IN PHOTOS: After 4 decades, U2 holds first PH concert

Gretchen Fullido, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 12 2019 04:01 PM | Updated as of Dec 14 2019 11:42 AM

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Fans arrive as the Philippine Arena gates open for the first U2 concert in the Philippines. Gigie Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Different poetry for fans waiting for the concert proper. Gigie Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Irish band U2 composed of Bono, The Edge, Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen, Jr. perform for thousands of fans at the Philippines Arena. Gigie Cruz, ABS-CBN News

U2 bassist Adam Clayton and drummer Larry Mullen, Jr. on stage. Gigie Cruz, ABS-CBN News

U2 frontman Bono greets thousands of fans at the concert. Gigie Cruz, ABS-CBN News

U2 for The Joshua Tree set of the concert. Gigie Cruz, ABS-CBN News

U2 for the Joshua Tree set of the concert. Gigie Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Fans take videos and photos as Bono performs. Gigie Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Bono sings 'Exit.' Gigie Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Bono performs 'Mothers of the Disappeared.' Gigie Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Bono plays the harmonica. Gigie Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Lights fill the Philippine Arena as U2 performs 'One.' Gigie Cruz, ABS-CBN News

U2 drummer Larry Mullen, Jr. wears a shirt with the word 'Philippines' during the encore. Gigie Cruz, ABS-CBN News

U2 pays tribute to inspiring women around the world as they perform 'Ultra Violet.' Gigie Cruz, ABS-CBN News

U2 sings 'Love is Bigger Than Anything in Its Way' as part of the encore. Gigie Cruz, ABS-CBN News

U2 members Adam Clayton, Bono, The Edge and Larry Mullen, Jr. thank the crowd for a memorable night. Gigie Cruz, ABS-CBN News

The Philippine flag is displayed at the end of the concert as tribute to the band’s Filipino fans. Gigie Cruz, ABS-CBN News

MANILA -- Irish rock band U2 wowed a crowd of more than 45,000 who filled the Philippine Arena in Bulacan, Wednesday evening.

Led by frontman Bono, U2 opened with “Sunday Bloody Sunday” followed by “New Year’s Day.”

The enthusiasm of the crowd was at an all-time high, screaming “in the name of love,” for U2’s hit, “Pride.”

The show was not only a trip down to memory lane as the band performed its popular hits; it was also a visual spectacle as interactive videos flashed in the massive led screen.

The band performed three hours of non-stop hits including “With or Without You," "Where the Streets Have No Name," "Elevation," and "Vertigo."

Bono, a well-known activist for social justice causes, honored Red Cross volunteers, journalists and activists in the Philippines as “everyday heroes.” 

He saluted journalists who are “truth-tellers” for keeping the country “spiritually safe.” 

He then asked the crowd to turn on their cell phones as he sang David Bowie’s hit “Heroes."

U2 also paid tribute to women who re-write history with the hit "Ultra Violet (Light My Way)" before singing “Beautiful Day."

A video playing in the background while they were performing “Ultra Violet” flashed some of the world’s feminist icons which included Lea Salonga, Melchora Aquino, former president Corazon Aquino, Sen. Pia Cayetano, Ellen de Generes, and TIME's 2019 Person of the Year Greta Thunberg.

“You can grow up to be the president or Maria Ressa. That is the wonderful gift that is the Philippines. Good night. God bless you," Bono said.

The Irish singer thanked all the U2 fans in the Philippines.

"Thank you Manila for your patience. I know it’s taken a while getting in the arena tonight. It took us four decades, but we feel very welcome. And this is for sure going to be the best show we ever play in Manila."

The band closed the show with its hit “One.”

Fans who attended the concert posted on social media that it took them hours to get to and out of the Philippine Arena but said it was worth the long journey just to see their favorite band perform live.

According to Philippine Arena officials, some 45,319 people and 16,479 vehicles filled the venue.