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U2 perform at Harlem's Apollo Theatre, 11/06/18

Today U2 performed a special show for invited guests and contest winners at the Apollo Theatre in Harlem, New York. It will be broadcast on SiriusXM on 13 June.

The band opened the set with a trio of songs from Boy, recalling the days when they played venues of this size regularly. This trio began with E+I Tour regular I Will Follow, followed by The Electric Co. (which was performed for the first time in 2.5 years two nights ago in Uniondale), and then the first performance of Out of Control since 6 December 2015.

The band then skipped to their most recent output, performing Red Flag Day live for the sixth time. It was last played a couple of weeks ago at Jack White's record shop on 27 May, or if you want to count from a more conventional gig then its last outing was 23 May.

Next came a brace of songs from How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb, All Because of You and Vertigo. The last time U2 performed two songs from that album back-to-back in a setlist was on 30 July 2011, when City of Blinding Lights led to Vertigo.

The How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb duo led to a pair of songs from All That You Can't Leave Behind, Elevation and Beautiful Day. Bono used an extended intro of Elevation to introduce the rest of the band, describing Edge as "a genuinely funky man - for an Irish guy".

The band ended the main set by drawing on on a sequence of songs from the current E+I Tour, performing Pride into Get Out of Your Own Way and American Soul. Like on tour, Bono used his megaphone for some lines in American Soul. And during Pride, he paid tribute to "the great African-American poets who turned the Apollo into the great cathedral that it is". He had previously remarked, after Elevation, that "I feel like I should take my shoes off or something, this is a sacred place for music".

Angel of Harlem, fittingly, opened the encore. It was the first in a sequence of three songs from Rattle and Hum, for which U2 were accompanied by the Sun Ra Arkestra. Angel of Harlem and When Love Comes to Town had not been performed previously this year. Angel of Harlem was last performed at a regular tour gig on 28 November 2015 but has been performed at four other dates since then, the most recent being at a private party on 1 April 2017. When Love Comes to Town had its last regular tour appearance on 31 May 2015, followed by two off-tour appearances in December that year, the more recent of the two being on 24 December 2015 as part of Bono's Christmas carolling in Dublin.

This series of Rattle and Hum songs was followed by Stuck in a Moment; beforehand, Bono dedicated it to Anthony Bourdain and spoke about how the song was inspired by the loss of Michael Hutchence. The Sun Ra Arkestra stayed for this song. U2 last performed Stuck at a regular tour gig on 19 July 2015, and it has been performed at five off-tour events in the interim, with the most recent on 30 November 2017.

After Stuck, the band feigned at taking a second encore break—but Bono and Edge never really left, returning to play the stripped-down piano version of Every Breaking Wave. And yes, the "last performed" stat here is another regular show/off-tour event split: 7 December 2015 for a regular tour show, and 16 November 2017 for off-tour.

Adam and Larry then came back for the last two songs of the night. Who's Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses made its long awaited return, having been performed just once this year at the opening night of the E+I Tour on 2 May. The night closed with Love Is Bigger Than Anything in Its Way; Bono introduced it as "this is not a song, this is a promise". Love Is Bigger brought tonight's tally of songs from Songs of Experience to four, while Boy, Rattle and Hum, and All That You Can't Leave Behind were each represented by three songs.

At eighteen songs, this set contained six more than U2's equivalent show during the I+E Tour, 28 May 2015 at the Roxy. Seven of tonight's eighteen songs were reprised from the Roxy, while five had not yet been performed during 2018. Two of those songs were the same—Out of Control and Stuck in a Moment were both played at the Roxy, and both had not yet been performed this year.

The full setlist was:

  1. I Will Follow / Walking On The Moon (snippet)
  2. The Electric Co. / Send in the Clowns (snippet) / I Can See For Miles (snippet)
  3. Out of Control
  4. Red Flag Day
  5. All Because Of You
  6. Vertigo / 1969 (snippet)
  7. Elevation
  8. Beautiful Day
  9. Pride (In the Name of Love)
  10. Get Out Of Your Own Way
  11. American Soul

  12. encore(s):
  13. Angel of Harlem / Into The Mystic (snippet) (with Sun Ra Arkestra)
  14. Desire (with Sun Ra Arkestra)
  15. When Love Comes To Town / Romeo Had Juliette (snippet) (with Sun Ra Arkestra)
  16. Stuck In A Moment (with Sun Ra Arkestra)
  17. Every Breaking Wave Bono and Edge
  18. Who's Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses
  19. Love Is Bigger Than Anything in Its Way
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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