Author Topic: Why won’t U2 change up the set?  (Read 11814 times)

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Offline Achtung

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Why won’t U2 change up the set?
« on: May 25, 2015, 01:39:26 AM »
On another thread, a few fans discussed how Bruce Springsteen frequently changes up the set to play rarities. Here are a few reasons why I think U2 can’t do what he does.

(1) Relevance – Springsteen hasn’t released an album in a while with songs popular enough to regularly include on setlists. This isn’t the case with U2. Newer albums like ATYCLB and HTDAAB produced 2-3 songs each that have become necessities at live shows. I suspect SOI will follow this trend in a way that NLOTH did not, leaving even less room for rarities.

(2) Musicianship – Springsteen can change about 1/3 of the set each night without major flubs. He can also very easily change things up mid-show. U2 can't seem to do this. A couple nights ago they struggled to play a couple verses of IGC and then ST. They even messed up OOC in San Jose.

(3) Band Democracy – There may be disagreement among the members of U2 over the role of rarities in concert. Even if Edge wants to play ASOH, he still has to convince three other band members with equal votes. If Springsteen wants to play rarities he doesn’t have to convince anybody.

(4) Show Length – Springsteen’s latest shows have been over one-hour longer than the average U2 show. This gives him a lot more room to throw in a few obscure songs.

(5) Set Rigidity – Springsteen is fine leaving out hits like Born in the U.S.A. and Thunder Road. As mentioned, there are a lot fewer guaranteed songs at a Springsteen show, giving him room to change up the set. U2 has never been about playing rarities live. Rather, they give the majority of concertgoers what they want: the hits.

So, why not play Acrobat? Beats me.



Offline This Dave

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Re: Why won’t U2 change up the set?
« Reply #1 on: May 25, 2015, 01:45:32 AM »
Seems incredibly early to be making this criticism

Offline fardreamer

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Re: Why won’t U2 change up the set?
« Reply #2 on: May 25, 2015, 02:29:52 AM »
U2 own their music and will choose to play whatever they want.

I'm fine with that.

The 4 band members are the only people who have any say and that is as it should be.

Offline markreed

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Re: Why won’t U2 change up the set?
« Reply #3 on: May 25, 2015, 03:48:28 AM »
It's a Bruce vs U2 thread? Think we've done these before. Youre judging U2 by Bruce's standards. Judge U2 by U2 standards.

However two points are demonstrably incorrect.

Around set length - namely Larry has had significant drumming injuries and is currently performing in some kind of elbow splint - a 135 minute set is plenty long enough and nobody should feel cheated by that. I saw the Prodigy the other week, and they did a 78 minute set - now that is short. I won't be going again.

Rigidity? The only song the band have played at every show since release so far are "Beautiful Day" and "Vertigo", I think. There's plenty of variety. I can't see them busting out "Luminous Times" to please the 14 people in the crowd that want to hear it.Some of the tours have 'set sequences' that don't vary much night to night, but I don't think U2 have played the same set in the same order twice.

What is annoying is that they promised a completely different feel night 1 to night 2 : that's not happening, and was a MAJOR role in my decision to do 7 instead of 3 shows.

Offline shorne

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Re: Why won’t U2 change up the set?
« Reply #4 on: May 25, 2015, 05:22:34 AM »
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It's a Bruce vs U2 thread? Think we've done these before. Youre judging U2 by Bruce's standards. Judge U2 by U2 standards.

However two points are demonstrably incorrect.

Around set length - namely Larry has had significant drumming injuries and is currently performing in some kind of elbow splint - a 135 minute set is plenty long enough and nobody should feel cheated by that. I saw the Prodigy the other week, and they did a 78 minute set - now that is short. I won't be going again.

Rigidity? The only song the band have played at every show since release so far are "Beautiful Day" and "Vertigo", I think. There's plenty of variety. I can't see them busting out "Luminous Times" to please the 14 people in the crowd that want to hear it.Some of the tours have 'set sequences' that don't vary much night to night, but I don't think U2 have played the same set in the same order twice.

What is annoying is that they promised a completely different feel night 1 to night 2 : that's not happening, and was a MAJOR role in my decision to do 7 instead of 3 shows.

YUP... this is why I decided to get premium tix for TWO shows in Boston.... not impressed. I'm hoping the show will evolve by then.

