Glastonbury Set List and Review

Last night U2 left their comfort zone of the highest-grossing tour in history to play to their toughest audience yet at the UK’s Glastonbury music festival.

In front of a crowd who are traditionally suspicious of ‘stadium rock’, it could have gone either way.

But U2’s debut performance at Worthy Farm turned into a triumph last night as the Bono & Co crew abandoned their 360 tour setlist to perform a ‘greatest hits’ package, which when you’re U2 is some songbook to draw on.

But with so much material to choose from, inevitably there were disagreements about how to approach their headlining slot.

“There were an awful lot of opinions,” said drummer Larry Mullen. “Everyone had a view about how it should go.

“There were the ‘Where The Streets Have No Name’ camp and the more subtle approach, the ‘Achtung Baby’ dynamic approach, where you build slowly.

“Then there were those who thought we should open with ‘40’ (from U2’s 1983 album ‘War’). We went through a number of combinations.”

Complete Setlist -

  1. Even Better Than The Real Thing
  2. The Fly
  3. Mysterious Ways / Independent Women (snippet)
  4. Until The End Of The World
  5. One
  6. Jerusalem (snippet) / Where The Streets Have No Name / All You Need Is Love (snippet)
  7. I Will Follow
  8. I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For / Movin’ On Up (snippet)
  9. Stay (Faraway, So Close!)
  10. Beautiful Day / Rain (snippet)
  11. Elevation
  12. Get On Your Boots / She Loves You (snippet)
  13. Vertigo / Garageland (snippet)
  14. Sunday Bloody Sunday
  15. Bad / Jerusalem (snippet)
  16. Pride (In The Name Of Love)

  17. Encore(s):
  18. With Or Without You / Love Will Tear Us Apart (snippet)
  19. Yellow (snippet) / Moment of Surrender
  20. Pretty Vacant (snippet) / Out Of Control

    Part of U2’s success is that Bono knows how to play the role of rock star with all the panache it demands.

    And Glastonbury was no different, with the band’s singer breathing new life into some of U2’s best known hits as if he were singing them for the first time.

    At his side, The Edge delivered the distinctive chiming guitar sound that has become the signature of U2’s music.

    Although logistics meant the group couldn’t bring their now famous stage ‘The Claw’ to Glastonbury, they did have some strong visuals representing different parts of their career, from War to Zoo TV, to light up the vast stage at Worthy Farm.

    However, violent scenes broke out in the crowd as a protest against the the band’s tax status was foiled by security guards.

    As Bono and his bandmates took to the Pyramid Stage, activists from direct action group Art Uncut inflated a 20ft balloon emblazoned with the message “U Pay Your Tax 2”.

    But as the campaigners tried to release it over the 50,000-strong crowd, a team of 10 burly security guards wrestled them to the ground before deflating the balloon and taking it away.

    Campaigner Stephen Taylor said: “U2’s multi-million euro tax dodge is depriving the Irish people at a time when they desperately need income to offset the Irish government’s savage austerity programme. Tax nestling in the band’s bank account should be helping to keep open the hospitals, schools and libraries that are closing all over Ireland.”

    aThere had been confusion the previous night when some protesters turned up to what they mistakenly thought was an anti-U2 gathering in Glastonbury’s Pilton Palais Cinema Tent.

    However, ‘Killing Bono’ turned out to be a screening of the 2010 film comedy based on the memoirs of Bono’s schoolmate Neil McCormick rather than a meeting of plotters.

    Watching U2 last night among the massive crowd were thousands of Irish music fans who had travelled over for the festival.

    Some, like Bono’s old pal Gavin Friday, came to watch U2 but many others came to see the hundreds of other artists who are performing at Europe’s biggest music festival over the weekend.


    * Snippets checked via U2gigs

    Glastonbury Festival Welcomes U2 debut

    U2 will make their first UK festival appearance since the early 1980s later when they headline Glastonbury.

    The Irish stars had been due to play last year but were forced to cancel after singer Bono injured his back.

    Coldplay will headline the Pyramid Stage on Saturday. Beyonce follows in husband Jay-Z’s footsteps on Sunday.

    Emma Coupland, from Boston, Lincs, at a muddy Glastonbury with friend Holly Wilson, said: “As we’re under 30, we don’t really like U2.”

    Ms Wilson added: “They may play some of the old classic songs but we’re not really excited about U2, and I haven’t heard from anyone that is to be honest.”

    Rock veterans U2, who have interrupted a tour of the US to fly in for their performance, face protests during their set by a group who have accused the band of a “tax dodge” in Ireland.

    'Glastonbury on steroids'

    U2 have promised they will play an epic, stadium-like performance at this year’s Glastonbury festival.


    Bassist Adam Clayton told Q that the band’s headline performance on the Pyramid Stage on the Friday (June 24) of the Somerset bash will have grand production values.

    Clayton said: “It’s very un-Glastonbury to have a big production but we will be sneaking a few things in through the back gate which will hopefully make this experience a little more like Glastonbury on steroids.”

    He added: “We’re stretching the level of what can be done. We hope to create a mind blowing experience that reacts well with all the other substances involved.”

    Bono and the boys headline Glastonbury

    U2 have been announced as the headliner for the first night of the 2011 Glastonbury festival, one of the world’s largest outdoor music events.

    The band will join Coldplay and Beyoncé at the top of the festival’s bill, which will take place June 24th-26th in Somerset, England.

    Rolling Stone: Three decades of U2

    U2 were originally scheduled to perform at last year’s Glastonbury festival but had to drop out when Bono injured his back. Gorillaz were brought on as a last-minute replacement headliner.

    Rolling Stone: US’s magazine covers

    U2’s Glastonbury performance will fall in the middle of the next American leg of their 360 stadium tour.

    Given that they would need to bring their elaborate production overseas and back again in the span of a couple days, it seems safe to say that the band will be abandoning their 360 stage for this performance.

    In other U2 news, an early song written by the band when they were known as the Hype will appear on the soundtrack to “Killing Bono,” a comedy film about the two members of the Hype who did not go on to join U2.

    The song, “Street Mission,” has been bootlegged by U2 fans for years.

    New U2 coming 2011

    It’s been less than a year since they released their last album, but U2 are already close to their next album release, with the rockers peppering new tracks into their live sets!

    The Irish foursome, who are currently on a worldwide tour, have performed numerous unreleased tracks during their performances leading to widespread rumours that there could be an album cooking.

    Manager Paul McGuinness confirmed fans’ guess-work to the Irish Times, “I would expect a new U2 album sooner than anybody thinks,” he said. “I would guess early 2011 before the next leg of the American tour, whichstarts in May.”

    Despite a hectic touring schedule and Bono’s recent back injury, it is thought that the band are throwing themselves into the recording of this new album to make up for the lukewarm reception of 2009’s ‘No Line On The Horizon’ which took over four years to complete.

    In other U2 news, the hit-makers are rumoured to be headlining the already sold out Glastonbury 2011! U2 were forced to cancel last year’s set, after Bono suffered painful back surgery.