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U2's Paris setlists, 08/09/18 to 13/09/18

For the first time on the tour U2 performed four concerts in one city. The sets had little variation between nights, with a more interest perhaps being in the songs rehearsed across various soundchecks.

Prior to the first concert there were three distinct groups of sessions. The first consisted of Edge on his lonesome with work on The Blackout, The Unforgettable Fire, Stay, and The Unforgettable Fire a second time. The second saw Larry and Adam join him for Who's Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses, The Unforgettable Fire, Landlady, Wild Horses a second time, and Stay. Bono arrived for the final session which consisted of Stay, and Wild Horses. The Unforgettable Fire was reherased prior to both Cologne shows, while Wild Horses has been heard at soundcheck since the beginning of the tour, but these are the first known rehearsals of Landlady and Stay. Sadly none of the four songs graduated to a concert performance.

Happy Birthday was sung for Willie Williams during the first show, and All Because of You was played in place of Red Flag Day at the second and fourth shows; the sets were otherwise identical to the nights in Cologne, aside from snippets.



 Posted by Matkin on

U2's Cologne #1 setlist, 04/09/18

The tour continued today with the first of two concerts in Cologne, and thankfully Bono's voice was in fine form. He made just two references to it during the night; the first as MacPhisto, gleefully saying "I see my old friend Boh-no lost his voice in Berlin. Bravo! Bravo! I think he is his very best vocalist with the sound turned down." The second came in his talk to Ali before You're the Best Thing About Me: "Hey darling, I really miss you; especially with what happened earlier in Berlin. The show is going really well tonight, voice is strong..."

Fans outside the venue reported hearing The Unforgettable Fire being soundchecked today, but it was not performed. The setlist was identical to the first night in Berlin (and what was planned for the second Berlin concert), so Red Flag Day was played for the third concert in succession; previously it had a streak of only twice in a row. On a note of that, despite Berlin #2 lasting just five songs the performance of Beautiful Day means that it is still the only song to have been performed at every concert since it debuted live (not counting songs from the most recent album). Had Bono not attempted it after the problems in Red Flag Day the only songs to hold that distinction would be The Blackout and Lights of Home.

The full set was:

  1. The Blackout
  2. Lights Of Home
  3. I Will Follow
  4. Red Flag Day
  5. Beautiful Day
  6. The Ocean
  7. Iris (Hold Me Close)
  8. Cedarwood Road
  9. Sunday Bloody Sunday
  10. Lord Of The Flies (snippet) / Until the End of the World / Introduction (snippet)
  11. (Intermission - Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me)
  12. Elevation / Vertigo (snippet)
  13. Vertigo / Rebel Rebel (snippet)
  14. Even Better Than The Real Thing Fish Out of Water Mix
  15. Hall of Mirrors (snippet) / Acrobat
  16. You're The Best Thing About Me Full band acoustic
  17. Summer Of Love Bono and Edge acoustic
  18. Pride (In the Name of Love)
  19. Get Out Of Your Own Way
  20. New Year's Day
  21. Ode To Joy (snippet) / City of Blinding Lights

  22. encore(s):
  23. One
  24. Love Is Bigger Than Anything in Its Way
  25. 13 (There Is A Light)
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 Matkin on

U2's Berlin #2 setlist, 01/09/18 (show cancelled)

Update 02/09 10pm: Berlin show rescheduled for 13 November 2018.

A bizarre moment just a few songs in has caused the remainder of tonight's concert to be cancelled. During Red Flag Day Bono's voice stopped working, with fans initially reporting that his microphone had stopped functioning. However Bono seemed quite flummoxed, saying at the close of the song "I think it's the smoke. I can promise you I have not been smoking, but this is like a giant cigar - I've lost my voice and I don't know what to do." He told the crowd that he was not somebody who demands perfect conditions to sing, asked for the smoke machines to remain off for the remainder of the night, and the band then attempted Beautiful Day but the vocals were almost inaudible through the song. Bono apologized, saying "Oh man. So, so sorry." He told fans they were welcome to leave, and they would ensure another night was scheduled for Berlin. It was announced that they would take a 10-15 minute break to see if there was any improvement in his voice.

After about 20 minutes a representative of the venue came on stage and asked the crowd, in both German and English, to be patient; the band wanted to continue the show. After another 20 minutes he returned and announced that the remainder of the night was cancelled. He instructed fans to hold onto their tickets and to keep an eye on the band's social media channels to see what would be done about the concert (and presumably the upcoming shows in Cologne). Before he returned to the stage some fans reported that Edge's amps were being packed up, and our webmaster Matt tweeted that the band had already left the venue. The usual setlists onstage revealed that tonight's set was planned to be the same as last night's.

