I learned that when I watched U2 livestream their concert on YouTube. Keep in mind, I saw the Sept. 12 U2 360 show in Chicago, which was the opening night of the American leg of their tour. During that concert, they opened with four songs from their new album, No Line of the Horizon (WHICH IS FUCKING AWESOME AND I DON'T UNDERSTAND WHY AMERICANS AREN'T LINING UP TO GET THIS ALBUM).
It is admittedly a gutsy move, but I liked it. It showed confidence in the new album and their songs. But when I watched the YouTube concert, it seemed like there were too many hits. Or at least, the iconic hits that everyone knows.
I know that they have to keep a fine balance in keeping everyone happy -- I mean, there's the die-hards who want the obscure singles, the casual fans who want to hear With Or Without You for the gazillionth time and the drunk assholes who are yelling, "FREEBIRD!" -- but seriously, U2 has a million hits. They don't need to trot out the icons for each show. Lemon is awesome. Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me is the shit. NUMB IS THE BOMB.
And it got me wondering whether the band gets sick of playing the same things over and over again. I mean, at every tour, there's Where the Streets Have No Name -- an uplifting song -- but damn man, I have heard that song a billion times. On the radio and 900 different concert versions. So I guess sometimes I'd love to hear something different. And so, here is my list of different versions of Where the Streets Have No Name I'd like to hear:
- Speed metal (K. asked me, "Do you think they have it in them?" Me: *laughing hysterically* "No. But it'd be AWESOME.").
- Trance-techno remix (which would be a great tie-in with the remix of I'll Go Crazy, which is the SHIT!)
- Hardcore hip-hop with a guest from Jay-Z (after all, he and Bono and pals, so why not?).
- Bollywood musical.
I think that my favorite moments at concerts aren't the big hits, but when the obscure hits are trotted out that you might know, but it's amazing to hear live. I loved hearing U2 do "The First Time" in Milwaukee. It is a bone-chilling moment to hear thirty-something thousand people sing the word "LOVE" in time with the song and see the band loving every minute of it. And that's not a moment you'd get with the iconic hits.