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Old 07-04-2009, 09:34 PM   #1
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Rotating the popular favorites

It seems like many U2 fans here would like to see more deep cuts or obscure favorites, and I think that rotating the popular favorites would help this happen.

Looking at their current set lists, they are going with 22-24 songs a night. With 7 from the new album and arguably 8 of them being very popular favorites, that doesn't leave that many slots left for anything else.

Those 8 are:

Sunday Bloody Sunday
I Still Haven't Found...
With or Without You
Beautiful Day

Now, I will concede to leaving Streets (too much of a live monster to not play, EVER) and Beautiful Day (too popular and still relatively new in the grand scheme of their history, so it still deserves to be played at every show) in for every concert, but if you rotate from night to night:

Sunday Bloody Sunday/Pride
With or Without You/One
I Still Haven't Found/Vertigo

They can add 3 more songs to the set list, and would still be playing enough popular favorites to satisfy the casual fans.

And they have played most of the songs enough times to where they wouldn't get rusty from not playing them at every show. Most of those they can probably play in their sleep now.


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Old 07-04-2009, 10:15 PM   #2
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I think from the common fan standpoint you might be able to rotate SBS/Pride and ISHFWILF/Vertigo. Maybe.

I'm good friends with a lot of casual fans who are trying to make it to this tour, so I'm not one to jump on the "OMFG why don't they just play LEMON for 2 hours" train.

At this point I think it might be advisable to rotate SBS/Pride and turn Vertigo into one of the rotators in their apparently pliable 7-9 spots. But that's only because Vertigo seems to be missing something this time around (not that I've heard it live).

They just can't rotate the others you mentioned in my opinion. My friends would be disappointed to go to a show and not see those, and I think a lot of other fans would be too.

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Old 07-04-2009, 10:28 PM   #3
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I'd have thought this is a no-brainer. The band seem to have cottoned on to it to some degree, rotating Angel Of Harlem and Desire. Similarly, you don't need BOTH One and WOWY or BOTH Pride and SBS; one will do and people will go home very happy. U2 are the sort of band who have so many well-known hits that you can make two completely different setlists out of them without any repetition.

And as I always say, the assumption that casual fans are only in it just for the hits is completely baseless. I know casual fans who expected to hear Silver And Gold at a U2 concert! They were stunned when I said it hasn't been played live since 1987. But for those who want to argue that casual fans do need hits and only the hits, to the total detriment of anybody else who may be attending a show, well, you can't have it both ways - you're putting forth an argument where they're going to be just as happy whether it's Desire and SBS or MW and Pride, so why not rotate them? Everybody's happy that way. The casual fan gets the hits and the dedicated fan gets the variety.
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Old 07-04-2009, 10:39 PM   #4
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The guys I know, unless I'm mistaken, would definitely just love being there. And you're right; U2 definitely has plenty of hits. 5 or 6 of the favorites a night would be plenty to keep the most casual fan from feeling dissatisfied.

But I guess what irks me is the possibility that one of my casual-fan friends would get home, come down off the emotional-high, and think to himself, "What happened to WOWY? How could they not play that?" In any case, U2 - whether right or wrong - clearly think there's something to be said for playing the favorites consistently.

But I don't mean to oversimplify. My dad, as casual fan as you could ask for, was talking to me the other day about the tour. He asked, "So they have to play All I Want is You," right? He asked that because even though he hasn't heard every U2 track and doesn't even own an album of his own, he absolutely loves that song and felt that it had to be a no-brainer that they would play it every single night. So casual fans, I think, can have surprisingly varied tastes just like the hardcore fans all the way up to Ax.

But as a college student who can't afford the time or money to make it to more than one or two shows this tour and a friend to several casual fans making it to this tour, I'm very wary of the idea of rotating those absolute favorites.
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Old 07-04-2009, 10:45 PM   #5
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i'm happy for vertigo to stay, seeing as this is only its 2nd tour. WOWY and ISHFWILF are cool too and wowy and both are sound suprisingly fresh atm.

Pride needs to go into the cupboard for a while, as does SBS.
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Old 07-04-2009, 11:11 PM   #6
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Vertigo makes the crowd go crazy, and Im pretty sure it will be a staple in the set.

I do think Pride, SBS, I still havent found, WOWY, and One should be mixed up depending on the night. Streets should stay. always. forever.
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Old 07-05-2009, 05:49 AM   #7
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Streets must stay, as should Beautiful Day but the rest should be rotated to mae more room for 90s material and possibily A Sort Of Homecoming and Wire.
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Old 07-05-2009, 06:10 AM   #8
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The should rotate New Year's Day into the set at some point.
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Old 07-05-2009, 07:19 AM   #9
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How about they rotate in some favorites like New Years Day, Mysterious Ways, SYCMIOYO, UTEOFW, All I Want is You, or Bad. Most casual fans know these pretty well. I have been to U2 concerts where my entire section sat down during Miss Sarajevo and A Little While - not me of course! So some folks are only for the hits. Rotating in some semi-obscure hits for the casual fan would be good and make them say "I think I've heard this one somewhere" and we wold be pleased as well like:

A Sort of Homecoming, The Fly, Running to Stand Still (JT or ZooTV version), Whose Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses, In God's Country.....

