SPOILERS: U2eiTOUR Rehearsal Day One Report: April 9

Original Story by Aaron J. Sams (2018-04-10)

WARNING: As the tour rehearsals progress we will be posting spoilers about songs on the site itself. We will try to give advance warning about these in this fashion. THIS STORY CONTAINS SPOILERS. If you continue reading below you will find spoilers about songs that were heard at the venue, as well as rehearsal timing and other information some fans may not want to hear. We would ask that you remember some fans do not want spoilers before the start of the tour, and use caution when posting about this story on your social media feeds.

U2 have arrived in Laval, Quebec, just outside of Montreal, and have possibly started to rehearse for the upcoming eXPERIENCE + iNNOCENCE tour which will start May 2, in Tulsa Oklahoma. The band is rehearsing at the small arena, Place Bell, in Laval, a newer venue which opened in 2017, and holds 10,000 people. The venue is a multi-rink complex, and one of the rinks is still covered in ice, and will be used for an upcoming Laval Rocket hockey game on Friday evening. U2 are working in another part of the complex at this time.

We are told all four members of U2 were present at the venue yesterday.

If you continue beyond this point there will be spoilers. This is your last chance to turn around.

Bono and The Edge flew in from Dublin yesterday afternoon. Bono was spotted entering the venue around 6pm in the evening accompanied by Brian Murphy. We are told that the other band members were inside at that time. Bono did not stop for autographs or photos. Throughout the early evening a number of songs could be heard coming from the venue, but it is unknown as to whether this was members of U2 performing, or possibly technicians playing the songs. At this early stage it could be either. During that time a number of songs were heard from Achtung Baby. This included some riffs of “The Fly,” work on “Until the End of the World,” and “Acrobat”. The new song “Lights of Home” was also heard.

Again, this may have been technicians setting up equipment. It was however, not album music being played over the PA, and sounded as if it was being worked on live. Although Bono was seen entering the venue, all of the band were able to leave without being seen. The crew had mostly wrapped up and had finished and were leaving the venue around 9pm.

“Acrobat” is a song that the U2 community has long hoped to hear live in concert. The song, first released on Achtung Baby in 1991 has never been performed live in concert at any U2 concert, although it was rehearsed just prior to the third leg of the Zoo TV tour. Leading up to the start of the tour, the band practiced in Hershey PA, and “Acrobat” was heard being practiced prior to the opening of the tour. However, the dress rehearsal on August 7, 1992 saw the band drop the song from the set list, and it has not been played since. On April 14, 2015, U2 fans from all over the world participated in #U2Request – during that time over 39,000 tweets and retweets naming songs they wanted to hear, “Acrobat” was the clear favorite in that list of requests for songs to hear live.

The Fly“, another song from Achtung Baby, was last played on U2’s U2360° Tour at the final night of that tour in Moncton, NB in 2011. “Until the End of the World,” also from Achtung Baby was last played at the final show of U2’s 2015 tour, iNNOCENCE + eXPERIENCE. These songs join “Who’s Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses” from Achtung Baby, which the band performed during rehearsals in Monaco and posted about on social media a few weeks back. “Who’s Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses” song was not heard in rehearsal yesterday. Again, these songs may have just been technicians setting up, and may not have been U2 performing. As well, like “Acrobat” on the Zoo TV Tour, often songs are rehearsed extensively in rehearsals but may not appear in the actual shows.

The upcoming tour is using the stage from 2015’s iNNOCENCE + eXPERIENCE tour, but has been advertised as including a new screen at 9x the resolution of the 2015 screen. The tour has been tipped as using Augmented Reality in a recent article in Rolling Stone, and that we took a closer look at in March.

The band is expected to rehearse in Laval until April 24, at which point the band and the crew will relocate to the BOK Center in Tulsa. The band will not be loading into that venue until after April 26 as Judas Priest is performing at that venue that night.

Many thanks to Talie, Karin, Annouche, Jean-Paul, and a few contributors who wished to remain unnamed for sending information to us over the last few days. Earlier reports on the progress of rehearsals are linked below:

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