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Stump Ax: the first batch of answers

Thank you to everybody who set me questions in our Stump Ax contest. Some of these have been easy, but as you'll see, others were pretty difficult and a couple of you can claim to have stumped me. Most questions were answered off the top of my head; on a few occasions I consulted the database where I felt such use was legitimate - in all cases, I have stated that I did this. Hyperlinks were added after answering.

This article contains answers to questions from fifteen people, selected for me by Matkin. If your question does not appear here, that doesn't mean I won't answer it; there were many more good questions and I will do a second batch of answers in a few days. Please do NOT leave new questions in the comments section of this article - given the positive response, we will run a tournament like this again, so hold on to your question until then. But if one of my answers is in error or if the answer is unclear, by all means point it out.

Halloweenbeat: Which band/singer has had their songs snippeted the most?
This is a quite easy one to start with, fortunately! The Beatles win by a mile. All the gags about Bono knowing Beatles snippets better than his own lyrics are well-grounded in fact. See here.

u2fanpeter: How many U2 original "finished songs" have been soundchecked and neve rplayed in concert? Starting with ZOOTV, what's been their shortest tour show? Not counting promo tours or stuff like TibetFest DC during Popmart. Last show with no snippets?
Finished songs: Drowning Man, Red Hill Mining Town, Acrobat, and The Playboy Mansion have all been soundchecked in full but never performed in full live. There are unconfirmed reports that Stranger In A Strange Land was developed in a soundcheck at a Minneapolis show on the Boy Tour. So Cruel and Peace On Earth were both rehearsed as full band versions but were never played live as such; So Cruel was only ever played solo by Bono, and Peace On Earth as an extended snippet by Bono and Edge before Walk On. Although not known to have been soundchecked by the full band, Adam has warmed up in soundchecks by playing Some Days Are Better Than Others. You may also wish to count The Wanderer, filmed for a TV performance during a soundcheck but never played during a full concert.

Shortest full tour show since ZooTV: This question was a bit hard, but short shows inevitably stick out in my memory because, well, I imagine you'd feel a bit ripped off if it was your only show and you got the shortest one. A number of shows on the first two legs of ZooTV and throughout the Elevation tour dropped below twenty songs - most only dropped to nineteen, but two fell to the dreaded eighteen. They were 10 April 1992 and 7 July 2001.

No snippets at full tour shows: OK, this I'm going to have to say is the first question to stump me. I just don't know for sure. There are shows as recently as ZooTV with just one snippet, and there are some older eighties shows that don't have any snippets listed, but in most cases that is because there is not a known bootleg and we cannot check for them. So yeah, I don't know.

Jon: What U2 song is closest to a 1 to 1 ratio of being played as a song, and snippeted in other songs?
Well now we're walking into a minefield. If we're using the U2gigs database as our authority, the answer is The Wanderer: it was played once as previously noted, and snippeted once. There's your 1:1. However, some people don't like counting that performance as a true performance, and others think that snippet was long enough to count as a separate performance (I disagree on both fronts but am happy to acknowledge these things aren't clear-cut). On a matter of perspective like this, we have a list that should give plenty of material for people to debate what they think is the "truest" 1:1! Some big candidates include Silver And Gold (11 performances to 10 snippets, some of which are debatable as to whether they are long snippets or short separate performances) and Two Shots Of Happy (one of its performances suffers from the same studio "problem" as The Wanderer, and its "two" snippets were at the start and finish of the same performance of Stay).

Asgeir Notvik: what snippet did Bono play on his harmonica at the end of Running To Stand Still at Anaheim 14 November 1992 and Mexico City 25 November 1992?
I have genuinely no idea, well done! As this snippet is not listed in our database, what was it? I will add it to the setlist.

Ingrid: What is the most played venue in the history of the band?
Madison Square Garden.

John: In which city was Dirty Day played over the PA during a soundcheck? (Post 2000)
Brisbane on 9 December 2010.

