"It's almost Communism in a way. Not that there's this sort of artificial 'everything must be equal thing,' it's just the respect for everybody, and that really counts, I think."
-- Edge, on how U2 works
Bits & Bytes
A collection of the latest U2 news and announcements posted by our staff.
If you can't get enough U2, you're in for a treat today. U2 joined Zane Lowe in London last week to talk all things Joshua Tree for an interview on Beats 1 Radio, airing worldwide today at 2 pm EDT (11 am PDT). Songs Of Experience is also a topic of conversation in the interview. In a preview for today's broadcast, Zane Lowe posted a snippet where Bono talks about the new album track "American Soul".
RTE One is broadcasting the documentary U2 agus An Arc tonight at 10 p.m. across Ireland. This feature focuses on the early days of the band as they played their gigs at the Arcadia Ballroom in Cork and how they built their loyal audience in those days.
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.
Fans attending The Joshua Tree Tour 2017 night two in Twickenham enjoyed a slightly different set from last night. There were more than 10 different songs snippets featuring band favorites David Bowie, the Beatles, the Ramones, and the Rolling Stones. Both Stella and Mary McCartney were given shoutouts from Bono, which explains why there were so many Beatles snippets.
"Mysterious Ways" made its European leg tour debut as another female fan was brought onstage during the song.
During "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For," Bono praised Alice Wroe for the HERStory project. Ahead of "One Tree Hill," Bono remembered both Greg Carroll and actress Natasha Richardson, acknowledging that her mother, Vanessa Redgrave, was in the audience. Bono also thanked "on behalf of the entire nation" Brian Eno: "Let me say this off script: There wouldn't be side 2, and there wouldn't be a side 1 if it weren't for Brian Eno, who's here tonight."
The European leg of The Joshua Tree Tour 2017 kicked off tonight in London at Twickenham Stadium for the first of two shows, and fans were treated to two surprises during the show: an announcement during "Trip Through Your Wires" that Adam and his wife, Mariana, were expecting a baby, and Noel Gallagher joining U2 for "Don't Look Back In Anger" to close the show.
Bono said almost nothing about the United States during the show. Instead, there were nods to the Union Jack, love that won’t be denied and resilience in a time of terror. Between “Pride” and “Streets,” Bono spoke of a dream for the city of London, “It's the dream you want to wake up in. Dr. King, he was faithful in a time of fear. He was tender in a time of terror.” The visuals were still the same as for the North America tour, including the stars and stripes during “Trip Through Your Wires” and the use of the Trackdown television footage about Walter Trump before "Exit."
In “Miss Sarajevo,” the video of Omaima Thaer Hoshan shows her talking of her dream to be a lawyer and for everyone to have hope. This is similar to the footage used in Canada.
Bono thanked all the British musicians who served as inspiration, many of whom were at the show tonight, he said. Bono also led everyone in "Happy Birthday" to celebrate daughter Eve Hewson's 26th birthday yesterday. The show was dedicated to the "original maverick," Paul McGuinness. Bono thanked Nick Stewart for signing U2 all those decades ago as well. Spotted at the show were Simon Cowell and Ashley Judd.
Due to a strict local 10:30 pm curfew, Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds took the stage promptly at 6:30 pm. U2 took the stage at about 8:15 pm and ran over curfew by about five minutes. The same can be expected for Sunday’s show at Twickenham Stadium.