U2 And The Daunting Challenge of The Innocence and Experience Tour

Will The Spirit Still Walk Through The Room?

U2 And The Daunting Challenge of The Innocence and Experience Tour

Nashville: JB Brookman

The age of the internet has backed the greatest band on the planet into a corner…

(Kevin Mazur/WireImage) U2TOURFANS 2015

(Kevin Mazur/WireImage) U2TOURFANS 2015

The Beatles, Johnny Cash and the Stones never had to deal with the backlash that a band of U2’s caliber is currently toe to toe in a death-match with.  In this day and age, it’s hip to be a hater and the land of Facebook and Twitter is dominated by them.  When U2 and Apple put together a brilliant (26 U2 titles shot on to the iTunes top 200 albums chart at once) and fan-friendly marketing strategy to give Innocence and Experience away for free, the naysayers swung with all their might and did so in droves. 

The media jumped on the backlash and painted a negative image of an album that had nothing to do with the music.  The “5th member of U2” Paul McGuinness left as the band’s manager, leaving them in unchartered territory. 

Many feared that this could be the end of U2.  Had they become irrelevant?  Had Bono’s earnestness and political fighting's for Africa become an image-killer?  Had manufactured music, boy bands and sex selling female vocalists completely taken over the landscape in 2015?  

The first time this writer saw U2 live (1985 Unforgettable Fire Tour- Sports Arena, Los Angeles), Bono was able to scream out notes in full register and recklessly climb up speaker clusters, wrapped in an Irish flag to confront and demand the attention and respect of fans.  Now, it is some 30 years later and the challenges of life have battered Paul Hewson’s 55-year old body.  A serious and possibly life-threatening back injury delayed the 360 Tour in 2009 and Bono’s recent New York bicycle accident has left him with permanent arm/hand damage that has even stolen his ability to strum a guitar (Larry Mullen has also dealt with injury in the past and Adam Clayton has dealt with addiction and depression issues).  

God is in the room… It feels like there’s a blessing on the band right now. And I don’t know what it is, but it feels like God walking through the room, and it feels like a blessing, and in the end, music is a kind of sacrament; it’s not just about airplay or chart positions.
— Bono (Heath, Rolling Stone, May 10, 2001)

Needless to say, the next 6 months are the pivot point in the career of U2.  They will either fade gently into that goodnight or ascend and re-take their place as the greatest live band in music history.  They have always found a way to fight through new ground, in a live show.  Rumors of the new tour include a state of the art sound system and a show that takes over the entire span of arena floors.  Bono has always said that there is a special time in each U2 show where “the Spirit walks through the room” and a certain magic happens.  Can the band tap into that same life force this Summer? 

(Kevin Mazur/WireImage) U2TOURFANS

(Kevin Mazur/WireImage) U2TOURFANS

The truth is this…  U2 are a scrappy, hard-nosed crew with a monster work ethic.  They are at their best, when it’s time to change… time to burn down what they were, reinvent themselves and rise again from the ashes.  They battle and innovate and are willing to take risks that other groups have never taken. 

Whether it was putting their financial futures in check with the gigantic, groundbreaking Zoo TV and PopMart Tours or tearing down the Joshua Tree and making a new sound with Achtung Baby, this has been true.  The Irishmen are the first ones to the scene of the fight and they aint going down until you put them in the dirt.

A month after the Apple roller coaster, Rolling Stone named I & E their Album of the Year and the band has entered the ring for their North American Tour that opened this weekend in Vancouver.  As “Volcano” from the latest album says: “The world is spinning fast tonight, You can hurt yourself tryin’ to hold on, To what you used to be.  I’m so glad the past is gone”  Yes, U2 have a legendary past.  But, now is their time to create a new powerful and relevant future.


JB Brookmam

Rock and Roll Celebrity Concert Photographer Founder/Editor of Nashville Live Magazine and Hollywood Icon Magazine Concerts & More: www.jbbrookmanphoto.com

U2 iNNOCENCE + eXPERIENCE Tour Opener - Vancouver

VANCOUVER - Get the kids a sitter for tonight and come out and see the show. This is a totally different experience, yet that seems to be a statement with U2. The band started the evening off with "The Miracle (of Joey Ramone)". The band was ready to release some pressure that has building up for a few weeks. The boys have been in town working on the show and last night they proved that hard work always pays off.  We have lots of images and videos available and we will be posting as much as possible all day today.  You can check the set list and see what other images we have.

 

*Photos by Kevin Mazur/WireImage)

Whats Your Ultimate U2 List

A couple of weeks ago we published a play list of what we thought was the ultimate playlist of U2 music and  most U2 fans agreed with our list, however not everyone agreed.

The task was daunting and controversial. U2 of course is the most beloved bands in the world and of course, this playlist would spark endless conversation and debate.

However, we are always up to a challenge. We created our list of what we deemed to be the best selection of U2’s work across all of the albums.

We knew that some of the rarely heard U2 songs should be placed upon the list. We knew the challenging task would be to pick songs that evoke an emotion that would spark some creativity from the fans. 

We thought about the tempered with classic guitar riffs by The Edge.

Songs such as Desire and When Love Comes to Town with BB King as a guest are great songs yet they did not make our list.  Some songs like “One” are just misunderstood. It is not a wedding song by any means yet so many times you hear this song about breaking up at a wedding. U2 songs range from political statements to sheer unadulterated, joyful youth.

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U2 knows how to bring a concert crowd through a rollercoaster of emotions and send them away with an experience of a lifetime. We thought about this and we want to hear from you.

What would your top ten U2 Songs be and why? Share your thoughts and we might pick your story and list to share with the world. 

 

2015 is Starting to Shape up for U2 Fans

U2 Fan club fans get ready for an exclusive offer from the boys. U2 has been working on releasing a vinyl only release of their club performance back in the 80’s. This was recorded in a pretty small club with a hundred dedicated U2 fans.

We heard that the release would include ‘The Electric Co,’ ‘I Will Follow’ and ‘Out of Control’ on the road across Ireland and the UK. The full track list and the collection’s title and cover will be revealed in the next few weeks, with the album expected to ship in the spring of 2015.

Recorded in a small club, with just a few hundred passionate fans, this vintage live set captures a time when the band were taking songs like The Electric Co, I Will Follow and Out of Control on the road across Ireland and the UK .

There was no internet or digital downloading in 1980 - even the CD was still to arrive - the band's debut LP Boy was released on vinyl. In keeping with that history, and in tribute to the return of vinyl, as a U2.com subscriber you'll receive this limited edition live set on two 10" vinyl albums in a bespoke gatefold sleeve.

Like it's companion piece North Side Story, this limited edition release will not be on sale online or in store.

New subscribers have the option of choosing the double vinyl OR North Side Stories, which also comes with the poster, 'Wandering In U2's Dublin', charting the band's connection to their home city over 35 years.

As well as this limited edition gift, subscribers to U2.com gain access to distinct content on the site and are first in line for ticket presales when the band head out on tour.

U2's Outstanding Evening !

U2 maybe veterans to music awards however their performance of “Every Breaking Wave” will go down as one of the most amazing melancholy, breath taking and raw with emotions performances.  

The European Music Awards Bono delivered a powerful rendition of their next single. Forgotten is the past of download gate and onward to an amazing evening. U2 has always said if you listen to the music, you will hear something that will engage your inner soul.

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