U2 started their tour at BC Place stadium. Photo: GettyThe show began with Mullen sauntering alone to his drum kit to bang out the opening bars of "Sunday Bloody Sunday." The rest of the band soon joined him and immediately the audience was on its feet pumping fists in the air. After a rousing rendition of "A Sort of Homecoming," Bono brought the tempo to a moody halt with the keyboard-heavy "MLK." It was during the next song, "Pride" (In the Name of Love), when Bono said "Canada, don’t close your doors" in a "time of fear." It wouldn’t be Bono’s only political message during the evening. On a giant backdrop video screen projecting images during the show, edited clips from an old movie played where a character says, "Trump, you’re a liar," before the "Joshua Tree" song "Exit." The black-clad singer would take aim again later with a "message to the USA." He incited the audience to sing along: "power of the people is stronger than the people in power," and then said, "government should fear citizens, not the other way around." Politics aside, the Joshua Tree section formed the centrepiece of the show and had the sold-out crowd roaring during the first three songs, "Where the Streets Have No Name," "I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For," and "With or Without You." After those perennial classics you could feel the energy dip slightly as the band worked through lesser known tunes like "Bullet the Blue Sky" and "Red Hill Mining Town," a song they performed live for the first time. Once the final notes from album closer "Mother of the Disappeared" rang out, Bono jokingly thanked the audience "for listening to our new long player." The audience quickly revived with the drum-pounding favourite "Beautiful Day," which was followed by the equally-lively "Elevation." Bono dedicated the song "Ultra Violet" (Light My Way) from "Achtung Baby" to "great women we know." During the song, images of women, including Canadians Joni Mitchell and k.d. lang, flashed across the backdrop as Bono’s vocal soared into the chorus.
The concert wound down on a sombre note. After the HIV-fighting battle cry "One," U2 played the poignant "Miss Sarajevo" while powerful images of a Syrian refugee camp flashed in the background. However, fans would leave on an uplifting note. U2 closed the evening by premiering a brand new song called, "Little Things That Give You Away," a piano based dirge that builds into a hard-driving rocker. The tune was well received and gave fans hope for new U2 music to come. Openers Mumford and Sons, meanwhile, began their set to a half-empty stadium as thousands of fans waited in long snaking lines outside the building. Fans vented on Twitter about missing Mumford due to the slow-moving entry. By the time Mumford played their big hit "The Cave" most fans were inside and ready to rock.