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Day 13 (and final) rehearsals in Laval, 21 April 2018

The stage has been packed, the trucks have left, and Place Bell is emptied of U2 as of the morning of 22 April. Despite that, for their final day of rehearsals in Laval the group blindsided everyone with two songs that had not been heard so far. One song that we can safely share without fear of spoilers is Happy Birthday, sung by Bono to a fan outside the venue before he was called inside by one of the venue debutants. What song was it? With thanks again to U2Songs and their ever-excellent informants...

(On a side note, the previous recap has been updated with a slightly modified set and analysis to go with it).

  • Gloria (without Bono)

Yes, it was the sound of Gloria that brought Bono inside, and with this representation of the October album only The Joshua Tree, Zooropa, Original Soundtracks 1, and No Line on the Horizon have yet to see a song being heard publicly. There was a long break after Bono entered, and then the second surprise was heard...

  • All Because of You
  • All Because of You
  • All Because of You (opening)
  • All Because of You (incomplete)
  • All Because of You
  • All Because of You
  • All Because of You
  • I Will Follow (incomplete)
  • Gloria
  • Desire
  • Desire (incomplete)
  • Desire

There was then a bit of speechifying (work on it was done a few times before and after Desire), a short break and then U2 were heard from the venue for the final time:

  • Love is Bigger Than Anything in its Way
  • Love is Bigger Than Anything in its Way
  • 13 (incomplete)

All Because of You has not been performed since early 2006 in Brazil, and if it is done on tour will join Vertigo and City of Blinding Lights (and Miracle Drug) as the only songs from How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb to be played after the end of the Vertigo Tour; a shocking stat given how successful that album was. Gloria has been heard more recently, appearing 13 times on the i+e Tour in 2015.

If you have been keeping up with spoilers and are frustrated you haven't seen your favourite song, do not fret; U2 did quite a bit of rehearsals in Monaco before relocating to Laval a fortnight ago, and they have been known to turn the PA system off for some songs they are working on. The list of their songs is lengthy, and the songs they have practiced without the eager ears of fans listening in will be quite long too. The additions of Gloria (one of two live October staples) and All Because of You (a song that I frankly thought would only be heard live again by watching the Vertigo Tour DVD) on the final day of rehearsals in Canada show that they still have a few tricks up their sleeve; and while I wouldn't hold my breath for anyone desperately wishing for Red Light or Promenade, we get struck dumb by what they pull out all the time (hey, remember Scarlet? Boy, that was a shock and a half)! And on the flipside, remember that just because they have rehearsed something it doesn't mean that it will make it to the set. Expect Acrobat at your own risk when it could just be another Drowning Man.

Songs rehearsed in Canada (songs underlined were rehearsed for the first time today):

Boy (2): I Will Follow, The Ocean
October (1): Gloria
War (1): Sunday Bloody Sunday
The Unforgettable Fire (1): Pride (In the Name of Love)
Rattle & Hum (1): Desire
Achtung Baby (5): One, Until the End of the World, Who's Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses, The Fly, Acrobat
Non-album single (1): Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me
Pop (1): Staring at the Sun
All That You Can't Leave Behind (2): Beautiful Day, Elevation
How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb (3): Vertigo, City of Blinding Lights, All Because of You
Songs of Innocence (4): Song for Someone, Iris (Hold Me Close), Raised By Wolves, Cedarwood Road
Songs of Experience (9): Love Is All We Have Left (pre-recorded), Lights of Home, You're the Best Thing About Me, Get Out of Your Own Way, American Soul, The Showman (Little More Better), The Blackout, Love Is Bigger Than Anything in Its Way, 13 (There Is a Light)

Posted on by Matkin

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