Jul 27 2005
Oslo, NO / Vallehovin Stadium
with Paddy Casey, Razorlight
Two massive hot air balloons hovered over the stadium as the show opened - and then the night took off.

For a moment there it looked as if the balloons were flying directly at the stage, but nothing freaks this band and on they strolled to an ovation from 40,000 jumping Norwegians. (And, let's be honest, some very fine, very young and very good looking examples of the human kind!)

'Thank you Paddy Casey,' notes Bono, of a great support set earlier while Edge introduced New Year's Day on the piano. 'A new Irish artist coming through.'

(Actually, two great supports tonight: Paddy Casey's great songs are always bound to win new fans but Razorlight also played the first of three shows with U2 tonight - very, very cool.)

Adam takes the chance to wander through a sea of people along the b-stage, a different experience tonight as the floor of the venue is gigantic and there is no real grandstand. Then, as if out of nowhere, someone buzzes the sky in a parachute and as Bono raises his arms in welcome, everyone claps a steady time with Larry.

'Truly, truly beautiful,' announces the singer as Beautiful Day arrives and three heart-shaped red balloons from a Norwegian fan club float from the b-stages.

It's not warm up here in Norway, particularly when you've just flown in from shows in Milan and Rome, but this gig was cooking and no-one feeling the chill.

'The sun always shines on TV,' adlibbs Bono, always available with the right cultural reference, this one well-received in in the land of Aha.

'Thank you for coming out,' he adds, before repeating his gratitude, this time in Norwegian. 'Thank you for giving us a great life. We're just getting started actually...'

And so they are, big bright daylight still with us and sundown seeming months away. Someone lucky gets to take her bow on stage and slowdance the rockstar for All I Want Is You. 'You say you want a diamond in a ring of gold...' (She'd settle for this any time!)

'Four notes, four notes can be so simple' and Edge plays those four notes and we're about to be treated with a Miracle Drug.

'We'd like to play this tonight for Jan Paulsen, woke up and couldn't speak his native language. He woke up speaking English... if you believe that! He came to see us backstage and he looks great ...handsome Norwegian that he is.'

Love and Peace, Sunday Bloody Sunday and Bullet The Blue Sky have been a great trio of songs throughout this tour, but latterly, joined by Miss Sarajevo, they are even more powerful and this is a crowd that knows it.

Bono thinks in Norway, they might have something special going on: 'This is a piece of grafitti sitting on a wall, it says 'CoeXisT'... you've got that going on here I think in Oslo - 'CoeXisT'.'

Well, that went down well and if the Norwegians may not sing as loud as the Italians, they probably outjump them.

'We'd like to dedicate this (Miss Sarajevo) to all those who lost their lives in London, Turkey and the Middle East in the last few weeks... we're turning our song into a prayer.'

Dr Kings dream has been alive on this tour and it was alive again tonight with a blinding version of Pride linking powerfully with Streets. 'This is the moment, this is the time.'

Adam and Bono are cruising the b-stages, with Adam shaking hands with people while also playing a bass guitar. (You had to be there!)

'This is the time. We've been trying to make poverty history,' raps Bono. 'This kind of poverty we can stop and we will stop.'

'At this point of the show,' he continues. 'I am usually pleading with local governments but your country Norway is doing more than any other country in the world. It is humbling and overwhelming.

'It's hard when a rock star has nothing to give out about. I would like to thank Prime Minister Bondevik and Hilda Johnson for all their hard work on this stuff. I want to thank all of you for giving them the permission to spend your money. All we need is 100 Norways!'

During One Bono reaches out for the Norwegian flag and hangs it over his microphone.

There's a snatch of The Jean Genie in The Fly, as Bono warns, "Look out Oslo, I'm running out of change, There's a lot of things if I could I'd rearrange.'

By the end of the show it is almost dark, you can see lights on the trees next to the stage and you suddenly remember you are in Scandinavia and it's real pretty.

All Because Of You
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