U2 Kicks Off ‘The Joshua Tree’ 2017 Tour: Photos, Videos, Set List
You can see photos of the band performing on their massive, video-screen dominated new stage set above, and check out the full set list and fan-shot YouTube videos of over a dozen songs from the evening below.
The show was divided into four distinct, chronologically arranged sections. Bono, the Edge, Larry Mullen Jr. and Adam Clayton started with five of their earliest and most political songs, including opener “Sunday Bloody Sunday,” “New Year’s Day” and “Pride (In the Name of Love).”
Next they performed The Joshua Tree in order, including the live debut of “Red Hill Mining Town” and their first run through the exuberant “Trip Through Your Wires” in three decades.
After a brief second-stage set focusing on post-Joshua Tree hits such as “Beautiful Day” and “One,” U2 closed out the show with a special surprise. Earlier this year, bassist Adam Clayton said that while the band had stopped work on their upcoming album Songs of Experience to focus on the tour, they would likely play some new, unknown songs on the road. Indeed, the last song they played on opening night was a song from that project, a delicate piano-based ballad named “The Little Things That Give You Away.”
15 Songs From Opening Night of U2’s 2017 ‘Joshua Tree’ Tour
The band first announced that they would resurrect The Joshua Tree last Christmas. The tour that pays tribute to their own 1987 blockbuster album is set to span six weeks in North America, including a stop at the Bonnaroo Music + Arts Festival in Tennessee, followed by three weeks in Europe.
“Recently I listened back to The Joshua Tree for the first time in nearly 30 years,” Bono wrote on their website. “It’s quite an opera. A lot of emotions which feel strangely current, love, loss, broken dreams, seeking oblivion, polarization… all the greats… I’ve sung some of these songs a lot… but never all of them. I’m up for it, if our audience is as excited as we are… it’s gonna be a great night. Especially when we play at home. Croke Park… it’s where the album was born, 30 years ago.”
The Edge also told Rolling Stone that the election of Donald Trump influenced the decision to play The Joshua Tree. “That record was written in the mid-’80s, during the Reagan-Thatcher era of British and U.S. politics,” he said. “It was a period when there was a lot of unrest. Thatcher was in the throes of trying to put down the miners’ strike; there was all kinds of shenanigans going on in Central America. It feels like we’re right back there in a way.”
Accordingly, the group took a very clear shot at America’s new president before “Exit” with a skit that showed a con artist named “Trump” visiting a frontier western town promising to build a wall to keep everybody safe.
U2, ‘Joshua Tree’ 2017 Set List: Vancouver B.C., May 12, 2017
1. “Sunday Bloody Sunday”
2. “New Year’s Day”
3. “A Sort of Homecoming”
5. “Pride (In the Name of Love)”
The Joshua Tree:
6. “Where the Streets Have No Name”
7. “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For”
8. “With or Without You”
9. “Bullet the Blue Sky”
10. “Running to Stand Still”
11. “Red Hill Mining Town”
12. “In God’s Country”
13. “Trip Through Your Wires”
14. “One Tree Hill”
16. “Mothers of the Disappeared”
17. “Beautiful Day”
19. “Ultraviolet (Light My Way)”
21. “Miss Sarajevo”
22. “The Little Things That You Give Away”