'We are deeply honoured to be on tour in the United States at this time...'
Another special show tonight as Bono has the in-laws over, which he mentions before Kite. They will have been all too familiar with what he has to say before the band perform Out of Control .
'We're a group from the northside of the city, we're called U2, this is our first single, we hope you like it...' he says, falling into one of those trance like moments that puts him back in time a couple of decades. 'Wrote this last week on my 18th birthday, first single...' He introduces the band. 'On the bass, from Malahide, Adam Clayton, on the drums Larry Mullen Jnr, on lead guitar the Edge...'
Midway through the song he returns to his reverie: 'So I got on a train, I got on a boat with my sixteen year old girlfriend Ali and I went to London, Dublin to London, with our demo, 3 songs, Mr. Record Company, I got 3 songs to play for you, this is gonna be our first single, it's called Out of Control and Mr. A&R man, I want you to know, myself and my friends are very much out of control, we're out of control, we're out of control, we're out of control...'
And U2 are again out of control in Baltimore, from the opening bars of Elevation ('We wouldn't want to be anywhere else...') through Beautiful Day ('beautiful, beautiful night...') into the Good Book ('Jesus, this is Judas...') and Sunday Bloody Sunday: 'If a song could be a prayer, this is our prayer, a prayer for peace, justice...'
There is time to wish birthday greetings to 'Dave Mouse' - actually Dave Rouse, Bono's guitar tech - and to introduce Kite. 'This next song is about letting go of somebody you don't want to let go, I thought I'd written it for my children but oddly enough I think my father might have written it for me, he passed away just a couple of months back and I think about him every day but I'm very lucky because I have another father with me in the audience tonight and since I was a kid he has looked after me as a son, I'm married to his daughter... Terry - and I have Joy who has fed me and looked after me in the days when I wasn't so well fed, this is Kite...'
Noticing a fan with a sign reading 'Knocking On Heaven's Door - G, D, A Minor' he pulls him on stage, observing that 'It pays to advertise...' He adds, to U2's new acccompanist, 'So you can deliver, you're gonna deliver 'cos if you can't....' Our new hero and Edge walk down the catwalk ('See how guitar people like to hang out together, like to talk about Stairway to Heaven and all those kinds of things...') and then, with Bono on vocals, the fan takes the lead, Bono improvising, 'Somewhere out of the crowd a man says I want to be a star, his faith and a lot of attitude he needs, that's at least two things you need if you want to get that far, there's some other kind of faith brother, that's the faith we have in each other and if God looks down now, he's smiling and if God didn't look down now, none of us would be here...'
Then comes a debut tour appearance for Please. 'This is a song written about political fanatics, religious lunatics, I'm always amazed when we see how man can remake God in his own image, always amazed how a man wants to shrink God to his own size, petty, tiny, greedy so this is for, you know what this is for... God is love and God is bigger than us and we haven't played this song for a long time so hush now, hush now...'
From a psalm comes Streets and the customary roof-lifting ovation, and then it's church with Still Haven't Found ('Take it to the church now...) and with Pride comes the reappearance on the big screens of the familiar image of Martin Luther King, making his Promised Land speech.
A verse or two of What's Going On, leads into New York, Bono's stars and stripes jacket slung over his shoulder, then hung on the mic stand - which calls for another one.
'I want you to know that this group would not want to be anywhere else right now, we are deeply honoured and deeply humbled to be on tour in the United States right at this time... 'Irish people feel they have a stake in the United States because after all we built this country. I would like to tell you something if you could hush for a second, just about what it was like to be Irish in the 70's and 80's when some other fundamentalist lunatics took the bombing campaign which they started in our country in Ireland when they took it to mainland Britain, bombing supermarkets and bombing pubs, I just want to tell you, I want to tell you something, I want you to think about it, because when that campaign went off some of my friends and some of our family - when they then went to the UK just because they spoke with an Irish accent - they were beaten within an inch of their life because they, somebody, needed a victim. Do you know what I mean ? To vent their anger and I understand that, but Irish people had no part in the Provisional IRA that was just a tiny, warped minority.. so I know that you understand that so many people, such a great and dignified people.. the Koran is a beautiful book and the people who follow Islam are beautiful people and they have nothing to do with these religious lunatics. 'My favourite line from the Koran ? 'He is close to God who makes his friends laugh...'
And U2 begin to play One as the screens fill with the names of those on the hi-jacked flights who lost their lives on September 11th.
Peace On Earth introduces Walk On, with no further explanation necessary.
What They Played:
Until The End Of The World
New Years Day
Out Of Control
Sunday Bloody Sunday
Stuck In A Moment
Angel Of Harlem
Knocking On Heaven's Door (With A Fan On Guitar)
Staring At The Sun
Where The Streets Have No Name
Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For
Pride (In The Name Of Love)
Bullet The Blue Sky
What's Going On
Walk On (Introduced By Peace On Earth)