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Night 40 setlist for U2:UV at the Sphere, Las Vegas, 2/3/2024

Tonight, U2 played their 40th and last show of their residency at the Sphere, Las Vegas. It was a very special show indeed.

Before the gig began, the band did a soundcheck that featured the three big surprises mentioned below as well as When Love Comes to Town and Zoo Sration. If they had played When Love Comes to Town, it would have been its 13th appearance at the Sphere. As it stands, 24 February will remain its last performance of the tour. Will this be its last performance ever? It is also easy to wonder if some songs that were played tonight might have appeared for the last time.

U2 opened their set with the usual volley of songs from Achtung Baby. Before One, Bono dedicated the song to Daniel Lanois, who was one of Achtung Baby's producers—and he then welcomed Lanois on stage for a guest performance. The last time Lanois performed live with U2 was on 25 October 2017 at the last show of that year's Joshua Tree Tour. Every show this tour, Bono has snippeted a couple of verses from Love Me Tender to connect One to Until the End of the World. We have normally classified these as a snippet of One, keeping with the tradition of Bono singing a verse or two of another song as a coda to One. Tonight, however, there was a clear break after One, with Love Me Tender functioning as an intro to UTEOTW, so we have classified it as an intro snippet for that song. Indeed, as a commenter pointed out on Twitter, traditionally the snippets between One and UTEOTW have been performed in the same key as One, but on this tour they have been in the same key as UTEOTW.

In the rotational segment mid-show, U2 began with All I Want Is You (dedicated to US first lady Jill Biden, who was in attendance) and Desire; All I Want Is You has been performed at 37 shows out of 40 this tour, and Desire at 35 or 40. Before Desire, Bono joked that it was time to "run away with the circus. This is quite the big top, isn't it?" He then invited fill-in drummer Bram to the mic and asked him "if you were in the circus, what sort of job would you have?" Bram quipped back, quite fittingly, that his role would be as "safety net!" Fans will long remember how adroitly Bram has stood in for Larry Mullen. After Desire, the band turned to Angel of Harlem for its 17th performance at the Sphere, presumably being played in lieu of earlier intentions to do When Love Comes to Town.

A special performance of the Crowded House song Don't Dream It's Over concluded the rotational segment, the ninth time U2 have covered this song. Bono introduced it as an experiment: a live recording for Alexey Navalny and his widow. He made sure beforehand that the crowd knew the chorus in order to sing along. Neil Finn, the frontman of Crowded House, made a sort of guest appearance: he had recently emailed Bono with a new take of his vocal in the style of U2's cover, recorded at his studio in Auckland, New Zealand. This accompanied U2's performance. Bono joked that neither he nor Neil had cleared any recording with their respective record labels.

At the end of the show came a performance that was simultaneously the biggest surprise and the most anticipated song of the night. Before Beautiful Day, the usual closer, Bono hinted that U2 would do an "actual encore" afterwards. When Beautiful Day ended, the crowd began chanting "how long to sing this song", Edge and Adam swapped instruments, and Bono quipped that "it's been 40 days and 40 nights in the desert. What's a guy with a messianic complex going to do?" The answer: launch into the tour debut of 40. Remarkably, this is not the first time 40 has made its tour debut as the very last song of the very last show. It filled the same role at Moncton to conclude the 360 Tour on 30 July 2011. This is the first time 40 has been performed since 5 October 2016, and its most recent performance at a regular tour gig since 28 November 2015.

Farewell from the Sphere! It's been quite the extravaganza.

The full setlist was:

  1. I Could Have Lost You (snippet) / Zoo Station
  2. Drive My Car (snippet) / The Fly
  3. Even Better Than The Real Thing
  4. Mysterious Ways / My Sweet Lord (snippet) / I Feel Love (snippet)
  5. One / Invisible (snippet) (with Daniel Lanois)
  6. Love Me Tender (snippet) / Until the End of the World / Sympathy For The Devil (snippet) / Paint it Black (snippet)
  7. Who's Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses
  8. Landlady (snippet) / Tryin' to Throw Your Arms Around the World
  9. All I Want Is You Songs of Surrender Mix / Yellow (snippet)
  10. Desire / Not Fade Away (snippet)
  11. Angel of Harlem
  12. Don't Dream It's Over (with Neil Finn)
  13. Acrobat
  14. So Cruel
  15. Ultraviolet (Light My Way)
  16. Love Is Blindness / Viva Las Vegas (snippet)

  17. encore(s):
  18. Elevation / My Way (snippet)
  19. Atomic City
  20. Vertigo / She Loves You (snippet)
  21. Moment of Surrender (snippet) / Where the Streets Have No Name
  22. With or Without You
  23. Beautiful Day / Gloria (snippet) / Blackbird (snippet)
  24. 40
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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