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U2 Concert:
May 02, 2018 at Tulsa , OK

Tour: Experience + Innocence Tour 1st Leg (North America) 
Venue: BOK Center 
Location: TulsaOK  United States 

See more concerts in the Oklahoma City area. 

Attendance: 16,570  (Capacity: 16,570)

Releases Represented:

  1. Songs Of Experience had 8 songs
  2. Achtung Baby had 4 songs
  3. Songs Of Innocence had 4 songs
  4. How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb had 3 songs
  5. All That You Can't Leave Behind had 2 songs
  6. Boy had 2 songs
  7. The Unforgettable Fire had 1 songs
  8. War had 1 songs
  9. Rattle And Hum had 1 songs
  10. Pop had 1 songs


U2 opens the Experience + Innocence tour at the BOK Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The arena is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year with a series of 10 high-profile concerts; U2's appearance is the fourth in the series. It's the band's first show in Oklahoma since the 360 tour in 2009, and first in Tulsa since the War tour in 1983.

The tour is advertised as a sequel to the 2015 Innocence + Experience tour -- a completion of the story that the band began to tell then. While that tour (in support of the Songs Of Innocence album) focused on the theme of innocence and U2's early days in Dublin, this year's tour (in support of Songs Of Experience) is said to focus on the theme of experience -- i.e., what U2 went through after becoming the biggest band in the world. Or, as Bono has recently explained, innocence was U2's journey out into the world and experience is the journey home.

Both tours employ the same stage design, but the technology in use is three years newer. The video screen, for example, is almost 10 times sharper than what fans saw in 2015 and 40 times more transparent. And as fans discover throughout the show, the cage has a number of new tricks it can do -- separate into two pieces, lift/decline on one end and more.

The show begins with something that's apparently never been done in a live concert: augmented reality. In the 5-10 minutes before the show, fans who've downloaded the "U2 Experience" mobile app are able to point it at the video screen. At first, they see a large glacier or block of ice that slowly begins to melt. In time, it transforms completely into a waterfall that fills the arena floor. The AR experience continues into the first song, "Love Is All We Have Left." As Bono lip-syncs from inside the cage, fans using the app are able to see a giant, virtual Bono jutting out of the screen as he sings the song. Although impressive and forward-thinking, the feeling among some fans is that it's a novelty that doesn't really add much to the show.

With this being U2's third North American tour in four years, the band puts together a setlist that omits several of their most-played live songs and includes a few songs that have never or rarely been played. Early in the set, "The Ocean" makes its first tour appearance since 2005. (The song was played in 2015 during a standalone club show.) Bono uses it as a way to talk about the impact of his mother's death, and it segues into "Iris," the first in a 6-song mini-set that's played in the exact order as on the I+E tour in 2015 -- a revisit of the "innocence" part of U2's story.

The "experience" part of the show begins with the appearance of Bono's 1993 character, MacPhisto, whose voice is heard introducing the intermission set piece -- a comic-style video portraying U2 as heroes set to a new, pre-recorded version of "Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me" as sung by Gavin Friday, the band's longtime friend and tour consultant. MacPhisto appears again three songs into the second half of the show, as Bono stands in front of a small camera on the e-stage and -- in MacPhisto voice and gestures -- introduces "Acrobat" with a cutting commentary that touches on the recent re-appearance of the KKK in the US. "The truth is dead and the KKK are out on the streets of Charlottesville without their silly costumes," he says. "Who would have thought? When you don't believe that I exist, that's when I do my best work." As he's giving this speech, Bono is shown up close on the video screen with a creepy devil's head covering his face. The routine almost certainly goes over the head of the new/casual fans in the audience, but longtime fans who remember the original eat it up with glee.

Many of those same longtime fans are stunned by what happens next: U2 performs "Acrobat" for the first time, ending a 27-year drought since its appearance on Achtung Baby. Of the relatively few album tracks that U2 has never performed live, it's always been the most desired song in online fan surveys and petitions. With this performance tonight, U2 has now performed every song from Achtung Baby at least once in concert.

Just a couple songs later, Bono and Edge do an acoustic version of "Staring At The Sun," reprising the performance they did on most of the PopMart tour 20+ years ago. But the song is darker this time around, as images of KKK marches in Charlottesville, Virginia, play on the video screen.

During "Pride," Adam and Edge switch sides of the stage and perform while standing on small platforms placed inside the Red Zones on the GA floor. Larry remains on the main stage and Bono sings from the e-stage, putting the four band members in four distinctly different sections of the arena -- a visual trick they didn't use on the I+E tour in 2015.

"City Of Blinding Lights" returns in a similar place as it was played in 2015, but with a slight visual change: Rather than all-white lighting, this time the cross-like lights behind and above the band are done in greens, reds and blues making an almost rainbow-like effect.

The encore begins with the first live performance of "Who's Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses" since the Vertigo tour. "One" features a powerful new video depicting children going about their day while wearing army helmets. The show ends with two more tracks from Songs Of Experience, the last of which is "13 (There Is A Light)." As that song concludes, Bono walks to the e-stage where a miniature replica of his Cedarwood Road home has been placed. He lifts the roof, pulls out a lightbulb that's hanging from the rafters, and throws it forward. The lightbulb swings back and forth as Bono walks off stage and the show end. It's a symbolic ending -- a reverse order of how the I+E tour shows began.

All told, U2 plays 27 songs, tying it for the longest show of their career (along with Cologne in 2015). That count doesn't include the full-length songs played over the PA at the start of the show, during the intermission and before the encore. The full show runs nearly 2.5 hours.

As notable as what the band played is what they didn't. Many of U2's biggest hits and most popular live songs are missing. It's the first tour performance without "Where The Streets Have No Name" since November 18, 1989. It's also missing "With Or Without You," "Bullet The Blue Sky," "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For," "New Year's Day" and "Mysterious Ways" -- all uber-popular hits and all among the band's top 10 most-played live songs. (Also missing is "Bad," the band's 11th most-played live song.)

Mike Mills of REM is at the show.


U2 – Tulsa – May 2, 2018

ATU2/U2Tours Tulsa photo slideshow

Tags: MacPhisto Appearance

12 Photos:


We have 2 reviews and 12 photos from this show.

Fan Reviews Media Reviews
  1. Fan Review by Rob72501 Camera
  2. Fan Review by Matt McGee Camera