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U2's Trafalgar Square setlist, 11/11/17

Today, U2 performed at London's Trafalgar Square for a crowd of seven thousand. The occasion was the MTV Europe Music Awards; some of this performance will be broadcast at tomorrow's ceremony. U2 also took the opportunity to film a music video for Get Out of Your Own Way—even though one was previously recorded while the band were in Mexico.

The soundcheck included Beautiful Day, Sunday Bloody Sunday, and a song never played live before: Get Out of Your Own Way. At the end, Bono sang some of the rap that Kendrick Lamar does on the studio version.

As suggested by the soundcheck, Get Out of Your Own Way made its live debut. It was performed twice. The first version early in the set began with Bono snippeting a couple of lines from the poem Gift by Czesław Miłosz, and at the end he did Kendrick Lamar's lines through a megaphone (which he did not use in the soundcheck).

At the end of the set, the band did Get Out of Your Own Way again, this time explicitly for the music video. Bono spoke to the crowd about Trafalgar Square's history of protest, and signs were distributed through the crowd for the filming. Some referenced the song's lyrics, while others were from historic protest movements such as the fight for women's suffrage. Bono explained that the song is about protest against yourself; he also joked that "if you want to protest us, that's cool". In this second performance, Bono did not do any snippets but he again used the megaphone for Kendrick's lines.

The only other new material in the set was You're the Best Thing About Me, which became a regular on the final leg of the Joshua Tree 30th anniversary tour. The rest of the set also drew on older songs that the band have in their repertoire from the Joshua Tree Tour, though none from the Joshua Tree album. Sunday Bloody Sunday, for instance, remained as the opener. Apart from Songs of Experience, the only album represented by more than one song in the set was All That You Can't Leave Behind.

The full setlist was:

  1. Sunday Bloody Sunday
  2. Pride (In the Name of Love)
  3. Gift (snippet) / Get Out Of Your Own Way
  4. You're the Best Thing About Me
  5. Beautiful Day / Starman (snippet)
  6. Elevation
  7. Vertigo / Rebel Rebel (snippet)
  8. One / Invisible (snippet)
  9. Get Out Of Your Own Way
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 perform in Trafalgar Square this Saturday

U2 will perform for a crowd of 7,000 this Saturday in London's Trafalgar Square.

The performance is for MTV, who will broadcast some of it during the MTV European Music Awards ceremony the next night at the SSE Arena, Wembley. At the ceremony, U2 will receive a Global Icon award.

If you want to be part of the crowd, it's free but there is a ballot. Put in your entry here—there is a maximum of two tickets per person—and then cross your fingers that you get to hang out with U2 and 6,999 of your closest mates at Trafalgar Square. You've got until 10pm London time Tuesday (i.e. today!).

This is the fifth time U2 have performed for the MTV EMAs. The most recent was during the promotional cycle of Songs of Innocence on 9 November 2014. This article describes the first three EMA performances and includes a video of Mofo at the 1997 EMAs—the only performance of that song outside of the Popmart Tour, the only one to not segue into I Will Follow, and one you should definitely watch. Saturday's performance, as a gig at a prominent European city landmark, has the most in common with their Brandenburg Gate performance for the EMAs on 5 November 2009.

Our database listing for this gig is here.

 Posted by Axver on

Songs of Experience promo shows kick off with appearance in Cannes

Now that the Joshua Tree Tour 2017 has finished and the Experience + Innocence Tour 2018 announced, U2 have moved on to the promotional cycle for the forthcoming new album Songs of Experience.

Bono and Adam appeared in Cannes, France today at the NRJ Music Awards. They performed You're the Best Thing About Me with Kygo, and by performed we mean "mimed". Watch a video here.

This is the first time The Best Thing has been performed outside of the Americas. It is now the most-performed track from Songs of Experience, one ahead of The Little Things That Give You Away.

After the performance, Bono and Adam accepted an NRJ Honour Award on behalf of all of U2. You can see the speech in the video linked above. It's dubbed in French, but if you don't speak French you can make out what Bono's saying in English.

The promo tour will continue over the next month with performances in both Europe and North America, including a hot rumour that the band will appear on Saturday Night Live. We will have all the performance info as it happens. Our database entry for the Cannes appearance is here, which you will notice is in a new section for the promo tour, in keeping with how we have sorted previous promo tours.

 Posted by Axver on

Announcement of U2's new album and next tour

Today U2 have announced their new album, Songs of Experience, to be released on 1 December 2017. The band will tour in 2018 to support the album, with the Experience + Innocence Tour a successor to 2015's Innocence + Experience Tour.

The album: Songs of Experience

The album comes in four formats. The standard CD and vinyl versions contain 13 tracks, the most on any U2 studio album if you exclude studio/live hybrid Rattle and Hum. The deluxe versions come with 16–17 tracks, though only one of those 3–4 bonus tracks is a previously unreleased new song. Full details are available via the U2.com link above, including how to pre-order.

Two new songs are available today: The Blackout and Get Out of Your Own Away. You get these as an instant download when you buy the album, and they are also streaming on services such as Spotify.

The tour: Experience + Innocence 2018

The album announcement confirms North American tour dates for May and June 2018. It also states that there will be a yet-to-be-announced European leg, which will go on sale in early 2018.

