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Joshua Tree Tour 2017

"Then [Jeffrey] Sachs and I, with my friend Bobby Shriver hit the road like some kind of surreal crossover act. A rock star, a Kennedy, and a noted economist crisscrossing the globe, like the Partridge Family on psychotropic drugs."

-- Bono

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Bits & Bytes

A collection of the latest U2 news and announcements posted by our staff.

Set List Recap: U2 São Paulo, October 19, 2017

Posted: October 19, 2017
By: Fernanda Bottini

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 talks new songs, SOE with Bill Flanagan on SiriusXM

Posted: October 18, 2017
By: Matt McGee


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:

  • Bono mentioned a new song that hasn't been discussed before, "The Book Of Your Heart," that will only appear on the SOE deluxe edition. "Yeats has this phrase," Bono explained, "he says he 'desires a poetry as cold and as passionate as the dawn', and I wanted to write about the cold passion of great relationships.... It's about the knowingness that you need to help get your partner through their life, and vice versa."
  • He described "Summer Of Love" as "so light a listen that you can miss the dark undertow in it."
  • The new track "Landlady" is about his wife Ali, and how she "paid my way" in U2's early days, Bono said.
  • Bono shared some details about the track order on SOE, saying that "Get Out Of Your Own Way" is followed by "American Soul" and then "Summer Of Love." He called them a "suite of songs that brings the personal and the political on the album together in a nice way." He also mentioned that "The Showman" is followed by "The Little Things That Give You Away." Bono has previously mentioned that the latter is the last song on the new album.
  • He also recited a lyric from "The Showman" that includes the line, "you look a little more better," making it likely that this song was previously titled "Much More Better" (as mentioned in a 2015 Q magazine interview).
  • There was also discussion about new tracks "The Lights Of Home" and "The Blackout." The studio version of the latter song was played as the bumper music (for about 20-30 seconds) going into a commercial break.

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 performed on Brazilian TV program

Posted: October 18, 2017
By: Fernanda Bottini

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:


Set List Recap: U2 Santiago, October 14, 2017

Posted: October 14, 2017
By: Fernanda Bottini

The Joshua Tree Tour 2017 had a special night in Santiago. The band brought up a lot of Chile’s history. Bono sang a snippet of "Gracias a La Vida," by Chilean musician Violeta Parra, at the end of "Bad," in honor of her birthday.

"(Victor) Jara sang his song a weapon," Bono said at the beginning of "One Tree Hill," in a tribute to the poet, singer and songwriter.

Women who appeared as luminous icons during “Ultraviolet,” in addition to the usual ones, included Violeta Parra, Michele Bachelet and Eva Perón.

At the end of the concert, Bono remembered Chile’s past: "This country knows a lot about courage," he said. "This pain should not be forgotten."

See the full Santiago set list here.

Next up: São Paulo, Brazil, October 19.


U2 Nominated for AMA Tour of the Year: Fan Voting Open

Posted: October 12, 2017
By: Karen Lindell

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: 

• Go to or

• Post a tweet that includes the nominee’s name or Twitter handle, the category name and #AMAs.  

Official Joshua Tree Tour 2017 logo


LISTEN: @U2 Podcast #68 - Pain is What We Salve with Art: A Conversation with Neil McCormick

Posted: October 11, 2017
By: Tassoula E. Kokkoris


Neil McCormick is crowdfunding a new novel called Zero. In this episode, he joins Chris and Tassoula to discuss what kind of pop star Zero is, why he chose to go the crowdfunding route, the state of book publishing in 2017, and reveal what the heck that face is on his bookshelf.

If you've subscribed to the podcast via iTunes or your favorite RSS reader, you'll get the download automatically. You can also listen on the web:

@U2 Podcast #68: Pain is What We Salve with Art: A Conversation with Neil McCormick

We have a couple hashtags you can use to contribute to the podcast going forward:

  • #askatu2 — if you have a response to something you hear on the podcast, or just want to ask a question or suggest future topics
  • #atu2podcast — send a photo of yourself listening to the podcast

Thanks for listening! 


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@U2 Tours
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October 21 2017

The Joshua Tree Tour 2017

Tonight in São Paulo

October 22 2017

The Joshua Tree Tour 2017

Tonight in São Paulo

Full Calendar