U22 is my default listening when I’m listening to live U2 these days. My plan has been to write a post late in the year discussing my perfect live concert, but since they released U22 I think that’s pretty close. I’ll still write it one day, because there are a number of songs to add (my perfect concert would never end). And of course it is the live version of the 360 tour, which this site is (almost) named after.

U22 was released as a fan club offering a few years ago, 2012 I think. 22 songs, which is where it gets the name from, although Unknown Caller was a bonus track so maybe it should be U23. It was voted on by the fans, and I don’t remember which songs I voted for but I know there were at least a few that I chose that the crowd didn’t. 

If you take this list, it’s not necessarily the most played songs from the tour that made it on. For example there’s no I’ll Go Crazy If I Don’t Go Crazy Tonight, which was the most played song on the tour. Or Get On Your Boots, one of the others from No Line On The Horizon. In fact if you take the top 22 played songs from the tour, you only end up with four songs from No Line (with another couple just outside the 22). That kind of tells you even more that U2 have turned into a greatest hits band, when what the crowd wants to hear is the old stuff. Hopefully that is going to change a little on the Innocence And Experience tour, at least on the Innocence part.

Weird is that a couple of the songs, Out Of Control and One Tree Hill, only appeared 6 and 4 times respectively, so they were really digging deep to pick them, not only for the voting list, but for people to actually choose them. I guess that’s what the people wanted though, so that’s what they got. And I do admit that this version of Out Of Control is easily the best version I ever heard of the song, and one of my favorite songs ever.

So what else is there to say about U22? Well, right now it is the last tour that U2 did, so it is the latest and greatest by default. I guess it will be overtaken once you get to the I&E tour, but that’s not going to have the spectacle that 360 did, so maybe it won’t have the same impact. Kind of like the way that the Zoo TV tour stands out in history, it is something you remember over many of the more recent shows the band have done. But really, as I said at the start, this is what I listen to now. I have said many times that U2 live is the greatest thing, and once again this is the next best thing to being there.

Speaking of being there, I’ll be at four shows in June. I hope they’re as good as this set.

My rating for U22: 9 / 10