U2 have been a stadium/arena act for more than 30 years now, so Monday night was a rare opportunity for the lucky 1400 people who got to see them play Harlem's historic Apollo Theatre. They took out the orchestra seats for this show, which was presented by SiriusXM and for their subscribers (as well as lots of celebrity attendees too). SiriusXM also broadcast the whole show right after it ended.

U2 took the stage around 8:30 PM and opened with their classic early single "I Will Follow,” which was followed by "The Electric Co" and “Out of Control." They rifled through a series of back catalogue highlights interspersed with cuts from their most recent album, Songs of Experience.

There was no way U2 would be at the Apollo and not play "Angel of Harlem," and it was the first song of the first encore. For it, they brought out Sun Ra Arkestra and Sex Mob Orchestra who stayed for the rest of the encore which included "Desire," "When Love Comes to Town," and "Stuck in a Moment You Can't Get Out Of." (Hal Wilner did the horn arrangements for the songs.) For their second encore they played "Every Breaking Wave," Who's Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses," and "Love Is Bigger Than Anything in Its Way."

Bono gave a shout out to other Apollo stage alumni including Civil Rights activist and musician Harry Belafonte, who was in the audience, before a rendition of "Pride (in the Name of Love)." He also dedicated the Michael Hutchence-inspired "Stuck in a Moment You Can't Get Out Of" to Anthony Bourdain (video of that is below).

You can check out pictures in the gallery above and watch video of U2 playing "Angel of Harlem" with Sun Ra Arkestra, plus "Vertigo," "Get Out of Your Own Way," and "Who's Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses," below.

Now back to arenas, U2's  Experience + Innocence arena tour, has upcoming NYC-area stops at Madison Square Garden and NJ’s Prudential Center (tickets).

Sun Ra Arkestra, meanwhile, you can see for free on June 23 at Union Pool as part of the venue's free Summer Thunder series.


SETLIST: U2 @ The Apollo Theatre 6/11/2018
I Will Follow (with "Walking on the Moon" snippet)
The Electric Co. (with "Send In the Clowns" and… more )
Out of Control (tour debut)
Red Flag Day
All Because of You
Vertigo (with "1969" snippet)
Beautiful Day
Pride (In the Name of Love)
Get Out of Your Own Way
American Soul

Angel of Harlem (with Sun Ra Arkestra)
Desire (with Sun Ra Arkestra)
When Love Comes to Town (with Sun Ra Arkestra)
Stuck in a Moment You Can't Get Out Of (with Sun Ra Arkestra)

Encore 2:
Every Breaking Wave
Who's Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses
Love Is Bigger Than Anything in Its Way


photos by Toby Tenenbaum