Opening Act(s): None
- The Miracle (Of Joey Ramone)
- Out of Control - Gloria (by Van Morrison)
- Do You Remember Rock ‘n’ Roll Radio? - Vertigo - God Save the Queen
- I Will Follow
- Iris (Hold Me Close)
- Cedarwood Road
- Song for Someone
- Sunday Bloody Sunday - When Johnny Comes Marching Home
- Raised by Wolves
- Until the End of the World - Love and Peace or Else Intermission
- Even Better Than the Real Thing
- Mysterious Ways - Burning Down the House
- Stuck in a Moment You Can’t Get Out Of
- Every Breaking Wave
- Bullet the Blue Sky - 19
- The Hands That Built America - Pride (In the Name of Love) - Give Peace a Chance
- (What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love, and Understanding - Beautiful Day - Instant Karma - Give Peace a Chance
- Bad - Moment of Surrender
- With or Without You Encore(s):
- City of Blinding Lights
- Mother and Child Reunion - Where the Streets Have No Name - California (There Is No End to Love)
- I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For - Stand by Me
U2’s first of two concerts in Toronto, Ontario, highlight John Lennon’s influence on U2 during the band’s younger years. Throughout the show, Bono references some song snippets from John Lennon (“Instant Karma”, “Give Peace a Chance”, etc.). The reason for this Lennon theme is because U2’s very first show in Toronto (December 9, 1980) occurred the day after John Lennon was assassinated. Later on in the show, U2 invited the U2 tribute band Acrobat onstage to perform “Desire”, with two Bonos and two Edges on the b stage, along with the rest of the cover band on bass and drums (the real Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen watched from on the floor). Overall, 26 songs were performed tonight, making this the most lengthy setlist on the tour to date.
U2 bring Innocence + Experience to Toronto
by Jane Stevenson, Postmedia Network
TORONTO - In the end, experience won out over innocence - big time.
And a U2 tribute band and a belly dancer named Jessica didn’t hurt either.
Veteran Dublin rock band U2 brought their big, ambitious, high-tech and very personal Innocence + eXperience world tour to the Air Canada Centre on Monday night for the first of two shows.
And after a mostly muted opening set with some sound issues off the top and far too many new songs from the band’s badly executed (hell-o Apple!) and mostly critically panned 2014 album, Songs of Innocence, the quartet rebounded nicely with a highly-spirited second half full of hits and a few unlikely surprises.
The so-called Experience part of the set found U2 pluck a belly dancer out of the audience to dance on stage with them for Mysterious Ways followed by the tribute band Acrobat who delivered an inspired version of Desire.
When the two Bonos joined each other for the song’s ending, it was about as wacky as live shows get yet somehow it worked.
“Hey Bono, don’t believe everything they say about you - only about half of it is true,” said real Bono to fake Bono, the actual rock star proving his sense of humour was still intact.
The band - rounded out by guitarist the Edge, bassist Adam Clayton and drummer Larry Mullen Jr., - initially walked on stage to the tune of Patti Smith’s People Have The Power.
And despite including excellent early songs Out Of Control and I Will Follow along with Vertigo, U2 chose to fill the first set with material from Songs of Innocence starting with The Miracle Of (Joey Ramone) and followed by Iris (Hold Me Close) - about Bono’s mother who died when he was 14 years old - Cedarwood Road, about Bono’s childhood home, Song For Someone, about Bono’s wife, and Raised By Wolves, about a real-life car bombing in Dublin.
None ignited the crowd until the oldie Until The End of the World driven by the Edge’s great sounding chimey guitar.
Even Sunday Bloody Sunday was stripped down and robbed of its usual anthemic power and it started to make me wonder if the U2 curse - Bono had a bad bike accident last fall in Central Park that required major surgery, the Edge walked off the stage at the tour launch in Vancouver in May - was continuing.
The second set began slowly with yet another new song, Invisible, but then it all started to go very right beginning with the belly dancer who told Bono later she had danced with them ten years earlier at the same venue.
Elevation got the crowd further pumped up and then cover band Acrobat was helped up on stage after Bono noticed their bassist wearing a disco ball hat.
“That’s a good start,” said the singer. “Are you any good?
Turns out they were and when the fake Bono threatened to eclipse the real Bono, U2 finally kicked into high gear.
Stuck in A Moment was simply but beautifully presented with the Edge playing piano and the new song Every Breaking Wave proved to be the most palatable of the night.
Bullet The Blue Sky, Pride (In the Name of Love), Beautiful Day, Bad, And With Or Without You followed and the momentum kept up during the encore of The City of Blinding Lights, Where The Streets Have No Name (despite Bono not running around the stage as in previous tours), I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For and a cover of Stand By Me.
As for the much talked about elevated LED screen cage that paralled U2’s long catwalk from the main stage to the tiny stage at the end of the floor, it was impressive especially when band members could climb up stairs to walk through it while cool imagery was projected around and on them.
For example, we got to see Bono walk through his childhood home during Cedarwood Road and an 18-year-old Bono write a song in his bedroom trying to impress his girlfriend, now wife during Song For Someone.
But if you were behind the group as opposed to on either side of the cage, how much of those mind-blowing, cool visuals did you actually get to see?
Another downside to that large screen is that it effectively cut the audience in half on the floor, so the energy was often dampened as a result.
“Thanks for sticking with us Toronto - you’ve always been good to us,” said Bono, shortly after the show kicked off, remembering the band’s 1980 Toronto debut at the El Mocambo the day after John Lennon was shot.
“The world needs more Canadas!”
People Have the Power intro
The Miracle (Of Joey Ramone)
Out of Control
Vertigo (Do You Remember Rock ‘n’ Roll… more )
I Will Follow
Iris (Hold Me Close)
Song for Someone
Sunday Bloody Sunday
Raised by Wolves (Psalm 23 (snippet))
Until the End of the World (Love and Peace or Else (snippet))
Even Better Than the Real Thing
Desire (by U2 tribute band Acrobat)
Stuck in a Moment You Can’t Get Out Of (piano version)
Every Breaking Wave (acoustic)
Bullet the Blue Sky
Pride (In the Name of Love) (Hands that Built America snippet)
Bad (Moment of Surrender snippet)
With or Without You
City of Blinding Lights
Where the Streets Have No Name (With Mother and Child Reunion intro)
I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For
Stand by Me
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Original article: http://www.torontosun.com/2015/07/06/u2-bring-innocence—experience-to-toronto
All photos by © Jack Boland / Toronto Sun