My 2 cents...of course U2 could do like Pink Floyd During the Division Bell Tour. David Gilmore plainly told the crowd at the beginning after Astronomy Domine and Learning to Fly: "we going to play mostly new stuff- to let you brush up on it, take an intermission and come back and play the old stuff" The crowd went wild.
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Old 07-05-2009, 08:22 AM   #10
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Bad should always be played
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Old 07-05-2009, 11:49 AM   #11
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As long as they add in Mysterious Ways for Monday the 27th of July, that setlist you posted looks pretty good to me

EDIT: Oh and I think you'll find CoBL being played most nights because it's one of the big set pieces for the light show.
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Old 07-05-2009, 12:36 PM   #12
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I think the "casual fan" is a bit of a myth, rather like the man on the street in politics. I've only been to a U2 show with one "casual fan," my Dad, who said afterward, "well, I heard everything I wanted to" - meaning SBS, WOWY, One and Elevation. But, as someone who only owns a couple U2 albums, he might just as easily have wanted to hear four other songs that weren't played.
I suspect also that the biggest issue for the band is not pleasing a variety of people, but constructing a show that has what they regard as the proper emotional flow. Unlike many bands, U2 view their concerts as complete experiences. They may swap around Angel and Desire, but they're unlikely to switch Vertigo with ISHFWILF, because those songs are just too different. When you add to that consideration the fact that so many songs are intimately tied to lighting and video displays, and complicated guitar rigs for Edge, you start to get a sense of why they have as little setlist rotation as they do. Once they've developed a show that meets their standards for completion or "flow," I think they have to have serious motivation to change anything around.
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Old 07-05-2009, 03:39 PM   #13
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I dont think it will ever happen but I would love to hear Heartland or Redhill Mining Town live.
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Old 07-05-2009, 06:50 PM   #14
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I agree in principle, but I want WOWY played every show.....

But then again.... I also think The Fly should always be there....
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Old 07-06-2009, 03:17 PM   #15
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No matter what they do, people are going to complain. I think they should rotate the hits, but only because a lot of the time they sound bored playing them.

At the recent NIN concert i was at, they played about 5 hits, a bunch "deep cuts" and everyone was happy. Conversely, the Pumpkins played a silimar set and people were complaining. Go figure.
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Old 07-06-2009, 03:28 PM   #16
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As far as the NIN vs. pumpkins thing goes, I honestly don't think many non-hardcore fans go to a NIN show. The people who go know the entire catalogue.

Smashing Pumpkins is tough, though. Because (sorry if you're a big fan of new pumpkins material) their new stuff, and a lot of "deep cuts" are straight dull. Their singles are their best songs, with maybe a couple of exceptions. A NIN single (of which there aren't many) exists to sell the better tracks on the album, a SP single exists to convince people to buy the overblown, underdone tracks on the album.

Vertigo is definitely in for a while. Beautiful day could be subbed with elevation, particularly because I think BD is a song that gets very old, very quick for the boys to play. I think One, WOWY, and Bad should be cycled in and out. But play bad more, please.

Pride needs to go, I'm sorry. Song has been dragging lately.

but maybe I just want U2 to embrace the lazer jackets and the giant claw and give us a show that could have never fit inside the vertigo ellipse.
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Old 07-06-2009, 06:23 PM   #17
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Old 07-06-2009, 07:56 PM   #18
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This is an idea I had - if U2 had two setlists, one standard one and one for "night twos", where the "night two" set dropped a lot of the warhorses and replaced them with other stuff. For example:

"Night 1/Standard"

1. Fez-Being Born
2. No Line On The Horizon
3. Get On Your Boots
4. Magnificent
5. Beautiful Day
6. I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For
7. Desire
8. Electrical Storm
9. Unknown Caller
10. Drowning Man
11. The Unforgettable Fire
12. City Of Blinding Lights
13. Vertigo
14. I'll Go Crazy If I Don't Go Crazy Tonight
15. Sunday Bloody Sunday
16. Pride(In The Name Of Love)
17. MLK
18. Walk On
19. One

20. Mysterious Ways
21. Until The End Of The World
22. New Year's Day
23. Breathe

24. Ultraviolet(Light My Way)
25. Where The Streets Have No Name
26. With Or Without You
27. Moment Of Surrender/Cedars Of Lebanon

"Night 2"

1 .Fez-Being Born
2. No Line On The Horizon
3. Get On Your Boots
4. Magnificent
5. Beautiful Day
6. Lemon
7. If God Will Send His Angels(or Stay(Faraway, So Close))
8. Electrical Storm
9. Unknown Caller
10. Drowning Man
11. The Unforgettable Fire
12. City Of Blinding Lights
13. Vertigo
14. I'll Go Crazy If I Don't Go Crazy Tonight
15. Discotheque
16. Even Better Than The Real Thing
17. Hold Me Thrill Me Kiss Me Kill Me
18. Please
19. MLK
20. One(or if they're brave enough they could replace this with Love Is Blindness)

21. Mofo or Last Night On Earth
22. Until The End Of The World
23. New Year's Day
24. Breathe

25. Ultraviolet(Light My Way)
26. Where The Streets Have No Name
27. Bad or Kite or even stick with With Or Without You
28. Moment Of Surrender/Cedars Of Lebanon
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Old 07-06-2009, 08:12 PM   #19
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^ 27 or 28 songs... you don't ask for much!!!

My prediction:

Before the tour ends, Bad will become the closer, and MOS will take the place of One in the setlist.

MOS is a bit flat as the closer, but would be perfect where one is atm
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Old 07-06-2009, 08:14 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by dan_smee View Post
^ 27 or 28 songs... you don't ask for much!!!
Well, they did 24 at the last show...27 is only 3 more.

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