"I'm not sure you ever get to be an ex-rock star. You can get to be a fading star."
Bits & Bytes
A collection of the latest U2 news and announcements posted by our staff.
Larry Mullen Jr. was an unexpected guest drummer Friday night in Dublin at Eric's Party, an annual event that the Dublin Lions Club puts on to benefit the homeless. With a couple hundred people gathered inside the General Post Office on O'Connell Street, Larry took the drums for at least one song -- "Stand By Me," which you can hear in the short clip below.
We're guessing he played more than the one song because that video shows Larry wearing a black blazer, while other photos show him just wearing a Cranberries t-shirt. (Larry's awesome and all, but probably not awesome enough to be able to remove a jacket while drumming!)
The video for "Get Out Of Your Own Way" is an animated clip created by the Broken Fingaz Crew, an Israeli graffiti collective, who worked with U2 on the "American Soul" video. This new video has a strong political message with references to the Ku Klux Klan and President Donald Trump.
Members of the crew told U2.com: "The video addresses the current political situation: 2017 for us was the year fascists worldwide felt confident enough to raise their heads again, encouraged by Trump and other world leaders who use people's fear to build more walls and segregation. The song is both a personal letter and a clarion cry to the global situation, and in the same way, we've combined our psychedelic pop style with political imagery; shot entirely analogue, using paper cut and stop motion animation techniques in collaboration with Adam Albo, who edited the video."
U2 are not nominated for any Grammys this year but have won 22 over the years.
UPDATE: Crains New York has an interesting article about the business side of moving the Grammys to New York City this year, which includes a mention that U2 will play "on a barge in the Hudson River during the telecast." Hmmmmm. (Sounds like the "You're The Best Thing About Me" video, doesn't it?)
Just announced are 13 shows in Europe, beginning August 31 in Berlin. U2 will be playing indoor arenas this year, just as they did in 2015 on the Innocence + Experience tour. The full list of announced shows is as follows:
August 31: Berlin, DE - Mercedes-Benz Arena
Shows in Ireland and Northern Ireland are still being sorted out, as the official announcement says:
Plans are being finalised for some special home shows in Dublin and Belfast (with dates, venues and on-sale details to be announced soon).
Tickets for all announced shows except Copenhagen will go on sale to the general public on January 26; the Copenhagen show goes on sale January 29. Paid U2.com members will have access to pre-sales beginning this Thursday, January 18.
As U2 announced in November, fans in the UK, Germany, France, Spain, Portugal, Denmark, Italy and Holland who pre-ordered Songs Of Experience before November 30 will have a special pre-sale starting Monday, January 22, where they may be able to buy up to two tickets. (Note: When first announced on November 1, this country list included Ireland and Poland.)
As always, if you have questions about tour dates, ticket pre-sales and such, we highly recommend you read the official U2.com announcements and the Help page:
Bono joined the fun tonight in Dublin at a 60th birthday concert in honor of Pogues' singer Shane MacGowan. He sang one song, "Rainy Night In Soho," the 1986 Pogues hit that U2 also used as its walk-on music during many shows on last year's Joshua Tree Tour 2017. Performers with him included Johnny Depp (pictured above) on guitar, along with several members of The Pogues and other guest musicians. MacGowan turned 60 on Christmas day.
As the song came to an end, Bono slipped in a quick snippet of "Linger," in memory of Cranberries singer Dolores O'Riordan, who died earlier today. It's the first time Bono has ever snippeted a Cranberries song.
Our Tours listing for this performance can be found here. We're still waiting/hoping for a full video of the performance to show up on YouTube. In the meantime, Suzanne Doyle tweeted about 45 seconds of the end of the song. This Goss.ie article also has a few other brief clips from Twitter and Instagram.
UPDATE: Full song now available on YouTube.
U2's Liner Notes video is now available for general audiences on YouTube and Vevo. It features Bono reading the Songs Of Experience liner notes over a variety of mostly black-and-white and/or sepia footage, and also mixes in some live U2 concert video. Bono's audio isn't quite a word-for-word reading of the liner notes -- a variety of sentences and sections are missing here and there.
The film runs 9:30 and was directed by Matt Mahurin, who previously worked with the band on videos for "Song For Someone" and "With Or Without You." It was released with Songs Of Experience on December 1, 2017, but was originally only available to Beats Music subscribers. Now the rest of us can enjoy it! (International licensing issues, notwithstanding.)