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Axver's Tour Predictions: Boy and October

What songs will U2 play on their next tour? It is hard to predict when a tour is likely many months away, of course. That has not stopped many fans from speculating, and I have come to the party. Previously I looked at the chances of tracks from Songs of Innocence. That’s pretty hard, for a whole bunch of reasons I described in that article. Will the band’s back catalogue be any easier?

Some preliminary comments: I’m not always going to go through every song on every album. I will run through all the songs I think have even a faint chance, and then group together at the end those that I predict will not be played. I will include with each album songs from its era that were released on other formats if I think they are a chance. Some of these entries will focus on a single album if it has a lot of candidates for selection; others will group together multiple albums. Anyway, on with the show – let’s go right back to the start.


 Posted by Axver on Wednesday, September 17, 2014 @ 11:02:11 UTC | permalink | Comments

U2 to tour South America in 2015?

Just a few days ago, we reported Bono's vague statement about U2 touring in 2015. Now we have a slightly more specific rumour. The good people at U2 Argentina, via Universal Music Argentina, say that U2 will begin a global tour in early 2015 and it will include Latin American shows. For our Spanish-speaking audience, see U2Argentina's tweet and press release here.

For those of you who do not speak Spanish, this report says U2 will visit Argentina, Brazil, and Chile as usual. It goes on to state that the band may also perform concerts in Colombia and Peru. If this happens, it will be U2's first concerts in either country. During the 360 Tour, there were fairly strong rumours of a debut Peruvian concert but nothing came to pass. Over the last decade, there have been persistent rumours of a Colombia show, but these have been speculative at best and frequently baseless. Will fans in Colombia and Peru finally get to welcome U2? We hope so; only time will tell.

 Posted by Axver on Tuesday, September 16, 2014 @ 02:52:07 UTC | permalink | Comments

Axver's Tour Predictions: Songs of Innocence

Songs of Innocence has been out for less than a week and already discussion among fans has turned to which songs will be played live. Here, I am going to attempt to make some predictions of what we might see in concert. If I’m lucky these will make me look clever sometime next year but instead they will probably be wildly off-base. There are a couple of factors that make predictions particularly difficult:

1. Bono has alluded to a second album, Songs of Experience. If it actually comes out before the tour begins, that will complicate any predictions below as there will be even more new songs competing for very limited setlist space. U2 aren’t getting younger and their shows are unlikely to get any longer than the standard 22-24 song length. So if a new album appears, many of the predicted percentages below will be cut severely. (The fact Bono has mentioned Songs of Experience in an official announcement suggests he is quite serious and that maybe, just maybe, the rest of the band are cool with him blabbing about it, unlike past promises that have been downplayed by other members.)

2. Before the last three albums were released, U2 had played a number of songs live at promotional appearances, not just the lead single. That gave us some good insight into what other songs might become singles and/or live staples, even before we heard the whole album. This time? The situation is reversed – we have heard the whole album, but only one song has been played live.

So you are more than welcome to come back after the first show of the tour and say “hey Ax, you were soooo wrong”, but be nice and keep the above caveats in mind. I’m sure I will return to shake my head and wonder what I was thinking – or maybe to fistpump the air and proclaim myself a prophet.


 Posted by Axver on Monday, September 15, 2014 @ 13:43:57 UTC | permalink | Comments

A Crumb of Tour Info

When will U2 head out on tour to promote Songs of Innocence? Where will they tour? What will it be called? What will they play? Will "Things to Make and Do" make an entirely unexpected return to the stage?

All these questions and more to be answered in the coming months!

We do have one little crumb of news to report in response to the very first question. An article from the Irish Times provides some information via Bono.

He says that they "don’t have a firm start date for the next U2 tour, but it will be next year". So as expected, look out for the band being on the road in 2015. Bono emphasises that U2 "need good ideas to go back out there live". This won't be a rehash of 360. "Expect something new, something fresh.”

The whole Irish Times article is worth reading. There are a number of choice quotes, but surely this passage is the best:

In the new song "Cedarwood Road" Bono talks about the cherry blossom tree in the Rowens’ garden. “I was looking for a soul that’s real. Then I ran into you, and that cherry blossom tree was a gateway to the sun.” In the Dublin suburbs of the 1970s, Bono says, the cherry blossom tree “seemed to be the most luxurious thing”.

The Edge then pitches in, talking in some detail about Dublin City Council’s policy on cherry blossom trees. How he knows this I can’t imagine."

 Posted by Axver on Saturday, September 13, 2014 @ 14:49:24 UTC | permalink | Comments

The Miracle (Of A Surprise Release)

As most U2 fans are already aware, U2 dropped a brand new album called Songs of Innocence and it is available exclusively via iTunes. It was not enough for U2 to perform at Apple's official launch of the iPhone 6 and iWatch; they followed their appearance with a new album. If you haven't got it yet, you can acquire it for the princely sum of absolutely nothing as long as you get in before 13 October. (Ax's tip: check out how awesome "Cedarwood Road" is, with a passionate, urgent vocal performance by Bono at the end.)

Of course, we are a concert and setlist website, so we're particularly interested in any live news we can get. There have been rumours recently that U2 would like to return to the more intimate surrounds of arenas. Paul McGuinness has dropped a hint of a tour beginning next year in the Northern Hemisphere's summer. He describes this as a "major tour". Does he mean major in its itinerary and geographic scope, major in its venues being stadiums rather than the rumoured arenas, or both? We don't know yet.

However, there has been one live performance recently. At the Apple launch, U2 performed the lead single and first track from Songs of Innocence, entitled "The Miracle (Of Joey Ramone)". Some videos of the performance have been taken down from YouTube already, including proshot footage, but here's one that's currently still up:

Our database listing for this concert is here.

This represents a break with the past, of sorts. The first performances of songs from the last three albums have been for television shows rather than a live event such as the Apple launch. "Beautiful Day" was the first song to be performed from All That You Can't Leave Behind, debuting at a taping for Top of the Pops on 27 September 2000. The first performances from How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb were also for Top of the Pops, occurring on 15 October 2004. Three songs from No Line on the Horizon debuted for a different programme, The Culture Show, on 3 February 2009 (though were not broadcast until after a few other performances). Samples from these performances are below.

"Beautiful Day", back in 2000 on Top of the Pops:

"City of Blinding Lights" in 2004:

The full episode of The Culture Show, with "No Line on the Horizon" starting at 12:15 and "Get on Your Boots" at 25:25:

 Posted by Axver on Thursday, September 11, 2014 @ 13:34:26 UTC | permalink | Comments

Previous articles:

· Ordinary Love at the Oscars March 3rd, 2014
· A Concert Unlike Any Other February 18th, 2014
· Live debuts of Invisible and Ordinary Love on the Tonight Show February 18th, 2014
· U2 Perform, Continue Work on New Album in New York City June 7th, 2013
· Bono Performs In New York City May 18th, 2013
· News Regarding U2's Next Album and Tour April 23rd, 2013
· The Road to Sarajevo: Part One – Bosnia and Bill Carter October 7th, 2012
· Bono, Edge, and A Decade of Difference October 16th, 2011
· U2Gigs podcast now available! October 7th, 2011
· Bono sings in Cape Town October 6th, 2011

For older news, see our Archive.
This site is using phpgraphy for the galleries. The tour database script was initially written by Martin Stieglmayer and heavily modified since then. The cover section is maintained by Marc. All photos, logos, lyrics, covers and trademarks on this site are property of their respective owner. The comments and reviews are property of their posters; all the rest © 1996-2014 by Matthias Mühlbradt and André Axver.
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