U2's Copenhagen setlists, 29 and 30/09/18
U2 closed out September with a brace of concerts in Copenhagen. The first was the usual set with the surprise retention of All Because of You in the fourth slot. The second was the shortest concert (by song count) so far this tour.
Oh, and two tour debuts, two leg debuts, and an incredible audience that blew the night into the stratosphere.
The set on the 29th was, as expected, mostly unchanged from every other concert in Europe except for All Because of You; every other opening night on this leg had contained Red Flag Day. The most noteworthy moment was arguably during Beautiful Day when an incredible - and one of the most visually spectacular - fan co-ordinations in memory painted the Danish (on Adam's side) and Irish flags (on Edge's side) across the audience; an act that clearly moved and delighted the band (you can see the flags and reaction in our video here).
The stagnation of songs this tour has been a common complaint across social media this tour, and while it is understandable for telling the band's story it has led to the expression of disappointment for those who attend and/or listen to multiple shows. Those negative opinions were completely answered in the band's second concert.
The first surprise was the return of Gloria to the set in the fourth slot, the leg debut for the song. It was last performed at the final night of the first leg. It's inclusion means that Red Flag Day missed a city for the first time this leg. Then, after the usual performance of Beautiful Day, expectations were destroyed as the usual second half of the first act was discarded entirely.
Two tour debuts and one long-awaited return left the first act with only eight songs, but there could be no complaints. The Unforgettable Fire was performed for the first time since 15 August 2010, a gap of 8 years, 1 month, and 15 days; funnily enough, that concert was also in Denmark. The song was just as colourful as you can imagine, and the crowd loved it. It was performed mainly on the main stage, with Bono wandering into the barricage during the second half.
The rest of the band joined Bono there and it was followed by a fully electric rendition of Stay, last performed 7 years and 2 months ago to the day on the final night of 360° in Monction. U2 have brought the song back sporadically since the end of ZooTV; it was performed at 48 concerts on the Elevation Tour, and on 29 occasions on 360° (it was also rehearsed leading up to the opening of PopMart but did not appear on that tour). However, all of those performances have been acoustic and featured only Bono and Edge (and on one occasion, a lucky fan who played piano alongside them). Consequently, this is the first time the song has been played both by the full band and electrically, since the final night of ZooTV on 10 December 1993, a gap of 24 years, 9 months, and 20 days (or 9060 days if you want the straight count). To add one more stat, by being performed seventh it is also the earliest it has ever been played in concert, though by just one slot.
The final big change was the return of Who's Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses, performed for just the third time in 2018 and second time on the tour; it was last played on E+I on the opening night in Tulsa, a gap of 4 months and 28 days. In a throwback to rehearsals in Laval, it closed the first act. The song was largely the same arrangement as in Tulsa, but featured a different ending that was simply phenomenal, the screen slowly closing as U2 played on. The song had previously not appeared in the same set as The Unforgettable Fire or Stay, and had shared a night with Gloria just once. It was evident over the last few months that the band really wanted the song to work; despite being dropped after the opening night they continued to work at it during rehearsals. The reception after tonight may convince them to keep it around.
The remainder of the night was unchanged apart from snippets. Sunday Bloody Sunday was not played in concert for the first time since 23 September 2010 in Brussels. Iris and Cedarwood Road were not played during the I+E/E+I tours for the first time, and so this was also the first E+I concert to not include anything from Songs of Innocence. As a result of the first act being two songs shorter the night clocked in at just 21 songs.
One notable event late in the night came during One, as the group paid tribute to Joe O'Herlihy who has now worked with them for 40 years.
- The Blackout
- Lights Of Home
- I Will Follow
- Beautiful Day
- The Unforgettable Fire
- Stay (Faraway, So Close!)
- Who's Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses (Intermission - Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me)
- Elevation / Get Off Of My Cloud (snippet)
- Vertigo / Rebel Rebel (snippet)
- Even Better Than The Real Thing Fish Out of Water Mix
- Hall of Mirrors (snippet) / Acrobat / Vertigo (snippet)
- You're The Best Thing About Me Full band acoustic
- Summer Of Love Bono and Edge
- Pride (In the Name of Love)
- Get Out Of Your Own Way
- New Year's Day
- Ode To Joy (snippet) / City of Blinding Lights
- Women of the World (snippet) / One
- Love Is Bigger Than Anything in Its Way
- 13 (There Is A Light)
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