The second of two sell-out nights at Glasgow’s Hydro proved to any doubters that after nearly four decades together and 31 years to the day since U2 played Glasgow’s famous Barrowland venue the band remain a live force to be reckoned with. Early in the night front-man Bono encouraged fans to “transform the Hydro into the Barrowland” and with opener ‘The Miracle (Of Joey Ramone)’ followed by fan favourite ‘Gloria’ setting the scene the band were doing their bit and holding nothing back. A pulsating version of ‘Vertigo’ featured early as fans lapped up the back-catalogue tracks alongside the spectacular visuals and stage set-up.
‘Iris (Hold Me Close)’, the track Bono penned about his mother, restored a moment of calm with the charismatic singer declaring “each of the four men in this band have their stories but I have the microphone”. Engaging stage set-ups have been a feature of U2 live shows for a number of tours and with the current set-up including a huge walk-way from the main stage to the back of the Hydro to the aptly named ‘E stage’ the band were able to adeptly connect with all of their audience. The haunting ‘Sunday Bloody Sunday’ accompanied by footage of the Berlin Wall on the massive screen above the stage connecting walkway ensured audience sensory overload whilst the terrific ‘Raised By Wolves’ was the stand-out track from current album Songs Of Innocence released controversially last year when it was uploaded to Itunes user accounts.
Achtung Baby’s ‘Mysterious Ways’ provided Bono with the opportunity of pulling a female Italian fan named Ellenor onto the ‘E stage’ to dance while classics including ‘Desire’, ‘Angel Of Harlem’ and the powerful ‘Pride’ warranted those in seats being on their feet for almost the entire ‘E stage’ performance.
Returning to the main stage for their encore, a young male fan was plucked from the crowd to join Bono on stage during ‘City Of Blinding Lights’ and following a jacket swap with the singer left the stage with both the sunglasses and jacket of one of the world’s most recognisable artists. ‘Beautiful Day’ continued the encore with Bono stating “there is no problem in this world this room cannot solve”, optimistic perhaps but judging by the rapturous applause and roar of approval there was no one in the Hydro disagreeing with the alluring front-man.
Words: Bazza Mills