In this new series we will be regularly interviewing fans during the tour to ask them about their personal experiences. Today we have an interview with bpt3, who attended the first Chicago show on 3 June.
" I loved it. I've seen the band five times in Chicago now, and it's always a great atmosphere"
Were you trying to be spoiler-free or already knew some (or all) details of the show? Did you enjoy your approach, whatever it was?
I went spoiler-free, for the most part...I had heard on Jimmy Kimmel that they had been playing a new song, but of course did not hear Little Things at the first Chicago show. I was glad I didn't know any more than that - knowing that they would play all 11 JT songs was enough, so it was fun being surprised at what they played at the beginning of the set and then during the encore.
Describe your feeling after attending the show in Chicago: how was it?
I loved it. I've seen the band five times in Chicago now, and it's always a great atmosphere - the band plays well and the crowd is always great. I will say that, compared to past tours, this show felt a little "disjointed" at times...at times it didn't seem to flow as well as the 360 and I & E tours I've seen, but I think that's mainly due to the JT songs being the focal point of the show, with the band still figuring out what they like best at the beginning and end to bookend the show. That said, I loved the pre-JT songs they played and appreciated how they ended the encore with more 90s/00s material!
Did you like the stage and how it contributed to the whole show experience?
Yes. Definitely a more stripped back approach after 360 in stadiums last time, and even the elaborate staging of the I & E tour. But the screen visuals were incredible. Also, the b-stage "tree" setup was really cool looking as it made it appear that the tree on the main screen was casting a shadow into the GA section. The band starting the show on this b-stage before moving back to the main stage and the screen coming to life was spectacular.
What is the best part of the setlist?
Highlights for me were Bad early in the set, Streets (always), Exit being the other standout JT track, and Ultraviolet in the encore dedicated to the women. Fantastic and unexpected!
There weren't any major surprises in Chicago, did this disappoint you or were your expectations not that high?
No disappointment here, mainly because I went in spoiler-free, I suppose. And as noted above, even though the band might still be figuring out the "flow" of the show, I loved the JT being the centerpiece with pre- and post-JT songs (for the most part) being on either side of the set. The themes from the album and the additional songs all still conveyed a message that seemed both a protest against our current Trump-era, but also an attempt for much-needed unity and hope. A great, great show that I can't wait to see again next month in Cleveland!
"It was just an incredible playpen -- especially for Bono. It was so inspiring a place to be. No one had ever gone there in terms of live performance."
- The Edge, 2002, on the ZOO TV Tour
The song 'One Tree Hill' is named after the highest volcanic hill in Auckland and was dedicated to Greg Carroll, who had become Bono's personal assistant. Greg Carroll was killed in a motorcycle accident in 1986.