Jun 24 2015
Chicago, IL, US / United Center

One Of Five
Highlights from the opening night in Chicago.

Let's start at the beginning, with Greg Kot in the Chicago Tribune

'Imagine another arena band 35 years into its career putting so much emphasis on its latest studio album on stage, when a greatest hits show would suffice. U2 came out blasting, with the first song from its new album, "The Miracle (of Joey Ramone)," and made it sound like something worthy of the Ramones. Stripped to its essence of guitar-bass-drums, U2 remains a mighty power trio prodding and pushing a vocalist who didn’t let nagging bronchitis get the best of him....'

Some special guests in the house tonight -  Chris Rock, Mick Jagger, Susan Buffet -  but none as special as this one. 'The most profound influence on this band is of course a man who is seeing the show for the very very first time tonight and without this man we wouldn’t be here tonight so its a very important night for us. His first assignment managing U2 was getting us served under age in a pub in Dublin.  Paul McGuinness is here tonight, still looking over our shoulder...'

After a six day break, the band were in fine form again... and so were the locals. Impossible to tell if one city really is louder than another but, anecdotally, reported Tim C (@WTSHNN) on Twitter,  after some research in May and June, 'Chicago is the loudest crowd of the 4 cities I've seen this tour. Not even being biased.'

It wasn't so long after that pub visit with Paul MCGuinness that the band also started working for Nelson Mandela - remembered with a beautiful rendition of Ordinary Love last night, the song they wrote for the film. Introduced with a special thank you to Norm Winer,  program director of WXRT who's  supported the band since Boy, Bono talked of how the band have focussed on songwriting lately. 'When you get the songs, the songs, they sorta tell you what to do.' Even a hint that Ordinary Love, which didn't appear on the last record, might turn up on the next. 'We kept one song back from the album and if Edge can make up his mind it will be on Songs Of Experience... Edge is still trying to remix the last album by the way..'

Some of the older songs sounded pretty good too - 'the enduring groove of “Mysterious Ways,” always a reminder of why Larry Mullen, Jr. and Adam Clayton are one of the best rhythm sections in rock' - as noted by Jim DeRogatis.

'U2 has got its mojo back.'  he writes, reminding his readers that he'd almost given up on the band. And then last night. '...there I was for the opening of a five-night stand at the United Center on Wednesday. And damned if the four-song opening salvo — "The Miracle (Of Joey Ramone"), "The Electric Co.," "Vertigo," and "I Will Follow" — didn’t convince me that U2 is as ferocious, focused, and no-nonsense committed as it’s ever been, while the four-song closing of the set proper — "Bullet the Blue Sky," "Pride (In the Name of Love)," "Beautiful Day," and "With or Without You" — was enough to negate any accusation of bombast and make the hardest-hearted skeptic once again surrender to the majestic rattle and hum of yore.'

Were you at the opening night in Chicago? What were your highlights? Post your own review and add your photos below.

