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U2's Toronto setlist, 23/06/17

Today U2 performed in Toronto. They have visited this city on every North American tour except for the October Tour, which had no Canadian shows at all despiting visiting the continent twice for a total of 55 shows in the US.

Bono dedicated both Bad and One Tree Hill to Leonard Cohen. In Bad, he sung a lengthy snippet of Cohen's song Suzanne, followed by distinctive hallelujahs from the Cohen song of that name. Before One Tree Hill, Bono remarked that he had spent all day thinking about Cohen, even though he was not from Toronto, and reminisced about spending Cohen's 79th birthday with him.

Canada's forthcoming 150th anniversary celebrations did not go without mention. Bono snippeted O Canada, the national anthem, in Beautiful Day. Before Trip Through Your Wires, he spoke about Canada being "a baby" compared to "our ancient isle" Ireland, but "an old soul" compared to its "adolescent neighbour", the US. He also confirmed news from earlier in the day that he and Edge will be in Ottawa for the celebrations on 1 July, even though the band have a gig in Cleveland that night.

Red Hill Mining Town was performed for the 17th time ever tonight, bringing it equal with the most-played Joshua Tree-era b-side, Spanish Eyes. Of course, Sweetest Thing has been played more than either of them, but that only happened after it was re-recorded and released as a single in its own right in 1998. When it was just a b-side it was snippeted only a couple of times, in 1989.

The band modified the order of the encore tonight. Vertigo, which has closed the last five shows and reached a milestone 400 renditions tonight, moved up a bit in the order. Ultra Violet remained in the set, and it seemed like One was going to end the night. But then Edge's Gibson Explorer was brought out and U2 played I Will Follow for the first time since 3 June, a gap of eight shows. This means that tonight's setlist ran to 22 songs; the last time U2 played more than 21 songs at a show on this tour was over a month ago on 20 May.

The full setlist was:

  1. Sunday Bloody Sunday
  2. New Year's Day
  3. Bad / Suzanne (snippet) / Hallelujah (snippet)
  4. Pride (In The Name Of Love)
  5. Where The Streets Have No Name
  6. I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For
  7. With Or Without You
  8. Bullet The Blue Sky / Black Dog (snippet) / America (West Side Story) (snippet)
  9. Running To Stand Still
  10. Red Hill Mining Town
  11. In God's Country
  12. Trip Through Your Wires
  13. One Tree Hill
  14. Exit / Wise Blood (snippet) / Eeny Meeny Miny Moe (snippet)
  15. Mothers Of The Disappeared

  16. encore(s):
  17. Miss Sarajevo
  18. Beautiful Day / O Canada (snippet)
  19. Elevation
  20. Vertigo / It's Only Rock 'n' Roll (But I Like It) (snippet)
  21. Ultra Violet (Light My Way)
  22. One / Hear Us Coming (snippet)
  23. I Will Follow
All details for this show including reviews, videos and photos can be found here.

If you attended the show we ask you to share your concert review or photos with other site visitors. You can post your review of the show here and upload your pictures here.



 Posted by Axver on

Final show added to Joshua Tree Tour 2017 in Sao Paulo

Today, a third show has been added in Sao Paulo, Brazil, for 22 October 2017. This means that Sao Paulo will be the only city on the entire Joshua Tree Tour 2017 to get a third night.

Tickets for the third Sao Paulo show go on sale on Thursday 29 June. There will be a presale for U2.com subscribers on Saturday 24 June from 10am local time.

U2.com in their confirmation state that this is not only the final show for Sau Paulo, but the final date of the tour. That's very bad news for those in Australia, New Zealand, and elsewhere hoping that U2 will visit their countries for the first time in seven or more years. It is a shame that a tour celebrating an album dedicated to Greg Carroll, a New Zealander, will not visit his homeland.



 Posted by Axver on

Hear us adding Hear Us Coming to the U2gigs database

Do you hear us setlisting? Do you hear us snippeting? Do you hear us adding, adding Hear Us Coming to our database?

For the last few years we - and by we, I mainly mean myself, Axver - have promised that one day our database will contain Hear Us Coming, the live verse typically performed in One, just like we have With or Without You's popular live verse Shine Like Stars. That day has finally arrived.

