I mean, has Bad been an every-single-nighter since Outside Broadcast? Most of Elevation maybe? Seems to me it has been spotty since 1993 for sure, and maybe even 2001.
I often wonder what qualifies as a 'warhorse' here anyway (And based on here, songs like The Miracle already qualify as one?). There have been maybe 5 songs (if that?) that have been literally played nearly every night on previous tours. And unless someone is literally watching every show performance on YouTube, it's really not affecting anyone's lives much.
A lot of it is luck depending on what show you go to anyway. Elevation and ISHFWILF weren't even close to mainstays the last time around, but I saw the former twice and the later three times on the last tour. And oddly enough, despite all the grief Elevation gets in these parts from 10 people or so, it got one of the biggest reactions on both nights. You can see why they'd still be tempted to play it over, say, White as Snow.
It is fun for discussion, but
My personal definition of warhorse is a song that has been played to death, especially one that gets a big response from the crowd though those of us who have seen a good number of shows are kind of tired of them. I don't consider a song that has only been played on one tour, like The Miracle, to be a warhorse.
In my own personal opinion, U2's warhorses are:
I Will Follow
Now I am not saying that I want all these songs dropped; far from it. I just wish they would rely on this list of songs a little less when filling out a setlist around new material (or in this case, TJT). I get that U2 can say that people are paying good money to come hear a song like Sunday Blood Sunday or Pride or WOWY, and I wouldn't waste any time arguing with them. The songs that have started to get my goat just a little are Elevation, COBL and especially UTEOTW. Those songs weren't 'hits' and I really don't think very many folks are walking into the venue saying to their friends 'Boy, if I don't get City Of Blinding Lights, and I am going to demand my money back!'
There are must-plays, like Streets or SBS, and then there are the songs that U2 seem to think they HAVE to play but don't. And I am gong to pick on End of the World for a second here. It was played every night on ZooTV. And PopMart. And Elevation. And Vertigo. And I+E. And very often on 360 as well. It is a good song, but enough already. It wasn't a hit. It wasn't even a single. Casual fans don't know it and can live without it. Us diehards have gotten it over and over and over and over and over again. There are so many more songs from Achtung Baby that deserve to come out instead. That slot would be a fine place to another album cut from AB, Zooropa or Pop.
Pull out UTEOTW and replace it with Please or Gone or Dirty Day. The casuals aren't going to notice the difference, but us? I think 90 percent of the people here would have a FIT if we went to show expecting the next song to be End of the World and got one of the three songs I just named instead.