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Axver
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U2 concert openers and closers. (Last edited: 15:52 2005-04-01)

A record of songs known to have opened or closed U2 concerts

I would like to warn you in advance that this is very lengthy and full of a lot of U2 information. I will keep editing it as U2 play concerts, further old setlists are discovered, and corrections are offered. This list is surely not perfect, and if you spot an inaccuracy, please feel free to tell me. I used Elevation-tour.com as my primary resource simply because it has the best format out of any U2 setlist website, though I did do some cross-checking with U2Tours.com to reduce the likelihood of errors. A few errors I corrected with my own knowledge of bootlegs (for example, Elevation-tour.com and U2Tours.com both record 4 November 1981 as ending with The Ocean, but I have a DVD of the show and the band come out to play I Will Follow again).

(Skip ahead:
- The criteria
- Concert openers
- Concert closers
- Three interesting facts)

Here are the basic details for those who do not wish to read the whole thing.

Top ten openers

1. Zoo Station – 157
2. Elevation – 117
3. Where The Streets Have No Name – 112
4. 11 O’clock Tick Tock – 96
5. Gloria – 94
6. Mofo – 93
7. Out Of Control – 53
8. The Ocean – 38
9. Stand By Me – 20
10. Bullet The Blue Sky – 14

Top ten closers

1. 40 – 316
2. Walk On – 109
3. Can’t Help Falling In Love With You – 84
4. Love Is Blindness – 66
5. The Ocean – 47
6. I Will Follow – 26
7. (TIE) One – 21
7. (TIE) Unchained Melody – 21
8. Wake Up Dead Man – 20
9. Out Of Control – 19
10. 11 O’clock Tick Tock – 14

The criteria

If U2 picked up their instruments and played a set, it counts. This encompasses everything from dual song appearances on television and radio shows through to regular tour concerts. I have not chosen to include single song performances, but I have chosen to include a three-song studio session in 1978 as a setlist as it was not a typical studio session as one might find on the Axtung Beibi Out-takes, but rather U2 heading in to play a set of predetermined songs. I have included concerts involving just a couple of band members (i.e. Bono and Edge at the 46664 concert on 29 November 2003). I have attempted to ensure there are no mistakes, but if you spot any or feel the criteria requires modification, feel free to leave a comment.

Please note: setlists do NOT exist for all U2 concerts, especially in the early years. Many early songs will be significantly under-represented, but there is nothing I can do about that. These are the known concert openers and closers.

