"[I]n America stadium shows are reserved seating. And you don't necessarily get the most enthusiastic people up the front. You get the people who reserved those seats."
Bits & Bytes
A collection of the latest U2 news and announcements posted by our staff.
U2 played its first show on US soil in more than a year on Friday night, closing out the first night of the iHeartRadio Music Festival in Las Vegas. Though there were rumors and reports that U2 might introduce a new song tonight, that wasn't the case; the band played an 8-song set that lasted a a little more than 40 minutes.
If you watched Bono's recent interview with Charlie Rose, he promised that U2 would find a way to address Donald Trump's presidential candidacy, which he told Rose could be "potentially the worst idea that ever happened to America." The band followed through on that promise by starting the show with a scorching version of "Desire" that featured a video clip of Trump saying "the American dream is dead!" while Bono told the crowd, "What have you got to lose? Everything!"
For the full setlist, see our concert detail page here.
Before the band took the stage, Bono spoke briefly with iHeartRadio and said U2's new album will be released in 2017.
Bono, in a very un-Bono move, was mostly non-committal about U2's album and tour plans in his interview with PBS host Charlie Rose this week. The conversation took place Monday in New York City and aired Tuesday night on PBS stations around the country. While much of the conversation was not music-related, there were a couple different segments where Rose asked about the band's music plans:
Rose: Take Songs Of Experience. How many songs have you written?
Rose: A couple points of business -- when is the album coming out? Songs Of Experience.
Bono also told Rose that he's "written some very, very personal songs. To people -- my kids, or our kids, to friends, to Ali, to our audience." He said he's also written some songs to himself, though he didn't realize at first that he was the subject of his lyrics. Bono also talked briefly about a new song called "The Little Things That Give You Away" (a song he first mentioned about a year ago in Q magazine) and said that's a new title for the song that was previously called "The Morning After Innocence."
You can watch the full, hour-long conversation on CharlieRose.com.
If you're joining us for #U240Cleveland this weekend, we've got the full activity schedule to help you plan your days on Saturday and Sunday. The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame will open to the public at 10:00 am Saturday, and the @U2 crew will be there to welcome you with special goodie bags for the first 50 fans to show up and visit our table! After that, you're welcome to check out everything the Rock Hall has to offer including two special exhibits -- one featuring our very own Kelly Eddington and some of her Achtoon Baby artwork, and the other featuring Beth Nabi and Chris LeClere of the U2 Tattoo Project. (Their talks will be repeated a few times throughout the weekend.) At 12:00 noon, the Rock Hall will welcome everyone; we'll eat some cake and sing Happy Birthday to U2, too.
There'll be three live conversation sessions over the weekend with our special guest, Dave Fanning. On Saturday afternoon, Fanning will speak first with the Rock Hall in a 45-minute session that starts at 12:30 pm. Fanning will join the @U2 podcast crew at 2:45 pm Saturday for a special, live episode of our podcast. And then on Sunday, we'll sit down with Fanning again one last time at 12:30 pm to go deeper on some of Saturday's stories and cover anything we missed. There'll be opportunities for audience Q&A, too.
We'll join with the Rock Hall for a special discussion on U2's social justice efforts that will happen at 1:30 pm Saturday and again at 2:00 pm on Sunday. While all of that is going on, there'll be a few screenings of U23D and other U2-related videos throughout the weekend.
As you can see, it's a really packed weekend! If you don't have tickets yet, it's just $40 for both days -- and if you can only be there one day, you can pick either day for just $20. We've got the step-by-step instructions to buy tickets in advance online, but you can also get them at the Rock Hall either day.
Not listed on the official Rock Hall schedule is our special event Saturday night at 9:30 pm -- a rare big-screen showing of Rattle And Hum at the Tower City Cinemas in downtown Cleveland for only $10! We've already sold more than 100 tickets and expect more to sell at the box office on Saturday night. If you want to reserve yours online in advance, follow this link and click where it says 9:30 pm to buy your tickets.
Here's the full, official weekend schedule from the Rock Hall. You can click the image to see a larger version.
