U2 Headline Glastonbury's Friday Night With Hits-Packed Set
It's all about timing. A year ago U2 were supposed to be headlining Glastonbury for the first time in their long history, a gig that promised to make the Irish stadium stars break out of their megatour comfort zone a little. Then frontman Bono succumbed to some serious back issues and the date was off. Well, til next year at least.
So it could be said U2's journey to this Friday night on the Pyramid Stage was music's most long-winded wait between sets. With the Friday heavens opening, U2's set had the makings of a Radiohead in 97 moment, that communal connection amid the mud and the raindrops. This despite he threats from groups opposed to austerity measures in the UK planning protests against the band's alleged tax-dodging -- allegations the band's camp vehemently deny.
The band walked on to drizzle, the lights blood red, and launch into 'Even Better Than the Real Thing,' off their 1991 album 'Achtung Baby.' There's that U2 timing again -- the band announced a special edition to mark the record's 20th anniversary, so it can't be a mistake they rely heavily on the album at the start of the set. Kerching!
"Thank you for waiting, thank you Michael Eavis," Bono said before 'I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For,' and then pointed the microphone to the soaked ranks in ponchos and parkas, the band quietening to a whisper as Glastonbury sang back the chorus. He even appropriated Primal Scream's 'Movin' On Up' to bring the song to a close.
Bono asked the Glastonbury crowd a question -- if a man 200 miles above them could talk to them know, what would he say? Cue a live link up to the International Space Station circling above, and Commander Mark