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U2's Seattle setlist, 14/05

Today U2 performed the second show of their Joshua Tree 30th anniversary tour. At a soundcheck during the afternoon they played a number of songs, most of which were incomplete: I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For, With or Without You four times, Bullet the Blue Sky, Beautiful Day, Elevation, One with the Hear Us Coming verse, The Little Things That Give You Away, and a song not played on opening night, Bad.

The soundcheck was a harbinger of Bad's tour debut. It replaced MLK before Pride, fourth in the setlist. It has never been played so early in the setlist before. The previous earliest was ninth, at nine shows across the Unforgettable Fire and Lovetown tours, including the night of its live debut. It is worth noting that there is another song in this tour's setlist being played markedly early: With or Without You. It has come eighth at both shows so far. The earliest it has ever been played at a full tour gig is fifth, on 25 November 1989; it has also been done sixth once and seventh once, and had been eighth twice previously (1 and 2). All other performances of With or Without You have been later in the show, usually much later in the encore.

The Joshua Tree section of the gig ended with a special guest appearance: Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam joined U2 for Mothers of the Disappeared, as did support act Mumford & Sons. This is the third time Vedder has appeared onstage at a U2 concert, and the first for a U2 song. On 17 September 2005 he joined the band for Ol' Man River, and on 9 December 2006 for Rockin' in the Free World.

A copy of the printed setlist leaked before the show, but at the end of the night U2 managed to surprise even those of us who had spoiled ourselves by looking at the setlist. After The Little Things That Give You Away, performed for just the second time ever, the band shifted gears to play a song not on the printed set: I Will Follow, on its tour debut. This means that I Will Follow maintains its record as the only song performed on every tour since the 11 O'clock Tick Tock Tour in mid-1980. The last time I Will Follow closed a show was a very long time ago: 23 April 1983. That was a benefit gig, so some might say it was only "kinda sorta" a full tour gig. If you remove any ambiguity then the last time it closed was 2 December 1982, a show where it actually closed the main set and the encore.

What is not played can be as significant as what is played. Many fans have observed that Vertigo is not in the setlist. Until this tour, it had been played at every full tour concert since its debut. This leaves Beautiful Day as the only song played at every such show since its debut; the usual criterion for this statistic is that a song has been around long enough to be played on multiple tours (there are always a few songs played at every show of the tour supporting the album on which they appear), but if you remove that qualification then the new song Little Things counts as well. Nothing else does. Yes, Streets and One have missed shows. Streets does, however, have a longer unbroken streak than Beautiful Day: it has been played at every concert since 19 November 1989 (at the previous show, its usual spot was filled by Gloria!).

One more thing: the live-only verse Hear Us Coming appeared in One tonight. (One day we will finish cataloguing instances of it and add these to the database, promise!) We are still waiting for With or Without You to get its live-only verse, Shine Like Stars.

The full setlist in Seattle was:

  1. Sunday Bloody Sunday
  2. New Year's Day
  3. A Sort Of Homecoming / America (snippet)
  4. Bad / America (snippet)
  5. Pride (In the Name of Love)
  6. Where the Streets Have No Name / California (There Is No End To Love) (snippet)
  7. I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For
  8. With or Without You
  9. Bullet the Blue Sky / O Superman (snippet)
  10. Running To Stand Still
  11. Red Hill Mining Town
  12. In God's Country
  13. Trip Through Your Wires
  14. One Tree Hill
  15. Exit / Wise Blood (snippet) / Eeny Meeny Miny Moe (snippet)
  16. Mothers Of The Disappeared / El Pueblo Vencera (snippet) (with Eddie Vedder, Mumford & Sons)

  17. encore(s):
  18. Beautiful Day / Love, Reign O'er Me (snippet)
  19. Elevation
  20. Ultraviolet (Light My Way)
  21. One / Hear Us Coming (snippet)
  22. Miss Sarajevo / The New Colossus (snippet)
  23. The Little Things That Give You Away
  24. I Will Follow
All details for this show including reviews, videos and photos can be found here.

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Posted on by Axver

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