Is There a Night One Curse?

I think there is, at least throughout this tour. I don’t mean a curse where things go wrong (although I guess Edge falling off the stage on Vancouver night one, which also happened to be night one of the entire tour, would be pretty good evidence of that). But no, I don’t mean that kind of curse.

What I actually mean is that night one shows have so far been the nights with the more predictable setlists; then, the subsequent nights tend to have the slightly deviated setlists. The quintessential example thus far was my first show of the tour, Los Angeles night one. I thought it was great, and it was – and then came night two, when the band went offscript with Bad/Moment of Surrender snippet and closed with 40 to memorialize Dennis Sheehan. Because I know you’re dying to, you can read how I reacted to that particular night one curse here (I was too mad to do a recap of LA night two, so I mentioned it in my review of LA night four; that was when I was back in the crowd, had time to calm down and was soothed by the fact that we got not only 40 that night, but the tour debut of All I Want is You (something no night one crowd is ever going to get, mark my words).

The exception to the night one curse so far has been Denver, where the audience got an equally mediocre setlist both nights (which probably bummed out people hoping for a spectacular re-creation of Red Rocks, complete with the white flag and Bono climbing up the PA. Unfortunately, U2 isn’t willing to go quite that far).

The most recent example of the night one curse is of course Montreal, where the set was nice and normal on night one, and night two brought back the return of Bad after a six-show hiatus and the crowd-pleasing (and by crowd-pleasing, I mean the Twitter crowd) Lucifer’s Hands. Just an aside, are those of you who are begging for Crystal Ballroom to be played really that in love with the song, or is it just the excitement of having this new SOI track squeezed in mid-way through the tour? I don’t judge, just curious!

Mmkay, so that leads to my quandary. If the night one curse is real (just pretend it is for a moment), then did I make a mistake by getting tickets for Boston night one instead of two? This was the only other option, in my case – and I hope I didn’t blow it. If I did, I won’t know until the next night anyway, when I’m tuning in to Periscope and hearing the crowd get Running to Stand Still, A Sort of Homecoming, The Fly and Trash Trampoline (yes, I know only two of those songs have been rehearsed – we’re being facetious here). Maybe Boston, being U2’s favorite American city as Cup of Joe claims, will get rare tracks and delightfully unscripted moments every single night, including night one. Ah, dream out loud.


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U2 history seeker in the radical center. The air is so anxious; all my thoughts are so reckless. Contact via Twitter at @U2RadioBrook.

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