Bono's New York setlist, 02/11/22
Bono kicked off his Stories of Surrender solo tour tonight at the Beacon Theatre in New York. He was joined on stage by Kate Ellis (cello) and Jacknife Lee (keyboards and percussion) like at some earlier stops for his promotion of Surrender. Backing vocals were provided by Gemma Doherty, who also played the harp and keyboards. The Edge was in attendance but did not perform.
"City of Blinding Lights" was the first song, opening a concert for the first time since 9 December 2006. It was followed by "Vertigo" and "With or Without You". All three songs were performed at some of the aforementioned promotional appearances. The fourth song, "Out of Control", was preceeded by a snippet of The Ramones' "Glad to See You Go".
The biggest surprise of the night came next with an abbreviated rendition of "Stories for Boys". Although it appeared as a snippet 23 times on the Vertigo Tour and once on 360°, it was last performed in concert on 27 March 1982, a gap of 40 years, 7 months, and 6 days. This smashes the record of longest gap between song performances by more than a decade; the old record belonged to "Trip Through Your Wires" at 29 years, 4 months, and 22 days, and to "Scarlet" before that. "I Will Follow" followed (heh) to complete a trifecta of Boy songs, which ended up being the most performed album of the night. The last time three Boy songs were performed at one concert is surprisingly recent: 9 June 2018 for a regular tour concert ("I Will Follow", "The Electric Co.", and "The Ocean") and two days later at the Apollo for a non-tour performance ("Out of Control" instead of "The Ocean"). The last time that Boy contributed the most songs to a concert? So far as we can tell that was way back on 24 September 1984 when it and War both had 6 songs played.
"Iris" was the only song played from the last three albums. It was followed by "Sunday Bloody Sunday", "Pride", "Where the Streets Have No Name", and "Desire". "Beautiful Day" and a cover of "Torna A Surriento" closed the main set. The encore contained a single song, a second performance of "City of Blinding Lights" though in an abbreviated manner. This is the first time it has ever closed a concert. Opening, mid-set, close the main set, open the encore, close the concert... is there anywhere this song can't be played? It joins a rare and select group of songs to have been performed twice in one set, including "Another Day", "11 O'Clock Tick Tock", "The Ocean", "I Will Follow", "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For", "Vertigo", "Staring at the Sun", and "I'll Go Crazy If I Don't Go Crazy Tonight".
A few other moments of note: "Gloria", "October", and "Miss Sarajevo" were all performed instrumentally while Bono spoke, but as no member of U2 was involved in the actual performance we have not included them in the set.
- City of Blinding Lights
- With or Without You
- Glad To See You Go (snippet) / Out of Control
- Stories for Boys
- I Will Follow
- Iris (Hold Me Close)
- Sunday Bloody Sunday
- Pride (In the Name of Love)
- Where the Streets Have No Name
- Desire / Money, Money (snippet)
- Beautiful Day
- Torna A Surriento
- City of Blinding Lights
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