U2's Bonnaroo setlist, 09/06/17
Tonight U2 were the headline act for night 2 of this year's Bonnaroo Festival. Discounting the Conspiracy of Hope tour in 1986, which typically featured an abbreviated setlist just 9 songs in length, this was U2's first festival performance in the United States since the US Festival on 30 May 1983 in Devore. Their last festival performance was of course Glastonbury in 2011. Apart from Glastonbury, the band's last full-length festival sets were on the sixth and final leg of The Unforgettable Fire tour. In the early noughties there was a rumour that U2 would take the Elevation tour to Australia with a series of mini-festivals in 2002, but this never actually materialized.
This was just U2's ninth performance in Tennessee, and their first in Manchester. Visits to the state have been rare this century, with only two stops between the original Joshua Tree tour in 1987 and this one thirty years later; those dates were a PopMart performance in Memphis (which featured a restart of Staring At The Sun) and a 360° date in Nashville (known for the only performance of The Wanderer in front of a live audience, and a particularly emotional All I Want Is You to close out the night). We don't often discuss the October tour here but it has the distinction of the most performances in the state by U2, with three dates on the schedule.
U2 did not bring the full Joshua Tree tour stage to the festival; instead the video screen was modified to be used with Bonnaroo's "What" stage, and elements such as the giant Joshua Tree on the screen and the Tree stage were not brought. The band did some minor soundchecking late last night; songs rehearsed included Exit, parts of Beautiful Day and Sunday Bloody Sunday, and a song that has yet to appear on this tour: Vertigo.
Breaking with practice, U2 did not take the stage to The Pogues' A Rainy Night in Soho. Instead they entered after The Whole of the Moon by The Waterboys, a reference to the night's "Strawberry Moon". New Year's Day also referenced this event, Bono singing "under a strawberry moon". Just three songs were performed prior to The Joshua Tree tonight, as A Sort of Homecoming and Bad were not included in the set. Where the Streets Have No Name was played for the 850th time. Tonight's performance of Red Hill Mining Town, its 11th, means it has now been played live as many times as the Joshua Tree B-side Silver and Gold.
The soundcheck was a sign of things to come, as Vertigo made its tour debut during the encore, complete with visuals from the Vertigo tour. The song last appeared outside the main set on 4 December 2006. Miss Sarajevo was not performed for the first time this tour. Also absent were usual closers The Little Things That Give You Away and I Will Follow. Consequently One was the final song of the night, closing a concert for the first time since 27 November 2015. Tonight's set clocked in at 19 songs, the fewest of the tour so far but equal to their performance at Glastonbury in 2011. One Tree Hill was dedicated to Chris Cornell's daughter Lily. One was dedicated to David Wojnarowicz, who shot the cover art for the single.
The full set was as follows:
- Sunday Bloody Sunday
- New Year's Day
- Pride (In the Name of Love)
- Where the Streets Have No Name
- I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For
- With or Without You
- Bullet the Blue Sky
- Running To Stand Still
- Red Hill Mining Town
- In God's Country
- Trip Through Your Wires
- One Tree Hill
- Exit / Wise Blood (snippet) / Eeny Meeny Miny Moe (snippet)
- Mothers Of The Disappeared
- Beautiful Day / Under The Bridge (snippet)
- Ultraviolet (Light My Way)
- One / Hear Us Coming (snippet)
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