In a few days I’ll be seeing U2 up in Nashville. Live, U2 is without peer. So here is a list of 10 favorites done live. I’m not sure I could call them my top 10. That would be an almost impossible list to make after being a fan for 25 years. Enjoy.
1. With or Without You. This version from Rattle and Hum is epic. Make sure you stick around for the extra verse. I think I can say without any reservation that this is my favorite U2 song.
2. Bad. I used to drive around Birmingham in my Audi 4000 and listen to the live version from ‘Wide Awake In America’ over and over and over. “If I could, you know I would…” Lyrics swimming in my head since I was teenager.
3. Sunday Bloody Sunday. When Scott Smith let me borrow his copy of ‘War’, I was 16. We were sitting at the intersection of Esplanade and Mountain Dr. The first song I heard was this one. I still get chills when I hear Larry hit his drum.
4. Unknown Caller. A new song but man do I love it.
5. Out of Control. I’ve always loved the first album. And this was my favorite off the album even before I knew it was their first single. This is going to sound ridiculous but the first time I saw the video of them playing their first single in Dublin as now unarguably the biggest band in the world…well, I got a little choked up. Here it is.
6. Beautiful Day. We were living in St. Louis when ATYCLB was released. It was Fall of 2000. And Bethany and I listened to that album one thousand times. And then we saw them live in November 2001. Nothing like it.
7. One. From my favorite U2 album. ‘Achtung Baby’ still holds up after 20 years and this tune is the one that drew us all in even though we had no idea what the heck they were doing at the time.
8. Wake Up Dead Man/Walk On. This is how they closed out every show on the Elevation tour. The Hallelujahs were heard for days on end. “And unto the Almighty, thank you!” There is a word that might offend some of you in the first tune. But pay attention closely to the rest of ’em…
10. Where The Streets have No Name. Possibly the the best live song ever. When the video starts, they are singing ’40.’ Just as the music starts you will hear Bono quote from Psalm 116. “What can I give back to God for the blessings he poured out on me? What can I give back to God for the blessings he poured out on me? I will lift high the cup of salvation as a toast to my Father. I’ll follow through on the promise I made to you.”