After playing huge stadiums in the U2360 tour, the highest grossing tour of all time. U2 have returned to more scaled down intimate surroundings to kick off their Innocence + experience tour in Vancouver last night.
The 24-song show at the 20,000-capacity Rogers Arena in Vancouver marked U2’s first full show since last year’s controversial release of their ’Songs Of Innocence’ album, which was given away free to all iTunes account holders. The show opened with the album’s first single ‘The Miracle (Of Joey Ramone)’, with an image on the big screen of singer Bono’s bedroom where he grew up in Dublin.
Before the second song, 1980 single ‘Out Of Control’, Bono announced: “We’re a band from the north side of Dublin. This is one of our first singles.” The tour is billed as ‘iNNOCENCE + eXPERIENCE’ and is divided into two themed sets of “innocence” and “experience”, each lasting for 10 songs with an interval before a four-song encore.
The band had decided to continue with the show despite the death earlier in the week of drummer Larry Mullen Jr’s father, Larry Sr, at the age of 92. Mullen returned for the funeral in Dublin on Tuesday before flying back for the show.
Introducing the song ‘Iris (Hold Me Close)’ from ‘Songs Of Innocence’, Bono dedicated the track to his late mother Iris, announcing: “This is for you, Iris.” The setlist featured excerpts of several cover versions, with the Ramones’ ‘Do You Remember Rock ‘N’ Roll Radio?’, the Sex Pistols’ ‘God Save The Queen’ and Talking Heads’ ‘Burning Down The House’ segued into U2’s own songs in the first half.
The only mishap from the show was when the Edge fell off the stage. The guitarist was walking along the edge of a ramp in the middle of the crowd during final song ‘I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For’ when he accidentally stepped off the stage. Bono, oblivious to the accident, sang on while the rest of the band briefly stopped playing. Footage of the incident can be seen below.
The Miracle (Of Joey Ramone)
Out Of Control / Do You Remember Rock ‘n’ Roll Radio? (snippet)
Vertigo / God Save The Queen (Sex Pistols) (snippet)
I Will Follow
Mofo (snippet) / Iris (Hold Me Close)
Song For Someone
Sunday Bloody Sunday
Raised By Wolves / Psalm 23 (snippet)
Until The End Of The World
Even Better Than The Real Thing
Mysterious Ways / Burning Down The House (snippet) / Young Americans (snippet)
Every Breaking Wave
Bullet The Blue Sky
The Hands That Built America (snippet) / Pride (In The Name Of Love)
With Or Without You
City Of Blinding Lights
Beautiful Day / I Remember You (snippet)
Mother And Child Reunion (snippet) / Where The Streets Have No Name / California (There Is No End To Love) (snippet) / All You Need Is Love (snippet)
I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For / Invisible (snippet)