All concert openers in alphabetical order

11 O'clock Tick Tock - 96
1980 June 8
  September 7, 12
  October 14, 15
  December 3, 6, 7, 13
1981 February 9
  August 23, 24
1984 October 19, 20, 22, 23, 25, 27, 28, 30, 31
  November 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10, 12, 14, 15, 21
  December 1, 2, 3, 5, 7, 8, 11, 15, 16
1985 January 23, 25, 26, 28, 29, 31
  February 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 8, 10, 25, 27
  March 1, 2, 4, 5, 7, 8, 17, 19, 21, 22, 23, 25, 27, 28, 30
  April 1, 2, 3, 8, 9, 10, 12, 15, 16, 19, 20, 22, 23, 24, 29, 30
  May 2, 25, 26, 27
  June 1, 22, 29
  July 6, 7
All Along The Watchtower - 2
1987 November 11
1988 October 16
All I Want Is You - 3
1998 November 20
2000 February 26
  March 18
American Prayer - 1
2003 November 29
Another Day - 1
1980 July 27
Beautiful Day - 7
2000 September 27
  November 3, 23
  December 5, 19
2001 October 10
2002 February 3
Boy/Girl - 1
1981 October 14
Bullet The Blue Sky - 14
1987 August 3
  September 10, 11, 17
1989 October 12, 21
  November 10, 17, 26, 28
  December 11, 15, 30
1990 January 10
Carry Me Home - 1
1981 June 9
City Of Blinding Lights - 3
2005 March 28, 30
  April 6
C'Mon Everybody - 2
1986 May 17
  June 4
Elevation - 117
2000 October 19, 23, 26, 27, 30
2001 March 24, 26, 29, 30
  April 2, 3, 6, 9, 10, 12, 13, 15, 17, 19, 20, 23, 24, 26, 28
  May 1, 3, 4, 6, 7, 9, 10, 12, 13, 15, 16, 24, 25, 27, 28, 30, 31
  June 2, 3, 5, 6, 8, 9, 11, 12, 14, 15, 17, 19, 21, 22
  July 6, 7, 9, 10, 12, 13, 15, 17, 18, 21, 23, 24, 26, 27, 29, 31
  August 1, 3, 5, 6, 8, 11, 12, 14, 15, 18, 19, 21, 22, 25, 27, 28
  September 1
  October 12, 13, 15, 16, 19, 24, 25, 27, 28, 30, 31
  November 2, 5, 7, 9, 12, 13, 15, 16, 18, 19, 20, 23, 25, 27, 28, 30
  December 1, 2
Exit - 1
1987 January 1
Gloria - 93
1981 October 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 10, 12, 18, 19, 20, 21, 26, 28, 30
  November 3, 4, 13, 14, 18, 22, 25, 29
  December 1, 4, 5, 7, 8, 10, 11, 13, 20, 21
1982 February 11, 19, 21, 22, 23, 25
  March 4, 5, 11, 14, 17, 18, 30
  May 1, 14
  July 1, 4, 18, 31
  August 7
1983 February 26, 28
  March 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 10, 11, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 19, 21, 22, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29
  April 3, 23, 24, 25, 28, 30
  May 30
  June 6
1984 August 31
  September 1, 5, 6, 8, 18
1985 April 14, 18
God Part II - 2
1989 December 26
1990 January 5
Gone - 1
1997 June 7
Hawkmoon 269 - 8
1989 September 21, 27
  October 3, 8, 13, 16
  November 18
  December 18
In God's Country - 1
1989 September 23
I Will Follow - 4
1980 September 29
1981 May 30
1983 December 18
1985 August 25
Love And Peace Or Else - 3
2005 April 1, 2, 5
Lucille - 1
1987 September 8
Miserere - 1
2003 May 27
MLK - 7
1984 October 18
1986 June 6, 8, 11 (x2 shows), 13, 15
Mofo - 93
1997 April 25, 28
  May 1, 3, 6, 9, 12, 14, 16, 19, 22, 24, 26, 31
  June 1, 3, 8, 12, 14, 15, 18, 19, 21, 25, 27, 28, 29
  July 1, 2, 18, 19, 25, 27, 29, 31
  August 2, 4, 6, 9, 12, 14, 16, 18, 20, 22, 23, 26, 28, 30, 31
  September 2, 6, 9, 11, 13, 15, 18, 20, 23, 26, 30
  October 26, 27, 29, 31
