U2's Toronto setlist, 23/06/17
Today U2 performed in Toronto. They have visited this city on every North American tour except for the October Tour, which had no Canadian shows at all despiting visiting the continent twice for a total of 55 shows in the US.
Bono dedicated both Bad and One Tree Hill to Leonard Cohen. In Bad, he sung a lengthy snippet of Cohen's song Suzanne, followed by distinctive hallelujahs from the Cohen song of that name. Before One Tree Hill, Bono remarked that he had spent all day thinking about Cohen, even though he was not from Toronto, and reminisced about spending Cohen's 79th birthday with him.
Canada's forthcoming 150th anniversary celebrations did not go without mention. Bono snippeted O Canada, the national anthem, in Beautiful Day. Before Trip Through Your Wires, he spoke about Canada being "a baby" compared to "our ancient isle" Ireland, but "an old soul" compared to its "adolescent neighbour", the US. He also confirmed news from earlier in the day that he and Edge will be in Ottawa for the celebrations on 1 July, even though the band have a gig in Cleveland that night.
Red Hill Mining Town was performed for the 17th time ever tonight, bringing it equal with the most-played Joshua Tree-era b-side, Spanish Eyes. Of course, Sweetest Thing has been played more than either of them, but that only happened after it was re-recorded and released as a single in its own right in 1998. When it was just a b-side it was snippeted only a couple of times, in 1989.
The band modified the order of the encore tonight. Vertigo, which has closed the last five shows and reached a milestone 400 renditions tonight, moved up a bit in the order. Ultra Violet remained in the set, and it seemed like One was going to end the night. But then Edge's Gibson Explorer was brought out and U2 played I Will Follow for the first time since 3 June, a gap of eight shows. This means that tonight's setlist ran to 22 songs; the last time U2 played more than 21 songs at a show on this tour was over a month ago on 20 May.
The full setlist was:
- Sunday Bloody Sunday
- New Year's Day
- Bad / Suzanne (snippet) / Hallelujah (snippet)
- 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 / Black Dog (snippet) / America (snippet)
- 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
- Miss Sarajevo
- Beautiful Day / O Canada (snippet)
- Vertigo / It's Only Rock 'n' Roll (But I Like It) (snippet)
- Ultraviolet (Light My Way)
- One / Hear Us Coming (snippet)
- I Will Follow
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