"The Latin Americans have the sexy end of Catholicism. They have carnivals, which we don't have in Northern Europe. We have all of the denial but none of the celebration."
Bits & Bytes
A collection of the latest U2 news and announcements posted by our staff.
The Joshua Tree 2017 tour visited Stade de France in Saint-Denis tonight for the first of two shows. The sold-out audience was treated to a special “Mothers Of The Disappeared” performance as Patti Smith joined U2 onstage to sing. Bono praised the French NGOs for “showing courage and compassion” to people in desperate circumstances. “Bad” ended with a snippet of David Bowie’s “Where Are We Now,” and Bono concluded, “We're in the country that invented the United States of America!”
Coming up: night 2 at Stade de France tomorrow.
The rumors were true: U2 has extended The Joshua Tree 2017 tour with a 4th night in São Paulo, Brazil on Oct. 25. The band’s announcement on U2.com states Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds will be the support act.
Tickets go on sale to the public on Thursday, July 27th and fans are reminded the best way to purchase is through the internet beginning at 12:01 AM July 27th at www.ticketsforfun.com.br. Beginning at 10:00am, a limited number of tickets will be available at the official box office and authorized outlets. Respecting standard procedures, fans will receive a number according to their order of arrival in line.
Another announcement came through the band's Instagram account: “We are thrilled to announce a 4th show in São Paulo. It will be a very special party with the Brazilian fans to celebrate the end of a great tour. See you there!”
Director Hamish Hamilton was spotted at the band’s Croke Park show in Dublin this weekend. São Paulo is the only city to have four shows on this tour, which may indicate the band’s chosen it as the filming location for a possible DVD.
It was an Irish who’s who at Croke Park tonight as U2 brought The Joshua Tree 2017 tour home to Dublin. Among those spotted were musicians Imelda May and Glen Hansard, tennis star Johanna Konta, footballer Robbie Keane, and Ireland’s President Michael D. Higgins (just to name a few).
A special flyover by the Irish Air Corps accompanying “Where The Streets Have No Name” was a highlight. There were several trips down memory lane during the night as Bono recalled the band's early days, including when Reggie Manuel brought Bono to Larry’s house in 1976. Bono said he was asked what instrument he could play. Tonight he joked he told Larry the harmonica. “I lied,” he said.
“Bad” was dedicated to Lypton Village's Guckpants Delaney, a.k.a. Andy Rowen. Simon & Garfunkel’s “America” snippet made its European tour debut during “Bad,” as well. “One Tree Hill” was dedicated to Greg Carroll, Father Jack Heaslip and Father Jack Finucane. Bono thanked the Irish Navy in “Miss Sarajevo” for saving thousands of men’s and women’s lives. Panti Bliss joined the luminous icons during "Ultraviolet."
Next up: Stade de France in Saint-Denis.
Will the Joshua Tree Tour 2017 have an impact on U2's next album? It sure sounds like it, at least according to Bono. During a full-band interview that aired today on Apple's Beats 1 music service, Bono told host Zane Low about the decision to tour a 30-year-old album and the pressure it puts on the band in the future:
It's going to make for a ridiculous new U2 album. It's the only reason. 'Glorifying the past because the future dries up' -- that's a tattoo (points to his own face) to just write across your head. And we better be f**king good going forward cuz there's no interest here -- we don't need it -- to be a heritage act. We're all doing very well, thank you very much. We're doing this cuz we want to do it.
It's not a place, this country is to me a thought
At the very end, when Lowe whispers a question about when the new album will be out, Edge whispers back: "I think it's gonna be this year." The interview took place in London on July 10; at U2's show in Barcelona two nights ago, Bono also told the audience that the album will be out this year.
The focus of the interview, though, is on The Joshua Tree -- both the album and this year's tour. It also touches on what happened before (The Unforgettable Fire and Live Aid) and after (Achtung Baby and Zoo TV). There are some stories you've probably never heard, along with a few you have. Overall, it's a great listen. You can do that via the video below. The program ran a full hour, but that included a few songs that were edited in after the fact. The conversation itself runs a little less than 40 minutes.
Tonight's Barcelona show is the half-way point in The Joshua Tree 2017 Tour's European leg: 6 down, 6 to go. The sold-out show at Estadi Olimpic de Montjuic celebrated David Bowie's influence on the band. During the intro to "Bad," Bono said he had visited the Bowie exhibit at The Barcelona Design Museum before coming to the stadium. "David Bowie was a friend of ours. He called us friends, really we were fans. ... We feel him very close," he said.
