red lights

Concert Livewire
basement tapes concert reviews cd reviews interviewsticket swap music news

Nearly thirty years running
and still moving as ever

U2
Vanderbilt Stadium
Nashville, TN
July 2, 2011
U2 U2 U2

Story and photos by Kate Seesholtz

It had been nearly thirty years since U2 played a concert in Nashville, but they more than made up for it Saturday night at Vanderbilt Stadium. Playing for over two hours, U2 packed out the arena with over 42,000 screaming fans.

U2 wasted no time getting to their hits, pulling out "Mysterious Ways" and "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For" early on. The band also tapped into their Nashville connections with a rendition of "The Wanderer," a song the legendary Johnny Cash had lent his vocals to. The memorable song was a perfect lead in to give Bono and the Edge the stage alone to sing "Stay (Faraway, So Close!)" with just The Edge's acoustic guitar to guide them.

U2 often used time during the set to draw attention to political matters and world injustices. Bono took time to draw attention to his ONE campaign, and thanked the crowd for their support of it. The band also focused heavily on the current unrest in Burma, speaking at length of the recent release of the country's democracy leader, Aung San Suu Kyi. U2 closed out their thoughts on Burma with the classic, "Walk On."

One of the most unique parts of the evening was a personalized greeting to the city from astronaut (and congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords' husband), Mark Kelly. Kelly is stationed at the International Space Station, as the commander of the space shuttle Endeavour. With well wishes, Bono and Kelley dedicated ‘Beautiful Day' to congresswoman Giffords.

Other song highlights included "Elevation," "Pride (In the Name of Love)," "Sunday Bloody Sunday" and an electrified jam version of "I'll Go Crazy if I Don't Go Crazy Tonight." Throughout all the songs the band were constantly moving around the circular stage and walkway, making sure to connect with every area of the stadium. The ever morphing 360-degree video screen above the stage gave even the farthest away fans a chance to feel front row.

As they closed out on their famous hit "Where the Streets Have No Name" the crowd burst into applause, but even when the audience was sure the night had ended, U2 continued to come back for more. As the band rested, a strange alien video played asking "What Time Is It In the World?" Leading U2 to rush back to the stage, Bono swinging from a glowing microphone. The Irish rockers played a few more songs, including "Moment of Surrender" before lastly bringing a blind fan up onstage to join them. U2 allowed the man to play a song for his wife, then Bono graciously handed the fan his guitar to keep. While allowing a fan the chance to play alongside their idol is an obvious crowd pleaser, it was an anticlimactic, albeit sweet, ending to a spectacular show.

Related articles:

Behind the scenes of U2's 360 Tour - Feature story - July 2011
U2 - Concert review - Chicago, IL September 2009
U2 / Kings of Leon - Concert review - Chicago, IL May 2005
U2 / Garbage - Concert review - Chicago, IL October 2001
U2 / PJ Harvey - Concert review - Milwaukee, WI May 2001
Bono "One on One" - Interview
U2 - No Line On The Horizon - Album review
U2 - U218 SINGLES - Album review
U2 - All That You Can't Leave Behind - Album review
U2 - Pop - Album review
Zoo TV Live From Sydney DVD - DVD review

U2 U2 U2
U2 U2
U2 U2
U2 U2
Flo + The Machine
Openers Flo + The Machine
Flo + The Machine
Flo + The Machine

What Do You Think?

Name:

Artist:

City & State:

e mail:

Here's Your Chance to.... Respond!



Your feedback will be featured on
Rant or Rave within 24 hours.

Return to Reviews
Return to Menu