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Stories For Boys: U2’s History Told In I+E Tour Preshow Music

@U2, June 11, 2015
By: Sherry Lawrence


When the doors open for U2’s Innocence + Experience show, the music playing over the PA system sets the mood. For the next two hours or so, fans listen to a mix of tunes from punk and new wave artists as they wait for U2 to take the stage. This preshow mix serves as a complement to the storytelling U2 will do later in the evening. The artists selected not only have a personal connection to the band, but also were involved in key milestones during U2’s early days.

In U2 By U2, Edge said that the band’s “songwriting was influenced by Patti Smith, The Jam, The Clash, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Bowie, Magazine, The Buzzcocks: everything that was around was thrown into the pot and these songs would come out.” Bono named many of these artists in New Musical Express back in 1981 on his list of favorite records. Given that, it is no surprise that the preshow music list includes these artists. Adam has even been seen wearing a Buzzcocks shirt during shows.

The song selections might shift as the tour continues, but the artists will most likely stay consistent. This abbreviated primer should shed some light on why the artists were selected and the significance they had in U2’s development. The Ramones’ “Baby I Love You” and “Beat On The Brat” have been part of the mix, as well as The Clash’s “Should I Stay Or Should I Go” and “Police & Thieves.” Those two bands’ influence was well-noted surrounding the release of Songs Of Innocence. The list below is not in the mix order, rather compiled here to give U2’s history narrative more structure.

Artist: Patti Smith
Songs: “Land,” “Because The Night” and “People Have The Power

U2 has long lauded Smith’s Horses album as one of the pivotal albums of the band’s youth. Although the album was released in 1975, the members of U2 did not hear it until the summer of 1977 when Adam came back from a trip to London with a pile of records for all to listen to. Edge said in U2 By U2:

Horses made a big impression and I went out a week afterward and bought my own vinyl copy. It was a music that was completely fresh and different to everything else that was happening, alongside the Pistols and The Clash and The Strangers. Patti Smith’s music had that confrontational aspect. What was different was that it’s poetry. Punk had all the anger but none of the poetry. My friend Stephen Balcombe wasn’t really a music fan but I was so excited by this album I wanted to play it to everybody. He came over to my house and I put it on and we listened to the first minute and a half of ‘Gloria’: Jesus died for somebody’s sins but not mine. Stephen turned round and said, ‘Man, this makes me want to get sick!’ He just found it much too heavy and confrontational to have this strange, sexually ambivalent creature spewing out lyrics that challenged his whole faith. I thought it was fantastic and I liked the simplicity of the production, the guitar playing was great. Tom Verlaine played on one of the songs and he became a big influence on me with his group Television. We’d heard Richard Hell and The Voidoids (Verlaine’s original sparring partner), we knew a little bit about the New York scene. The dark beauty of Patti Smith was just so compelling and inspiring.

U2 often cited Smith as an influence in the band’s earliest interviews with publications like Trouser Press, NME, CCM, Musician, Rolling Stone and most of the early interviews given to Hot Press found in North Side Story. Over U2’s career, the band has crossed paths with Smith at gigs, award shows and the like. Their decades-long friendship and mutual respect for each other is well-known and well-documented.

Bono has covered “Because The Night” several times, such as on Nov. 23, 2002 with Bruce Springsteen in Miami. Bono has also sung with Smith on “Instant Karma” at Madison Square Garden in 2005, and with both Smith and Springsteen at the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame 25th anniversary show.

U2 used “People Have The Power” as a song snippet during the Vertigo tour, melding into “Bad” and “Beautiful Day." When Ireland voted to legalize same-sex marriage, the song became the Innocence + Experience show intro as the band took the stage before launching into “The Miracle (Of Joey Ramone).” Given the band’s social activism, this song fits the narrative of the Innocence + Experience tour as well.

Artist: Stiff Little Fingers
Song: “Johnny Was

Edge told Steve Morse in a 2005 Boston Globe interview, “We grew up in the punk era … The first live band I ever saw was Stiff Little Fingers and, you know, the Clash were not long after that. We didn’t grow up listening to bands like Led Zeppelin — the bands that were about pure musicianship. Our first experiences with live bands were bands that had a political awareness, and it always felt natural for us to include it."

Stiff Little Fingers hailed from Belfast, and the band’s Protestant background while growing up during The Troubles drove their punk songwriting. Edge said in U2 By U2, “As Jake Burns from Stiff Little Fingers said back in 1978, the solution to Northern Ireland’s problems is a thousand punk bands.”