In addition to all of the above, we understand that fans have organized a couple unofficial events for the weekend. By "unofficial," we mean that neither @U2 nor the Rock Hall is involved in organizing and putting these events on, but we want to let you know about them anyway.
Friday: We understand a group of fans are planning to meet Friday evening at The Harp, an Irish pub, to watch or follow along as U2 performs at the iHeartRadio Music Festival.
Saturday: Cleveland-area tribute band ONE will be performing at 5:00 pm in the Cleveland Public Square. After that, fans are planning to meet again at The Harp at 7:00 pm.
Fresh off his appearance in Montreal over the weekend with the ONE Campaign, Bono is making the rounds early this week in New York City. On Monday, he took part in a panel discussion on global development and security at the annual Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) meeting. You can see a photo set from that event on Zimbio, and we'll embed video of the session below.
Also on Monday, Bono sat down for an interview with CBS/PBS host Charlie Rose -- a portion of that discussion aired today (Tuesday) on CBS This Morning, and the full interview will air tonight on Rose's PBS show. Check your local listings for time and channel. If you're not able to watch the full interview, CBS.com has an article and short video clip recapping their talk.
Monday night, yer man was honored at the Bloomberg Hopkins 100 Awards event, which marked the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Johns Hopkins Bloomber School of Public Health. There's a short writeup and some photos from that event on the Johns Hopkins University website.
As far as we know, that's the extent of Bono's public appearances Monday in New York City. He'll be headed out west shortly to get ready for U2 duties this weekend, as the band is set to perform at the iHeartRadio Music Festival on Friday night.
Back to the CGI event yesterday -- video is below, and the session with Bono begins at about the 57:30 mark.
Along with the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, we're thrilled to announce the addition of a special guest to the #U240Cleveland activities: Legendary Irish radio personality Dave Fanning will be in attendance and participating on Saturday and Sunday!
Fanning is uniquely suited to discuss U2's 40-year anniversary. He was the RTE radio disc jockey who gave U2 its first radio airplay in 1979 when he hosted different band members in the studio each night, playing U2's first properly-recorded songs and allowing his listeners to choose which would be the A-side of the band's first single. (They chose "Out Of Control.") Since then, Fanning has interviewed U2 countless times and has consistently been the band's choice to premiere new, album-launching singles. Fanning currently hosts a weekend radio show on RTE's 2FM.
Details are still being worked out, but we expect Fanning to take part in a live Q&A session on Saturday, and potentially again on Sunday. More to come on that as soon as we can share it. Having been associated with U2 since 1979, no doubt he'll have plenty to talk about and stories to tell.
Tickets are still available for #U240Cleveland, a two-day event celebrating the 40th anniversary of U2's first meeting as a band on September 25, 1976. It's happening next weekend, September 24-25, at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland. The price is $40 for the full weekend, or $20 per day if you can only be there one day. See our previous news announcement for instructions to buy tickets online in advance. And for more about the weekend's events, see our dedicated #U240Cleveland page.
We can't wait to hear from Dave Fanning next weekend, and we look forward to seeing you there with us!
(PS - If you're in Cleveland on Saturday night, we'd also love for you to join us for a rare screening of Rattle And Hum on the big screen at Tower City Cinemas. That's only $10 and you can get more information in our prior news announcement.)
Steve Lillywhite told a music conference in Singapore today that he's mixing a new U2 single. Canadian music journalist Alan Cross was at the conference and wrote about it on his blog:
Steve had better hang on tight to his phone while he's here in Singapore. He told everyone during a keynote address that Bono had given him a ring and asked if he'd have a go at mixing the new U2 single. That mix is on his phone.
No word on what the song is, but it could be "The Best Thing" -- the song that Norwegian DJ Kygo premiered last month at a festival in Bergen, Norway.
Cross also mentions that there's a documentary about Lillywhite in the works.
(Photo by Philips Communications. Used via Creative Commons license.)
Another day, another exciting announcement regarding #U240Cleveland -- today, it's the news that you can now buy tickets in advance for the main event!
This is just the latest batch of event updates. If you've missed anything announced before, or just need a reminder on the overall plans as they stand right now, see our dedicated #U240Cleveland event page.