Wednesday, 9 August 2017

The Joshua Tree Live Under A Roman Sky - Day 2

On my 2nd night with U2 in Rome I was more organized and more relaxed. I went to the stadium early, before the doors opened and even though I had been walking all day - acting the tourist and sightseeing - I felt that I had the energy I was lacking the previous day.

I took the tram and arrived promptly at Stadio Olimpico before the gates opened. When they did, I went straight to my seat, having had the merchandise sorted out the day before. The only problem was, that after I had scanned my ticket and the gate promptly opened and let me through, a person inside the gate tore a piece off my ticket. Come on, this was marketed as a "souvenir ticket" by TicketOne who sells them and it's meant only to be scanned and then kept as a souvenir by the owner (hence the name). What did they think I was going to do with it? Fly it with a drone back over the gate and re-sell it (by an accomplish?) to a ticketless fan who would then realize that he could not get in because it had already been scanned? Be serious! Thankfully, I have the ticket from the previous night still intact!
Anyway, my intention was to catch the full set from Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds from the beginning. Their support slot on the European leg of this tour was one of the reasons that tipped the scales towards me finally buying a ticket when I had a second chance and while I was still thinking about it. I was lucky enough to have seen Oasis at Wembley in July 2009, about a month before they broke up but I wouldn't mind hearing some of the old familiar tunes again, plus some of Noel's solo stuff which was really good last time I checked.
And that's how it was when Noel came on stage. He did several Oasis songs, focusing mostly on the ones in which he sang the lead vocals back then, like "Little By Little". The penultimate song was what I was waiting for, "Don't Look Back In Anger" and the last one was one of the best of his solo efforts "AKA... What A Life".

From then on, we had to wait until it got dark and U2 would come on stage while once again poems, sayings and other excerpts were once again displayed on the screen.

At long last, "The Whole Of The Moon" by The Waterboys started playing over the speakers and we knew that immediately after it U2 would come on stage. 
Once again they opened with "Sunday Bloody Sunday" but this time we got "A Sort Of Homecoming" instead of "Bad".

Once again, the full Joshua Tree performance was spectacular and I was able to enjoy it even more than the day before. There was no choreography this time during "With Or Without You" though.

Immediately after the album Miss Sarajevo followed with what was probably one of the best accompanying films displayed on the screen, telling the story of a Syrian refugee. Meanwhile, a huge banner with her photograph was circulated over the seats by the crowd.

We also got one of my favourites, "Mysterious Ways" in the post-Joshua Tree part of the show, but not "The Little Things That Give You Away".

Fully enjoyed this second show, it was after all the one for which I had originally bought a ticket for (the previous day was considered an extra) and knowing more about the public transport that night I headed to the square from which the tram was leaveing. I got on one quickly and I even got a seat. There was no metro to get on at the end of the tram line (it was a Sunday and the metro closes earlier but we could get the night bus that would take us to Stazione Termini. Problem was, when said bus came it was already full, so no one could get in. Thankfully the Romans provided extra buses staring from that same stop so I got on one of these and from Stazione Termini I made my way to the hotel afer grabbing the obligatory sandwiches.
In short, The Joshua Tree tour was an amazing experience. The Joshua Tree sequence itself brings to mind The Wall Tour by Roger Waters in the sense that the films displayed on the almost as big screen are probably an essential part of the experience. As for the rest of the set what else could it be but a Greatest Hits package! Consisting of only the biggest hits, if you please!
And when I got back home the first thing I did was play "Rattle And Hum" (the album) and watch the movie. I know it has been kind of disowned by the band and the music press, but it's a chronicle of the original Joshua Tree tour not just anywhere but jn America, the country that The Joshua Tree is about. Plus it was a revelation for me when I watched it at the cinema at Canterbury, Kent, back in the day and made me a bigger fan than I already was and I thought it was much better than "Live At Red Rocks". A few months later it became one of the first video tapes I bought, along with "101" by Depeche Mode, another great concert film (also set in America). People criticize it because it shows the band being in awe of America. So what? Everyone has the right to be overwhelmed by the US when the travel across it. I know I did, a few years later in 2000.

Now, let's just sit back, relax and at long last wait for "Songs Of Experience" which will bring us the 2nd leg of the "Innocence + Experience Tour"...


01. Everybody's On The Run
02. Lock All The Doors
03. In The Heat Of The Moment
04. Riverman
05. Champagne Supernova
06. You Know We Can't Go Back
07. Half The World Away
08. Little By Little
09. Wonderwall
10. Don't Look Back In Anger
11. AKA... What A Life!

01. Sunday Bloody Sunday
02. New Year's Day
03. A Sort Of Homecoming
04. Pride (In The Name Of Love)
05. Where The Streets Have No Name
06. I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For
07. With Or Without You
08. Bullet The Blue Sky
09. Running To Stand Still
10. Red Hill Mining Town
11. In God's Country
12. Trip Through Your Wires
13. One Tree Hill
14. Exit
15. Mothers Of The Disappeared
16. Miss Sarajevo
17. Beautiful Day
18. Elevation
19. Vertigo
20. Mysterious Ways
21. Ultra Violet (Light My Way)
22. One

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