U2's San Jose #2 setlist, 08/05/18
U2 performed their second of two shows in San Jose tonight.
We can confirm that yesterday's soundcheck included Red Flag Day, one of the tracks from Songs of Experience yet to be performed live. This now means that only Summer of Love has not been performed, snippeted, or known to have been rehearsed. Of the other two Songs of Experience yet to be performed, Landlady has been snippeted and The Showman has been both snippeted and rehearsed.
The soundcheck proved prophetic for tonight's setlist, as Red Flag Day made its live debut. It slotted in where All Because of You had been performed on the three previous nights. It met with a positive reception.
Red Flag Day proved to be the only change from last night's show; all the other songs were unchanged. This means that Gloria remained in the set after yesterday's tour debut. This is the first time it has been performed at consecutive shows since December 2005, when it was played at all six shows from 5 December 2005 in Boston to 14 December 2005 in St Louis.
At the end of Until the End of the World, Bono quoted the Allen Ginsberg poem America, which will be known to fans from the 2007 deluxe edition of The Joshua Tree. It provided the lyrics for the bonus track Drunk Chicken/America. This is now the fourth different artistic work in our database called America, and the seventh beginning with America.
Bono continues to develop the revival of his Macphisto character, using a line of the Rolling Stones' Sympathy for the Devil as an introduction: "Pleased to meet you, hope you guess my name... it's actually Mr Macphisto, but sometimes I pretend to be Mick Jagger." (The same song was also snippeted briefly in Until the End of the World.) He used the speech to make a sarcastic reference to Stormy Daniels and Donald Trump, having previously ad-libbed during Desire about remembering a time when "money couldn't buy an election. Do you remember that? Yeah, innocence. One man, one woman, one vote, they were the days. Do you think we can get them back?"
The addition of Red Flag Day means that U2 performed nine songs from Songs of Experience. Nine songs from a new album is an extremely rare occurrence. The last time nine songs from the standard edition of a new album were performed in one setlist was 14 November 1997. Nine songs from Pop was not abnormal on Popmart's first two legs, and the first six dates in April/May 1997 had ten.
There are four shows since then with nine new songs if you count bonus tracks. In 2005, How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb got nine songs at two shows if you count bonus track Fast Cars, on 21 September 2005 and 7 October 2005. And in 2015, Songs of Innocence got nine at two shows if you count Invisible, a pre-album single that was included as a bonus track on the deluxe edition: 3 June 2015 and 16 June 2015. That gig on 3 June 2015 is especially notable because it includes an additional new song, the non-album single Ordinary Love (it was also on the printed setlist for the 16th but went unplayed). Before you ask, none of the shows at which The Crystal Ballroom or Lucifer's Hands were performed had over eight tracks from Songs of Innocence. And, by the way, the last time U2 performed at least nine songs from a new album at a show outside North America was 18 September 1997 in Rome.
This statistic gets crazier, though. The Experience + Innocence Tour is, in a sense, still promoting Songs of Innocence as a new album. If we count its tracks as new, then tonight and Tulsa both got 12 new tracks. The last time U2 performed that many songs from new albums was on ZooTV: 11 and 12 August 1993 both got 12 songs from Achtung Baby and Zooropa, while every show on the final leg got 13. We are not going to take this statistic to any more extremes by including new non-album songs in the count alongside new album songs, but if you want to volunteer any other setlists with an extremely high number of new songs, get in touch.
The full setlist was:
- Love Is All We Have Left
- The Blackout
- Lights Of Home
- Beautiful Day
- I Will Follow / Mother (snippet)
- Gloria / Van Morrison's Gloria (snippet)
- Red Flag Day
- The Ocean
- Iris (Hold Me Close)
- Cedarwood Road
- Sunday Bloody Sunday / When Johnny Comes Marching Home (snippet)
- Raised By Wolves / Psalm 23 (snippet)
- Until the End of the World / Sympathy For The Devil (snippet) / America (Allen Ginsberg poem) (snippet) (Intermission - Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me)
- Vertigo / The Jean Genie (snippet)
- Sympathy For The Devil (snippet) / Acrobat
- Landlady (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
- City of Blinding Lights
- One / Invisible (snippet)
- Love Is Bigger Than Anything in Its Way
- 13 (There Is A Light)
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