Our first stop at the Meadowlands -- Inside Sports & Entertainment Group’s fabulous tailgate party. With cold hors d’oevures (mozzarella and tomato, crudite), yummy desserts and wine and beer, the premium ticket provider served a first class spread and spared all of us who attended from greasy, overpriced stadium fare. Thanks, Inside SEG.
A little after 9pm, U2 took to the stage, opening their electrifying two-hour set with “Breathe” and their recent hit, “Get On Your Boots.”
“For a couple of Irish boys, why does this feel like a hometown gig?” Bono asked with a smile.
He and his bandmates had all of us in the capacity crowd cheering as they rocked a perfect mix of old and new tunes. From “Beautiful Day” and “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For (to which everyone sang along) to “”No Line On The Horizon” and “Sunday Bloody Sunday,” U2’s 23-song set proved why they’re one of rock’s most enduring -- and most beloved -- bands.
U2’s talents were on full display thanks to a 360 degree set that had the band strutting across various platforms. Along with images of the band performing, massive overhead screens projected colorful words and symbols.
The show was infused with powerful messages about democracy and other social issues. Bono dedicated a moving rendition of “Walk On” to Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi. The 80’s classic “One” was more stirring than ever, overlaid in part with video footage of Bishop Desmond Tutu declaring --
“We are all the same, we are one.”
After two rousing encores that included “Where The Streets Have No Name” and “With Or Without You,” Bono once again thanked the audience. With a mischievous grin, he proudly stated that the crowd of 84,000 had broken attendance records at Giants Stadium -- exceeding both the Pope and Bruce Springsteen.
U2 was more than worth the long wait to finally see them in concert. Even with two decades of music behind them, the show proved they've still got plenty of rockin’ to do -- and plenty of fans who want to see them do it.