From 'The Miracle (of Joey Ramone)' to the miracle of 'Electric Co.', has there been a more powerful U2 tour opening than these two songs?
Powerful as ever at the first show in Köln tonight, maybe it was something to do with that walk Bono took earlier in the day, out in the wild on the edge of the city, watching the leaves changing colour.
'Wildness in our heart this evening, that is what we want here tonight.'
This was the band’s first visit to Köln since July 2001 and it brought back good memories. ‘We’re back here in a city with so many strong memories for our band… and we’re here to begin some more memories… thank you for coming out to see us.’
One of those memories was of I Will Follow, the first U2 single released in Germany… and the only song to be performed by the band on every tour since.
'Better sing one about the Missus… what have you got Edge...?'
Edge had The Sweetest Thing and everyone in the house joined in the vocals.
Special mention for 'Pride' tonight, singing for the peacemakers - in Syria, in Israel and Palestine - and namechecking Henriette Reker, local Mayoral candidate, seriously injured with four others in a stabbing in the city earlier today
'Sing for the peacemakers, sing for Henriette Reker and all the others that were injured not far from here...
'Sing for the peacemakers...'
CHAMPAGNE MOMENT IN KÖLN
'I know a girl
A girl called Party, Party Girl
I know she wants more than a party, Party Girl
And she won't tell me her name...'
Can't go wrong with Party Girl, first time out on this leg of the tour and only the fourth outing since 2006 (thanks @U2gigs).
Always a champagne moment and with the band joined by an additional guitarist from the audience (@Bonojour it turns out), the song finished with Bono cracking open a bottle of bubbly and serving the drinks.
Bit of a party all night long actually, and maybe U2's longest ever live set in terms of number of songs. That's the word from Zoo Fan Site Of The Week @U2Gigs (them again) and they got a stat no one was expecting - 27 songs. Seems that's a first.
Another rarity - the second performance in 3 nights for Out Of Control - and another, an earpiece malfunction in I Will Follow.
'Our time in your city has been short but very sweet, an amazing time. Last night was one of the most special nights we've ever had. Anywhere. And that was just a warm up for tonight! We'd like to start by taking you to our home town, to the North Side of Dublin…'
The band were sensing the vibes too: 'Weddings... funerals... bar-mitzvahs. Allow us a moment to be festive and thank you for some incredible shows here in your country. Tonight alongside the best of them…'
Birthday greetings to Bill Gates in Beautiful Day and a special rendition of Happy Birthday before Mother and Child Reunion.