The fourth leg of the Vertigo Tour is almost upon us, and it's a given that U2 will take time to rehearse songs together, and the hope of many fans is that these rehearsals will lead to the introduction of new songs to the setlist. Occasionally during their history, U2 have opened their rehearsals to the public, and although that's unlikely to happen in the coming days, it did occur at the start of this tour on the 26th of March
in Los Angeles (it should be noted that while many fans listened to rehearsals before the start of the European leg, all of these rehearsals were held in closed stadiums and the fans were outside the venue).
One of the most famous instances of U2 performing a public rehearsal occurred on 7 August 1992
in Hershey, Pennsylvania. In the preceding days, U2 had been rehearsing in a local stadium as preparation for Outside Broadcast, the third leg of the ZOO TV Tour that was to commence on 12 August 1992
in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The rehearsal on the 6th of August is particularly notable as a taper outside the venue recorded what is currently the only live version of Acrobat in circulation (the song never made it past rehearsals). On the 7th, U2 opened the gates of the stadium to the public, with all proceeds from the discounted ticket price going to charity. Accordingly, this became the first public stadium show of the ZOO TV Tour (though the first outdoor show took place on 24 May 1992
in Vienna, Austria) - a show that would last over a year and be filmed for public release in Sydney, Australia on 27 November 1993
From the outset, the show's setlist proved to be unique. The band took the stage and instantly launched into Sunday Bloody Sunday, a song last played on 20 December 1987
at The Joshua Tree Tour's last show in Tempe, Arizona. This caused Hershey to have the only ZOO TV concert not opened by Zoo Station, and it is the only time Sunday Bloody Sunday has opened a full concert, though it had previously opened U2's appearance at Live Aid on 13 July 1985
. Instantly following Sunday Bloody Sunday was New Year's Day, a song that hadn't been played at all on the two earlier legs of ZOO TV, though it was soon to become a tour regular. The third song was Pride, and as it was repeated later in the show, this concert can claim to be the second of only two to feature Pride twice, the first having taken place on 1 March 1985
in Phoenix, Arizona.
After this surprise opening, U2 launched into their usual ZOO TV setlist, complete with the typical video intro to Zoo Station. Things started to become interesting as the band segued from Until The End Of The World into Who's Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses. Some taped strings were played over the intro of Who's Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses, but after Bono lost his place, he asked a crew member to "turn that shit off". Seconds later, the entire song fell to pieces, Bono stating that "it's important that we don't appear too perfect so we just staged that little thing for you there on ZOO TV, looked like a breakdown". He then decided to play Who's Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses "the traditional way", or in other words, acoustically. Five days later at Outside Broadcast's "official" first concert, Who's Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses was done in its full electric form, but it was then permanently replaced by New Year's Day, though it was played the "traditional way" during the acoustic mid-show set four times later on the third leg. It wouldn't re-appear in full electric form until 28 May 2005
in Boston, over twelve years later.
One interesting inclusion in the rehearsal setlist is a performance of Van Diemen's Land by The Edge. The song had previously only been played twice on ZOO TV, and despite this performance, it did would not appear again on the third leg until the very last date. These four appearances, along with two more on Zooropa, the fourth leg of ZOO TV, are the only post-Lovetown performances of Van Diemen's Land. Edge wasn't the only member of the band to play a song solo: Bono also took solo duties on All I Want Is You, something that would occur repeatedly over the third leg - occasionally featuring different songs, most notably a couple of rare instances of So Cruel. Not long before All I Want Is You, Bono had sung something else without the band, though with plenty of crowd accompaniment: Happy Birthday to The Edge, whose 31st birthday was the next day.
The rest of the setlist was essentially a typical ZOO TV set, including the very famous segue from Bullet The Blue Sky through Running To Stand Still into Where The Streets Have No Name, with Edge playing the distinctive ZOO TV version of Running To Stand Still on electric guitar rather than piano. The show was closed by Love Is Blindness, with the cover of Can't Help Falling In Love With You shown on the Sydney video yet to debut as a closer (this came within the next fortnight), though it had already been featured on the tour, as a snippet after One at a few second leg concerts.
The full setlist for the public rehearsal concert in Hershey, Pennsylvania that kicked off Outside Broadcast, the third leg of the ZOO TV Tour, was as follows:
- Sunday Bloody Sunday
- New Year's Day
- Pride (In The Name Of Love)
- Zoo Station
- The Fly
- Even Better Than The Real Thing
- Mysterious Ways / Love To Love You Baby (snippet)
- One / Unchained Melody (snippet)
- Until The End Of The World
- Who's Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses
- Van Diemen's Land
- Tryin' To Throw Your Arms Around The World / Love And Affection (snippet)
- Angel Of Harlem
- Happy Birthday
- When Love Comes To Town
- All I Want Is You
- Bullet The Blue Sky / The Battle Hymn Of The Republic (snippet)
- Running To Stand Still
- Where The Streets Have No Name
- Pride (In The Name Of Love)
- Ultra Violet (Light My Way) / My Way (snippet)
- With Or Without You
- Love Is Blindness
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