10. City of Blinding Lights, Chicago, 2005
We’re starting off in Chicago, with ‘City of Blinding Lights’ as our opener. The presentation and set design have been beautifully done and give the song perfect support.
Though this song wasn’t released until 2005, the first notes were initially written in 1997. Eventually it became ‘City of Blinding Lights’, which includes multiple themes coming from Bono’s personal life, but also embraces memories the band has from playing a New York show after 9/11.
9. Ordinary Love @ The Tonight Show, 2014
The whole U2 band performed an acoustic version of ‘Ordinary Love’ in the good company of Jimmy Fallon, Will Smith, and a happy audience. This performance starts of small and slowly, but moves on to a little party later on when they are joined by the The Tonight Show band.
‘Ordinary Love’ was written as a tribute to Nelson Mandela, who passed away a week after the release of the song.
8. Pride (In The Name Of Love) @ Glastonbury, 2011
Once again, the Glastonbury visitors are among the lucky ones. In 2011 they were not only given the musical pleasures of Beyoncé, but also got the honour of being part of U2’s audience. The only downside of attending festival gigs is that you run the risk of spending hours standing in lousy weather, but who minds a few rain drops if you can sing ‘In The Name Of Love’?
Where our previous hit was written to honour Nelson Mandela, this track was written in support of Martin Luther King Jr. back in the eighties. If you listen carefully, you will hear Bono sing “early evening, April 4” (referring to the death of Martin Luther King Jr. in 1968), whereas the original lyrics actually said “early morning” – an error the singer occasionally tries to correct in live performances.
7. The Unforgettable Fire, live in Paris, 1987
This is what the original ‘The Joshua Tree’ Tour from 1987 looked like. In Paris they played a lot of the now legendary album, but also the title track of their The Unforgettable Fire album from 1984. The song ‘The Unforgettable Fire’ was inspired by victims from the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings.
6. I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For, live in Milan
We have to thank U2’s guitarist The Edge for this song’s catchy phrase “I still haven’t found what I’m looking for”, which was supposedly inspired by Bob Dylan’s line “You’ll find out when you reach the top you’re on the bottom” in ‘Idiot Wind’. All of this has helped the song become a massive hit, as well as being ranked as one of the greatest songs of all time by Rolling Stone magazine.
5. Stuck in a Moment, live at David Letterman, 2011
For the second and last time in this playlist, we have an acoustic performance for you. With his eyes closed, Bono completely lets himself get carried away with the music and the lyrics of ‘Stuck in a Moment’, making you feel more and more convinced of every word he sings. The Edge also does an amazing job picking up the high-pitched part – for which Bono is sweet enough to compliment him on.
4. With or Without You, live in Boston, 2001
Lie down with Bono (and fan) for what must be one of the biggest romantic ballads of all time.
3. Sunday Bloody Sunday, Live Aid, 1985
‘Sunday Bloody Sunday’ might just be one of the band’s most iconic songs. Describing the catastrophic events of Bloody Sunday in their home country, it is considered to be one of the best protest songs out there. It is also another one of U2’s songs that has been ranked as “greatest songs of all time” by Rolling Stone.
2. All I Want Is You / Where The Streets Have No Name
Double score! U2 likes to give their audience something new every time, so they tend to keep their performances creative by doing mash-ups. This one moves from the sweetness of ‘All I Want Is You’ to the passionate sounds of ‘Where The Streets Have No Name’.
1. Bad, Live Aid, 1985
This performance of Bad at Live Aid meant a major breakthrough for the band. Though the original song only lasts about six minutes, they managed to extend it to eleven in this impressive performance. This is mostly due to Bono spending some time with fans, and the short covers he does at the end.
The internet is filled to the brim with performances by various artists and bands. Unfortunately, the best live performances are often shadowed by mobile phone recordings with loud shouting audiences in the background. In Autoplay we put the best live performances by an artist in one playlist. So put an end to going through thousands of videos on Youtube; all you need is an update from the Autoplay-list.