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Opening Night Chicago 2015
The Wife (Pamela Jean) and I just after the Pre Party!
Chicago, Night #1
I had seen U2 probably 7 times since 1992 (sadly never got to see them on the Joshua Tree tour, IMHO the best album ever) including the chance to photograph them several times as a member of the working press over those years. But now that my oldest daughter is 12, I figured it was time to introduce her to the world of seeing U2 live, something that has brought me so many cherished musical memories over the past 20+ years. She is just starting to come into her own with good musical taste (with a little nudging here and there) so I was hoping she would catch a glimpse of what U2 was really all about. And they did not disappoint. We had seats in the 300 level, fourth row, which were fine given the stage setup and massive screen. My only regret is that we shared the section with a bunch of people who thought it was ok to sit most of the night. How can you listen to all that music and not want to be on your feet? Seriously, it was an extremely lame crowd around us. But I took the lead with my daughter and we stood, clapped, danced and sang our hearts out during much of the show. Hearing them place so many songs from Innocence, and take us on a visual tour of their native Ireland, was a really cool experience. I was lukewarm on many of the new songs, but hearing them live totally changed that. At times I felt like the band was trying to recreate their days of youth a bit, and had to really work to rev the crowd up, but I'm sure the vibe was different down on the floor. It was fun to see which songs my daughter recognized and sang along to - and so cool to get to shout along with her and Bono as he walked into the arena with the words "The most beautiful sound I ever heard.." setting off a back and forth between him and the crowd to start The Miracle of Joey Ramone. In hindsight I was sad to not hear them play One or Bad, two that I figured were concert staples at this point. But overall it was a fantastic night - and as we left holding hands, my daughter tells me "that was awesome..." Even now, several weeks out from the show, I get even more chills listening to the new album in the car, thinking about the memory we created together, and standing there listening to Iris, Song for Someone, and so many others. Thank you, boys, for delivering an amazing performance for all of us. And for adding to the memory archives for my daughter and me. Thank you.
Bono - Chicago Night 1
It was a dream come true being this close to the catwalk! Chicago night 1 was my 11th (of 12) U2 concerts since 1992. These guys continue to get better with age. So good!
Chicago, Night 1
It was a dream come true being this close to the catwalk. What an incredible experience! This was my 11th of 12 U2 concerts since 1992!
Chicago 1: I&E is has landed in Chicago!
Chicago 1 (06-24-2015) was my 1st show on i & e tour and 16th show overall. It was very special, in that, I was sharing it with my son for his first concert ever. We sat in the 1st row of the 300-Level (section: 332) at the United Center, and had a great view of the show, just to the side of the main stage, and full view of the large screen. When we arrived, the scene was breathtaking...I have seen the photos and countless reviews from other fans but words cannot describe how impressive it is once you see the production in person. The show started at 8:15pm with Bono entering from the 'e' stage starting the fans into The Miracle followed by the band joining in on the ‘i’ stage. The song sounded great live and seemed to be picked up by the fans and accepted very well. We then moved into "Electric Co." and "Veritgo", which were also well received. Bono throw in a bit of the Stones "It's Only Rock 'n' Roll" at the end of "Vertigo" as a shout out to Mick Jagger who attending the show. "I Will Follow" was then followed by "Iris". "Iris" is such a beautiful song and sounds fantastic was too bad the crowd did not pick up on Bono's attempt to get it to repeat the final lyrics "Free yourself, to be yourself...", but great nevertheless. Continuing with the new songs "Cedarwood Road's” visuals were amazing and sounded even better than on the album. The iNNOCENCE set ended with "Song For Someone", "Sunday Bloody Sunday", "Raised By Wolves", and "Until the End of World". During this stretch, I thought to myself how it feels like I just went back in time to the early '70s with U2 and everything that happened to make them the band (and the men) they are today. Well done and amazing. The intermission with the Wanderer Johnny Cash video seemed to cause confusion in the crowd as to what was going on, but it all came together when the 'Berlin Wall' was created and torn down by U2 as they launched into the second set....the eXPERIENCE set with Invisible. The visuals on the screen were again stunning as the band would appear and disappear during the song while playing in the screen. They then continued into "Even Better Then the Real Thing" and "Mysterious Ways" on the 'e' stage. Bono brought a female fan (Joy) on stage to dance with him during Mysterious Ways...and she would stay up on stage for the Meerkat video stream, for which the band performed "Elevation". "Ordinary Love" then followed which sounded crisp and wonderful...great performance, and a song that should make more appearances in the set than it has. The Second Set continued with the standard setlist of "Every Breaking Wave", which was when I really began to notice that Bono was not feeling well. He had trouble hitting certain notes, but overall he sounded great considering. "Bullet the Blue Sky" was angrier than I have ever seen....but a great lead into "Pride", which was very well received by the crowd as was the set closers "Beautiful Day" and “With or Without You”. The encore of "City of Blinding Lights", "Streets", and "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For" was strong and a great way to end the night. I love how the show came full circle, as Bono leaves with his bandmates off the 'e' stage, he begins singing Patti Smith's "People have the Power" as he walks out … which was how the show started before launching into “The Miracle”. Overall fantastic show, with no real surprises. I was very happy to see "Elevation" in the set (my son's favorite) song and loved hearing the new songs for the first time. Great experience and now looking forward to Chicago #2 (6/25/15) this time in GA! Other notes from the show: - Adam was wearing a shirt with the date 5/12/2001...This was Chicago #1 date during the Elevation Tour...not sure if it had any other significance. - Special guest in attendance: Mick Jagger (who had just played the night before at Summerfest in Milwaukee, WI), Chris Rock, former manager Paul McGuinness (his first i & e show - and first time seeing the band live since retiring), Jimmy Buffett - "Elevation" is dedicated to the 2015 Stanley Cup Champion Chicago Blackhawks! - Duration: Approx. 2 hours and 45 mins.
