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U2 rehearse in Sao Paulo, 08/04

We promise you this is not a late April Fool's gag or a practical joke (or at least not on our behalf - who knows what goes through the collective mind of U2!). Ahead of their first Sao Paulo concert tomorrow, U2 soundchecked at Morumbi tonight. They went through Ultra Violet, I Will Follow, Mysterious Ways, and Vertigo, not tremendous surprises, and also ran through the most recent addition to the 360° Tour setlist, Even Better Than The Real Thing. And then there was something completely unexpected.

At the few shows so far this year, the segue from Miss Sarajevo to City Of Blinding Lights has included taped samples of Zooropa and Fez in addition to the "Questions" segment from last year. Well, tonight, they soundchecked Zooropa live and in full. At least three times. In both a short and a long form. Each time, it was done in conjunction with Miss Sarajevo and City Of Blinding Lights; the "Questions" segment at the end of Miss Sarajevo blurs into Zooropa's "what do you want?", while at the end, the final distorted guitar of Zooropa builds into the intro of City Of Blinding Lights.

Don't believe me? Here's proof:

Go to the page of YouTube user thatiracy for videos of three takes of Zooropa, showcasing both short and long versions. The short version has just the early slogan verses, while the long version continues through the "I have no compass" portion right to the end. Zooropa has only been played live three times before, back in August 1993, and none of them were complete performances of the sung, cutting out the slogans verses. See our Zooropa page for those previous dates.

By the way, somebody else inside the stadium filmed the soundcheck of Even Better Than The Real Thing:

Now, as a postscript, it is worth noting that a soundcheck is no guarantee of performance - just ask Drowning Man, rehearsed extensively in June and July 2009 but never performed. Also look at Your Blue Room, soundchecked in Europe in August 2009 but not premiered until the next month in North America, or Even Better Than The Real Thing, which floated around now and then in soundchecks since this tour began. However, if you will excuse me a moment of editorialisation, holy shit, if Zooropa does make the setlist, it's the most exciting thing to happen all tour.

Posted on by Axver

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