Life Begins With "The Crystal Ballroom"

United Center, Chicago:   Looks like Chicago has gotten the most treats of any city so far on this tour.  The band continued their normal sound check and within hidden was "Two Hearts Beat As One" "Sweetest Thing" and "The Crystal Ballroom"  one of the most requested songs on the tour so far. Last night "The Crystal Ballroom made its debut at number 14 and ended the song with "Only in Chicago"  a reference to the band always throwing out the unexpected tune.

Venue: United Center  June 28, 2015

Setlist

  1. The Miracle (Of Joey Ramone)
  2. The Electric Co. / Send In The Clowns (snippet) / I Can See For Miles (snippet) / Smells Like Teen Spirit (snippet)
  3. Vertigo
  4. I Will Follow
  5. Iris (Hold Me Close)
  6. Cedarwood Road
  7. Song For Someone
  8. Sunday Bloody Sunday / When Johnny Comes Marching Home (snippet)
  9. Raised By Wolves / Psalm 23 (snippet)
  10. Until The End Of The World

(Intermission)

  1. Invisible
  2. Even Better Than The Real Thing
  3. Mysterious Ways / My Sweet Lord (snippet)
  4. The Crystal Ballroom
  5. Sweetest Thing
  6. Every Breaking Wave
  7. Bullet The Blue Sky / 19 (snippet)
  8. The Hands That Built America (snippet) / Pride (In The Name Of Love)
  9. Beautiful Day / I Remember You (snippet)
  10. With Or Without You / My Kind Of Town (snippet)

Encore(s):

  1. City Of Blinding Lights
  2. Mother And Child Reunion (snippet) / Where The Streets Have No Name / California (There Is No End To Love) (snippet)
  3. Happy Birthday
  4. I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For / People Have The Power (snippet)




En Bonne Montréal U2 Fans

Montréal comes to a close as U2 fans look back over the few days of music and friends with great amazement. U2 has has always been about connecting with fans and Montréal fans got some extra extra treats this week. Bono welcoming Mirror Ball Man to the stage, An increase number of fans joined the band on stage.

Personal comment, leave your phone or camera in your pocket and taken the whole experience. As one blogger site called the stage invite "Controlled chaos" this stop along the tour has some memorable experiences for a few fans.  Our camera man happened to capture some great fans inside and outside this this time. We are still looking for that U2TOURFANS sign. Maybe Chicago fans will bring it out !   The set list has a few changes however what really is different about each show really is how the band interacts with the fans.

Bono seems to be more interactive, chatty or just engaged with the fans of Montreal speaking in French a few times, inviting fans to the stage and of course helping us remember those that need to be remembered.  Its an experience. That's the best way to describe the series.  

Venue: Bell Centre Montreal, QC, CA June 16, 2015

  1. The Miracle (Of Joey Ramone)
  2. Out Of Control
  3. Vertigo / God Save The Queen (Sex Pistols) (snippet) / Transmission (snippet)
  4. I Will Follow
  5. Iris (Hold Me Close)
  6. Cedarwood Road
  7. Song For Someone
  8. Sunday Bloody Sunday
  9. Raised By Wolves / Psalm 23 (snippet)
  10. Until The End Of The World / Love And Peace Or Else (snippet)

(Intermission)

  1. Invisible
  2. Even Better Than The Real Thing
  3. Mysterious Ways
  4. Elevation
  5. Stuck In A Moment
  6. Every Breaking Wave
  7. Bullet The Blue Sky / Anthem (snippet)
  8. The Hands That Built America (snippet) / Pride (In The Name Of Love)
  9. Beautiful Day
  10. With Or Without You

Encore(s):

  1. City Of Blinding Lights / Gens Du Pays (snippet)
  2. Mother And Child Reunion (snippet) / Anthem (snippet) / Where The Streets Have No Name / California (There Is No End To Love) (snippet)
  3. 40


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)