"Maybe that is the step forward on this record, to be able to have the freedom to have humour sitting alongside songs that are deadly earnest, and the two actually balance out each other."
-- Edge, on All That You Can't Leave Behind
Column: off the record ..., vol. 13-575
July 14, 2013
The thing I regret most about a business trip I took to Manhattan last spring was not making time to see Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark on Broadway. All of my friends who have been to the show, whether theater fans or not, have been blown away by its brilliance, and I'm green with envy for their experiences.
Really, there are several ways to enjoy U2: live; on television; in film; in laser shows; in church; in photography/artwork, etc. but I hadn't thought much about the theater possibilities until Spider-Man came along.
Now I'm hearing of smaller productions that don't necessarily feature their music, but pay tribute to the band. In fact, one such event is happening this week in Montreal. The vignette-style play All I Want Is U2 details the path of a rabid U2 fan, who fell in love with Rattle And Hum at age 14.
Once a college thesis of the playwright, Stéfan Cédilot, the story is promised to appeal to fans and (gasp) non-fans alike. He claims he's even converted a few because of it, mentioning that fans have approached him and conceded, '"OK, I get it now. I understand the U2 trip." Read his full interview with the Montreal Gazette here.
Speaking of art in the U2 family, some of U2's childhood friends star in the new documentary Hill Street, which chronicles the skateboarding culture in Dublin from the 1980s to the present.
U2 cover boy, Peter Rowen, and his brother Clive (who owned a legendary skate store in Dublin) both appear in the film -- some may also remember Peter's cameo in The Commitments several years ago featured him skateboarding to a music audition.
Hill Street is currently playing at various Irish film festivals, but there is no official release date listed.
Watch the trailer here.
I'm a firm believer that the more energy you put toward something, the greater the chance it will come to life. That's why I can't make it through an entire column without writing about the new U2 album, allegedly appearing before the end of this year.
I continue to be hesitantly optimistic for a fall release, and here's why:
I'm encouraged by the fact that some of the band's celebrity friends (from The Killers, Coldplay, etc.) have referenced hearing songs from said album, and also that photos are already surfacing of Bono and Larry taking a holiday in France. Those signs all point to some sense of accomplishment where the album's concerned and indicate that there is no Achtung Baby-like band drama happening behind closed doors.
Bono also seems to be very available lately for a bevy of appearances and events, which is something I know I mentioned in April, but still rings true today.
What do you think? Will the album happen as early as September as was first reported?
Let your thoughts be heard by visiting our @U2 Forum. There's been a robust thread surrounding the new album for seven months now and it's still going strong.
I'm personally thrilled at the prospect of new music, but of course, even more jazzed for the inevitable tour that will follow.
In the meantime, I'll build my own excitement by watching some of my favorite live U2 footage.
© @U2/Kokkoris, 2013.