Oscar ? Tour ? New Album ? Yes, Maybe, Sure

The Edge /U2 /  @Walker

The Edge /U2 /  @Walker

2014 Academy Awards to perform their Oscar-nominated song “Ordinary Love” from the movie  Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom.

We all thought by now U2 would have released their next album. We all thought we knew the name of the album fan based sites all claiming the insider scoop on names and dates and yet  March has arrived and what do we have to show for all that noise.

Nothing ! Yup I said it Nothing U2 is not any closer to announcing dates for a massive tour, not any closer to announcing a release date. The fact is that the only news we have is that "Ordinary Love" is set to be performed on Sunday night and that the fact that this very song caused the delay from the release and expected tour.  

Pretty solid chance that U2 takes home an Oscar for best original song “Ordinary Love,” a song written for and featured in the biopic “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom.”   Some long term fans hope that latter. They hope the boys do not win the honor. They claim its not deserved and that it (the win) will surly push the band into mediocrity and redundancy.

Jeff writes from the Buffalo News:  “Ordinary Love” is, despite the poignancy of its Mandela-themed lyric, an ordinary song. It sounds like a Coldplay B-side. We, the Academy included, should not offer U2 the impression that this is acceptable. We should and must demand more from them.

As the peak moments from the band’s last studio album, “No Line On the Horizon,” made abundantly clear, U2 has not run out of creative steam. Rather, the band’s apparent desire for worldwide mega-stardom is stripping the U2 sound of its full potential. For the first time in its career, U2 seems desperate, as if purposely chasing a hit.

Bono / U2 / U2TOURFANS

Bono / U2 / U2TOURFANS

Lets face it NOL was not a massive hit as hoped yet the music did grow upon those fans that allowed U2 to change course head towards a new direction to find some hidden golden that they had lost within the yester years of U2 hits. Under the covers the band has a sense that the writing is on the wall.

To be able to create music today that is meaningful to a whole new generation of fans may mean that you have to create a sound that is fresh beyond what has already been discovered.  Could this be the reason that Burton ( Danger Mouse) was called upon to help find that new sound?  Why bring in members of Coldplay ?

Could they be the answer to that new sound?  U2 has to look within and understand that their music appears to an audience that has growth and longs for yesterday and while it moves towards the future some of the past can be dragged along for good measure. 

U2 machine will start with a fresh new connection to their audience with the hopes of staying current.  Fans just ask that they play their music and be one with their identity.


Massive, Impressive Worth the Wait

By Aidin Vaziri: It was massive. It was relentless. And, above all else, it was heartbreaking. But enough about the gnarly traffic jam outside Oakland’s Overstock.com Coliseum on Tuesday, which turned a typically easy commute to the ballpark into a panic-laced three-hour ordeal dotted with beaming red lights and a robust chorus of car horns.

The real action took place inside the stadium, where nearly 70,000 fans slowly filtered into their seats to finally catch a glimpse of U2’s big-budget 360° world tour, rescheduled from last year after the group’s front man, Bono, injured his back during rehearsals.

The singer, wearing his ever-present sunglasses in the middle of the evening, made up for the nightmare commute with a little flattery and a lot of passion.

“You guys invented the 21st century, didn’t you?” he said, surveying an eclectic audience that boasted lifelong fans, kids, unwitting contest winners, Silicon Valley glitterati and even a few real-life rock stars (Lou Reed was reportedly in the house).

Bono regaled the audience with details of a dinner the night before at San Francisco’s A16 with members of local platinum-shifters Metallica and Green Day. “Music shaped the Bay Area,” he said. “And the Bay Area shaped the world.”

Or as guitarist the Edge put it, “We talked about the most important issues of the day - the best Tequila available.”

U2, meanwhile, put on a formidable live show, with the singer breathing new life into some of the band’s most well-worn hits. Bono bellowed his way through decades-old songs like “Sunday Bloody Sunday” and “Pride (In the Name of Love)” as if he were singing them for the first time.

With the Edge at his side, the front man delivered a stunning, full-throated acoustic version of “Stay (Faraway, So Close!).” He even convincingly filled in for Pavarotti on the understated operatic duet “Miss Sarajevo.”

