Letzigrund Stadium, Zurich, Switzerland
Set List of Show:
- "Return of the Stingray Guitar"
- "Beautiful Day"
- "I Will Follow"
- "Get On Your Boots"
- "Mysterious Ways"
- "Until the End of the World"
- "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For"
- "North Star"
- "In a Little While"
- "Miss Sarajevo"
- "City Of Blinding Lights"
- "I'll Go Crazy if I Don't Go Crazy Tonight"
- "Sunday Bloody Sunday"
- "Mothers of the Disappeared"
- "Walk On"
- "Where the Streets Have No Name"
- "Moment of Surrender"
Pre-Recorded Intro Song: "Space Oddity" - David Bowie
Pre-Recorded Exit Song: "Rocket Man" - Elton John
Snippets of Other Songs Performed by U2:
"Rain" (The Beatles) /
"I Can't Stand the Rain" (Tina Turner) /
"Singin' In the Rain" (Gene Kelly) /
"Teenage Kicks" (The Undertones) /
"Two Tribes" (Frankie Goes to Hollywood) /
"Discothèque" (U2) /
"Relax" (Frankie Goes to Hollywood) /
"You'll Never Walk Alone" (from Carousel by Rodgers and Hammerstein) /
"Like a Hurricane" (Neil Young) /
U2 play a second show at Letzigrund Stadium with OneRepublic as the opening act. The venue is little more than a circular roof covering a level of grandstands. The claw can be seen towering over the venue from outside. The afternoon is a beautiful sunny day with few clouds in the skies. During OneRepublic’s performance the sun is low in the sky and sunglasses are needed to see the band on stage. During the break between bands the sky turns dark as clouds roll quickly in from the Alps, and by the time the band take the stage twenty minutes late, the rain has started with the first drops falling as “Space Oddity” plays over the PA. (The delay is to put up the stage umbrellas, even U2’s crew were taken unaware that this weather was coming.)
What comes next can only be described as torrential rain. For two straight hours the sky pours down on Zurich, wet and cold. The fans on the floor quickly become soaked. And a few songs in the crowd begins to thin out in the downpour, as people head to the entrances to the floor, and the upper concourse area to try to escape the rain. What follows is what many fans who were there say was one of the best shows of the tour.
The show started out with “Return of the Stingray Guitar” with the sky starting to pour. Bono did his lap around the outer ring of the stage looking like it wasn’t going to phase him. And throughout the show he didn’t stay under the cover of the umbrellas, he and the rest of the band were out and getting wet with everyone else. “Beautiful Day” returned to the second slot in the show. “I Will Follow” is next, only its third appearance on the U2360 set lists to date, after recent appearances in Athens and Helsinki.
Coming out of “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” Bono announced that the band would be doing a couple of new songs. The first is “North Star”. Although the band have been heard sound checking that song as a full band, tonight it is just Bono and The Edge playing. It is the third time the song is heard on this leg of the tour.
Up next? U2 gives their debut performance of a new song called “Mercy”. The song was developed during the How to Dismantle An Atomic Bomb sessions and was one of the last songs cut from that album. It hasn’t been released, but thanks to a leak on the internet in 2004, many of the fans present tonight know the song and are excited to hear it live. It’s not quite the same song that leaked in 2004, some of the lyrics have been changed out and the drum roll break in the original recording didn’t make the live debut, but it’s a welcome addition tonight.
During “City of Blinding Lights” Bono brings a young boy onto the stage, walking him around in the rain. The crowd is soaked to the skin and as many fans seek out dryness in other areas of the stadium, those who remain inside the outer circle see a dance party develop during “City of Blinding Lights”, “Vertigo” and “I’ll Go Crazy if I Don’t Go Crazy Tonight”. Fans are dancing in groups, swinging each other around, jumping around in the rain. A more enthusiastic crowd I’ve yet to see at a U2 show.
“Mothers of the Disappeared” is another surprise this evening. The band played the song in Istanbul with a special guest on stage, but tonight they play the song by themselves, and it sounds wonderful in the rainfall.
The rain gets so heavy that the band decides to cut some songs from the encore and wrap the show early. “With or Without You” and the rotational song (“Ultra Violet” or “Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me” are both cut from the show. Both songs make use of the illuminated microphone and jacket, and this may have played into the decision to shorten the show. The microphone hangs down from the structure, and there is some lightning and the rain is picking up. Adam returns for the encore with his shirt off, and walks around in the rain with a big smile on his face.
Tonight Bono dedicates “Moment of Surrender” to Dr. Müller Wohlfhart who is present at the show. The doctor is the physician for the Bayern Munich soccer club, as well for the German national team. And he’s also one of the doctors who worked with Bono for his back injury the previous year.
Snippets tonight include “Rain” in “Beautiful Day” and again in “Where the Streets Have No Name”. “I Can’t Stand the Rain” appears in “Mysterious Ways”. “Singin’ in the Rain” appears in “Elevation”, “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” and “City of Blinding Lights”. And “Like a Hurricane” appears in “One”. Bono also makes time for a few non-weather related snippets, including “Teenage Kicks” in “Vertigo”, “Two Tribes” in “I’ll Go Crazy” and “You’ll Never Walk Alone” during “Walk On”. The Edge works his own riff into “I’ll Go Crazy” – although Bono doesn’t sing any lyrics from “Discotheque”, The Edge adds a riff from “Discotheque” into the song.
In his diary on U2.com, Willie Williams talks about the weather, “Then with timing weirdly reminiscent of Moscow, as the opening chords of Space Oddity rolled, the first big drops started to fall from the sky. Even by the time U2 took the stage it was quite definitely raining and the stage brollies were rising from underworld. It rained steadily and gradually ramped up during the course of the show until reaching an intensity that I can’t recall ever having seen at a U2 show before (even at Red Rocks it stopped raining periodically). It was absolutely torrential and utterly relentless, so far from shying away and hiding under the brollies, the band just threw themselves into the show and the weather, and the crowd just loved it. Not surprisingly, it ended up being an incredibly intense and very emotionally charged night, performed with a wonderful sense of complete abandonment.”
Willie also shared, “It was a wild night and one for the history books. I can hear us saying at gigs in the far distant future: ‘Sure, it rained tonight, but it was nothing like Zurich 2!’” Visiting Adelaide and discussing the possibility of rain, he did bring up the Zurich show, “In a funny way because everyone’s in the rain, the audience can see the band getting soaked, it actually turns it into an event like Woodstock.” And asked about rain at shows, many in the crew still reference the night in Zurich as one of the biggest rain events to happen during a U2 show.
Sound check in the afternoon included a full band version of “North Star”, as well as “Mercy”, “Walk On’ and “Mothers of the Disappeared”.
Officially Released Tracks