Chicago 1
Awesome. Fantastic. This is my 7th time seeing U2 and hopefully won't be my last. My son won these tickets and it was just awesome to share another U2 gig with my boy. Can't believe how close we got and didn't have to wait in ga line all day. Just an amazing night. Oh and to top that off... We got our picture taken with a former Cleveland Indian player. Jim Thome. Thanks Jim we are from Cleveland and we Rock!!!!
My first U2 concert!!! I drove nearly 6 hours to Chicago, enjoyed the city in the afternoon, I was BLOWN away by the concert and then drove 6 hours home. I wish I could put it in a bottle! I am jealous of those that live in Chicago!!! :)
Amazing Energy
Absolutely thunderous opening with The Miracle (Of Joey Ramone), The Electric Co., Vertigo, & I Will Follow!! Ordinary Love was simply awesome to here live. Much of the set list was simply stripped down, raw rock'n roll!!! Going back for the 3rd and 5th shows!
The Most Beautiful Sound in The World! U
My wonderful friend and I won the raffle to have a back stage tour and a photo on the stage! Everyone involved was amazing and we learned a lot in a short period of time. Tour highlight was when we got to chat with Dallas about his job as Edge's guitar tech. The whole night was magical - every note, every message, every face, every ONE, every verse raining down. "Iris" was especially touching for me as I feel such a connection to the lyrics as I lost my Mom at age 9. I am going to July 2 show in Chicago again!
Are there enough words?
Wednesday night in Chicago was the first U2 concert I have been able to attend since the Zoo TV tour. My expectations were for a fantastic show with my previous experience and the reviews I had read. I was not disappointed! I don't know if I have words to describe how excellent it was on every level - the sound, the visuals and of course all the songs. Thanks to Bono, The Edge, Adam and Larry for such an amazing show. I enjoyed the mix of the old and new songs and the seamless integration of the technology. It was exciting to hear "Miracle," "Cedarwood Road" "Every Breaking Wave" "Song for Someone" and "Iris" live for the first time. Hearing the older favorites felt like reuniting with an old friend you haven't seen in years. I read later that Bono was under the weather (but you couldn't tell) and that the screen stopped working before the end of the show (I don't think any of us noticed). My seat was behind the stage so I was a little apprehensive about the view, but I shouldn't have been. While the angle for the screen was a little off, I could still see the whole thing. And seating behind the stage also gave an unexpected vantage point of seeing most of the audience and realizing how much U2 makes the audience part of the show. This was the closest show to where I live in Tennessee and it was well worth the drive.
Once again U2 took it to another level
Opening night in Chicago was amazing!! I love the new album and hearing it live created another great concert memory for me and my best friend. Bono, The Edge, Adam and Larry are geniuses! The passion they put into the lyrics, the sound and their live performance continues to touch my soul and leave a permanent mark. Thank you for another wonderful, well-spent evening! Best band in the world!
My first show of I&E tour, starting the ball rolling! Next up New York and Turin!! Can't wait to see you.guys playing live again!
1st Night in Chicago
Can't wait for tonight! I have loved U2 since I was in high school and am so excited to be coming to the 1st show in Chicago. The new album is Genius and I'm hoping to hear The Troubles.
Welcome back to CHICAGO!!! Cannot wait for opening night! Hoping to hear my all time favorite "Bad"
Anniversary Show
What a great way to celebrate 20th anniversary w wife Erin Murphy ( a lovely Irish lass) and two sons (ages 14 and 11) ! Perhaps a stage shoutout- Can't Help Falling In Love??? Or Mysterious Ways???
We are getting close
One more week and the wait is over!!!! I look forward to an amazing experience. NO ONE TOUCHES OUR U2. No one :)
Two of U2's biggest fans coming to Chica
Be still my beating heart!! In a Little While.... can't wait to be part of the LOVE and beautiful music and U2 vibe! U2 is the best band musically, lyrically, creatively, and technically. U2 is also the most thoughtful, most giving, most intimately connected to the fans and most soul-provoking band we've ever listened to. This is why U2 fans get them and they get us! Bono and the boys: Could you please play Northstar on any of the nights 6/24, 25, 28, or 29 for my friend Felicia?!?! Then she'll know for sure the healing power of an eternal love bigger than all of us. Wishing peace and infinite blessings to the band that changed the consciousness of fans to all over the world! PS -- "Falling" is one of my faves!
Can't wait!
So looking forward to the show, perhaps, just perhaps we might hear Lucifer's Hands, long shot, but you never know, and if not Crystal Ballroom? Going with my 15 year old daughter as well, her third show so far, two on 360 tour.
Moms 1st show
Bringing my mom to her first U2 show. Recently introduced her to their music and she's hooked, but of course she's hoping to hear songs I know they will not play.. like The Gound Beneath Her Feet and Everlasting Love. Haha! Can't wait to see her rock out! I'm excited to hear the new tunes, but would love to hear Angel of Harlem.
My son's 1st show
Taking my 7 year old to his 1st concert on 6/24. He loves the music of U2, and especially loves Elevation (takes after his old man). I know it is a long shot to hear (only played once so far) but it would be nice to hear. Regardless will be a memorable time! My 16th show will be a special one with my Boy!
angle of chicago
So excited I have seen evey concert since the beginning in Chicagoland area. Mostly with my brother, but this tour I am taking my 15yr. old daughter to her first U2 concert, it is going to blow her mind.
Daughters Birthday
Can't wait until the show. It's my daughters 15th birthday and her first concert. Can't wait!!!
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