Some of you have noticed over the last couple of days that it has shown up in our database, and we have now finished adding all instances of it, complete with decisions on borderline and unusual cases. I had started compiling examples quite some time ago, but this was all possible thanks to site follower Duane Doogan, who earns our everlasting gratitude for going through every performance of One from its debut on 27 February 1992 through to the Bonnaroo performance on 9 June 2017. We could not have added Hear Us Coming without his contribution.

To my surprise, Hear Us Coming has been done a whopping 444 times to date, miles ahead of Shine Like Stars on 217. Shine Like Stars, however, has been done at least once every tour since it was first sung on 4 April 1987. Hear Us Coming was never done on the Innocence + Experience Tour in 2015.

Shine Like Stars debuted live fully formed—that 4 April 1987 appearance was also the debut of With or Without You, and I wonder if it existed during the Joshua Tree studio sessions. Hear Us Coming is different. It clearly developed live. During March 1992, Bono experimented with additional lyrics at the end of One, and Hear Us Coming slowly emerged.

We credit Hear Us Coming's first appearance as 3 March 1992 in Charlotte, North Carolina; it is sung in a different vocal style, but there are enough common lyrics to count. At the previous gig and a few subsequent ones, Bono plays around with another alternative verse. Some of these are closer to Hear Us Coming than others in execution, but never get close enough to resemble it properly—if you read through our show notes for ZooTV's first leg, you will see I've left brief comments about the alternative verse. On 9 March 1992 in Uniondale there might have been some lyrical crossover into Hear Us Coming territory but it is difficult to be sure as the recording of the show has poor audio quality. An early Hear Us Coming emerges again on 13 and 15 March 1992 in Worcester and Providence, but at the next few shows Bono slips back to a verse closer to the nameless alternative one than Hear Us Coming.

The first performance close in style to the familiar version is in Montreal on 23 March 1992. In April 1992 it becomes a fixture within One—only in San Diego on 15 April 1992 did Bono lapse back into the alternative verse. He also improvises other lyrics in Paris on 7 May 1992 during the opening night of the European leg, but from then on almost every show on the tour has Hear Us Coming.

Hear Us Coming started life as "hear me coming". This more personal version is the standard form on ZooTV and Popmart, though the "us" formulation emerges on the latter tour. By the Elevation Tour, Bono was alternating between the two, and "us" has remained more common since. As well as the variation between "me" and "us", Bono has sometimes sung forms such as "hear them coming" or "hear him coming". For example, "him" occurs on 15 April 2001 after the death of Joey Ramone. We have chosen the name Hear Us Coming because that formulation appears to be in most common use among fans at present.

Let me give you a fun factlet, one that will surely crop up as a trivia question on our Twitter account some day. Of the 444 instances of Hear Us Coming, 443 appear in One. Yes, there's one credited to another song. When Bono was busking on 24 December 2009, he and his fellow buskers finished One, and only then did Bono start singing Hear Us Coming, using it as an intro to Knockin' on Heaven's Door, finishing with a suitably modified lyric. Hence, we credit Hear Us Coming to the latter song.

And to conclude, here's a little comparison between U2's two long-standing bonus verses. As of today, Shine Like Stars has appeared in 217 out of 790 performances of With or Without You, or 27% of performances. Hear Us Coming has appeared in 443 out of 699 performances of One, or 63% of performances. So if you're hanging out for these verses, you have a better chance of getting Hear Us Coming than Shine Like Stars—especially on the current tour, where Hear Us Coming has been a routine part of the show while the solitary mention of Shine Like Stars on 21 May 2017 is one of the more tenuous on our books.



 Posted by Axver on

U2's Washington DC setlist, 20/06/17

Today, U2 performed in Washington DC—or almost in DC. This DC-area show is in fact across the border in Landover, Maryland. This is the fourth time U2 have done their DC-area show in Maryland after College Park on 25 April 1983, and twice in Landover: 8 April 1985 and, at the same venue as today, 29 September 2009. U2 have only ever played two other concerts in Maryland, both in Baltimore. They have never done a DC-area show across the border in Virginia.

