"[O]ne of the reasons I'm interested in the principle of surrender, one of the reasons I'm interested in a man of peace like Martin Luther King, is that I'm the opposite."
Bits & Bytes
A collection of the latest U2 news and announcements posted by our staff.
U2 continues to rehearse this week at Pacific Coliseum in Vancouver. On Wednesday night, @U2 reader Stephen K. told us that he heard a "mixture of old classics and obvious new [songs]," one of which was "Every Breaking Wave."
A night earlier, Vancouver-based journalist Bob Mackin was at the Coliseum and managed to record a couple minutes of good quality audio while the band rehearsed "Raised By Wolves." Have a listen:
Bob was back at the Coliseum tonight (Thursday) and reports that he heard "Raised By Wolves" again, along with "Until The End Of The World."
He also wrote about the scene at the Coliseum on the couple nights he visited this week. That article begins with reminiscing about previous U2 tours and shows, but this part about the goings on this week are particularly interesting:
The rehearsals at the home of the Western Hockey League's Vancouver Giants are under tight security and secrecy. The glass doors at the main south entrance of the arena are obscured by interior black curtains and part of the north parking lot is closed. Initially, the Pacific National Exhibition wouldn't even confirm the tenant was U2. The sounds emanating from the afternoon and evening sessions are unmistakably U2. ... There are no signs or additional fences at the Coliseum's south doors, but the arena's security guards are under strict orders to not allow pedestrians to loiter outside, despite the area being part of the public-owned Hastings Park. I checked with PNE spokeswoman Laura Ballance, who told me the band has also rented the exterior plaza of the building and is reasonably concerned about the possibility of someone recording and publishing a bootleg of an entire rehearsal.
You may recall early last week, when we first wondered if it was U2 inside rehearsing, how fans were able to walk right up to the arena doors and record the audio coming from inside. Based on Bob's description, and with U2 in the building now, that's clearly not the case anymore.
As always, if you're in Vancouver and have news/audio/video to share from U2's rehearsals, we'd love to pass it on to our readers. Hit us up: email@example.com.
It's been six months since Bono's bike accident in New York, and we hope you're ready to have a laugh about what happened -- not at the accident itself, but in the hospital later. Actually, as Kelly Eddington explains in her intro to the latest Achtoon Baby, it "starts out snarky, then it becomes goofy, and then it becomes sweet, some would say sickeningly so."
Have a look at how the rest of U2 might've reacted just before Bono was sent home in the Spring 2015 Achtoon Baby:
With Bono spotted in Vancouver on Saturday night, it sounds like the whole band has joined him and live rehearsals have begun. @U2 reader Stephen K. sent us a short audio clip of "Invisible" that he recorded with his iPhone out in the parking lot on Monday, along with a few photos of the scene at Pacific Coliseum. We've done our best to boost the audio levels and put it all together in the short YouTube video below.
You should hear Bono singing in the first couple seconds -- it sounds like he sings "It's yours" twice, then he stops and seems to say "sorry" at about the 6-second mark, and continues with "I finally found my real name...." Later, you'll hear Stephen talking to a security guard, who says "yep" when asked if the sound is live.
Stephen says he didn't see any of the band members while he was at the Coliseum, but there was a lot of activity beyond just the crew. There's a tent set up outside (you can see it in on the right in the last couple seconds of the video), portable toilets and so forth.
If you're one of our Vancouver-based readers, late afternoon/early evening is probably the best time to check out the scene. If you get any video, audio or photos, please send them in to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If they haven't already, it looks like U2's formal tour rehearsals could begin soon in Vancouver. Fans have been hearing U2 songs coming from Pacific Coliseum for about a week now, but no band member has been seen in the city ... until last night. Ashley Wray posted this photo of Bono at a club called The Diamond to Instagram late Saturday night. (Sourced via our forum, @U2start and @U2_News.)
None of the other band members have been spotted in Vancouver yet, but with the tour due to start in less than four weeks, the bet here is that everyone will be there soon and live rehearsals will get underway.
Meanwhile, rumors are circulating today that U2 is set to announce what should be its final concerts of 2015. The Sunday World reported today that U2 will soon announce five shows at Dublin's 3Arena. The rumor is that the shows will happen in late November/early December, and tickets will go on sale in the next few weeks. The article isn't on the Sunday World's website (as far as we can tell), but @U2 reader David G. tweeted us this photo of the article.
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
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.
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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