Leg Two: Joshua Tree Tour Songs

Original Story by Aaron J. Sams (2017-08-02)

For each U2 Tour there is a mix of songs before the band takes the stage and The Joshua Tree 2017 tour is no exception. On past tours this mix would often be curated by Longtime friend of the abandoned, Gavin Friday. And indeed it is expected that he is still involved. This article deals with the second leg of The Joshua Tree 2017 tour, for the first leg see the article here. We have a Spotify playlist set up here for anyone who would like to listen to the songs below as they read through the article.

The European leg started out similar to North America with early shows having identical music in most cases. But slowly material has been added in Europe.

Before the opening act a mix of full albums would be heard. In Europe those albums include:

  • The xx – I See You Album
  • Simple Minds – New Gold Dream (81-82-83-84) Album
  • Kendrick Lamar – Damn Album
  • Gorillaz – Humanz Album

As well as these full albums being played a single song often pops up in the song list:

  • “Don’t Wanna Fight” – Alabama Shakes

The xx album tracks identified include “Performance,” “Replica,” “Dangerous,” “Say Something Loving,” “ I Dare You,” “A Violent Noise,” and “On Hold.” On the Kendrick Lamar album tracks identified include “DNA,” “Element,” “XXX” and “Loyalty.” On the Gorillaz album tracks identified include “Saturn Barz,” “Hallelujah Money,” “Busted and Blue,” “Carnival,” “Let Me Out,” “Strobelite,” “Submission,” “She’s My Collar,” and “Charger.” Tracks from the Simple Minds album include “Someone Somewhere (In Summertime),” “Big Sleep,” and “Colours Fly and Catherine Wheel.”

Just before Noel Gallagher takes the stage, we hear a Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds song titled “Shoot a Hole Into the Sun” over the PA instead of live. In Berlin in the heavy rain, ahead of that song they played “Singin’ in the Rain” performed by Gene Kelly and Debbie Reynolds as well.

After Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds finished on stage most nights U2 would go into a mix of unique songs. However, in Brussels, the mix was made up of the albums mentioned above and was not the traditional mix

The songs we were able to identify in this section include:

  • “Fool’s Errand” – Fleet Foxes
  • “Nothing’s Gonna Hurt You Baby” – Cigarettes After Sex
  • “Love is Lost (Hello Steve Reich Mix) – David Bowie
  • “Nikes” – Frank Ocean
  • “Summertime Sadness” – Lana Del Rey
  • “Call the Police” – LCD Soundsystem
  • “The Man Who Sold the World” – Nirvana
  • “Cars” – Gary Numan
  • “1979” – Smashing Pumpkins
  • “Loud Places” – Jamie XX ft. Romy
  • “Testify” – HiFi Sean ft. Crystal Waters
  • “American Dream” – LCD Soundsystem
  • “Electric Feel – MGMT
  • “Seasons (Waiting on You)” – Future Islands
  • “Where’s the Revolution” – Depeche Mode
  • “The Guns of Brixton” – The Clash
  • “Burn the Witch” – Radiohead
  • “Under Your Spell” – Desire
  • “Dirty Old Town” – The Pogues
  • “The Boys Are Back in Town” – Thin Lizzy

These songs are on a loop of some sort and the song that appears before the show starts changes. In Europe this last song included “Seasons (Waiting For You),” “The Man Who Sold the World,” “Nikes,” “Love is Lost,” “Where’s the Revolution,”“ and “The Boys Are Back in Town.”

In Dublin the pre-show music was timed so that “The Boys are Back in Town” was the last song of the mix played prior to The Waterboys’ “The Whole of the Moon” which is the song U2 uses to take the stage every night on the European leg. “The Boys Are Back in Town” first appeared in the pre-show music in Dublin. “Dirty Old Town” by The Pogues first appeared in Paris.

After the show ends the song played was “A Pair of Brown Eyes” by The Pogues each night in Europe.

You can see our earlier articles about these pre-show songs here. Our archive currently goes back to the 1997 PopMart Tour with some earlier music covered as well.

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