When you’re an artist with a 100-plus song catalog, it’s inevitable that lots of tracks fall through the cracks. That problem is doubled when playing to a stadium crowd every night. U2 has been on their 360 tour for more than two years now, pushing through an increasing number of setbacks and distractions. Bono‘s back injury canceled the band’s Glastonbury appearance and delayed their North American dates for a year. Promises of four new albums have stalled for the moment. Spiderman…just Spiderman.
But despite all that, U2 has returned stateside this month for the final trek of what’s now officially the highest-grossing tour of all time. They’ll play all throughout North America (with a stop over at Glastonbury) before finally ending in Moncton, Canada on July 30th. But just because this tour’s been an overwhelming success, doesn’t mean there aren’t some songs we’d like to hear that haven’t made the cut. While rarities like “Miss Sarajevo” and “Zooropa” have found a place alongside “Beautiful Day” and “One”, there’s always time to shake up the set some more.
10. “Love is Blindness”
At first listen, the Achtung Baby cut may seem too slow and dark for a stadium setting. But as the former closer of U2’s ZooTV Tour, it’s an approaching storm. The instrumentation swells, along with Bono’s desperate vocals, before thundering into one of the most intense solos the Edge has ever played. Put this one after “Moment of Surrender” and let it close a concert again.
Ah, the much-criticized Pop album. Often deemed a failure, U2 has excluded this record from their live sets as much as possible this past decade. That’s a mistake. “Mofo” is one of the most energetic, funky songs they’ve ever done. From the speeding bass to the screaming guitar, this number is made for a visual spectacle. With a giant spaceship stage, this song is the ingredient they need to fry the audience’s minds in a good way.
Another high intensity track that’s been gone way too long (since 1986!), “Wire” is nothing short of frantic. All the instruments drive along in speeding melodies that won’t let you sit still. Bono’s vocals hit some of the highest notes in his career, even shouting his way into a falsetto tone two or three times. Put this Unforgettable Fire song towards the front of the setlist, play it loud, and play it aggressively. Then watch the crowd go nuts.
07. “When I Look at the World”
From 2000’s All That You Can’t Leave Behind, this is the most recent song on the list for a simple reason. It’s never been played live. The reason why? Rumor has it that everything was recorded so quickly that the Edge couldn’t recall how to play it. If that’s true, they should still find a way. It’s one of the highlights from the album; featuring that optimism in the face of darkness that U2 does best. It’s every bit as uplifting as “Walk On” and should be featured alongside it.