U2 have had to halt a concert partway through the set on multiple occasions in their career, though generally they are able to continue after a delay. On other occasions they have had to shorten shows for various factors, though never to this extent; in the past an ongoing show has been shortened by no more than three songs. Some notable times when a show has been paused, halted, or had notable problems include:

  • 14 December 1980 in New Haven, Connecticut, when Bono initiated a fight on stage causing the concert to end early;
  • 8 February 1985 in Zurich, Switzerland, when vocal problems cause the band to take a break after 7 songs. They return to the stage and finish the set;
  • 16 April 1985 in Worcester, Massachusetts, when Adam notices a lighting rig come loose and the concert is halted while technicians secure it. The band return and play a set longer than initially planned;
  • 2 April 1987 in Tempe, Arizona, when Bono has vocal problems on the opening night of The Joshua Tree. The set is cut short at least one song, as With or Without You does not debut until the following concert;
  • 20 September 1987 in Washinton, D.C., when Bono falls and dislocates his shoulder on stage. The concert is completed before he is taken to hospital;
  • 18 December 1989 in Amsterdam, Netherlands, when Bono's voice is damaged. The main set is completed, but the encore is cut short by at least three songs as the band skip the segment with B.B. King and play only 40. The following two nights in the city are cancelled entirely, and four more are scheduled in Rotterdam to make up for it;
  • 23 September 1997 in Sarajevo, Bosnia, when Bono suffers from vocal troubles all night and Brian Eno is prepared to take over if necessary. The concert is completed, with the audience doing much of the singing;
  • 2 June 2001 in Albany, New York, when the crowd takes over for Bono for much of the concert. Captured on DVD in Boston a few nights later, Bono says he had "never felt so crap";
  • 12 September 2010 in Zurich, Switzerland, when heavy rain causes the band to cut the encore short by two songs.

There are other occasions were a concert is briefly halted due to trouble in the audience; this mostly occured during the group's early years when there was not as much of a security presence. One such event was caught on film.

  1. The Blackout
  2. Lights Of Home
  3. I Will Follow
  4. Red Flag Day
  5. Beautiful Day
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 Matkin on

U2's Berlin #1 setlist, 31/08/18

U2 opened the second leg of their tour in Berlin tonight, and right from the start things had changed from the leg in North America. The Blackout was the first song of the night, opening a concert for the first time. Previous opener Love Is All We Have Left was not fully left out, however; portions of it featured in the heavily modified introduction to the night. The MRI footage and nurse's instructions remained, but the melting iceberg was no more. As the MRI visuals left the screen they were replaced with video of Europe from the early to mid-20th century, which included:

  • with post-war footage of Berlin and Hamburg from 1946, and Cologne and Amsterdam from 1945;
  • war-time footage of Paris from 1944, Copenhagen in 1943, Manchester and London in 1940, Belfast and Dublin in 1941;
  • Lisbon during the 1926 coup d'état;
  • Spanish Civil War footage of Madrid in 1939 on two occasions.  with the MRI occasionally re-appearing to be super-imposed over the war-time footage

This was all set to a complex audio mix that heavily featuried the Babel introduction of Zooropa - a song Willie Williams has sampled extensively for these video features in the past - along with a voice repeatedly saying "I'm sorry", extracts of "The Great Speech For Humanity" from Charlie Chaplin's The Great Dictator, and the aforementioned lyrical extracts from Love Is All We Have Left. As The Blackout kicked in the images of devastation were replaced by ones of protests, flags, and technology. It made for a thought-provoking and and complex introduction that pulled no punches in the underlying message.

The core of the set remained mostly the same as in North America, with a European message replacing the America-centric one. Red Flag Day was performed for the fifth time this tour in the early set rotational song, and we expect to see it much more often this leg. Until the End of the World was book-ended by snippets from Lord of the Flies and William Blake's Introduction respectively, while Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me was retained for the intermission.

Desire was replaced by the tour debut of Even Better Than the Real Thing, played once again in the Fish out of Water Mix style though without the overdubs and backing tracks it normally features. The Fish out of Water Mix has now been played on three U2 tours, the same number as the studio mix (three each). The original still far outnumbers FooW in raw performances however (260 to 113 as of tonight).

Staring at the Sun was replaced by the tour debut of Summer of Love, a song which had previously been performed just once before. It was done acoustically by Bono and Edge on the E-stage, and retained the visuals of the sun on the stage floor. Screen visuals at the end of the song included footage of migrants crossing the Mediterranean Sea, the rubble of ruined cities, and European far-right hate groups in place of the American ones and racism from the first leg before leading into Pride. With this performance every track from Songs of Experience has appeared on a U2 tour in some form; Landlady and The Showman are the only two songs yet to see a full performance, while The Little Things That Give You Away is the only song from the album that has not yet appeared on E+I.

The final change of the night was the perhaps unsurprising removal of American Soul, with New Year's Day performed in its stead. The song was played in a new style with an opening heavily reminiscent of the club remixes from the early 1980s, and featured some musical changes after each chorus with the pause of Larry's drumming, some new backing tracks during those pauses, and more keyboard than normal. A European Union flag replaced the giant US one behind the band. The segue into City of Blinding Lights included Ode to Joy through the speakers, which Bono sang along to. The encore was unchanged.

