U2‘s ongoing Experience + Innocence Tour has been an incredible gift to hardcore fans since it focuses so heavily on hidden corners of their vast catalog and ignores many of their biggest hits that have been played to death over the years. One thing it hasn’t done, however, is change that much from night to night. The European leg did get a slight makeover from the American leg, but each continent has seen a show where the only dramatic moment comes in the fourth song where the band picks between “Gloria,” “Red Flag Day” and “All Because of You.” You could almost set your watch to the rest of the night.
When the tour landed in Copenhagen, Denmark on Sunday, though, the band changed things up in a big way. The first shock came after “Beautiful Day” early in the show when they dropped “The Ocean” for the first time all tour and instead played the title track to The Unforgettable Fire, which they hadn’t touched since 2011. They then played the Zooropa cut “Stay (Faraway, So Close!).” Bono and the Edge last played it acoustically in 2011, but the full band hasn’t performed it since the end of the Zoo TV tour in 1993. The group also played “Who’s Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses” for the first time on the European leg. (To make room, they dropped “Iris (Hold Me Close),” “Cedarwood Road,” “Sunday Bloody Sunday” and “Until the End of the World.”)
U2 resume the tour Wednesday night in Hamburg, Germany. At that point, we’ll find out if the set in Denmark was a one-off surprise or the beginning of a new chapter where they rip up the script and begin playing whatever they feel like on any given night. The whole thing wraps up in Berlin on November 13th, though bassist Adam Clayton has said there’s a chance they’ll keep it going into 2019 given the amount of cities they have yet to visit.