I wanted to write something special today to celebrate the Christmas holiday that is only a couple of days away…one day away, as you read this…but the truth is, I’ve already written about every holiday song U2, or any member thereof, has contributed to. So, I decided to get a little creative and to write about the next “present” that we can look forward to receiving from our favorite band, 2019’s U2.com subscriber gift.
In case you haven’t already heard, next year’s subscriber gift takes a page from 2012’s gift, U22, which was a double live album containing twenty-two tracks taken from various dates of the 360 tour. In that same vein, the upcoming release will consist of two discs of live material from the 2015 and 2018 tours. I expect that the set will consist of between twenty and twenty-six tracks. Maybe the first disc will be of tracks from the e&i tour, while the second disc will all be from this year’s i&e tour, or maybe they will all be sequenced together in an order that roughly approximates a live show. That latter option might be tricky since the two shows were so different from one another, so my money is on the former option. The second thing that I am curious about, and the one that I expect most people reading this wonder about as well, is what tracks will be included. There are a few that we can almost certainly expect — “The Miracle (Of Joey Ramone),” “Song For Someone,” “Every Breaking Wave,” “Raised By Wolves,” (a personal favorite) “Cedarwood Road,” “Iris (Hold Me Close),” “Lights of Home,” “The Blackout,” “Get Out of Your Own Way,” “You’re the Best Thing About Me,” “Love is Bigger Than Anything in its Way,” and “13 (There is a Light).” That’s twelve songs, so about half of the total number of songs that will be on the set, give or take. What would be really exciting to me is if the band decides to include some songs that weren’t performed every night. I guess of these, “American Soul” has the best chance of making it, since it was performed every night of the North American leg, but I’d also love to see some songs that were only performed a handful of times, such as “Landlady,” “Calfornia (There is No End to Love),” and “The Crystal Ballroom.” Including those would be pretty ballsy of the band, but I think that such a combination of obvious inclusions and more esoteric choices would appeal to both hardcore fans and more casual ones as well. There will also be some room for songs that didn’t originate with either of the “Songs of…” albums. I would bet money that “Sunday Bloody Sunday” will be on there. “Beautiful Day” and “Elevation” are likely. I really hope that the band includes “Dirty Day” from one of the last few shows, as well as “Stay (Faraway, So Close),” and “Who’s Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses” from the European leg of the tour. We should know more about what songs did and didn’t make the cut sometime early next year, according to U2.com, but either way, I’m excited to see what we get, and I hope you are too. In just a few short months, it will be like Christmas all over again once those sets start shipping! Happy holidays to all of you!