Author Topic: Is U2 phoning it in?  (Read 2515 times)

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Offline seano0513

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Is U2 phoning it in?
« on: September 06, 2018, 08:53:20 PM »
Multiple shows in a single market used to mean setlist changes to the tune of 4-6 different songs per night. A perfect and recent example were the 8 I + E shows at MSG. Each one had multiple changes to 3 main parts of the set (North Side of Dublin, e stage, and encore).

E + I from the beginning has been static city. While there were welcomed and needed changes to start the European Leg, we saw again last night in Cologne that theyíre not mixing it up when playing a venue multiple nights. Whatís the point of going to more than 1 show in your town if theyíre not gonna make things more dynamic and interesting?

Why canít North Side of Dublin feature Out of Control or 11 OíClock, e stage feature the Fly or Gone and the encore have All I Want is You or anything else in addition / instead of the 3 songs they play EVERY SINGLE NIGHT?

Iím asking this question and Iím curious to hear what everybody thinks.



Offline 64ac30

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Re: Is U2 phoning it in?
« Reply #1 on: September 06, 2018, 09:05:46 PM »
Maybe they donít want to cater the setlist to the same 20 fans who travel the world to every show. They created a show that works, and theyíre taking it around the world, mostly playing it to a 98.9% different audience each night. And they didnít promise variety this time around, so why make work harder?

Offline Tortuga

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Re: Is U2 phoning it in?
« Reply #2 on: September 06, 2018, 09:38:19 PM »
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Multiple shows in a single market used to mean setlist changes to the tune of 4-6 different songs per night. A perfect and recent example were the 8 I + E shows at MSG. Each one had multiple changes to 3 main parts of the set (North Side of Dublin, e stage, and encore).

E + I from the beginning has been static city. While there were welcomed and needed changes to start the European Leg, we saw again last night in Cologne that theyíre not mixing it up when playing a venue multiple nights. Whatís the point of going to more than 1 show in your town if theyíre not gonna make things more dynamic and interesting?

Why canít North Side of Dublin feature Out of Control or 11 OíClock, e stage feature the Fly or Gone and the encore have All I Want is You or anything else in addition / instead of the 3 songs they play EVERY SINGLE NIGHT?

Iím asking this question and Iím curious to hear what everybody thinks.

I donít think the shows are designed to be seen multiple times.  To each his own, but Iíve never understood why anyone would want to go to multiple shows on the same tour.


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« Last Edit: September 06, 2018, 09:57:08 PM by singnomore »

Offline seano0513

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Re: Is U2 phoning it in?
« Reply #3 on: September 06, 2018, 09:43:29 PM »
Looking forward to hearing responses from people who donít belong to U2ís PR team.

Offline singnomore

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Re: Is U2 phoning it in?
« Reply #4 on: September 06, 2018, 09:57:34 PM »
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Multiple shows in a single market used to mean setlist changes to the tune of 4-6 different songs per night. A perfect and recent example were the 8 I + E shows at MSG. Each one had multiple changes to 3 main parts of the set (North Side of Dublin, e stage, and encore).

E + I from the beginning has been static city. While there were welcomed and needed changes to start the European Leg, we saw again last night in Cologne that theyíre not mixing it up when playing a venue multiple nights. Whatís the point of going to more than 1 show in your town if theyíre not gonna make things more dynamic and interesting?

Why canít North Side of Dublin feature Out of Control or 11 OíClock, e stage feature the Fly or Gone and the encore have All I Want is You or anything else in addition / instead of the 3 songs they play EVERY SINGLE NIGHT?

Iím asking this question and Iím curious to hear what everybody thinks.

I donít think the shows are designed to be seen multiple times.  To each his own, but Iíve never understood why anyone would want to go to multiple shows on the same tour.


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I go to multiple shows because U2 live is where they are best. So I take every opportunity I can to enjoy that experience. Of course everyone would want more flexibility in the set list but everyone knows thatís highly unlikely.

Offline seano0513

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Re: Is U2 phoning it in?
« Reply #5 on: September 06, 2018, 10:18:42 PM »
Wait, why is it ďunlikelyĒ for them to change their set when they play multiple nights in the same town? The E + I tour marks the first time in their career theyíve been static this way. Just look at their setlists over their career, particularly since Elevation. My question is whatís changed now and why arenít they taking more risks and making it more interesting? Everybody so far seems fine with U2 being formulaic as we all love their formula. Well, what happened to their tried and true practice of mixing up their sets a bit when playing multiple shows in a single city? Does anybody care or am I the only one disappointed?

Offline daveyg

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Re: Is U2 phoning it in?
« Reply #6 on: September 07, 2018, 12:23:15 AM »
Why should they change their setlist, albeit slightly, every night? Just to mix it up a bit? As Tortuga said, the tour's not designed to be seen multiple times. If you want to go see them 20 times in the hope they'd drop one song for another, fine, but I'd find that expensive, but each for their own.

Also, I don't think U2 are the kind of band that can just play a song on the spot at a gig - they need to plan it, and the four guys would know exactly what songs they'll be playing and in which order at any particular gig. Maybe it's their age, but maybe they don't want to be chopping and changing their setlist every night. You also have to factor in the wrapping paper of the show - the screens. They're all timed to a certain set order. Any major set change (or even order of songs) could cause a few headaches.