  November 2, 8, 10, 12, 14, 21, 23, 26, 28
  December 2, 3, 9, 12
1998 January 27, 30, 31
  February 5, 6, 7, 11, 17, 21, 25, 27
  March 5, 11, 16, 21
New York - 1
2001 October 29
One - 3
1995 September 12
2001 February 26
2003 June 21
Original Of The Species - 1
2004 October 26
Out Of Control - 53
1982 December 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 14, 15
1983 May 5, 6, 7, 8, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 16, 17, 19, 20, 22, 26
  June 1, 5, 8, 10, 11, 13, 14, 17, 21, 22, 25, 27, 28, 29
  July 2, 3
  August 14, 20, 21
  November 22, 26, 27, 28, 29
1984 September 2, 9, 15, 24
People Get Ready - 1
1987 March 8
Rain - 1
2004 November 18
Rejoice - 2
1982 May 15
  July 2
Silver Lining - 2
1980 February 3, 26
Southern Man - 1
1982 March 12
Stand By Me - 20
1987 April 22
  May 4, 9, 16
  June 13, 17, 21, 24, 28
July July 1, 4, 11, 22, 25, 30
  August 1, 8
  September 22
1989 October 9
  December 1
Stories For Boys - 4
1979 October 5
1980 November 11, 21, 28
Street Mission - 1
1978 November 1
Stuck In A Moment You Can't Get Out Of - 1
2000 October 25
Sunday Bloody Sunday - 2
1985 July 13
1992 August 7
That's Life - 1
2003 March 21
The Ocean - 38
1980 September 16, 29
  October 16
1981 January 23, 24, 29
  February 1, 12, 15, 28
  March 3 (x2 shows), 4, 6, 7, 14, 15, 18, 20, 28
  April 4, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11, 12, 18, 21
  May 8, 9, 11, 15, 21, 27, 28, 29
  June 8
Touch - 1
1980 November 13
Twilight - 2
1980 November 26
1981 March 6
Until The End Of The World - 1
2001 February 7
2005 March 14
Vertigo - 6
2004 October 15, 16
  November 16, 20, 22
  December 2
Walk The Line - 1
1987 April 8
When Love Comes To Town - 2
1988 October 27
  November 4
Where The Streets Have No Name - 112
1987 March 27
  April 2, 4, 5, 7, 8, 10, 12, 13, 14, 17, 18, 20, 21, 24, 25, 29, 30
  May 2, 3, 7, 8, 11, 12, 13, 15, 27, 29, 30
  June 2, 3, 6, 12, 15, 27
  July 8, 10, 15, 18, 21, 29
  August 4
  September 12, 14, 18, 20, 23, 25, 28, 29
  October 1, 3, 6, 7, 9, 11, 13, 20, 22, 23, 25, 26, 28, 29, 30
  November 1, 3, 4, 7, 8, 12, 14, 15, 17, 18, 22, 23, 24, 26, 28
  December 3, 5, 8, 9, 11, 12, 19, 20
1989 September 22, 28, 29
  October 2, 4, 7, 14, 20, 27, 28
  November 4, 8, 11, 19, 23, 25, 29
  December 12, 14, 16, 27, 31
1990 January 6, 9
Wire - 1
1984 September 17
With A Shout (Jerusalem) - 3
1981 August 16, 29, 31
Womanfish - 1
1986 January 30
Zoo Station - 157
1992 February 29
  March 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 10, 12, 13, 15, 17, 18, 20, 21, 23, 24, 26, 27, 30, 31
  April 5, 6, 7, 10, 12, 13, 15, 17, 18, 20, 21, 23
  May 7, 9, 11, 12, 14, 16, 18, 21, 22, 24, 25, 27, 29, 31
  June 1, 4, 5, 8, 10, 11, 13, 15, 17, 18, 19
  August 12, 13, 15, 16, 18, 20, 22, 23, 25, 27, 29, 30
  September 2, 3, 5, 6, 9, 11, 13, 15, 16, 18, 20, 23, 25
  October 3, 7, 10, 14, 16, 18, 21, 24, 27, 30, 31
  November 3, 4, 7, 10, 12, 14, 21, 22, 24, 25
1993 May 7, 9, 10, 11, 15, 19, 22, 26, 29
  June 2, 4, 6, 9, 12, 15, 23, 26, 28, 30
  July 2, 3, 6, 7, 9, 12, 14, 17, 18, 23, 27, 29, 31
  August 3, 7, 8, 11, 12, 14, 18, 20, 21, 24, 27, 28
  November 12, 13, 16, 20, 26, 27
  December 1, 4, 9, 10