Andres: Which pre-2000 song NOT in the "Best Of" albums has been performed the most times live? Which song from the "Best Of" has been performed the least live? Which tour has had the least songs from the album it's promoting?
Not on Best Of: The most performed is Bullet The Blue Sky. Only six songs have been performed more often, yet U2 did not deign to include it on the Best Of 1980-1990.
On Best Of: Electrical Storm has been performed the least, with just three performances to its name; The Hands That Built America and Window In The Skies are not far ahead of it.
Least songs from promoted album: Sadly, 360, with just seven tracks from No Line On The Horizon.

Blas: Which one was the longest show (greatest number of songs) of all times?
In our FAQ, we have an answer to this question, but to be fair to you, I did not actually update it until after the question was asked (it was part of the post-360 update). Three shows have featured 26 songs, and for the full answer, see here.

Thibaut: How many songs have been played at every U2 show (I mean complete set shows, not just 2 or 3 songs sets) since they were realeased?
This is also answered already in our FAQ; see here. No excuses this time; that answer has been up for ages. ;)

Dream Out Loud: What are the 5 U2 songs that have gone the longest between live performances?
As it happens, I have a draft article on this very topic that I keep meaning to finish. Scarlet went the longest between performances, followed by The Ocean, Love Rescue Me, An Cat Dubh/Into The Heart, and The Unforgettable Fire. All but UF had absences of over 20 years; UF fell shy of the 20 year mark by just half a year. Promise I'll finish that article sometime soon!

Droorogers: Which U2 album is the least performed, if you count each individual performance of each song from that album?
If we count Passengers, then it is easily the least performed. If we don't, then the answer is Zooropa. You're going to have to allow me to delve into the database to get exact numbers. Adding up all performances of all songs from Zooropa gives 232 (to Passengers' 161). Compare that with other relatively under-played albums: Pop passes the 232 mark with just Gone and Discothèque combined; from October, Gloria alone has been played at least 359 times; and although No Line On The Horizon's newness puts it at a disadvantage, it similarly passes Zooropa's tally simply by adding Get On Your Boots and Crazy Tonight's totals together.

John Kline: What U2 song has been played the most times, without ever featuring asnippet?
Until very recently, the answer to this was New Year's Day. It was well past the 650 performances mark when it finally got a snippet on 25 August 2010 (I delved into the archive after answering this question, and to be precise, that was NYD's 684th performance). The new title-holder is October, sitting pretty on 336 performances. Not quite as impressive, huh? But still doing pretty well.

Rival9500: How many actual U2 songs were snippets during the 360 tour?
A total of 21 U2 songs were snippeted at least once in another song on the tour: A Day Without Me, Stories For Boys, Gloria, Drowning Man, Two Hearts Beat As One, 40, Party Girl, In God's Country, One Tree Hill, Mothers Of The Disappeared, All I Want Is You, She's A Mystery To Me, Tryin' To Throw Your Arms Around The World, The Wanderer, Discothèque, Mofo, Miami, Please, Stuck In A Moment, The Hands That Built America, and Crazy Tonight. If you count Passengers, add Always Forever Now and Miss Sarajevo to the total; both were snippeted once. Yes, I did almost all of that off memory; I consulted the database to cross-check and the only two I missed were Stories For Boys and Gloria, which both got snippeted once in 2009.

Mootw001: In 2006 U2 played in a city on the same day they did 13 years earlier. 1)What was the city? 2) What songs did they play at both shows?
The city was Adelaide; it was U2's first visit there since the aforementioned gig 13 years previously. The songs played at both shows were New Year's Day, Pride, Streets, With Or Without You, Bullet The Blue Sky, Angel Of Harlem, Zoo Station (the 2006 performance being its last live appearance to date), One, The Fly, and Mysterious Ways.

EBW: Before Beautiful Day, Bad had the most snippets in it. What song had the most snippets before Bad?
For the entire history of this website, Bad was on top of the snippets tally until Beautiful Day snuck past it (BD currently has 69 snippets to its name; Bad has 60). However, in the mid-eighties, the song with the most snippets was The Electric Co., amassing at least 21 before the end of the Unforgettable Fire Tour. It was not until the Lovetown Tour that Bad passed this mark.

Stay tuned for answers to more questions, coming soon!

Posted on by Axver

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