May 14 2015
Vancouver, BC, CA / Rogers Arena

'Visually Stunning'

The iNNOCENCE+ eXPERIENCE Tour opened in Vancouver tonight. First report here.

U2's 'iNNOCENCE + eXPERIENCE' tour is up and running, and nearly 20,000 Canadians have a memory they will treasure forever. The opening night of the band's long-awaited new itinerary took place last night (Thursday) at the Rogers Arena in Vancouver, British Columbia, where a delighted, sellout crowd were treated to more than two hours of undeniable performances from every chapter of the U2 songbook, and surely one of the most stunning and innovative visual presentations mounted in rock history.

The show began to the apparently modest illumination of one giant lightbulb centre-stage, as the band boldly opened with 'The Miracle (Of Joey Ramone).' It proved to be the first of no fewer than seven selections from 'Songs of Innocence,' an admirable and deserving showcase that was warmly received as this fresh and vibrant material alternated with the band's undisputed classics.

Soon the very new segued into the very old, as they dug deep for 'Out Of Control,' from the 'Boy' debut of 1980. Songs from every phase of U2's epic development were united by the almost boyish fervour with which they were delivered, as the four men made it obvious how delighted they were to be off the leash and back at the day job, so to speak.

'Vertigo' was followed by another delve back, for 'I Will Follow,' and soon we realised that the giant fence-like construction in the centre of the arena was about to become the fifth star of the night. It served as a screen for animations, moving images and huge, high-definition projections of the band as they went about their work.

Known as the "divider" among the road crew, the double-sided mounting had a corridor within, allowing the band, especially Bono, to walk through it, often appearing as a real character in the breathtaking tableaux presented to us. No wonder Bono said "technology can be fun.".

The sheer nervous energy of the early numbers gave way to a performance of great light and shade. 'Iris (Hold Me Close),' inspired by Bono's mother, had the singer crouching in almost foetal style and actually sucking his thumb at one point; he then invited us back to another part of his childhood for 'Cedarwood Road' and prefaced 'Song For Someone' by telling us about his teenage love for Ali Stewart, the woman who became his wife.

Those and other new songs felt immediately integrated and accepted into a set in which one classic after another made its powerful appearance. 'Sunday Bloody Sunday' sounded just as forceful in its acoustic framework, while 'Even Better Than The Real Thing' included the first use of a conventional live band projection. 'Mysterious Ways' even had Bono including a mischievous quotation from Talking Heads' 'Burning Down The House.'

If not burning it down, U2 were tearing its roof off, now on the small "b" stage for 'Desire,' after which a female fan was invited up to film the band up close, for our big screen delectation. Bono made an appearance at the piano for another of the new album's best-liked pieces, 'Every Breaking Wave,' and another visit to the distant past came with 'Bullet The Blue Sky.'

'Pride (In The Name Of Love)' was as huge as always, and the main set ended on 'With Or Without You,' but there were of course more staples waiting in the wings. Reappearing on a brightly-lit, angular main stage, appropriately for 'City Of Blinding Lights,' U2 finished with a triumphant last flourish that included 'Beautiful Day,' 'Where The Streets Have No Name' and the sheer, joyous audience participation of 'I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For.'

"You, our audience, are the strength of this band," said Bono. "We salute you." That emotion was clearly a two-way street, as U2 started another global adventure with a winning combination of grace and strength.

Add your own reviews and photos below!



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IE Tour - European Fans
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Great shows in Vancouver
U2 live. Nothing compares.... this band gives it all and then some for each night. Also, they treasure their fans, as evidenced by the meet and greets in the GA lines each day. Thanks, boys, for 30+ years of great music and memories.
From the internet what i have perceived
First night of show and tunes at a high speed of heart. Rythms and rhymes that let no space at the imagination, greatly performances were at the greatest level,though voices could be more intimate directed. Gladly set list was a motive of surprise and visions have been breathless. Hello and bye bye.
Good idea
Hey U2 Could U2 Please play "Please" or a snippet of PLEASE with the Raised by wolves set? This song PLEASE is the prayer after those bombings, right????...... ......hopefully you can do this for Phoenix shows!! Thanks in advance! I am loving the insertion of the 'snippet' in the first 2 vancouver shows and in past shows. thanks U2 for keeping it interesting ALWAYS!!!
Amazing show!
This was such a great show all around. Visually it was stunning. The sound was perfect. It was my 55th U2 show and I have 6 more on this tour. I can't wait!!
I am so happy for you guys, U2 and staff! He did it through you and for you! You are combining truth, music, art, creativity and joy to reach people. Fight on! My prayers and thoughts go with you. I trust our paths will cross somewhere along this journey/tour. Proud to serve the Almighty with you.
What a show last night! The band wonders if they are still relevant. Well they ARE! And more to the point, they're such unbelievably good musicians and songwriters and showmen. Thanks to the band for playing so much new material, that's what we want to hear. LOVED the new songs! LOVED the stage design and lighting! Thanks to Larry for having the show go on and hope Edge is OK after his tumble. So lucky I get to see it all again tonight!
Opening Night
A complete 180 of 360! It was obvious they were having a great time all the while, the death of Larry Mullen, Sr hanging over them.... Even more so than 360, EVERYONE in the house had a great seat! The "inside" stage was insane! When all four of the boys were in there, it was like a Sci Fi adventure, but with much better music! Can not wait to see how this evolves over the next 7 months and hopefully beyond!
Awesome setlist!!!!!!
1st night, what a setlist!!!! Can't wait 2 see U2 in Europe!!!
That was amazing!! Thanks U2!!
thursday nite
great fun was had by all.
I have found what I'm looking for!
I need more U2 like I need more cowbell!! Gotta have more cowbell! That was off the hook! Woot!
I&E Opening Nite
Got to listen to the band walk on stage and the first three songs via DC 101 outta Washington D.C. ....COMPLETELY fuckin blown away!!!!!!! So wishiN I could be there toNITE but I will count down the days til NYC. GOD speed and Rock on my favorite 4 musicians of all time!!!
Vertigo tour 2005
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