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Night 4 setlist for U2:UV at the Sphere, Las Vegas, 07/10/23

Today, U2 performed the fourth show of their residency at the Sphere in Las Vegas.

For the first time, the band varied the setlist. It featured two and a half tour debuts—yes, "and a half". Allow us to explain.

After Tryin' to Throw Your Arms Around the World—which featured quite lengthy interaction between Bono and a fan on stage, Melissa from Venezuela—the band went into the first setlist change of the night. I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For made its tour debut, culminating in a snippet of Movin' On Up. This was a little longer than in the past; usually, when Bono has done this snippet, he has only sang one verse, but he had a go at two tonight.

The second tour debut was the very next song: Pride. It was played in a stripped down form and is so far the oldest song to be performed during the residency. The last time either Pride or I Still Haven't Found appeared at a regular tour gig was the final show of the Joshua Tree Tour on 15 December 2019, Mumbai. The only performance of I Still Haven't Found between then and now was on 16 September this year while filming the music video for Atomic City in public in Las Vegas. Pride, meanwhile, was a fixture on Bono's solo Stories of Surrender Tour, and Bono also performed it with Edge in Ukraine on 8 May 2022.

After the two debutants, the band returned to Angel of Harlem, a fixture so far of the nightly setlists. At the end was a surprise: Bono sang a verse of MLK, tweaking the final line to "rain down on she", a reference to Billie Holiday, the subject of Angel of Harlem.

MLK has not been performed live since 12 May 2017—and that was its only performance since 8 October 2010—but do we count this as a tour debut? This is tricky, because of course MLK is a brief and quite sparse song. We have decided that, at least for now, to only classify it as a snippet, as we did for a couple of 1997 shows when it served as a coda at the end of another song. In the past, when we have listed MLK as an independent performance, it has featured the organ as well as the lyrics, but tonight Bono only sang half the lyrics without any instrumental accompaiment. This has guided our decision; contrast with Bad / The First Time on 21 September 2005, when Bono did not simply sing verses of The First Time over Bad, but Edge also switched to play The First Time's chords, creating a medley of both songs. Indeed, the snippets tonight of Love Me Tender and Movin' On Up took up greater time than MLK did.

Our readers no doubt appreciate that the lines between snippet, medley, and standalone performance are blurry. Our guiding questions are "how complete is this? could it stand alone elsewhere in the set?" Our answers are that this take of MLK is quite incomplete and could only work as a coda for Angel of Harlem. A standalone performance is one not inherently tied to another song and played on its own terms, even if it features some sort of segue to/from another song to smooth the progression of the gig. A medley is where two songs are inextricably connected, featuring substantial portions of the lyrics and music of both songs, and enough of each is played for them to count as full songs for the purposes of some statistics (e.g. the example above of Bad / The First Time). A snippet is a reference to another song that does not have an independent existence from the song in which it features—usually Bono referencing some lyrics over the music of the main song being played or as a short coda at the end.

With all that said and (we hope) justified, what about the rest of the set? The band returned to the setlist order of previous nights to round out the show. This means we count tonight as featuring 21 songs, not 22 like the first three shows.

Also, we teased a statistic in our report on night three that has not come to pass tonight, but we'll tell you what it was anyway. If U2 had played an unchanged setlist tonight (ignoring snippets), it would have been the first time they had played the exact same songs in the exact same order for four nights in a row since the run of gigs leading up to and including the 360 Tour live recording at the Rose Bowl: 18, 20, 23, and 25 November 2009. Also, the only difference on 28 November 2009 was that Happy Birthday appeared in the main set; we don't count this towards album/cover song statistics, but because of how it appears within our database, a query to locate identical setlists will nonetheless return this show as marginally different to the previous one.

The full setlist was:

  1. I Could Have Lost You (snippet) / Zoo Station
  2. The Fly
  3. Even Better Than The Real Thing
  4. Mysterious Ways / Young Americans (snippet)
  5. One
  6. Love Me Tender (snippet) / Until the End of the World / Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien (snippet)
  7. Who's Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses
  8. Tryin' to Throw Your Arms Around the World
  9. I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For / Movin' On Up (snippet)
  10. Pride (In the Name of Love)
  11. Angel of Harlem / MLK (snippet)
  12. So Cruel
  13. Acrobat
  14. Ultraviolet (Light My Way)
  15. Love Is Blindness / Viva Las Vegas (snippet)

  16. encore(s):
  17. Elevation / My Way (snippet)
  18. Atomic City
  19. Vertigo
  20. Moment of Surrender (snippet) / Where the Streets Have No Name
  21. With or Without You
  22. Beautiful Day / Alive (snippet) / What a Wonderful World (snippet)
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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