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October the 7th, 2018. It's been only 14 months since U2 played in Amsterdam as part of their Joshua Tree tour. Their studio reputation, damaged by 2014's Songs of Innocence, was fully repaired in The Netherlands with a great new album that was well received by Dutch critics. Yet, in terms of live performances, the band never lost their credibility as the Dutch press has always been praising U2 for their live shows. Last night, U2 blew away their audience with a stunning first night in Amsterdam.

The Blackout kicks in together with overwhelming video content presented on the big screen in the middle of the arena. Directly following the beautiful Lights of Home, "There is more": I Will Follow, Gloria, Beautiful Day.

The first thing Bono said after the opening songs of the show was: "The sun is shining. Friday, Saturday, Sunday. The sun is shining in Amsterdam!".

Bono had clearly recovered from his loss of voice in Berlin a few weeks earlier. He also looked fresh and energized. The frontman talked about their innocence when they started their career here in Amsterdam at the Melkweg:

"Tonight we return as men daring to believe that at the far end of experience with some wisdom and good company we can again recover that innocence that we had when we came here to the Melkweg in the port of Amsterdam".

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"You can see the pain in his face, and I felt he was sincere," Bono said of the pope during a meeting at the Vatican.

By Carol Kuruvilla, Huffington Post

U2 musician Bono said he had a hard conversation with Pope Francis about the sexual abuse scandal that has been roiling the Irish singer's homeland.

Francis was "aghast" about sex abuse in the Roman Catholic Church, Bono told reporters after a private meeting with the pontiff at the Vatican on Wednesday.

"I explained to him how it looks to some people that the abusers are being more protected than the victims," Bono said, according to Reuters.

The singer said Francis appeared deeply troubled by this.

"You can see the pain in his face, and I felt he was sincere," Bono said.

"I think he is an extraordinary man for extraordinary times."

A spokesman for the singer later elaborated that Bono believes Francis is "the leader to put this right and change people's perceptions that the church is doing more to protect the abusers rather than the victims," according to The Irish Times.

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Latest U2 Concert

Opening Act(s): None

Setlist:

  1. The Blackout
  2. Lights of Home
  3. I Will Follow
  4. Gloria
  5. Beautiful Day
  6. Zoo Station
  7. Stay (Faraway, So Close!)
  8. Who's Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses
  9. The Fly
  10. Intermission (Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me)
  11. Elevation
  12. Vertigo - The Jean Genie
  13. Even Better Than the Real Thing (Fish Out of Water Mix)
  14. Hall of Mirrors - Acrobat
  15. You're the Best Thing About Me (Acoustic)
  16. Summer of Love (Acoustic)
  17. Pride (In the Name of Love)
  18. Get Out of Your Own Way
  19. New Year's Day
  20. Ode to Joy - City of Blinding Lights
  21. Encore(s):
  22. Women of the World - Landlady
  23. One - Invisible
  24. Love Is Bigger Than Anything in Its Way
  25. 13 (There Is a Light)

Remarks:

The 4th and final show in Milan featured the return of "Gloria" and for only the 2nd time ever, "Landlady". Just like in the night before, "The Fly" also stayed in the setlist and was performed for just the 2nd time in over 7 years. The Saudi Arabian journalist Jamal Khashoggi who was reportedly murdered in Turkey was mentioned at one point during the concert, and the show was dedicated to Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, who died the previous day at age 65.

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