"Rock and roll started out as dance music, but somewhere along the way it lost its hips and became rhythmically simplistic."
Bits & Bytes
A collection of the latest U2 news and announcements posted by our staff.
The December 2017 issue of Q magazine, just available now, has more details about Songs Of Experience as well plans for the Experience + Innocence tour next year.
The article tries to tackle the topic of Bono's recent "brush with mortality," but both he and Edge again declined to discuss what happened in any detail. There is mention, however, that it's addressed in the first line of new song "The Lights Of Home," with this lyric: "I shouldn't be here cuz I should be dead / I believe my best days are ahead." Bono and Edge talk about how the album is a series of letters to Bono's loved ones, inspired by this unknown health scare.
The article mentions a new song title we haven't heard yet: "There Is A Light." It's described as the last song on the album, something we've previously understood to be "The Little Things That Give You Away." The latter title isn't mentioned in the article, so there's a chance it's the same song, just renamed. The opening song is confirmed (again) to be "Love Is All We Have Left." Other songs mentioned/confirmed in the article: "You're The Best Thing About Me" and "Landlady," both described as letters to Ali. "Get Out Of Your Own Way" is a letter to Bono's daughters, while "There Is A Light" is to his sons. Also mentioned are "Red Flag Day," "Summer Of Love" and "The Lights Of Home." The latter includes guest vocals from Haim, in part because it samples their song "My Song 5." Kendrick Lamar appears, too, as part of a segue in between songs, Q says.
Also mentioned are a handful of producers: Steve Lillywhite, Jacknife Lee and Ryan Tedder -- all of whom have worked with U2 before -- plus Jolyon Thomas and Andy Barlow, both of whom haven't. Barlow recently appeared on BBC Radio's Electric Ladyland show and vaguely discussed how he came to work with U2; you can hear it at about the 1:07:00 mark. The article says recording was done at "a mansion in Killiney," Electric Lady Studios in NYC and inside Bob Dylan's old tourbus at Shangri-La Studios in Malibu.
Q says the album will be out on December 1st, and that the tour to support it will begin in late spring/early summer of 2018.
We're expecting an official announcement, at least related to the album release, to happen in the next few days.
The Brazilian TV show Fantástico featured U2 in its latest program that aired Sunday evening. Bono and Adam sat down for an interview with host Alvaro Pereira Junior, which included a brief mention from Bono about U2 spending a lot of time and effort on the vinyl release of Songs Of Experience. He mentioned that it'll be released in a special colored vinyl version.
Aside from the brief Q&A, the band performed two acoustic songs on the roof of the Rede Globo building in São Paulo: "Ordinary Love" and "Vertigo." Links to watch are below, and thankfully they seem to be viewable worldwide.
The band's appearance was recorded last Tuesday. U2 also did some kind of video shoot today (prior to the third Sao Paulo concert) in an area called Beco de Batman, but we're not clear what it was for.
U2 was back on stage tonight at Morumbi Stadium in São Paulo, its second of four shows there to close out The Joshua Tree Tour 2017. Fans again were greeted on arrival with signs indicating that the show is being recorded -- as has been the case at several shows in the past couple weeks.
The setlist was exactly the same as the first São Paulo show two nights ago. In fact, the setlist hasn't changed over the past five shows, with the exception of the second show in Buenos Aires, which had an extra song at the end, "I Will Follow." Tonight's show saw some new snippets, though, including a lengthy version of "Waters Of March" (during "Bad"), a 1972 song that's been voted the best Brazilian song ever. (Scroll below for a great video of that performance.)
Here's the full São Paulo 2 set list.
Next up: a third show in São Paulo on Sunday.
Brazil is the final country to see the The Joshua Tree Tour 2017. The first of four nights in São Paulo was full of soul. Bono showed intimacy with the audience, speaking Portuguese many times. He also quoted the famous writer Paulo Coelho: "When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it."
“Bad” was dedicated to Renato Russo and Cazuza, great rock stars who died in the ’90s. During “Mothers Of The Disappeared,” Bono said, “You’re not going back, Brazil,” which I believe is related to dictatorship in the past and recent political problems in the country.
Larry also sent a strong message. He always wears T-shirts with different messages during “Elevation,” and tonight his shirt read: “Censura Nunca Mais.” In English, that’s “No More Censorship.” The band is very connected with what’s going on in Brazil, because there is now a big discussion about censoring art.
Luminous icons during “Ultraviolet" included women’s right's activist Maria da Penha, actress Taís Araújo and artist Tarsila do Amaral.
See the full set list for São Paulo 1 here.
Next: Saturday, Oct. 21.
Bono gives an almost track-by-track rundown of Songs Of Experience in a new interview that premiered Wednesday night on SiriusXM radio. The hour-long conversation was taped in September while U2 was in New York City and aired on Bill Flanagan's Written In My Soul, a regular program on VOLUME (channel 106).
Although there was no hard news to come out of the interview, Bono went into great detail on a number of Songs Of Experience tracks, reciting lyrics and explaining the origins and meanings of many songs. Here are some highlights:
There was also discussion on topics such as Bono's humanitarian work, how he balances it with his art, and even the idea of 2001's "Kite" as a precursor to the topics on Songs Of Experience. It's a great conversation and it'll be on again several times over the next month -- see the SiriusXM blog for a full list of replays. As far as we know, it's only available to SiriusXM subscribers. But you might keep an eye on their SoundCloud channel, too -- scroll down for four clips from the interview now and cross your fingers the whole conversation eventually shows up.
U2 are in Brazil for the last shows of The Joshua Tree Tour 2017. Yesterday, the band recorded an appearance on the TV program, Fantástico. According to reports on social media, it seems they performed at the top of Rede Globo building in São Paulo. We believe it was probably an acoustic version of “You’re The Best Thing About Me.”
There will also be an interview with the band. Fantástico will air Sunday from 9-11 p.m. (local time). Here's a preview:
Let's get out the Joshua Tree Tour vote! U2 have received a 2017 American Music Awards nomination for Tour of the Year. Also nominated are Coldplay and Garth Brooks. The fan-voted awards ceremony will take place Sunday, Nov. 19, at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, broadcast on ABC. How to vote:
• Post a tweet that includes the nominee’s name or Twitter handle, the category name and #AMAs.