Monday, December 14, 2015

Hot! Live! Music!

Eagles Of Death Metal and U2, “People Have The Power”
Enough said

The Edge, “Running To Stand Still”
On my list of things that I would do all day if I could, “listening to the Edge mess around on the guitar” ranks just between “taste tester for Baskin Robbins” and “watch internet videos of people laughing uncontrollably”

U2, “Magnificent”

U2’s recent tour didn’t have a ton of setlist variation from night, apart from their “e-stage” set when they rolled through quite a few songs in semi-impromptu style.  One of those songs was a one-off performance of Magnificent, a track that I always felt U2 had high hopes for but abandoned since they never quite nailed playing it live.  This version is certainly the best of any version I’d ever heard, though U2 never played it again and went back to pretending that the entire No Line On The Horizon album never existed.

U2, “Gloria”
The other notable area of setlist variety (sort of) was the second song of the night, when U2 would play one of their early hits to reflect the ‘punk’ theme of the first act.  The band rotated through Out Of Control (good), Electric Co (great) and Gloria (the best, since the guys seemed really into a song they’d played so infrequently in the last couple of decades).

U2, “I’ll Go Crazy If I Don’t Go Crazy Tonight”

Case in point — U2 was so tired of the NLOTH tracks that they didn’t even play many of them on the album’s own supporting tour.  And one of the few that actually became an every-show staple was drastically reworked from its recorded version, as U2 embraced a remix and turned ‘Crazy Tonight’ from a mid-tempo dad rock song into a dance-club banger.  The original isn’t one of my favourites but damn if that isn’t a good chorus; just look at the big beaming smile on Adam Clayton’s face at 2:05.  You can’t put a price on that!

U2, “Vertigo”
So back during the Vertigo Tour, U2 used to actually play the namesake song twice — once as the second tune of the night and then again as the last song of the encore.  The idea was to harken back to U2’s early days when they had so few songs that they had to play all their early hits (I Will Follow, Out Of Control, 11 O’Clock Tick Tock) early in the set and then play them all again in the encore.  Cute idea when you’re an up-and-coming band, less cute when you’re a fan paying $100 for a ticket and hearing the same song more than once.

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