All concert closers in alphabetical order

(My apologies for the gigantic white space between this text and the table. I am totally baffled as to its cause or how to fix it. Click here to skip down to the beginning. If you know how to fix this, please leave a comment.)

>1, 2, 4, 5, 7, 8, 17, 19, 21, 22, 23, 25, 27, 28, 30</td>
11 O'clock Tick Tock - 14
1980 June 8
  September 7, 12, 29
  October 14, 15
  November 13
  December 3, 6
1981 February 1
  May 29
  August 16
1982 March 5, 30
40 - 316
1983 February 26, 28
  March 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 10, 11, 13, 14, 15, 17, 19, 21, 22, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29
  April 3, 24, 25, 28, 30
  May 6, 7, 8, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 16, 17, 19, 20, 22, 26, 30
  June 1, 5, 6, 8, 10, 11, 13, 14, 17, 21, 22, 25, 27, 28, 29
  July 2, 3
  August 14, 20, 21
  November 22, 26, 27, 28, 29
  December 18
1984 August 31
  September 1, 2, 5, 6, 8, 9, 15, 17, 18, 24
  October 18, 19, 20, 22, 23, 25, 27, 28, 30, 31
  November 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10, 12, 14, 15, 21
  December 1, 2, 3, 5, 7, 8, 11, 15, 16
1985 January 23, 25, 26, 28, 29, 31
  February 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 8, 10, 25, 27
  March
  April 1, 2, 3, 8, 9, 10, 12, 14, 15, 16, 18, 19, 20, 22, 23, 24, 29, 30
  May 2, 25, 26, 27
  June 1, 22, 29
  July 6, 7
  August 25
1987 April 2, 5, 8, 12, 13, 17, 18, 20, 21, 22, 24, 25, 29, 30
  May 2, 3, 4, 7, 8, 9, 11, 12, 13, 15, 16, 27, 29, 30
  June 2, 3, 6, 12, 13, 15, 17, 21, 24, 27, 28
  July 1, 4, 8, 10, 11, 15, 18, 21, 22, 25, 29, 30
  August 1, 3, 4, 8
  September 10, 11, 12, 14, 17, 18, 20, 22, 23, 25, 28, 29
  October 1, 3, 6, 7, 9, 11, 13, 20, 22, 25, 26, 28, 29, 30
  November 1, 3, 4, 7, 8, 12, 14, 15, 17, 18, 22, 23, 24, 26, 28
  December 3, 5, 8, 9, 11, 12, 19, 20
1989 September 21, 27, 28
  October 3, 8, 9, 12, 13, 16, 20, 27
  November 8, 10, 11, 17, 18, 19, 25, 26, 28
  December 1, 11, 12, 14, 15, 18, 26, 27, 31
1990 January 5, 6, 9, 10
1997 November 26
  December 12
1998 January 31
  March 21
2001 February 7
2005 March 28, 30
  April 1, 2, 5, 6
A Celebration - 1
1982 March 18
A Day Without Me - 4
1981 March 15
  April 12, 18
1983 May 5
All Because Of You - 1
2004 October 26
Amandla - 1
2003 November 29
Are You Lonesome Tonight - 1
1993 May 10
Ave Maria - 1
2003 May 27
Bad - 4
1985 July 13
1986 May 17
2000 October 19, 27
Beautiful Day - 2
2000 October 26
2004 November 16
Boy/Girl - 1
1980 February 3
Can't Help Falling In Love With You - 84
1992 August 15, 16, 20, 22, 23, 25, 27, 29, 30
  September 2, 3, 5, 6, 9, 11, 13, 15, 16, 18, 20, 23, 25
  October 3, 7, 10, 14, 16, 18, 21, 24, 27, 30, 31
  November 3, 4, 7, 10, 12, 14
1993 May 9, 11, 15, 19, 22, 26, 29
  June 2, 4, 6, 9, 12, 15, 23, 26, 28, 30
  July 2, 3, 6, 9, 14, 17, 18, 23, 27, 31
  August 3, 7, 8, 11, 12, 14, 18, 20, 21, 24, 27, 28
  November 12, 13, 16, 20, 26, 27
  December 1, 4, 9, 10
1997 May 14 May
  August 16
City Of Blinding Lights - 1
2004 October 15
Desire - 1
1993 May 7
Elevation - 3
2000 September 27
  October 30
  December 19
Father Is An Elephant - 2
1980 November 11, 26, 28
Fire - 8
1981 May 27
  August 24, 29, 31
  October 10, 26
  December 10
1982 July 4
Glad To See You Go - 1
1979 October 5
Gloria - 1
1982 July 2
Hallelujah - 5
1997 June 7, 12, 15, 18, 27
In God's Country - 1
1987 January 1
Into The Heart - 2
1980 September 29
  November 21
I Shall Be Released - 7
1986 June 4, 6, 8, 11 (x2 shows), 13, 15
I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For - 1
1988 November 4
I Will Follow - 27
1981 February 9, 28
  March 6, 18, 28
  April 4, 6, 7, 9, 10, 21
  May 8, 9, 28
  June 8, 9
  November 4, 22, 25
  December 1, 7
1982 February 21, 25
  December 1, 2
1983 March 16
  April 23
Knockin' On Heaven's Door - 1
1986 January 30
Lost Highway - 1
1987 September 8
Love Is Blindness - 66
1992 February 29
  March 1, 3, 5, 9, 10, 13, 15, 17, 18, 20, 21, 23, 24, 26, 27, 30, 31
  April 5, 6, 7, 10, 12, 13, 15, 17, 18, 20, 21, 23
