U2's Nashville setlist, 26/05/18
Today, U2 performed in Nashville. It was just their third show ever in the city, and the first in an arena. Their previous two visits were in a club on 2 December 1981, and in a stadium on 2 July 2011. So this is also their first Nashville show not on the 2nd of the month!
To continue the theme of venues, this is actually just U2's second arena show anywhere in Tennessee. They played four club dates on the Boy and October Tours, including their only show in Knoxville to date. Their three visits between 1997 and 2017 were all big outdoor gigs. And then there is that one previous arena date: Murfreesboro on 28 November 1987. This show is known for its soundcheck featuring Red Hill Mining Town, when U2 considered adding the song to the setlist at the end of the Joshua Tree Tour. As it was, that song was not performed live until last year's tour for that album's thirtieth anniversary.
Speaking of soundchecks, a report today from Nashville indicates that the band ran through Stuck in a Moment, which has not yet been performed this tour. They also soundchecked Get Out of Your Own Way three times—once in full, then its intro twice—and American Soul.
It is no surprise that Get Out of Your Own Way and American Soul ended up in tonight's setlist after the soundcheck, for they have been done every night of tour so far. Stuck in a Moment did not, however, get performed. The solitary change tonight is that Gloria returned to the set after missing one gig.
Bono has made a few remarks about the nineties and the meaning of Staring at the Sun before performances of that song lately. Tonight, as with the last few shows, when he mentioned "sometime in the nineties we recorded an album called Pop", it got a big cheer—this is a hint, lads, that people actually like Pop and would enjoy more songs from it live. He then described Staring at the Sun as "a song I actually can't remember writing, and I'm not sure what it's about. But it's a playful little ditty and I think it's something to do with wilful blindness, the kinda thing that can destroy a home or even a country."
Bono also added a new remark before Desire. He described that song as coming at the point when the band's success, comforts, and pleasures "all went to our heads. Well, actually, maybe to my head. Perhaps Adam's head. Not Larry's; not Edge's."
Only one song has appeared at all three concerts that U2 have played in Nashville: I Will Follow. Eight more songs in today's setlist were also played in 2011, while two were played both today and back in 1981. U2 have played a total of 54 different songs across their three Nashville gigs, so the other 43 have been done at just one show each.
The full setlist was:
- Love Is All We Have Left
- The Blackout
- Lights Of Home
- I Will Follow
- Gloria / Van Morrison's Gloria (snippet) / Patti Smith's Gloria (snippet)
- Beautiful Day
- The Ocean
- Iris (Hold Me Close)
- Cedarwood Road
- Sunday Bloody Sunday / When Johnny Comes Marching Home (snippet)
- The Garden of Love (snippet) / Until the End of the World / Love, Reign O'er Me (snippet) / Introduction (snippet) (Intermission - Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me)
- Vertigo / Sex On Fire (snippet)
- Desire Hollywood Mix
- Sympathy For The Devil (snippet) / Acrobat
- You're The Best Thing About Me Full band acoustic
- Staring at the Sun Bono and Edge 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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