U2's Montreal #1 setlist, 05/06/18
Today, U2 performed their first of two shows in Montreal, Canada. These concerts are the first of the tour outside the USA, and will remain so until the band reach Germany at the end of August.
U2 played tonight in the Bell Centre, a venue to which they are no strangers. They first performed here on 27 May 2001, when it was known as the Molson Centre, and this show takes the tally to ten.
The setlist was unchanged from the most recent show a week ago in Atlanta. This means Gloria was performed at a third successive concert. The main set ended with City of Blinding Lights; one of the members of the U2gigs crew, Matkin, was in attendance tonight and he recently shared some powerful thoughts about this song.
Bono has lately taken to reciting lines from William Blake's poem The Garden of Love as the intro for Until the End of the World. We have so far credited the snippet to that song, but tonight he got through a good couple of lines during Larry's outro of Sunday Bloody Sunday before UTEOTW had begun.
The general narrative of the show remained unchanged, but with some of the most overt US symbolism toned down, e.g. no American flag in American Soul, with a Canadian one displayed on screen instead. Bono tweaked his speeches in Pride and One to talk about Canada, suggested cross-border thematic resonances, and urged the audience to sing Get Out of Your Own Way for everybody "south of the border". He gave a particularly sarcastic, acerbic speech in his Macphisto persona before Acrobat: "The American dream has turned into an absolute nightmare! Assault rifles and nuclear weapons in the tiny hands of children... the Americans have the same problem with guns as the Irish have with alcohol. What problem! What problem, ha ha ha!"
Bono gave a few shout-outs to Arcade Fire and its members, some of whom were in attendance tonight. This included a snippet at the end of Vertigo. U2 used Arcade Fire's song Wake Up as the concert intro on the Vertigo Tour—the frequent questions of "what's the song that opens the show?" inspired one of our Setlist FAQs—and played a Joy Division cover with them on 28 November 2005, but this is actually the first time Bono has included any Arcade Fire lyrics live.
The full setlist was:
- Love Is All We Have Left
- The Blackout
- Lights Of Home
- I Will Follow / Mother (snippet)
- Gloria / Van Morrison's Gloria (snippet) / Patti Smith's Gloria (snippet)
- Beautiful Day
- The Ocean
- Iris (Hold Me Close)
- Cedarwood Road
- Sunday Bloody Sunday / The Garden of Love (snippet)
- Until the End of the World / Introduction (snippet) (Intermission - Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me)
- Vertigo / Everything Now (snippet)
- Desire Hollywood Mix
- 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
- Women of the World (snippet) / One / Invisible (snippet)
- Love Is Bigger Than Anything in Its Way
- 13 (There Is A Light)
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