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U2 at Glastonbury: Fan Speculation

With less than a week to go until U2’s much-anticipated performance at Glastonbury, speculation is rife over what they will choose to perform. Some songs need no speculation; mainstays Where the Streets Have No Name, One, Beautiful Day, and Vertigo, among others, are almost guaranteed to be performed. But will U2 play only the best-known singles from their career, or will they throw a few curveballs at their global audience? In anticipation, we’ve turned to the fans on Twitter to see what they think is most likely to appear.

With the amount of times it has shown up at soundcheck since the final leg of the U2 360 Tour began, it is perhaps no surprise at all that RnbwDashIsWin and several others have suggested that The Fly will reappear. Last played on 9 December 2006 in Hawaii, The Fly is well known for being performed in a different arrangement every tour; if it is played for the first time in four and a half years, it will be interesting to see if they play it in the style of ZooTV, Elevation, or Vertigo; or if it is a whole new mix altogether! dbyrne2112 and kevinrobers (and I’m sure many others!) agree that The Fly will return, but both suggest that, due to BB King playing on the Pyramid Stage earlier in the day, When Love Comes to Town may appear at a U2 concert for the first time since 28 August 1993 in Dublin. It could very well be the last time that U2 and BB King are together on the same stage, and the last chance to hear the song with all five playing together. Whether it is played in the rock-style of Lovetown, the stripped-down ZooTV, or the jazzy rendition favoured by BB King (or even a combination of styles as was seen back in 2008 when Bono and The Edge joined BB at the Kodak Theatre) remains to be seen.

It is worth remembering that Adam Clayton and The Edge briefly discussed their Glastonbury plans a short time ago, hinting that they would draw more from the 90’s than people might expect. Given these comments, and with the upcoming 20th anniversary of Achtung Baby later this year, it is perhaps no surprise that trainmaniac suggests that the full album will be performed towards the end of their set, with the first half comprising the rest of their hits. Of course, hope runs eternal among U2 fans; everyone longs to see their favourite songs performed (with Slug and A Sort of Homecoming remaining hoped for among the U2Gigs staff), even if the chances of them appearing are remote at best. But it would be remiss if we did not mention MarsGirl75's wish for Lady With the Spinning Head, or RaulCamarena's desire to see a full band performance of Stay (Faraway, So Close!), as well as Mofo, Last Night on Earth, Love Is Blindness and Tryin’ to Throw Your Arms Around the World. Both Pop songs have not been performed in full since the PopMart Tour (though Mofo has been snippeted on several occasions since then), while Tryin’ to Throw Your Arms Around the World has not been since 1993. Love Is Blindness has been played just once since the ZooTV tour, though it was a brief and evidently spontaneous rendition.

Piansmurd and FernandoDante have kept their expectations firmly planted to the floor; both expect to see U2’s best-known hits performed to the Glastonbury audience, with little in the way of rare songs or other surprises. Along with the recently revived Zooropa, Glastonbury is one of the suggested exceptions, as the song was written for their planned appearance last year, and it was warmed-up on seven occasions in August of last year; though, as with the majority of new songs debuted this tour, it has not been so much as snippeted since then. Will U2 bring it back for 2011, or will it lay dusty and forgotten?

Fan speculation set aside, we can be assured that nobody will take the performance at Glastonbury more seriously than U2 themselves. This is a performance unlike any they have ever done before, and they will be eager to show the tough and sometimes unfriendly Glastonbury crowd exactly why they are widely considered one of the greatest live acts ever. They’ve had an extra year to choose from their expansive catalogue, and no doubt their planned set has already been established for quite some time. All they really need to do is be themselves; in the words of u2suman1, "anything will do even Ol’ Macdonald."

Posted on by Matkin

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