I've seen U2 live on every tour since 1987, and have rarely gone to multiple shows. On the occasions I have gone to a second gig for the same tour, it's been the exact same show with one or two songs replaced. What was great about doing it this way is that, as an example, although I'd seen U2 on each tour since '87 but had never seen (purely on the night(s) I had decided to go to the gig) 40 live until the Vertigo gig in Dublin in 2005. I can't say how much I love that song, but I'm not going to put myself through hotels, flights, and maxing my credit card out following the band in the event they play 40 during one of their gigs around the world

Offline Tortuga

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Re: Is U2 phoning it in?
« Reply #7 on: September 07, 2018, 05:35:46 AM »
To the extent the setlist is more static, its at least partly because this is a big concept show with all the videos and big ideas.  I wish they would get away from that and play a stripped back good old fashioned rock show.  I couldnít care less if the playlist is static but I would like that kind of show.


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Offline laoghaire

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Re: Is U2 phoning it in?
« Reply #8 on: September 07, 2018, 06:32:42 AM »
You're not the only one disappointed, there has been a lot of discussion on this point during the first leg of the tour.

I don't know if people have just worked through their disappointment or what.

I also don't know if it has to do with the nature of this tour. I realize you say I+E mixed it up but maybe on E+I, the conclusion, they had really specific things to say.

Offline seano0513

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Re: Is U2 phoning it in?
« Reply #9 on: September 07, 2018, 06:56:59 AM »
Tortuga and laoghaire make fair points about this particular tour, although I + E is basically the same production yet I went to 2 different MSG shows with 25% of the set being different. This time around, it was 4% (1 song).

Daveyg, youíre missing the point. I traveled and saw tons of U2 shows pre-kids and that was great. I never expected them to mix things up, but they did for Elevation, Vertigo (and enough for 360 even though it was Outdoors) which made me want to see them more. Just look at Vertigo Vegas at MGM Grand. Night 2 was completely different. To me itís not about traveling anymore I live in New York and if U2 plays multiple nights at MSG my expectation was that theyíd make the effort to give each show a different twist. Not play ABOY 2 out of the 3 nights instead of Gloria and that be it. That seems like a lack of effort and it goes back to my question. Iíll accept that this show is so personal that they want to keep it a very specific way, but if they can change up a few songs for Europe they can change 3 - 4 songs Night 1 to Night 2 in a venue. Something is off right now.

Offline Mr. Sarajevo 20

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Re: Is U2 phoning it in?
« Reply #10 on: September 07, 2018, 07:47:44 AM »
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Maybe they donít want to cater the setlist to the same 20 fans who travel the world to every show. They created a show that works, and theyíre taking it around the world, mostly playing it to a 98.9% different audience each night. And they didnít promise variety this time around, so why make work harder?
They actually did make some promises / suggestions that just didn't stick.

Offline Mr. Sarajevo 20

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Re: Is U2 phoning it in?
« Reply #11 on: September 07, 2018, 07:54:42 AM »
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Wait, why is it ďunlikelyĒ for them to change their set when they play multiple nights in the same town? The E + I tour marks the first time in their career theyíve been static this way. Just look at their setlists over their career, particularly since Elevation. My question is whatís changed now and why arenít they taking more risks and making it more interesting? Everybody so far seems fine with U2 being formulaic as we all love their formula. Well, what happened to their tried and true practice of mixing up their sets a bit when playing multiple shows in a single city? Does anybody care or am I the only one disappointed?
I'm with you on this...but maybe the reason is because they're older and not as willing to shake it up a bit.

I knew when they showed up for two days of "rehearsals" (more like a dress rehearsal") last week we wouldn't be up for much change. In saying that, they have worked on a few changes for Europe, which are refreshing, but unfortunately much change over 2-4 nights seems unlikely.

Offline 64ac30

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Re: Is U2 phoning it in?
« Reply #12 on: September 07, 2018, 10:27:37 AM »
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Maybe they donít want to cater the setlist to the same 20 fans who travel the world to every show. They created a show that works, and theyíre taking it around the world, mostly playing it to a 98.9% different audience each night. And they didnít promise variety this time around, so why make work harder?
They actually did make some promises / suggestions that just didn't stick.

Such as?

Offline McSwilly

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Re: Is U2 phoning it in?
« Reply #13 on: September 07, 2018, 12:58:21 PM »
ring, ring, yes. This is not a rock concert with spontaneity and fan interaction like us long time U2 fans are used to. This is a production, a performance and we are missing out on the edge we used to enjoy.

Offline seano0513

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Re: Is U2 phoning it in?
« Reply #14 on: September 08, 2018, 07:50:56 AM »
McSwilly and Mr. Sarajevo 20, good points and thanks for trying to answer the question I posed. Maybe them getting older is finally having an impact on them taking any risks and bringing an element of spontaneity to the proceedings. There isnít the physical connection happening with the audience; I donít expect Bono to jump into the audience, but they donít allow anybody on the stage anymore which always humanized U2. This tour just isnít fun. Bono you survived...now itís time to get out of the MRI and enjoy life.