"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."
Bits & Bytes
A collection of the latest U2 news and announcements posted by our staff.
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:
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.
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.
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.
We have a couple hashtags you can use to contribute to the podcast going forward:
Thanks for listening!