Jul 9 2005
Paris, FR / Stade De France
with Snow Patrol, Starsailor
Just one of a clutch of songs that Bono borrowed from during a wild show in Paris last night.

It was a special night in Paris last night. Maybe it was because Bono spoke so often in French. Maybe it was because it was the first U2 show since the G8 meetings  - and a vindication of pressure put on western governments by people across the world on behalf of Africa. Maybe because it was France and
the band  spend a lot of time in this country when they are not working. Maybe it was because Europe is still reeling from the bombs in London on Thursday... and a sense of communal hope is all the more precious.

Or maybe it's that the French  - on their home soil in their wonderful Stade de France - are just wild.

The 80,000 strong crowd were pumping from the off. A great set from Starsailor - whose lead singer really knows how to sing to a stadium - and another fine showing from Snow Patrol was followed by the best Mexican waves so far and shoals of white balloons being released as everyone waited for U2
to hit the stage.

They finally did, at 9.15, latest start to date but still pretty light in the Parisian summer and Vertigo, I Will Follow and Electric Co sent everyone into a paroxysm of joy. 'I can see for miles and miles and miles..' adlibbed Bono and what he could see was French people giving it everything. The track finished with Edge being strangled playfully by Bono, his arms around the guitarists neck as Edge played and Bono sang. 'Sexy people.. Pareeee..'

Tonight he could see the world 'in green and red and blue' during Beautiful Day, and changed the lyrics to add that yesterday, Friday, had been a 'beautiful day for Africa' - to great applause. A week after debuting the number with Paul McCartney before several billion people, the band finished
Beautiful Day  with Sgt Pepper: 'Hope  you will enjoy the show..'

'You, we, the people went out on the streets of Paris. Well, we got a result,' explained Bono, referring to the closing commitments from the G8 Summit. 'It's not everything but it's a hell of a lot, so for Live 8 and all the people who turned out, thanks you!'

And with that Edge's guitar broke into Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For and 80,000 Parisians accepted Bono's invitation to 'take us to church now.'

'Merci, Merci,' said Bono as the back of the stage, once again took everyone by surprise as it transformed into a gigantic screen for City of Blinding Lights. 'Blessings, blessings..'

The powerful graffiti of 'CoeExisT' seemed particularly potent in light of the terrorist attacks in London, as Love and Peace, Sunday Bloody Sunday ('No more, no more!') and Bullet linked seamlessly into Running To Stand Still.

'A terrible thing has happened in the city of London. This song is our prayer that we don't become a monster in order to defeat a monster..'

As Edge played the haunting piano chords and Bono blew into his harmonica, suddenly the whole dark night was burning with lighters and mobiles. 'That's beautiful!' said Bono, so inspired that he took the track off into a hymn at the end, breaking into Amazing Grace as the Universal Declaration of Human
Rights began scrolling up the back of the stage. The applause and cheering from the audience was a tonic. 'I once was lost, but now I see..'

And now, as if from nowhere (leaving everyone asking 'how do these things happen?')  a sea of white balloons emerged stage right, involving hundreds of people, not just on the stadium floor but also in the stands.  It was a beautiful site and turns out to have been part of an online campaign connected  with Amnesty International - eye-catching and creative and all adding to the spirit of a great evening.

Pausing to make extended speeches in French during Pride, Streets and One, Bono thanked everyone for their commitment in helping put the plight of the poorest countries on the political map - and in the resulting commitment of an additional $50bn in aid from the richest countries. President Chirac, who
had had a meeting with Bono in Edinburgh the previous day, was singled out - to a mixed response!

One was closed off with a beautifully simple snatch from Mystery Girl, the song the band originally wrote for Roy Orbison. The singing from the Parisians was deafening at times, and never let up through  encores of Zoo Station, The Fly and With or Without You. A fierce version of All Because of
You was followed by the psalm-like Yahweh and the final honours went to another rendition of Vertigo.

Here's the full set-list.

I Will Follow
Electric Co.
New Year¹s Day
Beautiful Day
I Still Haven¹t Found What I'm Looking For
All I Want is You
City of Blinding Lights
Miracle Drug
Sometimes You Can't Make it on Your Own
Love and Peace
Sunday Bloody Sunday
Bullet The Blue Sky
Running to Standstill
Pride in the Name of love
Where the Streets have no name

Zoo Station
The Fly
With or Without You

All Because of You

All Because Of You
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Third time!
Ah, le Stade de France! So big, so great (even if our seats were far...). Opening and closing with vertigo (lights in, lights out), a truly great performance! I cried during "Running to stand still" which is my all time favorite song! We left the stade floating, we sang in the crowded subway, we spoke about the concert for hours and days. For most of my friends it was their first U2 concert, for me, it's always the first time!
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