U2 Cut ‘Joshua Tree’ Songs, Bring Back MacPhisto on Opening Night
The last time U2 went on tour, they revisited their landmark Joshua Tree album. On their current trek, they appear more interested in looking back on other corners of their classic catalog — and reviving one of frontman Bono's old alter egos.
Opening their Experience + Innocence Tour at Tulsa's BOK Center last night, the band pivoted away from The Joshua Tree, eliminating anything off that album — including some of their biggest hits — from the set list in favor of a blend of older songs and newer material. One of the deepest cuts, the Achtung Baby track "Acrobat," made its live debut while ushering in the return of Bono's early '90s "Mr. MacPhisto" persona.
As Bono made clear with his stage patter, MacPhisto's comeback isn't just a nostalgic callback, it's a statement. "I haven't seen this guy in quite a while," he told the crowd. "I've been a busy little devil. But you've made it all so much easier for me these days. ... The truth is dead and the KKK are out on the streets of Charlottesville without their silly costumes. Who would have thought? When you don't believe that I exist, that's when I do my best work."
"Acrobat" was far from the only number making a rare stage appearance in Tulsa. As Rolling Stone's report points out, a number of songs worked their way into the set after prolonged absences, including "Staring at the Sun" and "Who's Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses." In between, the band placed a pronounced emphasis on new numbers like set opener "Love Is All We Have Left" and "Lights of Home," both from 2017's Songs of Experience.
From here, the band is scheduled to remain on the road throughout the United States through mid-summer, at which point they're due for a brief break before resuming the tour in Berlin on Aug. 31. U2's European dates run through early November — check out the full list and find ticketing information at their official site, and look over the Tulsa set list below.
U2, BOK Center, Tulsa, Oklahoma, 5/2/18
"Love Is All We Have Left"
"Lights of Home"
"All Because of You"
"I Will Follow"
"Iris (Hold Me Close)"
"Song for Someone"
"Sunday Bloody Sunday"
"Raised by Wolves"
"Until the End of the World"
"You're the Best Thing About Me"
"Staring at the Sun"
"Pride (In the Name of Love)"
"Get Out of Your Own Way"
"City of Blinding Lights"
"Who's Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses"
"Love Is Bigger Than Anything in Its Way"
"13 (There Is a Light)"