We’ve waited 365 days—times two—for U2 to bring its 360° Tour, now on its final leg, to Philadelphia. Slated originally for 2009, details like the Eagles schedule and a fairly serious back injury sustained by the peripatetic Bono had pushed the concert date. Philadelphians have waited oh-so-patiently for this day in the sun—and what a day it will be at Lincoln Financial Field on July 14. The leading moneymakers on this year’s concert trail so far, U2 still has what it takes to get the high end of 10s of thousands of fans bouncing and singing for joy.
The stage is monumental: a gigantic, moving, four-legged, steel-space-shippy and 29,000-square-foot contraption they call “The Claw.” It takes 120 trucks to move it from city to city, and it looks like something you’d see at a theme park or on a city skyline—and you might someday, as the band is looking for a buyer instead of dismantling it. There are actually three stages on this tour: one in the current concert venue, one being assembled at the next stop, and another under construction for further down the road.
You might find some obstruction in your view, depending on your seat. For folks in the “Red” zone, you’ll have your own VIP entrance and a spot on the field directly adjacent to the runways. Lucky you! A few random club seats are still floating around, too.
To a degree, songs on the two-hour show’s setlist have followed an outline, with “Mysterious Ways” coming early and other audience faves like “Where the Streets Have No Name,” “Sunday Bloody Sunday” and “Elevation” finding spots in the evening. But Bono and the boys also like to mix it up. Chicago got “My Kind of Town,” while astronaut Mark Kelly was beamed into Seattle (“Space Oddity” has been popping into shows). In Nashville, a blind man was even brought onstage to play guitar—and Bono let him keep the guitar! Who knows what we’ll get here in Philly: “Meet Me on South Street” or perhaps “Philadelphia Freedom”? If there’s something topical, Bono will weave it in. Encores have been anywhere from five to eight songs.
It’s a huge production, with the most innovative technical advances and lots of sound. But it is a football field, so don’t expect to hear every word sung or spoken. The place will be electric with excitement and, after two years’ delay, it will indeed be a beautiful day. Interpol opens the show at 7 p.m., and U2 goes on around 8:30-8:45 p.m.
And, if you’re headed to the sports complex early, stop by the MGK Tailgate Party. We’ll have free hoagies and drinks, plus performances by 2U, a great U2 cover band—did you figure that one out? Party starts at 5 p.m. in the Jetro lot, right across from the Linc. At 6 p.m., tune into 102.9 MGK for Ray Koob’s complete concert coverage.