U2 New Album To Arrive in 2016

U2 have offered up some new details on new album ‘Songs Of Experience’ in a new interview.

Speaking to Q in their latest issue, slippy-footed guitarist The Edge compared it to 1993’s ‘Zooropa’ as it is currently being completed during down-time in the middle of a tour, before claiming that the record’s producer Brian Eno “would love to see us making albums a bit more like that. Where we go, ‘You know what? We’re not going to second-guess any of this. Let’s just go for it.’ I think there’s a quality you get when there’s a certain momentum to the process.”

Bono mirrored that sentiment, stating that his recent bike accident actually helped the album’s progress. “The gift of it was that I had time to write while in the mentality that you get to at the end of an album,” he says. “There is a reason why all the great groups made their best albums while in and around touring, because the ideas have to come out of your head.”

‘Songs Of Experience’ is set to be a direct follow-up to 2014’s ‘Songs Of Innocence’, so named due to Bono’s obsession with 1789 William Blake poetry compilation Songs Of Innocence And Experience. It’s probably unlikely that ‘…Experience’ will arrive unannounced on your shiny new iPhone though. It’s expected this year.

The End Of A Great Experience ! U2's Return to Paris

U2 / Bono/ Adam /  Mark Peterson / U2TOURFANS

U2 / Bono/ Adam /  Mark Peterson / U2TOURFANS

Paris:  It's a rock show !  Its a rock show !  Monday night U2 returned for a second show to a sold out crowd and an expected HBO audience to snub the noses of terrorists that would have us fear for our way of life. Its the final show of a very long tour that for sure will have some interesting watermarks.

From the start this tour had several different issues come up. Last nights show was clearly an emotional evening for many. Bono said “Now there’s nothing left except to introduce you to some people whose lives will forever be a part of the city of Paris,”  The show came to an end with “One.” “These are our brothers, our fellow troubadours. They were robbed of their stage three weeks ago, and we would like to offer them ours tonight.”

Then he welcomed the Eagles of Death Metal onstage to lead a rousing rendition of “People Have the Power” by Patti Smith, who had joined U2 for the same song on Sunday  

People that's what a U2 show is about. Its about people connecting to people. This show was packed with a few extra guest. Those in attendance had been the lucky few invited on stage during the tour. Its was a special evening for so many. 

For many fans they noticed that U2's tightly calibrated show was a bit loose a bit free form and yet seemed in control. The band was fully engaged in a ROCK "N" ROLL show and would allow the spirit to be taken away.

The Edge / Bono / Mark Peterson / U2TOURFANS

The Edge / Bono / Mark Peterson / U2TOURFANS

From the business side. December dates seemed to fit right into the sweet spot for everyone. Dublin was to be the end with the band, crew and equipment to be scattered. Art Fogel with his hands full worked to figure how to make it possible. As Art said “Obviously we figured it out, and everybody was able to stay together to complete the shows. It was something the band really felt was important to do, as we all did, and it ended up working out well for the wrap of the tour for this year.”  Refund amounts was at a minimal with the tickets resold just as quickly.  Security was beefed up however Paris was just back to normal with a little bit more aware.

U2’s 2015 Innocence + Experience tour wraps as a critical and commercial success, though not one without its obstacles, including the death tour manager Dennis Sheehan early on in the tour. Through Nov. 3, the tour reported grosses totaling $133.6 million and attendance of 1,125,624 from 64 shows, according to Boxscore. “[Innocence + Experience] was a run that had some incredible challenges,” says Fogel, “but, in the end, it was a complete triumph, critically and every other way. They are truly a great band and have proven that once again.”

Love Over Fear

On November 13, 2015, six locations in Paris, France were raided by gunfire and suicide bombs and resulted in 130 deaths; 89 of those occurred at the Bataclan Theater where the band Eagles of Death Metal played to 1500 fans. It was the deadliest attack on Paris since World War II. At that time, U2 rehearsed for their final shows of their Innocence & Experience tour at their venue in Bercy Village, Paris, the AccorHotels Arena. They were evacuated and locked down until it was over.

The members of U2 are no strangers to the violence of terrorism. They grew up with it. They responded the only way they know how; to help. Somehow. This was an attack on art, on music. Fellow musicians were affected. They offered their jet to the Eagles of Death Metal (which they graciously declined since they found their own way), but the best thing they could do was buy them phones since the band left theirs behind when they fled the Bataclan.

In a New York Times article, Bono describes ISIS and other extremists as a “death cult”, to which he responds that the band is a life cult” and goes on to say that, “Rock ’n’ roll is a life force, and it’s joy as an act of defiance. That’s what U2 is. That’s at the very heart of our band.” If there is one word to describe the attitude of U2 in this situation, it is DEFIANCE. Do any of us know them as anything different? It’s not the first time U2 has followed up in the wake of terrorist attacks. 

Bono’s own brush with terrorism that resulted in 33 deaths-by-car-bomb (he was spared because he took his bike to school that day) is the reason he writes the way he does. Social justice and amnesty are subjects covered in many of the songs they’ve written. Exploding car bombs were somewhat of a regular occurrence. Bono got really good at writing about these experiences. They personally know people who have lost family and friends in these attacks, some still suffering the effects of PTSD as a result of their experience.

