Opening Act(s): Stereophonics
Elevation, Beautiful Day, Until The End Of The World, Discothèque, Staring At The Sun, Kite, New York, Out Of Control, Sunday Bloody Sunday, Wake Up Dead Man, Stuck In A Moment You Can’t Get Out Of, The Ground Beneath Her Feet, All I Want Is You, Where The Streets Have No Name, Mysterious Ways, Pride (In The Name Of Love). Encore: Bullet The Blue Sky, With Or Without You, We Love You, One-She’s A Mystery To Me, Walk On-Hallelujah.
Before One is performed, U2 debut a new song that is still unreleased and known by the “fan working title” of We Love You (or I Love You). It had recently been soundchecked, such as in Zurich, and was played in honor of The Edge, whose 40th birthday was two days away. The band’s original setlist had Party Girl listed before The Ground Beneath Her Feet but it was not played. Bono also sings ‘She’s A Mystery To Me’ in honor of Roy Orbison, whose final concert was in this same venue.
‘Everything is out of control…’
Well the headlines in the press after the first show are promising - ‘U2 Storm Over Belgium’ (Het Laatste Nieuws); ‘U2 In Sold Out SportPaleis - Crown on Rock Summer’ (Het Nieuwsblad) - and the second shows doesn’t disappoint.
And there are some tour firsts tonight - covers for example. Midway through Dischoteque, itself running into Staring at the Sun, Bono sings a snatch of INXS’s Devil Inside (Donna Summer’s Love to Love You Baby.
‘You know we started out our life as the Larry Mullen Band for a whole lunchbreak darling,’ explains the singer, introducing Kite. ‘This is a song about letting go of somebody you don’t what to let go of, something, somebody, this is Kite.’ At the end of which he wishes birthday greetings to the former singer of Skunk Anansie who is in the heart of the action. ‘Happy Birthday Skin, I can see you…’
Tonight it’s like their first night again and, once again, everything is out of control. ‘First single ever, it’s 1979… on the bass this evening and every other evening Adam Clayton, on the drums, big ideas, Larry Mullen Jnr, this is the Edge…’
‘Eighteen years,’ he muses later in the song, ‘And already out of control, out of control yeah, felt that way…’
And, in case anybody missed the news, Bono didn’t, utilising tonight’s performance of Sunday Bloody Sunday to update the audience with some promising political developments in Northern Ireland.
‘Can’t believe the news today, good news today, some people say some people gonna put the violence away, good news today if you’re Irish, even if you’re not - because everybody’s got a stake in the word compromise it’s a great word compromise and today some people across the border of Northern Ireland say they want to compromise and we want to sing our praises for them who will put down the gun and the plastic explosives and the phone calls that you just can’t trust, we want to say a thank you to the Provisional IRA, we want to say a thank you from Antwerp, it’s not so far away, now we’re back to something we can understand, something we can call civil rights…’
As Bono raps, the audience provide the beat, singing No War, No More, No War, No More…’
‘Stand up for your rights, but never take a life, Sunday Bloody Sunday, we’re so sick of it, we’ve had enough…’
The lighters are lit and held aloft for Wake Up Dead Man which introduces Stuck In A Moment and then, with just Bono and Edge performing, The Ground Beneath Her Feet. Mysterious Ways features a snatch of George Harrison’s My Sweet Lord and as the band leave the stage a fan shouts Happy Birthday to Edge, who turns to the microphone and thanks him.
Inevitably, on their return, Bono invites Antwerp to serenade Edge with birthday greetings: ‘You’re a couple of days off but we’re gonna make it Edge’s birthday month..’ At the end of which a new tune materialises from the band with Bono apparently coming up with a lyric on the spot. ’ Gonna make it up as we go along,’ he sings, encouraging the rest of the band to make it up as well. ‘Gonna make it up as we go along, I love you, love you And our love is true….’
Is it a new song, is it a jam, which is where new songs often begin ? It’s ‘a birthday song’ for Edge, explains Bono. Will we hear it again ? Only four people know.
‘Thank you for giving us a great life, thank you for giving us tonight’ says the singer, as he sings Mystery Girl solo before, dedicating Walk On to the late Roy Orbison.