Some 70,000 fans jammed into Gillette Stadium in Foxborough on the night of Sun., June 25, to hear for themselves that U2 has still got it. Bono & Co., who are on a 17-city tour commemorating the 30th anniversary of The Joshua Tree album, didn’t disappoint.
Sticking primarily to a set list consisting of songs from legendary album, the band displayed its customary gusto, tuning into their fans’ emotions with anthems like “Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” and the quiet and reverential ode “Mothers of the Disappeared.”
Those emotions were given full voice when front man Bono, as he often does on stage, stepped back and let the fans enthusiastically sing the lyrics while The Edge, Adam Clayton, and Larry Mullen Jr. played along, breaking up The Joshua Tree celebration with a range of U2 hits like the show openers “Sunday Bloody Sunday,” “Pride (In the Name of Love),” and “Bad,” and the closing cuts from later albums “One” and “Ultraviolet” and the high-energy “Elevation” and “Vertigo.”
The music received a visual punch from the impressive high-definition screen that spanned the width of the field and projected various images throughout the night, illuminating a slow-motion tour down a desert road “Where the Streets Have No Name” to a jarring look at war-torn Syria during a poignant rendition of “Miss Sarajevo.”
Bono never fails to tout the band’s fondness for Boston. Once again, he gave a pointed nod to the city’s resilience after the Marathon attack in 2013 that claimed the life of Dorchester’s Martin Richard by acknowledging the eight-year-old’s family in the stands before launching into “One Tree Hill.” As the song’s poetic lyrics – “I’ll see you again when stars fall from the sky/and the moon has turned red over One Tree Hill”– echoed across the stadium and beyond, a stunningly red moon shared its light on the screen behind the stage.
In all, it was a memorable trip down memory lane. Happiness mixed with nostalgia to bring everyone in the stadium – including the four Irish guys on stage – together as one.