Friday 17 June 2011 at 7:00pm
2000 Gene Autry Way, Anaheim, 92806, United States
'Tonight might be the night to toast a man who has meant so much to this band...
'Without this man, things might have turned out a little differently.
'Larry Mullen Jnr would not be the drummer of U2... he'd be a highway patrol man. But in Dublin!
'Adam Clayton, what would he be without this man? I'm thinking hand bag designer. Really posh ones though... a designer of fine things...'
Edge, continues Bono, would have been a city planner and as for himself, probably a theatre critic. But none of those histories came to pass because four young musicians in Dublin bumped into Paul McGuinness and tonight, at the opening show in Anaheim, for the first time in three decades they persuaded him to join them on stage.
'So tonight, we want to toast our manager, Paul McGuinness, whose sixtieth birtday it was yesterday. Here with his wife Kathy, his daughter Alexandra and his son Max. It's impossible to say what this man means to us... '
And disappearing backstage Bono returns to introduce Paul McGuinness to 90,000 people who wouldn't have been here on this night if he hadn't seen what he saw in those four musicians all those years ago.
'For the first time ever on the U2 stage..' says Bono, as Paul greets the band who lead the audience in a rousing rendition of Happy Birthday.
It Was Lenny Kravtiz who got everyone in the right groove on a balmy evening at Angel Stadium and when Even Better Than The Real Thing marked the arrival of the main attraction everyone was on their feet as two and a half hours passed in a moment.
'Thank you, thank you. Thanks to Los Angeles favorite son Lenny Kravitz for opening the show, our very special guest. Incredible dude, the kids a star. Thank you all for your patience.' Also in the house tonight, another special guest with a key role in the story of this band - Chris Blackwell who signed U2 to his Island Records when they were barely out of their teens. Stay is dedicated to Chris while Pride is dedicated to Maria Shriver. Can't fail to mention yet another compelling new video making a debut tonight, this one created by Run Wrake for Miss Sarajevo - more coming on that soon.
Before you knew it, the lights were down and Bono was pointing out the milky way of cellphones illuminating the night, inviting everyone to think about our small blue planet, spinning round the sun 'and all the people trying not to fall off.' And that was our Moment of Surrender on a night of birthday wishes.