A soundcheck earlier today, likely by the band's techs, had instrumental versions of New Year's Day, Streets, and Mysterious Ways.

At the start of Bad, Bono spoke briefly about the recent shooting in Alexandria, Virginia and expressed gratitude that congressman Steve Scalise survived. Bono dedicated I Still Haven't Found to Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, the former Roman Catholic Archbishop of Washington, and One Tree Hill to Emma Oxford, the widow of Michael Elliott, the former One Campaign chief executive who died July last year.

Ultra Violet returned to the set after missing one show, slotting back into the encore in place of Mysterious Ways. The order of the encore was modified so that Beautiful Day could come after Miss Sarajevo with a new video intro themed for World Refugee Day featuring John F. Kennedy and Ronald Reagan. There were some technical difficulties at the start of One, which Bono pinned on band tech Terry Lawless and his "Terryworld" beneath the stage, but the band managed to keep going with the song.

The show ended in somewhat bizarre fashion. Bono brought a member of the crowd on stage after Vertigo, and as he had shouted near the end of Vertigo that "we're not done yet", it seemed the band were going to play a 22nd song for the first time since 20 May. Instead, the fan did a handstand, Larry did a drumroll, and that was the end. It's probably the most unusual ending of a U2 concert since 22 November 2005 when Instant Karma with Patti Smith didn't go quite according to plan.

Oh, and this show had snippets of three different songs called America, one by Simon & Garfunkel in Bad, one from West Side Story in Bullet, and one by Prince in Beautiful Day. The only other title in our database for three different songs is Gloria (U2, Van Morrison, Patti Smith).

The full setlist was:

  1. Sunday Bloody Sunday
  2. New Year's Day
  3. Bad / America (snippet)
  4. Pride (In The Name Of Love)
  5. Where The Streets Have No Name
  6. I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For
  7. With Or Without You
  8. Bullet The Blue Sky / Black Dog (snippet) / America (West Side Story) (snippet)
  9. Running To Stand Still
  10. Red Hill Mining Town
  11. In God's Country
  12. Trip Through Your Wires
  13. One Tree Hill
  14. Exit / Wise Blood (snippet) / Eeny Meeny Miny Moe (snippet)
  15. Mothers Of The Disappeared

  16. encore(s):
  17. Miss Sarajevo / The New Colossus (snippet)
  18. Beautiful Day / America (Prince song) (snippet)
  19. Elevation
  20. Ultra Violet (Light My Way)
  21. One / Hear Us Coming (snippet)
  22. Vertigo
All details for this show including reviews, videos and photos can be found here.

If you attended the show we ask you to share your concert review or photos with other site visitors. You can post your review of the show here and upload your pictures here.



 Posted by Axver on

U2 to bring the Joshua Tree Tour to Phoenix

Fans have been wondering and waiting for a Joshua Tree anniversary tour date in Arizona, New Mexico, or Nevada, and finally one has been confirmed. U2 will perform at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale on 19 September. This is the 50th date confirmed for the tour.

Tickets go on sale to the general public on Friday 23 June at 10am local time. U2.com subscribers as usual get their own presale, starting on Tuesday 20 June at 10am local.

This part of the world has a particularly strong connection to the Joshua Tree. The desert landscape inspired much of the album's music and imagery. The original 1987 tour both began and finished at the Arizona State University in Tempe. The tour's first show shows, on 2 and 4 April 1987, were at the university's arena, and the last two nights on 19 and 20 December 1987 were at Sun Devil Stadium. The colour footage on the Rattle and Hum film is from those two stadium dates.

Interestingly, today's announcement says nothing about this show being the last for North America—a comment that has been made on recent tours in the announcement of what proved to be the final shows. So it is possible other dates might be added. There is certainly a likelihood of one more Brazilian show in South America, but North American rumours mainly pointed towards a gig in Atlanta on 18 September. This now seems very unlikely, as it would be the night before Phoenix: the distance is too great between cities, and U2 have not scheduled any shows in different cities on consecutive nights since 2005. The only shows on consecutive nights across the last three tours have been in the same city. But there is plenty of space between San Diego and Mexico City for shows to be added, so we will have to wait and see.



 Posted by Axver on

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