"As a performer, I understand it takes a picture of me with the Pope or a president to get debt cancellation onto the front pages. Otherwise it's just too obscure a melody line."
U2 Lists: Top 5 U2 Songs I Want to Hear Live
February 19, 2015
[Ed. note: This is the 61st in a "U2 Lists" series, where @U2 staffers pick a topic and share their personal rankings on something U2-related.]
U2 set lists have long been the subject of debate among fans, ranging from “Do we really need to hear ‘I Still Haven’t Found’ for the umpteenth time?” to “Why has ‘Acrobat’ never made an appearance in the set list?” I know I’ve been guilty of analyzing set lists to death and giving out when my favorite wasn’t included. So in anticipation of the start of the Innocence and Experience tour, and perhaps the promise of a different show each night, I thought I’d add fuel to the fire and share songs I’d love to hear live. I’ve limited the number of songs to five; otherwise I’d be here forever! So here goes, in no particular order:
If I had to pick my favorite U2 song, this one would be a definite contender. Unfortunately, I still haven’t heard it live. I don’t think hearing the opening chords in the distance from my parents’ back garden, during the third night of the Vertigo tour in Croke Park, really counts! Utter devastation was the only way to describe how I felt that night. If U2 happen to read this (highly unlikely!), please play "Gloria!"
“Mofo,” my favorite song from Pop, is much underrated. I don’t think it’s been included in the set list since the PopMart tour, which is a huge shame. It’s made for a live setting: loud, brash and guaranteed to get everyone moving!
3. “The Troubles”
I was unsure whether to pick something from Songs Of Innocence, but decided on “The Troubles” as it is by far my favorite song on the album. I love the contrast of Bono’s vocals with the haunting tones of Lykke Li, and more than once the song has made me cry. For me it has to be included as it’s a song that will remain a favorite for a long time to come.
4. “A Sort Of Homecoming”
Like “Mofo,” this is another song I still haven’t heard live. I love the video of the live version from 1984 that showcases U2 on the verge of superstardom and the connection they had with their audience and still have today.
5. “Until The End Of The World”
So far my list includes U2 songs that I have yet to hear live. This one makes the list even though I’ve been lucky enough to experience “Until The End Of The World” live quite a few times, but will never tire of hearing it. It sounds so much better than the album version, and gives Bono even more of an excuse to behave like the show-off he is.
So these are my picks. Agree? Disagree? Have your say in our Forum.
(c) @U2/Foster, 2015.