U2’s obsession with America commenced during the mid-80s and peaked with its high-water mark, ‘The Joshua Tree’ in 1987. The iconic Irish band, which stopped Thursday at soldout Lincoln Financial Field, did all but chant ‘USA’ in South Philadelphia.
During its long-awaited 360 show, which was originally scheduled for July of 2010 but was postponed because of Bono’s back surgery, the band tipped its cap to America.
Bono praised America’s virtues and even called upon astronaut Mark Kelly to sing along to David Bowie’s ‘Space Oddity,’ after saluting his recovering wife Gabrielle Giffords, the Arizona congresswoman who was shot in the head in January.
America helped make U2 the biggest band in the world and Bono thanked the crowd for giving the band a great life. U2 returned the favor by delivering a solid two hour-fifteen minute show, which touched on each of the band’s eras.
U2 kicked off the event, which attracted a SRO audience of 67,000 with ‘Even Better Than The Real Thing,’ which segued into the urgent ‘I Will Follow.’
A few cuts from 2009’s ‘No Line on the Horizon’ were delivered but it was primarily a greatest hits event with such songs as ‘Beautiful Day,’ ‘Vertigo,’ ‘Elevation,’ ‘Sunday Bloody Sunday’ and ‘Walk On.’
There are always twists to U2 shows and this time the band delivered a number of snippets of covers. Bits of the Rolling Stones’ Miss You,’ and Taking Heads ‘Psycho Killer’ were included.
Bono gave props to Amnesty International and the band closed the set singing ‘Happy Birthday’ to Nelson Mandela, who turns 93 next week.
On the lighter side Bono gave shout outs to the Eagles, Flyers and mentioned such SEPTA stops as Fern Rock, City Hall and 30th street.
Bono knew he was back in Philly, which embraced U2 like few other cities during its formative years. He was well aware that fans waited a long time for the 360 date.
“Some of you were two-years younger when you bought tickets for this show,” Bono said. “Thanks for your patience.”
Some fans had difficulty entering the Linc since some ticket barcode’s faded. That’s not surprising since the ducats were so old that the Phillies were defending champs when they were printed. There were delays but it was worth the wait as U2 delivered once again