U2's Atlanta setlist, 28/05/18
Today was U2's final show for the month of May. They performed in Atlanta for the first time since 6 October 2009. U2 have never played a show in Georgia outside of the Atlanta metropolitan area.
Yesterday, while the band were still in Nashville, they recorded two songs at Jack White's Third Man Records. Our listing for this show is here and you can watch Love Is Bigger on YouTube. These songs were recorded direct to acetate vinyl for a special forthcoming single. Ambiguous phrasing on U2's Facebook post has led some fans to believe that this was the first time anybody has ever recorded direct to acetate live. This was, in fact, a standard recording technique for decades before other technologies displaced it. The "first", as U2Songs explain in a good account, is that this is the first time it was done in the storefront of Third Man Records rather than at their Blue Room performance venue (perhaps a pity, for Your Blue Room deserves a revival!). U2Songs suggest that U2's earliest recordings in the 1970s might have even been direct to acetate.
The setlist in Atlanta proved to be identical to that two nights ago in Nashville. This means that Gloria made it to a second consecutive show.
For local fans, the more interesting comparison might not be to Nashville but to that most recent Atlanta show in 2009: tonight's set contained only 7 songs repeated from nine years ago. No song has been performed at every one of U2's sixteen gigs in Atlanta (seventeen if you count the Conspiracy of Hope Tour that U2 participated in); Sunday Bloody Sunday, however, extended its record as the most-performed song in Atlanta tonight. It has now been done in Atlanta 13 times, and the only show it has missed since it was first played there on 25 June 1983 is 5 March 1992.
Tonight's show contained two references to U2's great contemporaries from Georgia, the Athens band REM. Bono sang "see the world in green and blue, Mike Mills right in front of you" during Beautiful Day as a shout-out to the REM bassist in attendance that night, and snippeted It's the End of the World As We Know It during the outro of Vertigo.
Bono has taken to snippeting poems by William Blake in Until the End of the World. At first that was Introduction, and now he has also added The Garden of Love to the intro. That poem was the mystery snippet we could not identify live during the Nashville show, and he did it again tonight.
U2 are now having a rest from performing for about a week. The next show, on 5 June, is the first of two in Montreal, the only dates on this leg outside the US.
The full setlist in Atlanta was:
- Love Is All We Have Left
- The Blackout
- Lights Of Home
- I Will Follow
- Gloria / Van Morrison's Gloria (snippet) / Patti Smith's Gloria (snippet)
- Beautiful Day
- The Ocean
- Iris (Hold Me Close)
- Cedarwood Road
- Sunday Bloody Sunday / When Johnny Comes Marching Home (snippet)
- The Garden of Love (snippet) / Until the End of the World / Love, Reign O'er Me (snippet) / Introduction (snippet) (Intermission - Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me)
- Vertigo / It's The End Of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine) (snippet)
- Desire Hollywood Mix
- You're The Best Thing About Me Full band acoustic
- Staring at the Sun Bono and Edge acoustic
- Pride (In the Name of Love)
- Get Out Of Your Own Way
- American Soul
- City of Blinding Lights
- Women of the World (snippet) / One / Invisible (snippet)
- Love Is Bigger Than Anything in Its Way
- 13 (There Is A Light)
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