U2's Berlin #2 setlist, 01/09/18 (show cancelled)
Update 02/09 10pm: Berlin show rescheduled for 13 November 2018.
A bizarre moment just a few songs in has caused the remainder of tonight's concert to be cancelled. During Red Flag Day Bono's voice stopped working, with fans initially reporting that his microphone had stopped functioning. However Bono seemed quite flummoxed, saying at the close of the song "I think it's the smoke. I can promise you I have not been smoking, but this is like a giant cigar - I've lost my voice and I don't know what to do." He told the crowd that he was not somebody who demands perfect conditions to sing, asked for the smoke machines to remain off for the remainder of the night, and the band then attempted Beautiful Day but the vocals were almost inaudible through the song. Bono apologized, saying "Oh man. So, so sorry." He told fans they were welcome to leave, and they would ensure another night was scheduled for Berlin. It was announced that they would take a 10-15 minute break to see if there was any improvement in his voice.
After about 20 minutes a representative of the venue came on stage and asked the crowd, in both German and English, to be patient; the band wanted to continue the show. After another 20 minutes he returned and announced that the remainder of the night was cancelled. He instructed fans to hold onto their tickets and to keep an eye on the band's social media channels to see what would be done about the concert (and presumably the upcoming shows in Cologne). Before he returned to the stage some fans reported that Edge's amps were being packed up, and our webmaster Matt tweeted that the band had already left the venue. The usual setlists onstage revealed that tonight's set was planned to be the same as last night's.
U2 have had to halt a concert partway through the set on multiple occasions in their career, though generally they are able to continue after a delay. On other occasions they have had to shorten shows for various factors, though never to this extent; in the past an ongoing show has been shortened by no more than three songs. Some notable times when a show has been paused, halted, or had notable problems include:
- 14 December 1980 in New Haven, Connecticut, when Bono initiated a fight on stage causing the concert to end early;
- 8 February 1985 in Zurich, Switzerland, when vocal problems cause the band to take a break after 7 songs. They return to the stage and finish the set;
- 16 April 1985 in Worcester, Massachusetts, when Adam notices a lighting rig come loose and the concert is halted while technicians secure it. The band return and play a set longer than initially planned;
- 2 April 1987 in Tempe, Arizona, when Bono has vocal problems on the opening night of The Joshua Tree. The set is cut short at least one song, as With or Without You does not debut until the following concert;
- 20 September 1987 in Washinton, D.C., when Bono falls and dislocates his shoulder on stage. The concert is completed before he is taken to hospital;
- 18 December 1989 in Amsterdam, Netherlands, when Bono's voice is damaged. The main set is completed, but the encore is cut short by at least three songs as the band skip the segment with B.B. King and play only 40. The following two nights in the city are cancelled entirely, and four more are scheduled in Rotterdam to make up for it;
- 23 September 1997 in Sarajevo, Bosnia, when Bono suffers from vocal troubles all night and Brian Eno is prepared to take over if necessary. The concert is completed, with the audience doing much of the singing;
- 2 June 2001 in Albany, New York, when the crowd takes over for Bono for much of the concert. Captured on DVD in Boston a few nights later, Bono says he had "never felt so crap";
- 12 September 2010 in Zurich, Switzerland, when heavy rain causes the band to cut the encore short by two songs.
There are other occasions were a concert is briefly halted due to trouble in the audience; this mostly occured during the group's early years when there was not as much of a security presence. One such event was caught on film.here.
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