U2 – Vertigo Tour 2005 (Crystal Cat CC-771-772)

Vertigo Tour 2005 (Crystal Cat CC-771-772)

Ullevi Stadion, Gothenburg, Sweden – July 29th, 2005

Disc 1: Vertigo, I Will Follow, The Electroc Co. / I Can’t Stand The Rain / Bullet With Butterfly Wings, Elevation, New Year’s Day, Beautiful Day / Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band / Blackbird, I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For, All I Want Is You, City Of Blinding Lights, Miracle Drug, Sometimes You Can’t Make It On Your Own, Love And Peace Or Else, Sunday Bloody Sunday, Bullet The Blue Sky / When Johnny Comes Marching Home / Please / Hands That Built America

Disc 2: Intro, Miss Sarajevo, Pride (In The Name Of Love), Where The Streets Have No Name, One / Rain, Zoo Station, The Fly / Billy Boola, With Or Without You, All Because Of You, Party Girl, Vertigo / Rockaway Beach. Bonus tracks, Arrowhead Pond, Anaheim, CA – April 2nd, 2005: An Cat Dubh, Into The Heart, Mysterious Ways, Yahweh

After a very hot and humid day in Gothenburg, the weather looked threatening as 58,000 U2 fans filled into Ullevi Stadium to witness the show.

Those that braved the elements were not to be disappointed that evening…

Vertigo was the perfect opener to get the crowd going. Bono looked surprised and touched by all the white arm bands…in fact white ANYTHING being waved at the beginning of the show. This was an initiative by the Swedish fan club. Bono said simply “Oh my God, what have we got here”? He acknowledged this again in several songs (Follow, Beautiful Day, New Years Day) , which prompted the audience to wave them several more times.

It was during Electric Company that The Edge made his first foray down the catwalk, which gave the amateur photographers in the vicinity a great opportunity to get some nice close-up shots.

Beautiful Day is a song that seems tailor made for big, open spaces and Ullevi Stadium is certainly that! Great performance….with the song climaxing with a short Sgt Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band / Blackbird medley to finish off.

Perhaps one of the low points in an otherwise outstanding show was the song New Years Day. It looked like the crowd enjoyed it alright, but with a back catalog the size of U2, why not retire this tired old war-horse and give the fans something new?

Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For is probably one of my all time favorite U2 songs, so there is really nothing negative I can find to say about this. It is a very beautiful arrangement that provides a perfect “come down” from the energy of the first few songs. Well done!

During All I Want Is You it was Bono’s turn to prowl the catwalks. At one point he looked like was reaching down for a girl in the audience, but perhaps he was just trying to read her sign that said, “Wanna dance? I’m short!”.

Suddenly a familiar guitar intro echoed across the massive venue and the giant video screens lit up in thousands of beautiful colors, and the majesty of City Of Blinding Lights poured down, perhaps foreshadowing the rain that would pour down later in the show!

Miracle Drug…an amazing song! The visuals were fascinating, especially watching the green heartbeat going up and down across the screen. Bono introduced the song by talking about those four opening notes, but then got a bit uncertain as to whether it was four notes, or actually five and he had to count it on his fingers while looking at The Edge for confirmation.

The set rolled along with Sometimes You Can’t Make It On Your Own and Love And Peace before Sunday Bloody Sunday got the crowd up and rocking again. Edge’s guitar work soared on this one, and it was breath taking to watch a fighter jet on the giant video screen during his solo. On queue Bono delivered his coexist-speech, repeatedly shouting “all sons of Abraham”, while looking up into the dark clouds above.

Miss Sarajevo replaced the eternally beautiful Running in the set, and Bono dedicated it to all the people who lost their lives in London, and Turkey and the Middle East to bombs, nails, hatred and misunderstanding. He continued by saying “our prayer is that we do not become a monster in order to defeat a monster”.

Next came two big crowd pleasers, Pride and Where The Streets Have No Name. Great African wails from Bono at the intro of Streets….

How fitting that One / Rain was followed by a downpour! The crowd did not seem to mind, and it was amazing to watch the drops of rain in the rays of light from the big spotlights at the back of the stadium as bolts of lightening could be seen in the distant clouds behind the stage. A perfect introduction to the encores!

During Zoo Station the Edge did not seem to mind the rain, strolling around on the B-Stage, really working the drenched crowd into a frenzy.

A new arrangement of The Fly was really stunning. The sound throughout this show was amazing and it really showed on this one. Big, warm and rich tones and nuances with Edge’s guitar piercing through the rain. When Bono spoke between songs his voice echoed all over the stadium.

Next came With Or Without You, and the short girl with the sign finally got picked up by Bono. :-)

During All Because Of You the Edge is having trouble starting the song and during the downpour Bono says, “come on Edge…the neighbours, the neighbours…”.

During Party Girl, Edge seemed more ready to play Yahweh and looked a bit surprised as Bono started singing “I know a girl, a girl called party….”, several times.

For the gathered masses I’m sure the show ending Vertigo passed much too quickly, but all good things must eventually end, and so it was on this night.

Crystal Cat Records have done an outstanding job capturing the atmosphere of this show. The sound of this audience tape is certainly an 8 or 9 out of 10 on my scale, which is a tribute to the taper who had to endure some pretty challenging weather obstacles I’m sure.

Rather than give us a partly empty disc 2, Crystal Cat have included bonus material from April 2nd, 2005 at Anaheim California. This is a nice treat!

The set comes packaged in a double slim-line jewelcase with a nice glossy cover and tray insert. The enclosed booklet contains some very nice photos and includes a replica concert ticket as well as tour poster…a nice touch!

This release is actually one of my own very first experiences with the Crystal Cat label and I must say that I am suitably impressed and I can recommend this release to other U2 collectors without hesitation.

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