  1. The Blackout
  2. Lights Of Home
  3. I Will Follow
  4. Red Flag Day
  5. Beautiful Day
  6. The Ocean
  7. Iris (Hold Me Close)
  8. Cedarwood Road
  9. Sunday Bloody Sunday
  10. Lord Of The Flies (snippet) / Until the End of the World / Introduction (snippet)
  11. (Intermission - Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me)
  12. Elevation
  13. Vertigo / Rebel Rebel (snippet)
  14. Even Better Than The Real Thing Fish Out of Water Mix
  15. Hall of Mirrors (snippet) / Acrobat
  16. You're The Best Thing About Me Full band acoustic
  17. Summer Of Love Bono and Edge acoustic
  18. Pride (In the Name of Love)
  19. Get Out Of Your Own Way
  20. New Year's Day
  21. Ode To Joy (snippet) / City of Blinding Lights

  22. encore(s):
  23. One
  24. Love Is Bigger Than Anything in Its Way
  25. 13 (There Is A Light)
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 Matkin on

U2's Uncasville setlist, 03/07/18

Tonight brings an end to the first leg of the Experience + Innocence Tour, and U2 closed it off with their first performance in Uncasville, Connecticut. Not only was it their first visit to this small village (it, along with Chesterfield, Mohegan, and Oakdale, forms the town of Montville which has a population under 20,000), it was also the first time U2 have played in the state since 7 December 2005 in Hartford.

The setlist was mostly unchanged from the normal narrative of the tour thus far; Gloria was restored to the set after missing two concerts, and it came with the usual G-L-O-R-I-A snippet at the end. As usual Bono spoke about Pop before Staring at the Sun, this time name-dropping Please as a song from the album that meant a lot to him. Resuming discussion on the song at hand he quipped that the reason he doesn't remember writing it is because Edge claims that he wrote it instead. Asking if the song was just a tune or had chords as well he was informed by Edge that it had chords, to which he responded with an expletive. Bono ended the tour leg by twisting his ankle as he left the stage during 13.

The first concert of the leg was the longest at 27 songs; the next 7 nights varied between 25 and 26 songs, and every subsequent performance had 24 songs (though 21 June in Boston is listed at 25 songs due to the recitation of the poem Hedgehog). Of the 32 songs performed over the 27 nights of the first leg, 23 of them were played every night. Of the songs that were rotated, Gloria was performed 15 times and All Because of You on 11 occasions. They were played on the same night just once, 7 May in San Jose. Red Flag Day was the least performed new song, appearing only four times; once in the rotational slot and the other three times in the company of Gloria. The final rotational song was The Electric Co., played just once this leg. New Year's Day, Song for Someone, and Who's Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses were all also played just once. 

Notably, this is the first time we are aware of that The Ocean has been performed at every concert on a tour leg, though it came close on the third and fourth legs of the Boy Tour (17 of 27 concerts, and 53 of 59 respectively) and the fifth leg of October (8 of 9 concerts). The incompleteness and unavailability of many early setlists means that this is likely not actually the case, but it is nonetheless the first time we are actually certain of it! Staring at the Sun was similarly played on every night of a tour leg for the first time since the closing arc of the PopMart Tour just a shade over 20 years ago. Desire was performed every night for the first time since the Zooropa leg of ZooTV in mid-1993. Discounting the two-concert long fifth leg of 360, this is the first time since the third leg of PopMart at the end of 1997 that Bad has not been played on a tour leg at least once.

The tour resumes in Berlin on 31 August; it will be interesting to see what changes U2 makes to their story for the European market.

  1. Love Is All We Have Left
  2. The Blackout
  3. Lights Of Home
  4. I Will Follow
  5. Gloria / Van Morrison's Gloria (snippet)
  6. Beautiful Day
  7. The Ocean
  8. Iris (Hold Me Close)
  9. Cedarwood Road
  10. Sunday Bloody Sunday / Johnny Was (snippet)
  11. Until the End of the World
  12. (Intermission - Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me)
  13. Elevation
  14. Vertigo / It's Only Rock 'n' Roll (But I Like It) (snippet)
  15. Desire Hollywood Mix
  16. Sympathy For The Devil (snippet) / Acrobat
  17. You're The Best Thing About Me Full band acoustic
  18. Staring at the Sun Bono and Edge acoustic
  19. Pride (In the Name of Love)
  20. Get Out Of Your Own Way
  21. American Soul
  22. City of Blinding Lights

  23. encore(s):
  24. Women of the World (snippet) / One / Invisible (snippet)
  25. Love Is Bigger Than Anything in Its Way
  26. 13 (There Is A Light)
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 Matkin on

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