the Blue Sky may have been the best I’ve ever heard it. I had forgotten just how awesome it is live. The Edge just killed it. He killed the entire show. You don’t think of the Joshua Tree as a “guitar” record, but holy shit, Edge just shined all night. He also played a lot of piano, like the usual New Years Day, but also for Running To Stand Still instead of a guitar. RTSS may have been stronger in the past, but it was still fantastic to see again, and LeighAnne will die when she finally gets to see it in a few weeks when we go to the Toronto show. Kate wasn’t impressed with Red Hill Mining town, but I thought it was really good, and over the last few months I was looking forward to Trip Through Your Wires I had forgotten it was coming, and was impressed and reminded all over again that I had been wanting to see it lol. I never listen to Mothers of the Disappeared but I admit it was well done. The only song I thought was meh was One Tree Hill, and mainly just because of the end, Bono doesn’t do the “it’s raining” part well.

After they finished the album, the “encore” was a “Greatest Hits” of the days following the JT era, like One, and Beautiful Day. They closed with a new song, Kate wasn’t sure I’d like because it’s slow, and I’d say she was right. It picks up at the end but overall it didn’t impress me.

But the rest….the rest was just so good. It was fun to be there with Kate, and I told LeighAnne that even if we don’t drive to TO together, we have to watch the show together. It’s going to be great. And hopefully J doesn’t get sick again (although, if he did, U2 announced a Sept show in Buffalo, which we will also be going to, assuming I get tickets on Monday).

Since I had gotten zero hours of sleep the night before, plus really only getting about 5 before that, I scrapped the original plan to drive home after the show. Driving by myself, in the dark, with no sleep was not going to be a good idea so I crashed on Meredith’s couch for the night, and headed home in the morning. It’s a 3.5 hour drive, and not a bad one at all. I feel like we should visit Pittsburgh more often, I like it far better than Cleveland haha.

Sunday Bloody Sunday
New Year’s Day
Pride (In the Name of Love)

The Joshua Tree:
Where the Streets Have No Name
I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For
Play Video
With or Without You
Bullet the Blue Sky
Running to Stand Still
Red Hill Mining Town
In God’s Country
Trip Through Your Wires
One Tree Hill
Mothers of the Disappeared

Miss Sarajevo
Ultraviolet (Light My Way)
Beautiful Day
The Little Things That Give You Away

Oh yeah, Exit was fantastic. And before the show JD had asked, what U2 song do you think “defines” them as a band…he picked Sunday Bloody Sunday, Kate picked Until The End of the World, but it was more that it defined them for her, and I picked New Years Day…we got 2 of three. I mentioned I could go the rest of my life never hearing Pride ever again, but I knew that was not happening (like Hurt), and I was going to say I never needed to hear Miss Sarajevo again LOL got that too. The only spoiler I told Lei was “you’re still going to have to hear fucking Miss Sarajevo” since that’s the song that replaced RTSS on the Vertigo tour, which made her never get to hear it (yet).

Also, given that U2 is a political band, and we are in a contentious political era, the show wasn’t very political. He didn’t really say that much, didn’t call Trump out though there was a small old timey (not sure if it’s old or new) video with a character named Trump, who appears to be a charlatan, and didn’t focus on “resisting” or anything like that. Ultraviolet was dedicated to women, and displayed photos of important historic and current women and women groups, but the performance did not sound as good to me as it did on the 360 tour. It sounded muddy like the sound levels were not set right.

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