Offline fardreamer

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Re: Why won’t U2 change up the set?
« Reply #5 on: May 25, 2015, 06:05:06 AM »
All these entitled Americans bitching about going to see U2 over and over again.

Some of us don't get the privilege.

Seriously, you people don't appreciate how  fortunate you are.

Offline bass slap

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Re: Why won’t U2 change up the set?
« Reply #6 on: May 25, 2015, 06:19:56 AM »
Nothing was promised either. Not even to those in the promise land.
Their sets are rigid,it was a legitimate point. The majority of songs have to be in line with the screen production, lighting etc. It will restrict them.

Offline avard

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Re: Why won’t U2 change up the set?
« Reply #7 on: May 25, 2015, 06:38:35 AM »
Why are "we" Americans entitled?  U2has chosen to do this many concerts here.  They must know where their bread is buttered.  And some of us happen to be close to cities where multiple shows are played.   Many ARE NOT.  The band is skipping over the South completely Atlanta, Miami, Dallas,  proven cities on past U2tours. Some people just like to b****.

Offline avard

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Re: Why won’t U2 change up the set?
« Reply #8 on: May 25, 2015, 06:48:23 AM »
As to why they won't change up the set list,   they NEVER have and never will.  Once they decide not to be tied down to such a demanding visual production, maybe then they will loosen things up.  But it certainly seems this tour won't allow such spontenaiety.

Offline markreed

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Re: Why won’t U2 change up the set?
« Reply #9 on: May 25, 2015, 07:20:01 AM »
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All these entitled Americans bitching about going to see U2 over and over again.

Some of us don't get the privilege.

Seriously, you people don't appreciate how  fortunate you are.

I'm not American, by the way.

Offline wik73

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Re: Why won’t U2 change up the set?
« Reply #10 on: May 25, 2015, 07:38:09 AM »

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All these entitled Americans bitching about going to see U2 over and over again.

Some of us don't get the privilege.

Seriously, you people don't appreciate how  fortunate you are.

Perspective is a good thing. I suggest getting some. Wanting the band to change things up a little more is a conversation that has been going on for the past 3-4 tours. Although these shows are in America, from the reports I've read, there is much more than Americans going to these shows. Also, any fan has a right to complain about what seem like some fair criticisms at the point. Personally, I don't care is the set list is the same but many do and the band know it. It's a little unnerving to see someone take the opportunity for stereotypical cheap shot at Americans.

Offline Lebowski

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Re: Why won’t U2 change up the set?
« Reply #11 on: May 25, 2015, 07:57:53 AM »
Regarding band democracy, I have long said that Rush sets the standard for this.  The three members divide EVERYTHING that goes to the band evenly no matter what, so there is never an issue over money, and when it comes to live shows, they have long had a rule that all three gets to pick one song for the tour that they will play that the other two cannot veto. The rest are songs the three must unanimously want to play. Of course, it helps that Rush is like family; all three are long time best friends that still get along about as well as you can imagine. Pretty amazing.

But, back to U2, sadly for them, when it comes to set lists, by the time they put the new songs in and whatever standards they are going to play, there isn't a lot of room left for deep cuts.  Like it or not, U2 has too many casual fans, and you can't not play a lot of standards at every show  Imagine being a casual fan going to see U2 for the first time and they didn't play One, With or Without You, Beautiful Day, Pride or I Still Haven't... It would be incredibly disappointing for that fan (and every other casual fan).  In a sense, U2 is a bit handicapped by their own success.

Offline halljoh2

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Re: Why won’t U2 change up the set?
« Reply #12 on: May 25, 2015, 08:04:18 AM »
While I can see how its annoying to those going to several shows that only a quarter of the setlist is changing, I think they are playing a good balance of new material, hits, and other songs.  They can't please everyone and most people are only seeing 1 show.  Personally, whatever they play, I'm just jealous of those who can afford to go to a bunch of shows; I'm going to one and wish I was seeing more, whatever the setlist.

Offline cerveza

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Re: Why won’t U2 change up the set?
« Reply #13 on: May 25, 2015, 08:36:17 AM »
I couldn't care less what Springsteen does.

meximofo

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Re: Why won’t U2 change up the set?
« Reply #14 on: May 25, 2015, 08:49:37 AM »
Why they don't change the set and retire the war horses? Simple: because they work incredible well. Just ask anyone that went to the first shows.