Tonight U2 performed their sixth of eight shows at Madison Square Garden. This is the most consecutive concerts they have ever played in New York City. Although they did seven shows in NYC on the third leg of the Vertigo Tour in 2005, the final two came over a month after the initial run of five.
The second song of the night was a massive surprise: Two Hearts Beat As One. Although U2 did soundcheck it in Chicago last month, it had not been played live since 27 December 1989 - so Bono was quite correct when he introduced it as a song not played in a quarter of a century. The gap between performances is 25 years and 7 months exactly. In fact, that performance in 1989 is the only time Two Hearts has been played live between 29 April 1985 and today.
This means that U2 have now played 45 songs on the first leg of the Innocence + Experience Tour; 43 original songs plus Happy Birthday and Stand By Me. In this period they also did two more original songs at their Roxy sideshow. The leg total of 43 is the most original songs U2 have ever played on any individual leg of a tour, and the figure of 45 songs overall is also close to a record. The third leg of Vertigo had more songs overall, 48, but six were covers, hence it featured only 42 original songs compared to this leg's 43. The second leg of Popmart featured 43 songs overall, of which 27 were originals and 16 covers; the third leg of ZooTV featured 42 songs, of which 28 were originals and 14 covers. In the eighties U2 only once played more than forty songs across an entire tour, never mind an individual leg: they did 44 on the Joshua Tree Tour, of which 29 were originals and 15 covers (our stats on that page show 14 covers because Helter Skelter is counted with Rattle And Hum). My thanks to Kevin Feeney for bringing this statistic to my attention.
During the E stage rotational segment tonight, U2 brought Desire and Angel Of Harlem back into the setlist - both had sat out the last two shows. Angel Of Harlem was performed with a Chilean fan, Ignacio, who was allowed to keep the guitar he played. October was on the printed setlist after Angel Of Harlem but was not performed.
Near the end of the main set, U2 performed The Troubles for just the fourth time this tour (and the fifth ever). It had missed 17 shows since its last performance over a month ago in Montreal on 16 June.
The show closed with One, though not without a couple of false starts. Bono intended for the audience to sing it, introducing it by saying "you can sing yourselves home; I'm out". However, he was unhappy with the start and his attempts to direct the crowd and then the band led to the song coming to a full stop. A new attempt was successful in generating a large singalong. The printed set showed I Still Haven't Found rather than One, but Bono signalled for One to the rest of the band during Streets.
The full setlist was:
- The Miracle (Of Joey Ramone)
- Two Hearts Beat As One
- I Will Follow
- Iris (Hold Me Close)
- Cedarwood Road
- Song For Someone
- Sunday Bloody Sunday / When Johnny Comes Marching Home (snippet)
- Raised By Wolves / Psalm 23 (snippet)
- Until The End Of The World / Love And Peace Or Else (snippet) (Intermission)
- Even Better Than The Real Thing
- Mysterious Ways / Burning Down The House (snippet) / Young Americans (snippet)
- Angel Of Harlem
- Every Breaking Wave
- Bullet The Blue Sky / 19 (snippet)
- The Hands That Built America (snippet) / Pride (In The Name Of Love)
- Beautiful Day / I Remember You (snippet)
- The Troubles
- With Or Without You / In The Garden (snippet)
- City Of Blinding Lights
- Mother And Child Reunion (snippet) / Where The Streets Have No Name
- One / All You Need Is Love (snippet)
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Posted by Axver on