"[Bono] basically shot my chance of becoming the leader of the band."
Bits & Bytes
A collection of the latest U2 news and announcements posted by our staff.
After the positive response to our t-shirt sale last month, and armed with new ideas from our readers and staff, we've listed another batch of shirts on Teespring.
After that group, you'll find 10 new shirts using ideas that you sent in and some thought up by our staff. Each new shirt is available in two colors minimum, and we tried to have enough variety to appeal equally to male and female fans. The new shirts are:
On some shirts you'll see odd color combos (Green/Pink is a fave). That's because different companies make the different shirt styles, and on some, a certain style of shirt wasn't available in the same color as the rest of the items. For example, on the "No Them/Only Us" shirt, the mens shirt is green, but the ladies shirt wasn't available in that color. So, we made it pink. (Several female readers asked for more pink options after the first sale.) You can find the store here:
Shirts and stuff from atu2.com on Teespring
Results from the worldwide #U2Request campaign are in, and U2 fans on Twitter have voted "Acrobat" as the U2 song they most want to hear during the upcoming Innocence + Experience tour. The event, organized by Italian fan Angelo D'Arezzo, took place on April 14 with fans naming a song they want to hear and including the #U2Request hashtag. U2 fan Harry Kantas tallied up the 39,000+ tweets (and retweets) that were sent that day and published the results, including the word cloud above and a map showing tweet activity around the world (from users whose tweets are geotagged).
The results? No surprise, really. "Acrobat" was the top vote-getter by a landslide, with almost three times as many votes as the No. 2 song, "A Sort Of Homecoming," and more votes than the next three songs combined. Here are the top 10 songs with their vote counts:
1. "Acrobat" - 3,592
If you've been online and hanging out in U2 fan circles for any length of time, you know that "Acrobat" is almost always the first song mentioned when fans talk about songs they want to hear live for the first time. All of the other songs in the top 10, with the exception of "Heartland," have been performed at least once during a U2 concert.
You can see the top 100 songs requested, top 25 participants and more at u2request.selfip.info.
It's not much of a secret at this point: U2 is moving into the Pacific Coliseum in Vancouver (a second indoor arena in the city) for rehearsals prior to the start of the Innocence + Experience tour on May 14th at Rogers Arena. Local media outlets have been scouting the scene at Pacific Coliseum since the start of the week and generally finding nothing more than those red/white Upstaging trucks in the parking lot -- trucks that U2 fans have seen before on previous tours.
U2 fan Jonathan Vervaet (well, his wife, actually) paid a visit to Pacific Coliseum on Tuesday night and heard what sure sounds to us like a live U2 rehearsal, complete with Bono singing. It's a brief clip of "Vertigo" with the music really kicking in at about the :20 mark. Have a listen.
There's a chance that this is pre-recorded audio and the crew is using it to test audio levels and equipment. But the way the song stops leads me to think otherwise. You can decide for yourself.
UPDATE: Jonathan has uploaded more than one clip from Tuesday's rehearsal. Here's a longer take on "Vertigo."
Wondering what to get a rock star for his 55th birthday? The African Well Fund has the answer!
African Well Fund also is planning another Tweet a Well for Bono’s Birthday, a 24hr tweet-a-thon on May 10th. Details will be coming soon.
Sons+Fathers is a collection of stories about this unique relationship, with proceeds going to the Irish Hospice Foundation's Nurses for Night Care Programme and Hospice Africa Uganda.
As we posted in February, it features many famous people, including all members of U2, writing about their dads.
Bono planted the seed for this book after donating the drawings he made of his father in his last days. You can see an exclusive video of Bono talking about his involvement in the book.
Over the weekend, there were several articles about the book that included excerpts. Here are some of those excerpts with links to the articles that mentioned them:
I doubt if Heaven will be as tidy as he battled for 10 Cedarwood Road to be, but this time round, that won’t be my argument… God, how we loved to argue in our family. And he was the best at it. Christmas morning was always the argument of the year. Religion. I didn’t realise then that he was teaching me a great lesson: question everything. While he didn’t like me to question his authority, he encouraged us to question every other authority. (The Journal.ie)
I remember a fishing trip with my father, Garvin, when I was 12 years old. We went to a river in Wales called the Tywi for three days with Granduncle Gordon. It wasn’t exactly the passing of the secret knowledge, as my dad and I were both pretty clueless, but the important thing was we got to hang out doing something that we could share. It’s so long ago that I can’t remember much beyond the awareness of a rare bonding time spent with my dad. (The Irish Times)
In 1976 I hadn't mastered the bass but I had identified that I needed a better instrument and my father -- a practical man, not affected by music or art -- was essential to this plan. He flew regularly to New York and second-hand instruments were much cheaper at Manny's on 48th Street. I gave him money and the magic words 'Fender Precision Bass' and waited. When it arrived, it had a sunburst finish and I felt like a Rolling Stone. (Irish Examiner)
I know he could write a far better piece about himself than I ever could. He still has a way with words. I still play the drums.
Larry admits that having bought his dad a laptop 10 years ago, he still receives touching messages that usually include solid advice and the occasional well-intended blow to the solar plexus. (U2.com)
He hired a car in Dublin and delivered me and my trunk and tuck box to Clongowes, and after the handover he drove away. I kissed him goodbye halfway down the long avenue and walked back to the school. For the next few days, never having been so devastated with loneliness before, I would visit the place where his tyres had flattened the grass.(Independent.ie)
Sons+Fathers is available in bookstores and can be ordered online here.