Defiance has been further illustrated in songs such as Miss Sarajevo which tells the story of how, during the siege in Bosnia/Herzegovina (i.e. longest siege in modern history lasting just shy of four years), a beauty pageant was held in the midst of the siege and one woman refused to go to the shelter and kept on playing the piano. This song honors the people of Sarajevo who would not surrender their day-to-day lives in the face of the conflict.

For most of their performing career, U2 always acknowledged The Troubles in Ireland (which spanned 30 years between 1969-1997) and had not always been limited to Northern Ireland. While The Troubles were never about religion, but rather constitutional status. The country was split between Loyalists (who happened to be Protestant) who wanted Northern Ireland to remain with the UK and Nationalists (who happened to be Roman Catholics) who wanted a unified, Irish, Ireland. Their song Please from POP, while not as “in your face” as their earlier political songs (like Sunday Bloody Sunday), still addresses The Troubles, yet Bono’s delivery is a bit softer in delivery yet cynical in nature.

After the 9/11 attacks in New York back in 2001, U2 was the first band allowed back into the city to perform (exactly like their return to Paris) and again, their message was one of defiance: the show must go on. We will not be bullied nor terrorized. When I saw these post-9/11 shows, it moved us to tears seeing the names of the 3000 victims of the heinous attack. I can tell you that I didn’t have to be in the immediate area of the trade center, or the Pentagon, or that field in Shanksville, PA to feel the deep sense of loss, fear, and insecurity.

During the section of that show after the victims’ names floated around us like angels, The Edge came out to the center of the acoustic round stage at the end of the catwalk and performed one of the most beautiful renditions of Sunday, Bloody Sunday I ever heard. Here was a song I had taken completely for granted. A fist-pumping anthem of defiance if I’ve ever heard one. But that night, it was transformed. It morphed into a new song I’ve never heard before. Those lyrics took on an entirely new meaning for me, and I’m sure for others. I now had something relatively in common with this band and I felt my whole relationship with them had changed. I could now totally relate to this song. Suddenly, I understood it like I never had before. It was one of those epiphanies and I remember how I stood, frozen, in my space by the stage putting my head around the whole thing.

Bullet the Blue Sky? Sounds like a war even without the lyrics. We can thank Ronald Reagan’s foreign policy in South America for this gem. 

The band’s live show has always been fueled by passion with a twist of anger. The show in Paris last night certainly did not disappoint and could be their best show to date. There was plenty of emotion in that venue as people gathered in defiance solidarity for a show that embraced consoled them. 

“What do you want? Do you want us to be afraid? To turn away from our neighbors? You will not have our hatred. You will not have our hatred. We choose love over fear. Love over fear!” — Bono, Paris, December 7, 2015

Nikki Vee

Nikki Vee is living her dream on the shores of Narragansett Bay in Jamestown, RI. She works part time for an acupuncture practitioner and also runs her own business. She’s been a loyal U2 fan from the moment they stepped foot in the USA and sticks with them through thick and thin.

Bono Introduces New Song "The Streets Of Surrender"

Bono has dedicated a new song about freedom and love to the 130 people murdered by terrorists in Paris last month.

During an interview with CNN's Fareed Zakaria, Bono revealed he'd written a song for veteran Italian blues and rock singer Zucchero Fornaciari but had decided to reclaim and release it as The Streets of Surrender. 

Then, at length, Bono ran through the song's dramatic lyrics, which boil down to being a plug for all kinds of "freedom".

In the aftermath of the November 13, attacks most bands in the French capital pulled the plug on shows. 

But the U2 concerts were quickly rescheduled. The band appear at the 16,000-capacity AccorHotels Arena in the French capital on Sunday and again on Monday.


U2 Knods to San Bernardino and Paris Victims

U2 / Mark Peterson / U2TOURFANS 2015

U2 / Mark Peterson / U2TOURFANS 2015

Paris: Thousands of U2 fans gather to hear U2 perform at AccorHotels Arena a return from a few weeks ago where terrorists attacked and killed 130 people and injured few hundred more. The band dedicated songs to Paris, saying "We are all Parisians," and "If you love liberty, Paris is your hometown" but also to victims of the San Bernardino, California, shooting, attacks in Beirut and to "all those hostage of an ideology."

Eagles of Death Metal attended the show ( right up front). The U2 website quickly updated that EDM was not going to appear on stage with U2 as rumors suggested.  

Bono did reveal that he has written a new song that was to be used by Fornaciari however he decided to reclaim and release the song titled "The Streets of Surrender".

The Edge said that the band views music as freedom so their return to Paris is not just symbolic its starting a process of resistance and defiance against ISS which carried out the killings.

'The Streets of Surrender' (S.O.S.)

Every man has two cities he needs to be: The one he can touch and the one he can't see.

The one where a stranger's a friend; every man has got one city of liberty.

Every time I get lost down these ancient streets I find myself again.

You're free baby baby, free now and forever.

It's Christmas time, you can decide to forget or remember.

You're free baby baby, I didn't come down here to fight you.

I came down these streets of lovin' pride to surrender, the streets of surrender

I heard a far-fetched story that nobody seems to know, I think it was about that stranger.

It was youth, it was love and it was danger.

It was winter, but that warm it gets before the snow, it chilled my soul.

Everybody's cryin' about some kid that they found lyin' on a beach, born in a manger.

You're free baby baby, free now and forever.

It's Christmas time, you can decide to forget or to remember.

You're free baby baby, I didn't come down here to fight you.

I came down these streets of lovin' pride to surrender, streets of surrender.