Sunday, June 12, 2011

What's going to be on the set list? (SPOILER ALERT)

It's not too early to speculate on exactly what songs will be played in Miami on June 29, as the set won't change much from one concert to the next.

There are two reasons for this. The first is that the band crafts the set list like a play, with an emotional arc from beginning to climax to conclusion. There is nothing random about the order of the songs or which are chosen.

The second is technical. Each song has its own set up, including which guitars are played, the light show, what appears on the video screens, camera angles, and where the bridges move or are placed. (The bridges connect the center of the 360 stage to a huge catwalk that surrounds it.) Dozens and dozens of people behind the scenes coordinate all of this, and they all work from a set list that is difficult, but not impossible, to change in the middle of a performance.

Typical Set - U2 360 Tour, 7th Leg
(deemed reliable, but by no means guaranteed - there are always a few songs that are different)

    1.    Even Better Than The Real Thing
    2.    I Will Follow
    3.    Get On Your Boots
    4.    Magnificent
    5.    Mysterious Ways
    6.    Elevation
    7.    Until The End Of The World 
    8.    All I Want Is You
    9.    Stay (Faraway, So Close!)
    10.    Beautiful Day
    11.    Pride (In The Name Of Love)
    12.    Miss Sarajevo
    13.    Zooropa
    14.    City Of Blinding Lights
    15.    Vertigo
    16.    Crazy Tonight
    17.    Sunday Bloody Sunday
    18.    Scarlet
    19.    Walk On

(Break, during which the audience screams for about 10 minutes while the band towels off, changes clothes and Adam, the bass player, probably smokes a cigarette.)

    20.    One
    21.    Where The Streets Have No Name
    22.    Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me
    23.    With Or Without You
    24.    Moment of Surrender

I just realized that "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For" isn't on this set list! That's because when I started this blog, I was avoiding checking out set lists as I wanted my first concert on this leg of the 360 tour to be full of surprises. Sometimes it's not fun as much fun to know what's going to happen. People who are writing online head up set list discussions with "SPOILER ALERT" to warn others not to read their posts if they don't want to know in advance what's going to be played.

But I'm writing "Explain U2 to My Mom"  because if you really don't know much about the band's music, it's more fun to know what the songs are about, and understanding how they're organized is part of the experience.

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