Quite a show in Las Vegas at the MGM Grand on Saturday night. Lots of surprises in the set list and special guests on stage including Mary J Blige and Brandon Flowers.
As early as the fourth song we got a surprise with Mysterious Ways - not in the set since Philadelphia in May - and Bono identifying a very fine mover and shaker to dance through the song. The lights looked great too, lots of pretty hands floating down the screens. That segued into another surprise, Until The End of the World - first time in the show since Brussels in June - with Edge rocking out on the edge of the ellipse and Bono wandering down the opposite side of the stage for a treat of a duel when they met.
'Hello' says the singer. 'How are you ? Don't think we're ever going to leave Las Vegas, we're having too good a time!'
Still Haven't Found runs into Beautiful Day as Bono references The Killers singing, 'I've got soul but I'm not a soldier'. The Killers - don't you know it? - are in the audience in this thrir hometown and it's a big hint at what's ahead.
'So Las Vegas is an operatic kind of place,' explains Bono. 'My father Bob loved the opera.'
There's lots of Vegas references tonight, including a bit of an 'Elvis moment' for Bono when he walks out to meet Larry at the front of the ellipse stage, making the shape that the King made his own. One of the many signs in the crowd tonight, recalls an earlier U2 visit to the West Coast reading, 'Rock and Roll Still Stops the Traffic'.
Sometimes it's the strange little cameo moments that hint at how much the band seem to be enjoying a show - tonight you had to see Adam playing in Love and Peace or Else, his guitar slung so low, nearly touching the ground, really into the vibe, lost in the music.
Great surprise to have Mary J Blige back with us for a third show tonight, but no surprise that she was such a star. What she brings to One is something it's hard to put into words - in short her soul. She tore the roof of the place, what a powerful singer, it wasn't hard to find people in tears.
Another nice touch was when the band brought Dennis Sheehan on stage to mark his birthday - twenty three years their tour manager and tonight they played him All Because of You. Well done Dennis!
And then another great twist, a full version of In A Little While, a song that has appeared in little snatches here and there but tonight comes complete with Brandon Flowers from The Killers. Amazing to think that Brandon came to see U2 in this venue less than five years ago on the Elevation tour, when he was still waiting tables, scoring a ticket off a tout - and was totally blown away by the show. And now he's a rock'n'roll star too, taking his band on the road with U2 and tonight, in his hometown, with his new wife in the audience, getting up on stage with U2 to sing with them. It really was only a little while for Brandon to become a star.
'Indie rock'n'roll is what I need It's in my soul, it's what I need..'