Bell Centre, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Set List of Show:
- "The Miracle (of Joey Ramone)"
- "The Electric Co."
- "I Will Follow"
- "Iris (Hold Me Close)"
- "Cedarwood Road"
- "Song for Someone"
- "Sunday Bloody Sunday"
- "Raised by Wolves"
- "Until the End of the World"
- "Even Better Than the Real Thing"
- "Mysterious Ways"
- "Ordinary Love"
- "Every Breaking Wave"
- "Bullet the Blue Sky"
- "Pride (In the Name of Love)"
- "Beautiful Day"
- "With or Without You"
- "City Of Blinding Lights"
- "Where the Streets Have No Name"
- "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For"
Pre-Recorded Intro Song: "People Have the Power" - Patti Smith
Pre-Recorded Exit Song: "Same Love" - Macklemore and Lewis ft. Mary Lambert
Pre-Recorded Intermission Song(s): "The Wanderer" - U2 with Johnny Cash
Snippets of Other Songs Performed by U2:
"Send in the Clowns" (Stephen Sondheim from A Little Night Music) /
"Anthem" (Leonard Cohen) /
"The Hands that Built America" (U2) /
"La Vie En Rose" (Édith Piaf) /
"Mother and Child Reunion" (Paul Simon) /
"California (There is no End to Love)" (U2) /
"People Have the Power" (Patti Smith) /
Montreal’s Bell Centre is the home to four shows on the tour. This is the first of four shows in the city. And U2 receives a loud reception from fans tonight, one of the loudest audiences on the tour so far crew shared on later nights.
Montreal is in the French-speaking province of Quebec, and several elements throughout the show reflect that with Bono speaking in French several times, and even singing a bit of “La Vie En Rose” during the show, and counting into “Vertigo” in French. The on screen text throughout the show is also in French for the performance (“Un, deux, trois…quatorze!”)
A few songs reappear tonight that haven’t been frequent this tour. “Elevation” makes its second appearance, and “Ordinary Love” makes its third appearance on the tour, the second night in a row the song has been played after the final show in Denver. Throughout the show Adam Clayton wears a T-shirt that says “Mar.09,1981”, the date of U2’s first performance in the city, where they played Le Club Montreal on the Boy tour.
Bono pulls a fan out of the audience for “Mysterious Ways”, Mark Baker, known in fan circles as U2 Brother. Mark is dressed from head to toe in silver, with a mirrorball helmet, and an Ontario licence plate reading “U2BROTHR” around his neck. He dances about on the stage, and at one point Bono jumps into Baker’s arms. Bono shows Baker how to use the cell phone camera for the Meerkat stream of the evening, “Elevation”. Later Mark would share, “My god. I’m in tears. Thank you to all U2 fans across the world. I’m shaking. One love to all. Dreams do come true…”
The first ever European Games are taking place starting this week in Baku, Azerbaijan but Amnesty International are calling attention to the country’s human rights record ahead of the games, and have been banned from visiting the country. Other human rights campaigners have also been banned from entering the country. Initially Bono references Kazakhstan, as well as mentioning Yemen during “Pride”, but later switches the criticism to Azerbaijan calling for the release of 20 prisoners detained for protest.
Ahead of “Where the Streets Have No Name” Bono mentions he’s meeting with the leaders of Canada’s three biggest political parties, Stephen Harper, Tom Mulcair and Justin Trudeau, to thank them for the contributions to the fight against HIV. Bono even mocked his own big mouth before continuing into song.
Bono works “Send in the Clowns” into “The Electric Co.” and also adds in a mention of Leonard Cohen’s “Anthem”. Cohen was born in Montreal. “The Hands That Built America” has its usual place as a segue between “Bullet the Blue Sky” and “Pride (In the Name of Love)”. (Bono’s comment “everyone has become an American” lead to loud boos from the audience.) Bono adds a bit of “La Vie En Rose” ahead of “With or Without You” and he sings a bit of Paul Simon’s “Mother and Child Reunion” in the intro to “Where the Streets Have No Name” which also contains a reference to “California (There is No End to Love)”. And during “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” Bono adds some of the lyrics from “People Have the Power”.
At the end of “Beautiful Day” Bono stops to ask someone in the crowd for a song in French, “Sing a song, en Francais! You sing!” and not getting a song he sings some of his own lyrics over the end of the song, singing about the beauty of Montreal:
This city of yours
La la la la la
Oh I’m going to sing you a song, a long way off
Oh when the sun is shining
Or when it’s raining
I feel good when I’m walking through Montreal.
Oh when the sun is shining
Or when the rain is falling
I feel good when I’m in Montreal
Or when the sun is shining
Oh when I’m walking in Montreal
La la la la la la la la
Jordan Zivitz of the Montreal Gazette shared, “Then there were the conceptual bridges between innocence and experience (bingo — we have a name for the tour), ragged glory and high-tech eye candy, wordless communion and sociopolitical sermons. It wouldn’t be U2 if there wasn’t some overreaching, but few bands that want it all manage to grasp so much.”
The first two nights in Montreal were announced on December 3, going on general sale on December 8, with presales through U2.com starting on December 4. Initially Bono was quoted as saying “We are going to try to have a completely different feeling from night one to night two, and have some fun playing with the idea of innocence and experience. More to be revealed!” but that concept was retired by the time shows arrived. Tickets were tied to the credit card used for purchase, and one scanned their card to enter the venue.
Officially Released Tracks