Only In Dreams: U2

I’ve written a few of these now, and they’ve only gotten harder.

I knew this particular one was going to be a struggle. Luckily on the iNNOCENCE + eXPERIENCE Tour, U2 has been playing typically a 22-song main set followed by a 4-song encore (plus “snippets” where applicable), so I’ve been given a little bit of leeway in that regard.

But I didn’t think my first run through of their catalogue would yield a 50 SONG first draft of the setlist! And that was without even looking at three of their albums (can you guess which ones?).

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So yes, this one was hard. I made cuts, and some of them really hurt me on the inside. I only did the whole “snippet” thing once, because quite frankly I only know it from Super Bowl XXXVI and I won’t really know how it works until I see the show. That’s just too much unneeded stress and negativity in my life.

Stray Thought: I should’ve just done one for Modern Baseball, who I will be seeing as a warm-up concert this Friday at the House of Blues. A band with two albums is easier than a band with 14.

I won’t be abiding by the rules of their current tour either. For example, they start with ‘The Miracle (Of Joey Ramone)’, then play either ‘Out Of Control’, ‘Gloria’, or ‘ The Electric Co.”, followed by ‘Vertigo’ and ‘I Will Follow’. The rules for these are as if there were 100,000 Johns in attendance. I do what I want.


Main Set:

1. ‘The Miracle (Of Joey Ramone)’

I’m still doing what I want, It just fits as an opener.

2. ‘Vertigo’

3. ‘Elevation’

I like the idea of starting the show with the three songs they clearly wrote as songs meant to open shows with.

4. ‘I Will Follow’

5. ‘Zoo Station’

I think I just ran out of opening tracks.

6. ‘Volcano’

7. ‘The Fly’

8. ‘Bullet In The Blue Sky’

I consider these three songs to serve the same purpose on their respective albums: an abrasive track in the middle of rather upbeat and happy albums.

9. ‘The Electric Co.’

10. ‘California (There Is No End To Love)’

11. ‘Beautiful Day’

Oh wait I had another one. (SPOILER: There’s one more *wink*)

12. ‘A Day Without Me’

13. ‘Sunday Bloody Sunday’

14. ‘Seconds’

15. ‘Kite’

Two personal favorites, rather unknown tracks.

16. ‘Ordinary Love’

17. ‘Every Breaking Wave’

18. ‘Bad’

This could potentially be that acoustic phase they’ve been doing at their shows. I can’t decide if I like the normal or the acoustic version of ‘Every Breaking Wave’ better.

19. ‘With Or Without You’

20. ‘Walk On’

21. ‘I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For’

22. ‘One’

A string of their most meaningful songs to end the main set. Those will be heart-screamers for sure.


23. ‘City Of Blinding Lights’

This might be the best song they’ve released since…

24. ‘Where The Streets Have No Name’ w/ ‘MLK’ snippet

This song belongs nowhere else besides the encore.

This video legitimately makes me weep every time. Can’t even watch it.

25. ‘Out Of Control’

Hands down my favorite U2 song. Bono wrote this song when he was 18. Listen to these lyrics, and slowly let any hope of being a semi-successful songwriter slip away.

I FOUGHT FATE THERE’S BLOOD AT THE GARDEN GATE! I want to scream that at the top of my lungs.

26. ‘”40″‘

When Dave and Adam switch their instruments, that’s the dead giveaway it’s coming. They did on the last show of the 360 tour (only time they even played it on that massive tour, video below) and have done it twice on the current tour.

That was hard. There will be a Foo Fighters (and possibly a Dropkick Murphy’s and New Politics) installment next week. Until then, you can find me Bono hunting in Boston all this weekend and into next week.