In Anaheim last night the set opened with Love and Peace and saw the return of Mysterious Ways.
Three shows in and the band are still experimenting with which songs to perform and how to pace the show.
This time out the show started completely differently : Adam, Edge, Larry and Bono pacing, one by one, along the perimeter of the elipse stage, each flashing a torchlight around the darkened arena. With a single drum raised onto the tip of the catwalk, Larry and Bono led Love and Peace from the front, before one conflict-imbued tune segued into two more, Sunday Bloody Sunday and Bullet the Blue Sky.
As Bono lullabied the alleluia's at the end of Bullet, a huge cheer greeted the sight of Article 1 of the Declaration of Human Rights, scrolling across the screen above the front of the stage - and revealed in the faces speaking from the smoke clouds on each side of the stage. It was an opening to a U2 show which was the band's own declaration of intent.
Flitting seamlessly between the decades, Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For from 1986, ran into New Year's Day from 1983 then into Miracle Drug and Sometimes You Can't Make it On Your Own from 2004 and on into Beautiful Day from 2001. How do you choose your best set list when you have three decades of great music to choose from ?
The sequence of tracks from 'Pride' through 'Streets' and into One is becoming established as the 'Africa' moment, with Bono taking the chance to compare the journey of equality of the 1960's civil rights movement in the US led by Dr Martin Luther King with the journey that modern day Africa needs to take out of poverty and into full human rights .
Word is that more and more fans are now taking out their cellphones during the show to text their support of the ONE campaign
to make poverty history.
'Back on Zoo TV I used to call the White House,' recalled Bono, to great cheers from those who remembered that 1992 tour. 'The President didn't take my calls then. Now they take my calls. But they're getting used to me. That's why we want you to call... We want a million Americans to go to work to prove that Africans are equal under the eyes of God.'
And then we were back in Berlin in the 1990's with Zoo Station and The Fly, soon to be followed by the arrival on stage of 'Tiffany', dressed as Mr Macphisto and ready to boogie for Mysterious Ways. Tiffany, evidently a star in the making, was so confident tottering around the catwalk in her nine-inch platforms, that the singer seemed baffled as to her best mode of departure. 'Edge, help me out here...'
No worries all our attention was taken by the dazzling lights of falling confetti with the opening chords of City of Blinding Lights.