'This Extraordinary City...'

25 Aug 2010
It's pouring with rain as the band take to the stage in Moscow tonight€¦ and it doesn't let up all night long! No problem for the record-breaking 62,000 people in the house. Nor the band. 'What a time we've had in this extraordinary city of yours€¦'

Given the weather tonight, it's no surprise that Bono spends a lot of the time extemporising about 'singing in the rain' - and despite the inclement conditions, this first ever U2 show in Moscow turned into a party.

The set list was mixed up again  with The Return of the Stingray Guitar the only new track on show. But then none of these fans have  heard any U2 songs played live on their home soil, so every song was making its debut tonight.

'What a time we've had in this extraordinary city of yours,' reflected Bono before 'Still Haven't Found'. 'We've spent some time with dancers, artists and  singers. An amazing singer, Yuri Shevchuck, is with us tonight. What a great man!'

Adam has been checking out 'The Garage', he explains , referring to an art gallery in the city. 'Have you been hanging out in karaoke bars?' he asks Larry, receiving confirmation with a smile and a bow. 'Larry Mullen Jnr moving to Moscow!' (That went down well..) 'Edge,' he continued, ' Edge has been hanging out with astronauts in Moscow, they're really cool. He's our rocket scientist.'

Bono mentions that 'President Medvedev could not have been more gracious to me', referring to their meeting yesterday and then has a shout-out to a C20th political legend, who is at the show tonight.
'I'd like to introduce a great hero of ours - he has been a friend of mine for ten years - Mikhail Gorbachev is in the house!'

There's also a big shout-out from the stage for the Irish Ambassador to Russia, Philip McDonagh.

Despite the moist conditions, the atmosphere is electric amongst this, the biggest crowd at a rock show in this country here  since Pink Floyd played two nights in the 1980's.  And whatever album the songs come from, this is an audience that knows its U2 and knows its music.

It's a moving moment when the Declaration of Human Rights spools across the  screens during MLK and when the Amnesty International lanterns spotlight the plight of Aung San Suu Kyi and the people of Burma. 'From Burma Action and Amnesty International, let's hold her up. Let's tell the powers that be that they can't touch her, she belongs to us..'

The stadium doesn't have a roof, just as well.  With or Without You would have taken it off. 'I wanna thank everyone, every artist, every President. People who let us into their lives. Thank You Moscow.'

And that's the cue for something a bit special.

Yuri  Shevchuck, no stranger to this audience and a household name here, arrives on stage  as Edge and Bono begin strumming the chords to Bob Dylan's Knocking on Heaven's Door. 'You might know this man€¦' explains Bono. Yuri sings in both Russian and English and this audience is not just knocking - it's in seventh  heaven.

Before Moment of Surrender brings the show to a close, Bono takes a pause to speak of Frank de Winne in the Space Station,  an emblematic feature of U2360, and the people of this country.
'There's this beautiful country of Russia, ancient and modern,
People who've fought their fires and people who've lost their lives,
And we play this under the Milky Way for the people who died in those fires€¦'

A special night in Moscow. Were you here? Write your own review and post your photos on our Tour Pages.

If you weren't here tonight, see what everyone else is saying, check the set list.


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