Bono said that long-time friend of the band, Reggie "The Dog" Manuel, was at the show. He explained that if it wasn't for him, he wouldn't have gone to Larry's kitchen in September 1976. Reggie not only encouraged Bono to go, but also gave him a lift on his motorcycle. We all have Reggie to thank for that.
The "el pueblo vencerá" refrain returned in "Mothers Of The Disappeared," and the Barcelona audience sang it with passion.
The show fell on Mandela Day, celebrating Nelson Mandela's birthday. During the intro to "One," Bono said, "Madiba would tell you it's not about big personalities, it's about a big movement."
The Barcelona audience was treated to "Spanish Eyes" in spoken-word snippet form at the end of "Trip Through Your Wires."
Notables at the show tonight: Paul McGuinness, Australian actor Ben Mendelsohn and members of the Global Fund. (Mendelsohn co-stars with Bono's daughter, Eve, in the upcoming Robin Hood: Origins film.)
Next up: U2's homecoming show at Croke Park in Dublin.
"A Sort Of Homecoming" made it's The Joshua Tree 2017 Tour European leg debut tonight in Rome to the excitement and delight of the Rome audience. During the second of two shows in the Italian capital city, Bono once again praised Italy's Coast Guard for saving thousands of lives of men and women fleeing their war-torn homeland to seek refuge. Bono recalled his father's opera collection during the show, as well as referenced Roberto Benigni's A Vida é Bela (Life Is Beautiful).
A female fan was brought up on stage during "Mysterious Ways," following the production tradition. Oasis' "Live Forever" made its tour debut as a snippet in "Beautiful Day."
Next up: Barcelona on Tuesday.
The Joshua Tree Tour 2017's first night in Rome was one of celebration, jubilation, gratitude and remembrance. There was a wedding in the stands before U2 took the stage. There was a successful flashmob organized by U2Place.com unifying 40,000 in the stands during "With Or Without You." Bono recalled the efforts of Jubilee 2000 and all the support that came from Rome to forgive billions in debt, allowing millions to go to school and be on a better path. He also thanked the Italian Coast Guard for saving the lives of so many refugees who were struggling in the Mediterranean Sea. Before "Bad," Bono saluted poet John Keats, quoting from Keats' "Ode On A Grecian Urn." He spoke of visiting Keats' grave in Rome, honoring Keats as one of his heroes. He spoke of dead poets at several times in the show, and during "One Tree Hill," he acknowledged Seamus Heaney's daugher, Catherine. Bono also acknowledged Luciano Pavarotti's widow, Nicoletta Mantovani, during "Miss Sarajevo."
Bono spoke in both English and Italian throughout the show, making connections between the Irish and the Italians. Before "One Tree Hill," he spoke of "familia." He then named several members of the U2 crew who are like family. He spoke quite candidly about the band's wardrobe stylist, Sharon Blankson. "She says if I dress right, I will look tall. I believe her," he said.
After "Red Hill Mining Town," Bono spoke of the concept of labor being reimagined before our eyes and how artificial intelligence is the new form of labor. "The times, they are a changin'," he said.
Bono once again called for human rights prisoners to be set free during "Mothers Of The Disappeared."
"Miserere," the song Bono wrote with Zucchero and performed alongsite Pavarotti at his benefit in 2003, was given the snippet treatment in "Beautiful Day."
A deluge of rain didn’t stop 70,000 fans from attending U2’s show at Olympic Stadium in Berlin, Germany this evening. The rain inspired the traditional snippets of Gene Kelly's "Singing In The Rain" in "Bad," and The Beatles' "Rain" after "One" to close out the show.
In the spirit of Hansa Studio’s hometown, Bono celebrated David Bowie and Iggy Pop in snippet form. During "Bad," he sang "Heroes." After singing it in English, he then sang it in German. (Which is why our tours database now has "Helden" added.) In "Beautiful Day," he sang a snippet from "The Passenger," found on Iggy Pop’s Lust For Life. He also threw in Bowie's "Young Americans" and "This Is Not America" in "Mysterious Ways."
Bono held up a solidarity flag at the start of "New Year’s Day," which is both a nod to the past and to the future. That song was written about Polish solidarity, and throughout the night Bono was encouraging European solidarity. At the start of "Mothers Of the Disappeared," Bono appealed to Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip ErdoÄŸan to stop the human rights abuses. The human rights message continued in "Miss Sarajevo" as articles from the German Basic Law scrolled on the screen about human dignity. Bono thanked the German people for "neighborliness" before "One." He asked for a German translation, and when he heard "nachbarschaft," he couldn’t pronounce it and said that it was a very nice word.
Before "Ultraviolet," the audience sang “Happy Birthday” to Malala Yousafzai, who turned 20 today.
Next up … two shows in Rome, Italy this weekend.