Jul 20 2005
Milan, IT / San Siro
with Ash, Feeder
Just one of many messages from fans in Milan last night, the first of two shows to be filmed for future release.

'Larry Mullen Jnr' announced Bono, after the band arrived on stage to receive the applause of the Italian fans while Wake Up was still playing.

'Adam Clayton...'

That can only mean one thing and as the bass man kicked into his unmistakeable groove, the rest of the band joined him and showtime was here.

The beautiful San Siro was replete with wonderful posters and banners with messages to the band last night. 'You Look So Beautiful Tonight' read one, and it was hard to disagree as the audience basked in a band at the top of their form on a balmy European evening.

Quite apart from being in such a great stadium with an Italian audience in such fine voice, the set up was different tonight - for the benefit of the cameras.

Instead of the stage being at one end of the venue, where the goalposts would normally be, tonight the stage was set along one of the touchlines, giving a wide-screen view to 75,000 fans.

Dropping effortlessly into a little Italian (how many languages has he been sprucing up on for this tour ?) Bono introduced Miracle Drug, after ovation after ovation arrived after each song in the first third of the show. 'This is for the doctors and nurses, people who keep us alive'.

And Miracle Drug was all dressed up with some very cool new visuals, trailed by Willie Williams's in his recent U2.Com diary entries. Looked amazing - as our photos illustrate.

'Feels like we're in an old Italian house, with my father Bob,'explained the singer, as Edge opened up 'Sometimes...' 'This is for you.'

And here was another example of the mysterious communal mind that seems to have joined the tour. As Bono sang, everyone in the stand opposite the stage lifted up red, white and green boards which spelled out the greeting, 'HI BOB'. (How do they do this ? Could it be something do with the internet?)

'Love and Peace' signalled the arrival of Adam and Larry at the tip of the b-stages, swapping places, in due course, with Bono and Edge to close the track. As powerful as this sequence of songs has been throughout the tour, it has seemed even more poignant with the recent addition of Miss Sarajevo to follow Sunday Bloody Sunday and Bullet The Blue Sky. Seemed like the entire audience was clapping along to Larry's drumbeat for Bullet.

Miss Sarajevo ('To the victims in England of the London bombings') was greeted with respect and sympathy. It was no surprise to find the opera in the singer, but finding the singer in Italy seemed to take the opera to new levels.

And we still had Original of the Species to come, this time with the bonus of a 20-strong string section - ten each on either b-stage. Now that really was a bit special. And everyone who wasn't there will get the chance to see it on the small screen at some point.

All Because Of You
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You Look So Beautiful Tonight
Perfect night, a long life dream. Thank you U2.
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