Only In (Fitzy’s) Dreams: U2

Saturday, July 11th, 2015. A day that will live in the memories of Brendan Fitzpatrick and John Andersen for a lifetime (or, at least, a while).

It’s the day we take our pilgrimage to the church of Paul Hewson, TD Garden, and witness Jesus and The Rockin’ Apostles U2 perform live for the iNNOCENCE+eXPERIENCE Tour.

Now, I understand that you mutts think the cool thing to do is to hate U2 because of Bono and because of what they did with their newest album. I mean, giving you all a full album free of charge?! That’s SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO horrible!!!! Fuck outta here with that. Is Bono a bit of a narcissist? Sure. I actually expect him to enter a la his character on South Park.

But I’ll be goddamned if they’re not one of the most influential artists of the 80’s and 90’s and can still pump out some incredible tunes years after their first album.

But nevertheless, since I have a soul and an appreciation for good music, I knew that when they announced they were touring I had to go. Luckily, I’m going. Section 313 in the nosebleeds, but I couldn’t be happier. Having seen Coldplay a few sections over in the balcony (section 307 I believe), I feel good knowing that it’ll still sound incredible up there.

I know this is usually Andersen’s thing, doing the mock setlists, but I’m doing one for this because we’re both gonna be there. I’m curious as to how ours will match up. U2, apparently, have really changed up the songs night after night on this tour so with that in mind it’ll be interesting to see what songs we got right and/or wrong. For example, I think they played “Gloria” for the first time since Nam in Chicago a few nights ago.

So there’s not much rhyme or reason to what’s gonna be played, which adds an element of surprise to the show; I love that. I was an idiot back in 2012 prior to the Coldplay show for looking up setlists from the Mylo Xyloto Tour and knew pretty much 95% of what was coming my way when Chris and the boys stepped onto the stage. However, I still feel like we might miss a signature U2 song which would kiiiiiiinda blow donkey dick. We might not get “Bad,” we might not get “One,” I dunno. Anywho, here’s what I think U2 should play, from start to finish.

1. “The Miracle (Of Joey Ramone)”

In the words of Chris Martin on Extras (I swear I didn’t intend for so many Coldplay references), “Easy. Easy. So easy.”

This is the clear opener. First song on the new album means first song on the new tour. It’s lively enough for it to work like a charm, and Bono echoing the opening “Ooooh”‘s will certainly be something.

2. “Even Better Than The Real Thing”

I’m breaking out the Achtung Baby card real quick guys. If we’re talking about a usual U2 concert, I feel like this would be the opener about 9 times out of 10. But with “The Miracle” being a newly featured song, this will work just fine in the 2 slot.

3. “Out Of Control”

I promise this isn’t just all old U2 stuff. This is low key one of their most underrated songs. It helped them gain an identity for sure. I was *this* close to putting in “The Electric Co.” but this song won by a hair. I dunno, it makes me feel some type of way I guess.

4. “Vertigo”

YEAH YEAH YEAH YEAH YEAH YEAH YEAH YEAH YEAH YEAH YEAH YEAH YEAH YEAH YEAH YEAH YEAH YEAH YEAH YEAH YEAH YEAH YEAH YEAH YEAH YEAH YEAH YEAH YEEEEAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!

5. “Song for Someone”

Time to switch it back up to the new album. Definitely one of the better tracks on Songs of Innocence, this changes the tempo of the show a bit. Not notable to be played in the latter half, but good enough to be thrown in there.

6. “Cedarwood Road”

They’ve been playing this one for pretty much the entire tour, and for good reason. It’s a raw song and sounds like it could come off a B-side from The Joshua Tree. You know that the new album will be getting some solid time, but I think that it’ll come in the first half of the show. They’re not ending with shit that not everybody in the audience knows and loves.

7. “California (There Is No End To Love)”

I love this song; I put it at #2 or #3 on Songs of Innocence. Bono on this track proves that he can still deliver powerful performances.

8. “Mysterious Ways”

Back to some of the stuff everyone knows. It gets the energy back up, and due to it being on the same album, it’s a solid segue into…

9. “One”

Yeah I know I put this in there pretty early; U2 has too many songs that work towards the end of the show. Throwing in a mega hit at this stage isn’t a bad move and the crowd will love it; it’s a win-win. Bono, please let the crowd sing the first chorus together like you did at Glastonbury. You can have all the others, I think that’s a fair trade. Thx u.

10. “Beautiful Day”

AKA “One, Part 2,” this would make the roof explode off the Gahden, especially coming right after “One.” Imagine ending with that and then immediately hearing “The heart is a bloom…” That’s just bananas, but fathomable with a band with as big as U2.

11. “Raised By Wolves”

The second-to-last Songs of Innocence track I’m putting on here, “Raised By Wolves” is packed with emotion. Even if fans aren’t familiar with the song, they can easily rock with it. I believe it’s worthy of a spot on the setlist.

12. “Bullet The Blue Sky”

FINALLY a song off The Joshua Tree! This here would play off the emotion of “Raised By Wolves.” I’m gonna be legitimately upset if we don’t get this song, because the opening drums is just too dank to leave out. And that opening riff, AAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH serenity.

