U2's Tulsa setlist, 02/05/18
Tonight was the opening date of the E+I Tour, and it happened in Tulsa, Oklahoma. U2 hadn't visited Tulsa since 9 June 1983, while the state itself last saw the band on 18 October 2009. At 27 songs in length it was not only the longest set to open a tour by far (the previous record being 24 songs in Vancouver to open the I+E Tour), but is also tied for the longest U2 concert ever with 18 October 2015 in Cologne, and 6 December 2015 in Paris.
Winter Beats, by I Break Horses, was the lead-in song and blended seamlessly into the first song of the tour, Love is All We Have Left. This was the first public performance of the song; it had previously been played once before, at the funeral of Dave Kavanagh. The new AR app (sadly not available to those with Windows phones!) was reported by those in the venue as being very impressive during this introduction. The full band kicked in with The Blackout, also the first public performance of this song; it had been played 5 times on 28 July 2017 in Amsterdam for a secret video shoot.
Beautiful Day was fourth and it was preceeded by the same audio introduction as on the Joshua Tree Tour 2017, though slightly shorter in length. It also included the first snippet of the tour, a brief line of Many Rivers to Cross. The first real surprise of the night was All Because of You, played for the first time since 20 January 2006 in Brazil, a gap of 12 years, 2 months, and 12 days. It was followed by a brace from Boy, I Will Follow and The Ocean. The latter was the second surprise of the night as it has not been played at a regular tour gig since 9 December 2005, a gap of 12 years, 4 months, and 23 days. It had made a one-off appearance at the Roxy on 28 May 2015. The Ocean transitioned seamlessly into Iris, and the remainder of the first act was identical to the one performed throughout 2015.
The intermission was brand new, a mix of Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me with vocals by Gavin Friday. The second act opened with Elevation, which contained a slight surprise: the Influx intro over the PA, which has not been used since 2 December 2001, the final date of the Elevation Tour. Bono's alter-ego from the Joshua Tree Tour 2017 made a re-appearance during Desire; a necessary protection perhaps, as following that song's conclusion (with some technical glitches along the way) a hellish-looking MacPhisto appeared on the video screen. The reason for his appearance was the only actual live debut of the night: Acrobat. An acoustic version of the song was rehearsed in the days before the Outside Broadcast leg of ZooTV, but the band elected not to include it in the set back then. This means that in the past 12 months, U2 have debuted live the two unperformed songs for which fans have clamoured the most over the years; Red Hill Mining Town and Acrobat. Drowning Man, soundchecked extensively in 2009 and snippeted at a handful of shows last year, is now probably the most in-demand unperformed song.
A very chill acoustic rendition of You're the Best Thing About Me was followed by yet another surprise: Staring at the Sun. Not counting a one-off performance in 2011 for A Decade of Difference, the song had not been played in concert since 24 October 2001, a gap of 16 years, 6 months, and 8 days. The last time any song from Pop was performed in concert was Discothèque on 20 September 2005. Pride opened a political run of songs with a bit of a funky opening, while the United States Declaration of Independence was recited in the opening of City of Blinding Lights.
The four-song encore was opened with another surprise: Who's Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses. The song was last performed on 9 December 2006, a gap of 11 years, 4 months, and 23 days, but had not been played in a full electric style since 16 July 2005. This was just the 17th performance of the song since 1992, the sixth electric in that time, and only its 80th rendition ever. 13 (There is a Light) was the final song of the night.
U2 had hinted that there would be no songs from The Joshua Tree on this tour, and opening night lived up to that promise. Contrary to popular belief, this was not the first time Where the Streets Have No Name has been omitted, though it is the first time since it debuted that it has not been played at a concert in North America. It missed 12 of 30 concerts on the European leg of the original Joshua Tree Tour. Until today it had missed just one other concert since then, 18 November 1989 on the Lovetown Tour. Consequently, this is the first concert since the release of The Joshua Tree to not feature any songs from that album.
The full set was:
- Love Is All We Have Left
- The Blackout
- Lights Of Home
- Beautiful Day / Many Rivers To Cross (snippet)
- All Because Of You
- I Will Follow / Mother (snippet)
- The Ocean
- Iris (Hold Me Close)
- Cedarwood Road
- Song For Someone
- Sunday Bloody Sunday
- Raised By Wolves / Psalm 23 (snippet)
- Until the End of the World / Love, Reign O'er Me (snippet) (Intermission - Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me)
- There's No Business Like Show Business (snippet) / You're The Best Thing About Me acoustic
- Staring at the Sun acoustic
- Pride (In the Name of Love)
- Get Out Of Your Own Way
- American Soul
- United States Declaration Of Independence (snippet) / City of Blinding Lights
- Who's Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses
- Love Is Bigger Than Anything in Its Way
- 13 (There Is A Light)
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