The concert, built around a circular stage and enormous four-legged 400-ton structure known as “the Claw,” initially launched two years ago in support of the group’s indifferently received 12th studio album, “No Line on the Horizon.”

Going by the fervent reception that greeted the band at Tuesday’s concert, though, U2 didn’t lose any of its momentum during the time off, even though it failed to finish a promised follow-up release and has spent a good deal of time trying to untangle the problems with the Broadway production of “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark” (finally set to open next week).

In fact, the politically charged concert was part of what has officially become the highest grossing tour of all time (and most expensive to produce thanks to the 500,000-pixel video screen).

“Thank-you for your patience,” Bono said. “Some of you were two years younger when you bought those tickets.”

Despite the focus on the special effects at the outset of the evening, the band was never swallowed up by the technology - even when they were completely enveloped by it during “Zooropa.” The Claw came to life a few times during the 2.5-hour show, spouting green smoke and shooting red lights high into the sky, but it never felt like the main attraction.

Some people in the crowd grumbled that the giant screens made it feel like watching a DVD at home - especially from the back rows. But no amount of high-definition engineering could wring out the kind of emotion the group - rounded out by bass player Adam Clayton and drummer Larry Mullen Jr. - summoned during its mesmerizing run through “One.” That took real soul.

96,000 French Fans Love U2

U2 in concert is always a great show, but yesterday the group reached the summit. At the Stade de France, with 96,000 persons, the public has experienced a great moment in rock tour 360 ° Tour of way for the third time in two years in Paris.

The group has not disappointed and Bono who had back problems showed that he was in great shape.

Previously, Bono had gone alone to the Elysee Palace to meet with Nicolas Sarkozy and Carla Bruni. They discussed the summit “Millennium” which takes place this weekend in New York. Bono also discussed efforts against AIDS with the first lady of France. And he specifically requested help more African populations affected by this scourge.

Interpol opened the show and played for about an hour. Fans screaming BONO, BONO it was pretty clear that that Paris was ready to be rocked.  The setlist was pretty much the standard as the boys have settled into their show. Starting at 21:30 the intro pulls the fans from their seats that the crowd begins to swell as the Bono and the boys entered the stadium. The sound of the crowd was deafening, the walk in was pretty much a non event.  Beautiful day starts off the 2 hour show. Bono is in great shape, the boys Adam Larry and The Edge all ready to take the French down a musical road of bliss.

“I Will Follow”, Get on Your Boots and Magnificent have the audience ecstatic and yet you can sense that the boys may be playing for something they have yet to find. North Star and Mercy should be considered as testing songs. We have heard that we can expect a release 2010 (Late)

The band followed with a moment of atmosphere. Militant first with the classic Sunday Bloody Sunday when Bono and his band were introduced a few words of Get Up Stand Up by Bob Marley. And the public has not hesitated to use these words to heart, the little Irish recalling that France was the country of Human Rights and should not be forgotten. Then came the moment when the stadium became the largest nightclub in the world. Chaining City Of Blinding Lights, Vertigo, and a remix of I’ll Go Crazy If I Do not Go Crazy Tonight.

The screens came down full length and it surprised many, as they chained some of their classics; One, Where The Streets Have No Names and With or Without You.

Before leaving, Bono asks the Stade de France to make a vow that by 2015 no child in the world are born with the AIDS virus, especially in poor countries…

We will always have Paris – As the Boys move forward in during this massive tour

U2 Helsinki Review

Before we jump into the review of the show lets talk mobile signal jamming, it was interesting yesterday that most of the fans that tweet in the show or send video expressed issues with their signal. We can only report that this could only be related to this statdium.

U2 walked on stage relaxed despite the delay. The band was at home and seemed to crowd. They grabbed the audience from the start of the show and maintained them. Starting off with Beautiful Day seems to work well.  

Critics seem to have their day too. Stating that the boys have seemed to miss the 90’s and beyond.  Nothing fresh, nothing new yet the concert seemed to prove that Mysterious Ways has a place on this new setlist.

Enthusiasm did not slow down as they played “Where the Streets Have No Name” A couple of songs deleted from the show making room for Until the End of the World.

Bono seemed into the crowd, taking time to reference some points of interest. The show did start with a technical issue, the screen failed to go up causing a bit of delay in the start.

