SPOILERS: Day One: The Joshua Tree Tour 2019 Rehearsals

Original Story (2019-11-02)

As expected, the band started rehearsals in Auckland today. However, the full band wasn’t present, and there was no sign of Bono. All of the work done was instrumental, and Larry, Adam and The Edge were present. Music was heard coming out of Mt Smart stadium, and we list the songs below.

As this is for a tour that people may or may not want advance information about we are making these with a spoiler warning. If you read past this you will possibly be spoiled. We will attempt to not spoil things on social media as well and ask those reading to be conscientious that others may not want to know this information.


First off, it looks like “Ultra Violet (Light My Way)” is returning to the set list. One sent out a message through various channels last night promoting the HerStory aspect of the song and asking people to nominate a woman to feature on the screens, much like what was done on earlier legs. In 2017 each night U2 would feature “luminous icons” on screen, women who had been trailblazers in some way. For a full list of the women featured on the 2017 tour we have that, and short bios of the women featured here.

The post read, “It’s one of the most talked about moments of U2’s The Joshua Tree Tour – the breathtaking on-screen visualization of “herstory” as the band perform Ultraviolet (Light My Way).” From activists Sojourner Truth to Faith Bandler, Melinda Gates and Greta Thunberg, the dozens of striking images appearing and disappearing on the screen highlight the story of “luminous” women who “light the way” to a better world.”

It appears the band was working on the encore section of the show tonight. Activity started in the early evening, as Edge could be seen on stage playing some chords, while working with Dallas Schoo. The music heard coming from the stadium tonight included:

  • Ultra Violet (Light My Way) [riffs]
  • Mothers of the Disappeared
  • Angel of Harlem
  • Elevation
  • Vertigo
  • Even Better Than the Real Thing
  • Every Breaking Wave
  • Beautiful Day

Of the songs rehearsed “Angel of Harlem,” “Even Better Than the Real Thing” and “Every Breaking Wave” would be new for The Joshua Tree Tour 2019. The other songs were performed in 2017 as part of the tour. “Beautiful Day,” and “Elevation” were played every night. And “Vertigo” was played at all of the shows except for 10 early on in the tour. “Ultra Violet” was played at every show except for one, and during that show, the Herstory presentation was shown during “Mysterious Ways.” “Angel of Harlem” was last heard at U2’s show at the Apollo Theater, but was last regularly played during the 2015 Innocence + Experience tour, that was also the last tour to feature “Every Breaking Wave”. “Even Better than the Real Thing” was recently featured on the 2018 Experience + Innocence tour, being introduced on the second leg of that tour and played throughout from that point.

The band wasn’t initially expecting to have access to the venue this early, as Metallica was originally booked to be doing a show at Mt Smart, but they have since had to cancel their tour. This has allowed U2’s team early access to set up the stage and to start some early rehearsing.

It is expected that rehearsals will continue daily up until the 6th, and we will report on them as information is available. Many thanks to Glen Mortensen for information about the rehearsals to date. U2 has posted footage of the “Ultra Violet (Light My Way)” riff being played on their social media accounts, and also posted a clip of “Mothers of the Disappeared” being played on their Instagram story.

Other Rehearsal Updates:

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