13. “Sunday Bloody Sunday”

Speaking of opening drums! This would complete a trio of intense U2 tracks and pretty much signals the start of all the older songs, with the exception of one more new song. This is one of the first U2 songs I learned when I was a kid, so I’ll be excited to hear Larry start playing this live.

14. “Angel Of Harlem”

Come onnnnnnnnnn boys, this is such a fun song! Gotta give Rattle and Hum some love baby! Another member of the many songs included in U2’s group of underrated tracks, this one is a bit of a longshot. But hey, only in dreams, right?

15. “Stuck In A Moment You Can’t Get Out Of”

In my opinion, this song beats out “Beautiful Day” for the title of best song on All That You Can’t Leave Behind. So much power, so many emotions, just a great song.

16. “Every Breaking Wave”

Perfect set up by “Stuck In A Moment You Can’t Get Out Of.” Very solid tune, especially in terms of the melody. It’s not necessarily Bono’s magnum opus, but the rest of the band plays the FUCK out of this song. It’s gonna be a treat when they wheel it out.

17. “A Sort Of Homecoming

Don’t think I forgot about The Unforgettable Fire! God I hate myself…but this was on the fence for me at first. It was this or “Magnificent.” But like the boss, Andersen, No Line On The Horizon gets no love from your boy. “A Sort Of Homecoming” is one of U2’s most unique songs and one that has certainly aged well; it sounds just as cool every time you hear it from start to finish.

18. “City of Blinding Lights”

We’re starting to reach strictly hits now. With the exception of the next song, from here on out it’s songs you’ll hear at pretty much any U2 show. I don’t know why people don’t mention The Edge more when they talk about great guitarists, because his unique style is so awesome and it sounds terrific in the opening of this song off of How To Dismantle an Atomic Bomb. Chanting “Oh, you, look, so, beeeeeauuuuuutiful, toniiiiiiiiiight” would just be exhilarating.

19. “Who’s Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses”

I’ve mentioned all of their underrated songs, but this takes the cake. This song is SO under-appreciated. The techy opening mixed with rock elements is what U2 threw into this track, and that’s what the U2 of the 90’s did so well. It’s songs like this that influenced bands like Radiohead to make OK Computer or Kid A. Not many people would expect this song to be played, but if they’ve been mixing up a lot of songs and rotating rarely played tunes in and out, why not?

20. “Pride (In The Name Of Love)”

Yelling the lyrics to this along with Bono from start to finish would just be life changing. We’re getting to the point where you can’t really go wrong with any song they play, but this should be a shoo-in.

21. “With Or Without You”

Another mortal lock. What else can I say? By the way, even with this being played right in front of my eyes in person, I still won’t be able to forget Michael Scott’s Dunder-Mifflin video featuring this legendary song.

22. “Bad”

Let me ask you something. Pop quiz: who can sing “Bad” like Bono? Like, who can even come close to how well he kills that song every time? Answer: no one, that’s who. It’s a unique experience; hearing Paul Hewson sing a song about heroin addiction. I’ll try my best to mimic him by yelling “I’M WIIIIDE AWAAAAAAAKKKKEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!” at the top of my lungs but I don’t know if I’ll do him any justice. It’s a top 5 U2 song and the best off of The Unforgettable Fire.

U2 sucks? YEEEEAHHHH OOOOOOKAYYYYYY!

ENCORE

23. “I Will Follow”

It has to go back to where it all started! This was their first huge hit and it would be a sin to leave it out of this show or any show for that matter. It’s what started the legend of U2; it’s pretty much an obligation by those four guys to play it.

24. “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For”

FOUND IT! This is arguably their most popular song, so you know it’s a gimmie for the concert. It’s a shame that Bono is hated by so many people, because it’s songs like these that prove he’s a top 5 front man in rock history.

25. “Where The Streets Have No Name” (with “MLK” as intro)

This has been, and always will be, my all-time favorite song by U2. If they play this song even 1/10 as well as they played it during the Super Bowl XXXVI Halftime Show, then my life will be changed. Magical build up, iconic guitar riff, it’s what U2 is all about: projecting pure bliss and emotion and having you sing along, too. You, too. U2. Get it?

26. “40”

Hands down the best way to end any concert, U2 or non-U2. Greatest concert closer ever. I’m not sure when exactly this started, but U2 has played this song to end every concert for a while now. As of late, they haven’t been doing it every show, but they really should go back to making it a regular thing. How it’s done is simply perfect: gradually, one by one, each member will leave the stage and get a huge ovation. That continues until the only person left is Larry Mullen, as he continues to play the drums as if nothing else has changed. He finishes, they crowd goes wild, and the post concert depression sinks in. It would be a huge missed opportunity if they don’t end with this.

So there you have it. Stitched Up Sports will be on the scene in Boston for the concert; we’ll be sure to post our happening and what not during the show and our reactions afterwards. That’s a perfect excuse for the second Stitched Up Sit Down! It may take a while because I’m going to the Cape the morning after the show, but it also took us a while for the Brady shit. That turned out alright, didn’t it?!

I’m officially excited as fuck for this show, as you could probably already tell. It’ll be my first time back in the Garden for a concert since, like I mentioned, Coldplay back in 2012. Which reminds me…

Chris? Buddy? When’s the new album coming? I want to see your beautiful face live again. Pls help.