The North American itinerary is:

  • 2018-05-02: Tulsa, Oklahoma - BOK Center
  • 2018-05-04: St Louis, Missouri - Scottrade Center
  • 2018-05-07: San Jose, California - SAP Center
  • 2018-05-11: Las Vegas, Nevada - T-Mobile Arena
  • 2018-05-15: Los Angeles, California - Forum
  • 2018-05-22: Chicago, Illinois - United Center
  • 2018-05-26: Nashville, Tennessee - Bridgestone Arena
  • 2018-05-28: Atlanta, Georgia - Infinite Energy Arena
  • 2018-06-05: Montréal, Québec - Bell Centre
  • 2018-06-09: Uniondale, New York - NYCB Live, Home of the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum
  • 2018-06-13: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania - Wells Fargo Center
  • 2018-06-17: Washington, DC - Capital One Arena
  • 2018-06-21: Boston, Massachusetts - TD Garden
  • 2018-06-25: New York, New York - Madison Square Garden
  • 2018-06-29: Newark, New Jersey - Prudential Center

Concert tickets

Tickets go on sale to the general public on 20 November 2017, with a presale for U2.com subscribers commencing six days earlier on 14 November. There will be two presale groups, named Experience and Innocence; log in to your U2.com account to find out which you are in. Direct ticketing links for each show will be on U2.com's tour page.

All tickets for the North American tour will be sold through Ticketmaster's Verified Fan system. Details on how this works are here. And yes, it applies to the presale as well as the general sale. If you are not verified you cannot buy tickets.

When you buy concert tickets, every ticket entitles you to one copy of the new album. The code you will receive will, on 1 December, be redeemable for either a digital or CD copy.

Fun facts about the tour

In general the tour hits North American markets that were not visited on this year's Joshua Tree 2017 Tour, as well as repeat visits to the largest markets.

The opening night of the tour is U2's first concert in Tulsa since 9 March 1983. It will be U2's third show ever in Tulsa; apart from this gig and the 1983 one, the band played there on 4 April 1981. It will be just U2's seventh show anywhere in Oklahoma, and only the second since the War Tour—on 18 October 2009, the band played in Norman.

The final show of the leg will be U2's first ever concert in Newark, New Jersey. This is, perhaps, not as momentous as it first seems: they have played frequently in nearby East Rutherford, as well as two shows in Passaic.

In between these dates are some others with interesting facts. St Louis gets a gig, which will no doubt be a special one to make up for this year's cancellation. Atlanta and Las Vegas, two notable markets that were both skipped in 2015 and 2017, also get U2 this time around.

The concert in Nashville will be just U2's third in the city. They previously visited on 2 July 2011 and all the way back on 2 December 1981.

U2 will perform in Uniondale for the first time since 9 March 1992. From 1985 to 1992 U2 had been frequent visitors to the Nassau Coliseum, performing there four times. Next year's show will be U2's first concert anywhere in New York state outside of New York City or Buffalo since they played Albany on 2 June 2001. But, of course, Uniondale is part of the sprawling greater New York area, as is Newark, meaning that in addition to the Madison Square Garden date, U2 are playing two other venues in the larger metropolis.

The only date in Canada, rather than the US, is that in Montréal. The band are not returning to the Canadian markets they visited this year, Toronto and Vancouver.

There is obvious space in the itinerary for extra shows in some markets. We will keep you updated when additional shows are added. As noted above, European dates will be announced soon. Nothing is confirmed for any other parts of the world, but we also have rumours of Australia, New Zealand, and Asia in November 2018.

 Posted by Axver on

Tour rumours: Boston in June 2018, announcement tomorrow

Rumours are starting to leak about the band's touring plans for 2018. Poster Angtre01 on the Interference forums, who has been reliable about Boston dates for the past two tours, has shared information today. Please note that at this stage everything below is a rumour and NOT confirmed.

U2 will perform at Boston's TD Garden on 21 June 2018. The tour will be announced at 1pm US Eastern time tomorrow (which, we believe, would be in conjunction with an announcement of Songs of Experience, the tracklist of which has already leaked).

Presales will commence in three weeks, on 20 November 2017. The exact date for the public sale is unclear, but presumably about a week later.

General Admission floor tickets in Boston will be $80.50. The most expensive seated sections will be $329.50, with three lower categories: $175.50, $110.50, and $45.50. Prices are likely to be similar, with only slight variation, in other cities. Fears held by some fans that U2 might adopt variable pricing (where the price of seats changes dynamically in response to demand) do not appear to have come to pass.

Like 2015's Innocence + Experience Tour, of which this is a thematic continuation, next year's dates will have a centre-stage format.

We currently do not have word on dates in Europe or elsewhere in the world, but if this announcement does happen at 1pm US Eastern, that's 5pm UK time and 4am Australian eastern. Again we reiterate everything in this article is purely rumour at this stage, not confirmed, and there could be absolutely nothing announced tomorrow. But we will have the info for you if and when it drops.

Update: on Twitter, atU2 have added that they have a reliable source reporting a Los Angeles show on 15 May 2018 at the Forum.

Update II: Australian music retailer JB Hi-Fi, in promoting a competition to see U2 live, appear to have already given the game away with regards to the above-mentioned LA show on 15 May. Meanwhile, it looks like the tour will indeed be announced in conjunction with the album and that Get Out of Your Own Way and The Blackout will be available for streaming immediately; see this screenshot from our friends U2Start. And U2Australia have shared info that Australia, New Zealand, and Japan are in line to get shows in November 2018. We have received word that U2 might tour Asia more widely than just Japan for the first time ever, but no more specifics than that. U2Songs indicate that rehearsals will take place in Canada—though not Vancouver this time—and that the tour will start on or about 1 May (perhaps not in the city where rehearsals take place). Lastly, there are rumours bouncing around the Internet that Tulsa, Oklahoma will get its first show since 9 June 1983.

Update III: There is conflicting information about whether European dates will be announced, or if it will just be North American dates initially. U2Start suggest the forthcoming announcement will just be for North America, but U2Songs say they have heard Europe as well. U2Start report that European cities rumoured to get gigs include Madrid and Mannheim, and that shows are probable in the "obvious locations", i.e. Amsterdam, London, and Paris.

 Posted by Axver on

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