By now everyone's heard about the giant, 164-foot cartoon-villain claw structure and the 120 trucks it took to move the U2 spectacle from city to city. Whether you saw Bono & co. live last night or not, here's five things the average fan doesn't know about the band's trip to Houston:
1. On Tuesday, members of U2 visited Mission Control at Johnson Space Center and were invited to chat with astronauts aboard the International Space Station. Bono has never hidden his fascination with space and his hero-worship of astronauts. This experience with NASA appeared to inspire him for the Houston show as he proclaimed, “Houston, we have no problem!” to the sold-out stadium crowd. The masses howled approval as the night was officially launched.
2. Continuing on the space theme, U2 offered a surprise rendition of the little-known song “Your Blue Room,” accompanied by video of astronauts floating around the International Space Station and astronaut Frank De Winne offering a pre-recorded message to the crowd. “Your Blue Room” is a 14-year-old song that appeared on the album “Original Soundtracks 1” which U2 recorded under the pseudonym Passengers. This was only the seventh time it had ever been performed live by the band.
3. U2 has played 12 official concerts in Houston dating back to 1981 (this does not include an unannounced appearance at the LA Club back in 1987 when they stopped by to perform covers and a few originals with the now-forgotten band that was on stage that night).
4. A rare omission from the set was one of the group’s early break-out hits, “Pride (In the Name of Love)." The song is played at nearly every U2 concert, but this is not the first time it has been absent in Houston. It was also a rare no-show on the “Elevation” tour stop at the Compaq Center in 2001.
5. In case you were curious about the origins of the cover snippets Bono sprinkled through the show (and that change at random from night to night), they were as follows: “Here Comes The Sun,” The Beatles; “Stand By Me,” Ben E. King; “Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin),” Sly and the Family Stone; “Two Tribes,” Frankie Goes to Hollywood; “You’ll Never Walk Alone,” Gerry and the Pacemakers. Here's the set list in its entirety:
“Get On Your Boots”
“Beautiful Day” / “Here Comes The Sun” (snippet)
“I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For” / “Stand By Me” (snippet)
“Stuck in a Moment You Can’t Get Out Of”
“No Line On The Horizon”
“Your Blue Room”
“Until The End Of The World”
“The Unforgettable Fire”
“City Of Blinding Lights”
“I’ll Go Crazy If I Don’t Go Crazy Tonight” / “Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)” (snippet) / “Two Tribes” (snippet)
“Sunday Bloody Sunday”
“Walk On” / “You'll Never Walk Alone” (snippet)
“One” / “Amazing Grace” (snippet)
“Where The Streets Have No Name”
“Ultra Violet (Light My Way)”
“With Or Without You”
“Moment of Surrender”