You are formally invited to party with the @U2 crew in New York City, because we're turning 20 years old this year!
@U2 launched on October 23, 1995, and we're going to celebrate this summer while U2 is touring here in our home country. Our 20th anniversary bash is set for July 29, 2015, the night before U2 plays the last two North American shows of the Innocence + Experience tour. And we'll be celebrating in one of the coolest venues in the city: We've rented out The Cutting Room, located just a few blocks away from Madison Square Garden! (Seriously, go check out the photos if you've never been there before.)
Our special guests for the evening will be the fantastic U2 tribute band, Unforgettable Fire, whom I first saw when they blew everyone away at the U2 Conference in 2013. And how's this for a perfect match: Unforgettable Fire is also celebrating its 20th anniversary this year!
Sound fun? It will be. Here are all the details for our 20th anniversary party:
When: Wednesday, July 29, 2015
We have a few surprises and giveaways in the works before and after Unforgettable Fire's set, so do plan on showing up at 7:00 pm to make sure you don't miss out.
Tickets are available now and can be bought online here: Get your 20th Anniversary Party tickets today!
On behalf of the @U2 crew, we can't wait to see you and celebrate with you in New York City on July 29!
We've had a few requests and suggestions from readers over the past year or two telling us that we should get on Instagram and share U2-related images there. Well, with the Innocence + Experience tour starting up soon, we finally heeded that advice.
If you're an Instagram user, we'd love for you to follow us. Here's our account:
We'll be sharing photos and video from our upcoming Vancouver meetup, as well as anything and everything else from those first couple shows in Vancouver -- not to mention plenty of other goodies throughout the tour and beyond.
Better late than never? Hope so. We'll see you on Instagram.
Put your party hats on! U2's Innocence+Experience tour is fast approaching and we're ready to help get the fun going with a casual dinner meetup in Vancouver, BC, the night before U2's first concert. You're invited to join us -- and there'll be a lot of @U2 staffers there -- on May 13, 2015, from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm at Doolin's Irish Pub, where a section of the restaurant is being set aside just for us. There's no cost to attend, and you'll be able to order dinner and drinks right off the menu -- so please bring an appetite!
Here are all the details:
What: @U2 @Vancouver, casual dinner meetup
We need to let Doolin's know how many people to expect, so please RSVP as soon as you're certain you can join us. That links to an Eventbrite page where you can tell us how many in your group are planning to attend. And please share that URL on your favorite U2 Facebook pages/groups and wherever else your U2 friends enjoy hanging out online. On behalf of the @U2 crew, we're looking forward to seeing you on May 13th!
(By the way, we hope to announce details of our 20th anniversary party soon. We're still planning that for July 29th in New York City.)
How would you like to have your U2 concert videos featured on our new Tours site?
The @U2 Tours crew is working feverishly on the site, and now we're looking for some help. We're inviting you to email us links to your favorite 5-10 U2 concert videos -- individual songs or full concerts. They can be videos that you shot and uploaded yourself, or videos from someone else that you think are really great. They can be on YouTube or Vimeo or wherever or any well-known video hosting site. (But no Facebook links, please.)
Why do we need video links? On the new Tours site, we're able to link from every song in a setlist to an online video for that song. Have a look, for example, at the setlist from the Werchter Festival in 1982 below, and notice how several of the songs have links to go watch a song on YouTube.
We've found a few YouTube accounts that have a ton of live U2 songs, but we're looking for as much variety as possible. And we want to help you get more exposure for the great videos you've taken at U2 shows by linking to them from our Tours site.
How To Submit Links
You're welcome to send us 5-10 links via email. Please put the phrase "@U2 Tours Video" in the Subject field, put the links in the email itself, and send it to webmaster....@....atu2.com. We expect that a lot of emails will come in, so individual replies won't be possible. We also can't promise to include links from everyone who submits. Submitting links for high-quality videos will give you the best shot at being featured.
We'll have more @U2 Tours updates coming soon. And we'll close with a reminder that, with the Innocence+Experience tour just a couple months away, now is a great time to register on our Tours site and create your own profile page, listing all the U2 concerts and songs you've seen. (Have a look at my profile page for an example.)
We've had a few questions come in about legitimate places to buy, sell or trade U2 concert tickets with other fans, so consider this a Public Service Announcement aimed at answering a question that may be on a lot of fans' minds.
Officially, there are still some tickets for certain shows available via official ticket outlets (i.e., Ticketmaster in North America). The tour page on U2.com appears to be pretty up-to-date about which shows still have tickets available.
Beyond that, we also have a dedicated board in our forum for fans to buy, sell and trade tickets directly with other fans and only at face value. All of the existing shows are listed individually, so just find the show(s) you're interested in and add your post or see what others have already posted. Selling or trading GA tickets may be difficult due to the paperless ticket requirements, so keep that in mind as you offer those tickets or search for them.
And be sure, if you do use this section of our forum, to read the post at the top of the board -- "Rules for Ticket Buying/Selling/Trading." We don't hesitate to boot people that try to make a profit from selling tickets in our forum.
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