U2 – Greetings From Giants Stadium, N.J. (Godfather Records GR448/449)

Greetings From Giants Stadium, N.J. (Godfather Records GR448/449)

Giants Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ – September 23rd, 2009

Disc 1 (75:09):  Intro:  Kingdom, Breathe, Magnificent, Get On Your Boots, Mysterious Ways, I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For, She’s The One / Desire, Elevation, Your Blue Room, Beautiful Day / Don’t Stop Til You Get Enough, No Line On The Horizon, New Year’s Day, Stuck in a Moment, The Unforgettable Fire, Moto / City of Blinding Lights, Vertigo / Rock And Roll High School

Disc 2 (77:24):  I’ll Go Crazy If I Don’t Go Crazy Tonight / Thank You (Falettin Me Be Mice Elf Again) / Pinhead, Sunday Bloody Sunday, MLK, Walk On / You’ll Never Walk Alone, Desmond Tutu speech / One / Amazing Grace, Where the Streets Have No Name / All You Need Is Love, Ultraviolet (Light My Way), With or Without You, Moment of Surrender.  Bonus tracks, Giants Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ – September 24th, 2009:  Beautiful Day / She’s A Rainbow / Blackbird, Unknown Caller, Until The End Of The World, Stay (Faraway, So Close!)

The U2 360° Tour played two sold out shows at Giants Stadium.  The second show was originally scheduled for September 25th but was moved to September 23rd instead because of the rescheduling of the New York Jets football game on Sunday September 27, 2009 from 4:15pm to 1pm out of respect for the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur.  U2 band played what the Star Ledger says, “was the biggest concert in the stadium’s history. More than 82,000 tickets were sold, and though an attendance figure was not immediately available, it didn’t look like there were many empty seats.

Events in venues this big sometimes produce really bad recordings, but Godfather use a very good to excellent and atmospheric recording of the show.  All of the instruments are clear as well as the taped interludes.  This is one of the better recorded documents from this tour.

Before such a massive audience U2 deliver and exciting show.  After the taped intro they start off with “Breathe” which returns to the set after having been dropped the previous show in Boston.  Bono makes special mention of the New Jersey Turnpike and Giants Stadium in the song’s end.  Normally “No Line On The Horizon” would follow but is moved to later in the set.  “Magnificent,” with greetings to the New York metropolitan area, is second.

“Mysterious Ways” starts off with Bono telling the Edge to get funk and telling them to “shake your fat ass.”  As fun as the newer songs are, it is the classics that move the massive audience.  During this and the following “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” the crowd sing along almost perfectly. 

Leading up to the show, since it was on Bruce Springsteen’s birthday, there were rumors that he would make an appearance.  They proved to be false, but Bono wishes him a Happy Birthday and they play a cover of “She’s The One,” which segues into “Desire” and a “She’s The One” reprise.  Bono changes the words to “He’s The One” for Springsteen, and the inclusion of “Desire” was a surprise since it had been dropped for the second leg.

New Jersey is treated to the gorgeous “Your Blue Room.”  It made its live debut, fourteen years after its release, the previous week at the September 13th show in Chicago.  It features pre-recorded vocals from Sinéad O’Connor and a pre-recorded video of astronaut Frank De Winne reciting the song’s final verse from the International Space Station.  Bono even thanks Frank at the song’s conclusion.  It’s a beautiful and restful moment in set and one of the nicest surprises on this leg. 

“Your Blue Room” segues into “Beautiful Day” which is dedicated to Quincy Jones at the end and is blended with Michael Jackson’s “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough.”  Normally around this point they would play “Unknown Caller” but is omitted from a 360° Tour gig for only the third time. 

It rains briefly during “Stuck In A Moment” which Bono acknowledges with ad-libbed lyrics.  “Vertigo” contains a short reference to The Ramones’ “Rock And Roll High School.”

In “I’ll Go Crazy If I Don’t Go Crazy Tonight” Bono tells New Jersey to sing for their sanity!  Sly And The Family Stone’s hit “Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)” is included in the fun.  U2 have been criticized for the techno arrangement of this song, but it produces a fun time before Bono acknowledges the struggle for freedom in Iran as an introduction to “Sunday Bloody Sunday.” 

The set ends with “Walk On” which was dedicated to Aung San Suu Kyi, the opposition leader and Nobel Peace Prize laureate who has long been under house arrest in Myanmar.  Dozens of her supporters paraded onstage with her photograph while the songs segues into “You’ll Never Walk Alone.” 

The encores begin with the Desmond Tutu speech leading into “One” which includes the “Hear us coming, Lord” coda and is dedicated to the late Natasha Richardson.  “Where The Streets Have No Name” contains a reference to “All You Need Love.”  The show ends with Bono speaking about the trimphs of the One Campaign and encouraging the audience to turn Giants Stadium into the Milky Way by way of their cell phones before the show ends with “Moment Of Surrender.”

Godfather includes four bonus tracks from the following night in Giants Stadium from another excellent audience recording.  “It’s a Beautiful Day” includes a reference to The Rolling Stones’ “She’s A Rainbow” in acknowledgement of Mick Jagger’s presence in the audience.  Bono messes up the lyrics of “Stay,” leading to an extra long version of the song.  Greetings From Giants Stadium, N.J. is a superlative U2 silver release worth having.    

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