The crowd danced and sang along; remember the comment from the hotelier that U2’s audience is a bit old. Well the forty something crowd was clearing driving the show.

Prime Minister Mari Kiviniemi was in the house and Kiviniemi received special treatment because he met with Bono before the gig and the singer mention the Prime Minister during a concert a few times.

Bottom line translators did not really do a good job of understanding the importance of U2’s arrival. Can U2 fill every show and create a buzz that over takes Rock? Well with 4 new projects on the way. U2 and I can only hope.

Faith Follows Fans, Bono Follows the World

Right now news from around the tour maybe a bit slow, nothing really new to report. Great time to catch up on other stories,become  fan, follow the litle bird and await for the return.  We have been reading some interesting books about U2, Bono and Faith it seems that everyone wants to place a label on the band and yet know one really has an idea of where to place it. 

To call them a Christian band may cause a shift in the world reglion. Yet many churchs will tell you allowing U2 music to play within the church has returned some people to God.

The title track from the band’s latest album, No Line on the Horizon — an album as steeped in spirituality as any since U2’s earliest years — seems to speak to that. There’s the image itself, the absence of a line, a final destination. A character in the song also says two things worth noting: “Infinity is a great place to start,” and “Time is irrelevant, it’s not linear.”

Razim sees it as similar to the parting of the Red Sea. “To me, it’s about God making a way when there seems to be no way.”

It’s a vast vision of the cosmos and the beyond that doesn’t exactly jive with the idea of heaven as a victorious endgame.

So it is that Bono told Christianity Today, “I generally think religion gets in the way of God.”

Or in 2002, the Edge told Hot Press, “I still have a spiritual life, but I’m not really a fan of religion per se.”

Christianity Today referred to Bono’s tour of American churches on behalf of African aid as “an arm’s-length experience of churches (that) leaves Bono with a paper-thin ecclesiology that measures the church’s mission [or its “relevance”] almost exclusively in geopolitical terms.”

But Garrett sees progress in Bono’s nonmusical works. “I think we’re seeing more people believe in that sense of the church needing to be more responsive to the needs of the world and less fixated in individual salvation. Especially among younger Christians. I think they were on the front end of that.”

The band’s music has found its way into American churches in the form of U2charists, which have been taking place over the past five or six years.

Razim has overseen two of them at Palmer, New Year’s Eve 2008 and Juneteenth 2009, both of which filled the church to capacity. A third is planned for the coming New Year’s Eve. U2 music is sung and money is raised for the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals, a stipulation by the band in exchange for allowing its music to be sung without royalties.

She says the U2charist is “true to who we are” and in keeping with the church’s outreach.

And despite a somewhat strained relationship between U2 and any particular organized religion, Razim, like Garrett, sees kinship in the band’s spirituality. “It’s about searching and seeking,” she says. “The first time I heard a U2 song I detected it. It’s a journey, with faith developing and asking hard questions.

“I think their music is affirming and empowering, and it’s a true expression of who we are in this place and time.”


Sometimes U2’s songs are fairly obvious in their religious reference points. 40 is just a modified version of Psalm 40. Then there’s Mysterious Ways, which could just as easily be about a woman as it could about some other spirit. Some songs are questioning (most of Pop),others reverent (much of Boy). Here are just a few of the band’s spiritual songs that represent just some of the breadth of U2’s spiritual journey. As to which spirit they’re summoning, that’s in the ear of the behearer.

Twilight (from Boy, 1980)

I Will Follow (from Boy, 1980)

Gloria (from October, 1981)

Rejoice (from October, 1981)

40 (from War, 1983)

The Unforgettable Fire (from The Unforgettable Fire, 1984)

I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For (from The Joshua Tree, 1987)

Bullet the Blue Sky (from The Joshua Tree, 1987)

Mysterious Ways (from Achtung Baby, 1991)

The Wanderer (from Zooropa, 1992)

Wake Up Dead Man (from Pop, 1997)

Grace (from All That You Can’t Leave Behind, 2000)

Elevation (from All That You Can’t Leave Behind, 2000)

Peace on Earth (from All That You Can’t Leave Behind, 2000)

Love and Peace or Else(fromHow to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb, 2004)

Sometimes You Can’t Make It on Your Own (fromHow to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb • , 2004)

Magnificent (from No Line on the Horizon, 2009)