“All is quiet on New Year’s Day.
A world in white gets underway.
I want to be with you, be with you night and day.
Nothing changes on New Year’s Day…”
No mistaking those opening chords and the roof nearly came off the Mercedes Benz Arena when everyone realised New Year’s Day was making its tour debut. Here’s why: this was the first appearance of NYD in a show since 2011 and (these stats from @U2gigs) the song joins I Will Follow as the only songs to be performed on every U2 tour since War. And on the 49th show, it was also the 48th ‘full’ U2 song of the #U2ieTour.
All in all, it was a special night. As Bono put it earlier, ‘This cannot be Monday night… it must be Friday night.’ The band have been enjoying life in Germany.
‘We’ve been hanging out here in your fine city… Yesterday we found a pub to watch the Rugby World Cup… and met some people who had come from working in the Syrian refugee camps in Jordan…
Some of them are here tonight, thank you to them for doing God’s work.
It’s been nice to walk around your home town. Next few songs we’re going to walk around our home town… where it all began for us…’
And with that we were into Cedarwood Road. Later Bono mentioned that apart from catching the rugby in Berlin, he’d also found time on the weekend to fly to New York and back. He hinted at the reason in Beautiful Day – ‘See the world in green and blue, Global Goals right in front of you’ – and then explained some more.
‘I had a bit of a mad weekend.. I went to New York for 14 hours… for the launch of the Global Goals… a road map for how we might rid this planet of extreme poverty and turn around the climate crisis in the next 15 years.. so its a big idea…’
It was a moment to thank the people of Germany for their leadership in showing Europe how to respond to the refugee crisis. ‘We love this Germany… we are in awe of this Germany.
‘I saw your Chancellor, and she wants to make sure that in the next five years we have the first HIV-free generation. We can do that… we really can.’
Mother and Child Reunion and One closed off the night (u2.com).