Tulsa experiences U2 first as latest world tour begins with a bang

Love them or loathe them, the opening night of a U2 tour continues to be a big deal and the Dublin giants kicked off the Experience + Innocence world tour right in the heart of the US bible belt.

Wednesday night’s show in Tusla in Oklahoma saw the band move away the “best of” style of The Joshua Tree and treat fans to music from their new album and a mix of hits from the recent past.

It was the first time the band played Tulsa in 35 years and fans were not disappointed. Like the biggest acts in the world often do, there was no support act. Instead, the band played for more than three hours, treating fans to a 27-song marathon.

Unsurprisingly, everything about the show was big and hi-tech. U2 don’t do basic stage sets and fans have come to expect something mindblowing from every tour.

The stage set came with the highest of high definition video screen that was as long as a basketball court which runs parallel to the long ramp which takes the band up close and personal with their fans.

Of course, U2 and Bono, are big on political statements. However, Oklahoma is Trump country so the show featured no ‘attacks’ on The Donald. However, other political events and icons such as the Charlottesville white supremacy rally, the Ku Klux Klan, Northern Ireland, and Martin Luther King all got an airing.

Being the first stop on a world tour usually means that diehard fans from across the world make the trek to catch the opening night. Oklahoma was no

different.

U2 eXPERIENCE + iNNOCENCE TOUR 2018 kicks off in Tulsa. Picture: Danny North

The set began with two songs from the band’s new album Songs of Experience, ‘Love Is All We Have Left’ and ‘The Blackout’, but also featured a sprinkling of more recent hits and firm fan favourites such as ‘Sunday Bloody Sunday’, ‘Vertigo’, ‘One’, ‘I Will Follow’, and ‘Beautiful Day’.

Unsurprisingly, given they toured the full album last year, the band didn’t play a single song from The Joshua Tree.

Dave Fanning said the concern was an event for real U2 fans as it wasn’t a trip down a musical memory lane of the band’s greatest hits.

“A lot of the more steadfast fans want something else and they’re getting it this time around just like they did for the Songs of Innocence [tour],” said Fanning.

“This is the next step if you like. The first one [Songs of Innoccence] was all songs of growing up in Dublin and all the rest of it. This one is getting further into the world and the last few songs on the album, if anyone knows it, is even about their kids.”

Fanning said that Irish U2 fans are in “for a real treat” when the U2 behemoth rolls into Dublin in November.


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