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U2
Written By: Gary Crouthamel
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U2
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Lincoln Financial Field
Philadelphia, Pa. Thursday, July 14th
 
        We had heard the stories about the mammoth size of the "U2 360" Tour, a 168-foot-tall four-legged stage known as "The Claw", which looked like some futuristic spaceship that made its way to Philadelphia for more than 67,000 fans. There were ramps, bridges and catwalks that separated the two general admission sections on the field. I heard that some of these people in the inner section had been camping out for days just to get up close to the band. If anyone has been to stadium concerts before, you want to be up close, but thanks to U2's 360 circular video screen hanging under the Claw, it wasn’t all that bad for people in the nose-bleed sections.
        As the lights went down and the smoke starting rolling off the stage to the sound of David Bowie's "Space Oddity" playing on the PA system, U2 opened with a one-two punch of "Even Better Than the Real Thing" and "I Will Follow." The 2 1/4-hour set went on with "Mysterious Ways," "Until the End of the World" and "Where Have All The Flowers Gone" snippet in which Bono gave several nods to U2's own musical heroes. Then came "Get On Your Boots", "Magnificent", "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For", with "The Promised Land" snippet, a nod to Bruce Springsteen. Then "Stay" (Faraway, So Close!), led to "Beautiful Day", dedicated to recovering Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, with the aid of her husband, astronaut Mark Kelly, in a video clip shot during Space Shuttle Endeavour's trip to the International Space Station.
        The hits didn’t stop there. Next was a run with "Elevation", "Pride" (In The Name Of Love), "Miss Sarajevo" (that the crowd took as a signal for a bathroom break), "Zooropa", and "Vertigo" with "It’s Only Rock N Roll" (But I Like It) snippet for the Rolling Stones. Then to round out their first set was "I'll Go Crazy If I Don't Go Crazy Tonight" with "Discotheque", "Life During Wartime" and "Psycho Killer" snippet (Talking Heads), "Sunday Bloody Sunday", "Scarlet" and "Walk On", that feaured a recorded message on the video screen  from freed Burmese dissident Aung San Suu Kyi, who told the crowd; "Your voices are louder than any rock band."
        After a short break, the band returned and for the first time during the night Bono broke out a green Gretsch guitar and played "One" with a 'Hallelujah" snippet (nod to Humble Pie) and closed with "Where the Streets Have No Name."
        For their second encore the show ended with "Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me', "With Or Without You" and "Moment Of Surrender". Bono then asked the crowd to sing "Happy Birthday" to the band’s friend Nelson Mandela, who turned 93 that week. For anyone who loves the music of U2, this was another impressive show.
– Gary Crouthamel, concert photo journalist
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