Rehearsals in Vancouver, 2 May 2017
Well, the Joshua Tree Tour rehearsals in BC Place have definitely begun! After yesterday (1 May) was mostly devoted to testing lighting and other effects, today U2 took to the stage in earnest; and thanks to news reporters on coffee breaks, people in hotels across the street, and of course fans eagerly waiting outside the building, we have a pretty decent idea of what was being practiced. Some songs are expected, some are completely out of left field and likely to devastate Ax's predictions, and one appears to be brand new.
Several sessions occurred with lengthy breaks in between. Some of the earlier/shorter moments may have been the crew checking the sound system/fiddling with the effects, but the particularly lengthy one at the end was U2. Given the sessions before the last few tours some of what was practiced today will probably not make it to the final setlist, but this is what the band are considering right now. Spoilers are below the jump; huge thanks to PBear1979 for periscoping from his hotel room, and all the other fans who tweeted in during the day.
During the first session, U2 played Pride, Where the Streets Have No Name, I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For, and With or Without You. New Year's Day, Bullet the Blue Sky, Exit, and Miss Sarajevo were also worked on but it is unclear for all four if it was the full song or just a portion of it.
The second session began with a bang; what appears to be a brand new song! Immediate speculation is that it is from Songs of Experience but that remains unknown for now. It appears to be called The Little Things That Give You Away, which was mentioned by the band in January and February 2017. We saw various people liken it to Love Is Blindness, Mercy, and Kite, but you can judge for yourself. This was followed by Red Hill Mining Town, Sunday Bloody Sunday, New Year's Day, and Bullet the Blue Sky. Later fans reported the guitar for One Tree Hill and the keyboards for Running to Stand Still.
The final session is where things got extra exciting, as U2 played through what appears to be the second half of a set and an encore. Beginning with Bullet the Blue Sky, they ran through the rest of the Joshua Tree in sequence. Exit appears to utilize the same lighting as captured on Rattle and Hum and may have included a snippet of Van Morrison's Gloria. Mothers of the Disappeared sounded like the style done on Popmart with just Bono and Edge on electric guitar, though we may have just missed the percussion. It included the "El Pueblo Vencera" refrain. This was followed with Beautiful Day, Ultraviolet, One, Miss Sarajevo, and a repeat of the unknown song from earlier to finish the night, half an hour past curfew.