  May 7, 9, 11, 12, 14, 16, 18, 21, 22, 24, 25, 27, 29, 31
  June 1, 4, 5, 8, 10, 11, 13, 15, 17, 18, 19
  August 7, 12, 13, 18
  November 21, 22, 24, 25
1993 July 7, 12, 29
Love Rescue Me - 5
1988 October 16
1989 September 22, 23
  October 21
  December 16
Lucille - 1
1987 April 8
Miss Sarajevo - 1
1995 September 12
MLK - 11
1997 June 29
  July 25, 27
  August 2, 9, 14, 30
  September 15, 20, 30
1998 February 21
Mothers Of The Disappeared - 5
1987 April 14
1998 February 5, 6, 7, 11
Mysterious Ways - 1
2001 February 26
New York - 1
2000 October 25
North And Soth Of The River - 1
1998 November 20
One - 21
1997 April 25, 28
  May 1, 3, 6, 9, 12, 16, 19, 22, 24, 31
  June 3, 8
  July 1
1998 February 25, 27
  March 11, 16
2000 March 18
2001 August 12
Out Of Control - 19
1980 February 26
  September 16
  December 7, 13
1981 January 23, 29
  February 12
  March 3 (x2 shows)
  May 11
  October 28
  November 3
1982 March 4, 11, 12, 14
2001 July 21
  August 1
  October 27
People Get Ready - 1
1987 April 4
Pride (In The Name Of Love) - 6
1987 March 8, 27
  November 11
1989 September 29
  October 2
2003 June 21
Rain - 6
1997 July 2, 18, 31
  August 28
  September 13
  November 12
Rejoice - 2
1981 August 23
1982 May 1
Scarlet - 1
1981 October 14
She's A Mystery To Me - 2
1997 August 6
2000 October 23
Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own - 1
2004 October 16
Southern Man - 5
1982 February 22, 23
  May 14
  August 7
1987 April 7
Stand By Me - 1
1988 October 27
Staring At The Sun - 1
1997 September 26
Stuck In A Moment You Can't Get Out Of - 3
2000 November 3, 23
2001 October 29
Sunday Bloody Sunday - 1
1982 December 4
The Electric Co. - 1
1980 October 16
The Fool - 1
1978 November 1
The Ground Beneath Her Feet - 1
2000 February 26
The Hands That Built America - 2
2003 March 21
2004 November 18
The Ocean - 47
1981 January 24
  February 15
  March 4, 6, 7, 14, 18
  April 11
  May 15, 21
  October 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 12, 18, 19, 20, 21, 30
  November 13, 14, 18, 29
  December 4, 5, 10, 11, 13, 20, 21
1982 February 11, 19
  March 17
  July 1, 18, 31
  December 3, 5, 6, 8, 9, 14, 15
Trip Through Your Wires - 1
1987 April 10
Twilight - 2
1980 July 27
1981 May 30
Unchained Melody - 21
1997 May 26
  June 1, 14, 19, 21, 25, 28
  July 19, 29
  August 4, 12, 23, 26, 31
  September 2, 6, 9, 23
  October 27
  December 2
1998 January 30
Vertigo - 4
2004 November 20, 22
  December 2
2005 March 14
Wake Up Dead Man - 20
1997 August 18, 20, 22
  September 11, 18
  October 26, 29, 31
  November 2, 8, 10, 14, 21, 23, 28
  December 3, 9
1998 January 27
  February 17
  March 5
Walk On - 109
2001 March 24, 26, 29, 30
  April 2, 3, 6, 9, 10, 12, 13, 15, 17, 19, 20, 23, 24, 26, 28
  May 1, 3, 4, 6, 7, 9, 10, 12, 13, 15, 16, 24, 25, 27, 28, 30, 31
  June 2, 3, 5, 6, 8, 9, 11, 12, 14, 15, 17, 19, 21, 22
  July 6, 7, 9, 10, 12, 13, 15, 17, 18, 23, 24, 26, 27, 29, 31
  August 3, 5, 6, 8, 11, 14, 15, 18, 19, 21, 22, 25, 27, 28
  September 1
  October 10, 12, 13, 15, 16, 19, 24, 25, 28, 30, 31
  November 2, 5, 7, 9, 12, 13, 15, 16, 18, 19, 20, 23, 25, 27, 28, 30
  December 1, 2
Where The Streets Have No Name - 1
2002 February 3
With A Shout (Jerusalem) - 1
1982 May 15
With Or Without You - 11
1987 October 23
1989 October 4, 7, 14, 28
  November 4, 23, 29
  December 30
1992 March 7, 12
Won't Get Fooled Again - 1
2000 December 5


Interesting fact #1: Despite common belief that Wake Up Dead Man closed many Popmart concerts, it actually only closed 20, the same amount as One and Unchained Melody.
Interesting fact #2: Four U2 songs have opened and closed the same concert. The Ocean has opened and closed ten, 11 O'clock Tick Tock seven, Vertigo three, and Elevation one.
Interesting fact #3: Out Of Control claims the record for the longest gap between use as an opener/closer. It closed the 14 March 1982 concert and then did not reappear in the closing position until 21 July 2001, over nineteen years later.

Data compiled and presented by André Axver.
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