Visja Cogan wrote in U2: An Irish Phenomenon, “U2 have more in common with bands like Stiff Little Fingers or Ruefrex, who advocated the surrender of violence and the bringing together of the Catholic and Protestant communities: That is how U2 must be seen in Ireland. The band have followed a path where it might meet politics without itself becoming a purely political band. The commitment of its members is at the crossroads between the political, the social and the humanitarian. But its place remains ambiguous.”

Cogan also quotes Bono from the documentary From A Whisper To A Scream: “One of the best rock ‘n’ roll concerts I ever saw was Stiff Little Fingers. And apart from the music, the atmosphere adds another colour to it which is violent. [Punk] was like a cultural revolution. It was like China … You couldn’t have long hair, you couldn’t wear flares but it was an interesting feeling because it was the beginning of punk-rock. That’s where the idea formed in me that music is a life or death experience, which it sounds mad to say. Honestly, that’s how we felt about it. It wasn’t entertainment.”

U2 shared the stage with Stiff Little Fingers on Jan. 23, 1981, at Queen’s University in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Portions of the show were broadcast on BBC Northern Ireland on Aug. 12, 1981. A year later, Stiff Little Fingers’ lighting director approached Paul McGuinness and asked to work with U2, and thus began Willie Williams’ long tenure with U2.

Both U2 and Stiff Little Fingers have crossed paths since then. Edge recalled in U2 By U2 such a meeting at the band’s Aug. 14, 1983, gig at Phoenix Park: “Jimmy Reilly, the drummer from Stiff Little Fingers, was backstage, still reeling from the death of his brother shot by a paratrooper as he ran away from a patrol in Catholic west Belfast. Our tour manager at the time was another Northern Irishman, a Protestant called Tim Nicholson whose brother was in the British Army. It struck me that in our dressing room, Tim and Jimmy were chatting away about music but if their brothers had ever met they would have been sworn enemies. Music unifies people like nothing else. (Editor’s note: Edge said incorrectly in U2 By U2 that the show was on his 22nd birthday, which would have been Aug. 8.)

Artist: The Undertones
Song: “Teenage Kicks

Like Stiff Little Fingers, The Undertones also came from Northern Ireland (Derry) during The Troubles. The band’s Catholic upbringing influenced its punk music. According to Neil McCormick in Exploring U2: Is This Rock ’n’ Roll, “The British music papers turned their noses up at our little country’s parochial offerings (although there was a flurry of interest in the Northern Irish punk scene that gave us the Undertones and Stiff Little Fingers, romanticized by the notion of punk in a war zone). In general, Irish people weren’t considered cool, certainly not in hip rock-and-roll ways.”

Larry, in a 1983 interview with White Lucy, said:

We’re into the politics of people, we’re not into politics. Like you talk about Northern Ireland, “Sunday Bloody Sunday,” people sort of think, “Oh that time when 13 Catholics were shot by British soldiers”; that’s not what the song is about. That’s an incident, the most famous incident in Northern Ireland and it’s the strongest way of saying how long? How long do we have to put up with this? I don’t care who’s who — Catholics, Protestants, whatever. You know people are dying every single day through bitterness and hate, and we’re saying why? What’s the point? And you can move that into places like El Salvador and other similar situations — people dying. Let’s forget the politics, let’s stop shooting each other and sit around the table and talk about it. It’s like when we first started with Boy, an album about growing up, then you had October, a spiritual album. During those two albums we were thrown across the world into different countries and suddenly we had to grow up. People were throwing money on the stage during the times of Bobby Sands in Northern Ireland. [Author’s note: Bobby Sands’ hunger strike and resulting death brought world attention to IRA demands for political prisoner status in the British penal system.] So we had to think about Northern Ireland, and then there’s nuclear war and solidarity. All these things we became really aware of so we wrote about them. They honestly affected us, they hurt, badly. A lot of people say to us, “How can you write about Northern Ireland when you don’t live there?” And you were saying about the Undertones, a band who actually said to us, “What right do you have?” Well, the bombs don’t go off in Dublin but they’re made there and we feel as Irishmen we’ve got the right to say something. There are very few bands that say, “Why don’t you just put down the guns?” There are a lot of bands taking sides saying politics is crap, etc. Well, so what! The real battle is people dying, that’s the real battle. Politics and music I find very hard to distinguish, where do you draw the line?

The Undertones also had a hand in U2 receiving its first recording contract with CBS. Chas de Whalley told Record Collector that as CBS had just missed signing The Undertones a few months prior, de Whalley was sent to Ireland to check out U2. Determined not to miss out on signing another Irish act, de Whalley signed U2 for their demo U2-3. Timing is everything.

The Undertones also provided some on-the-job work experience for a sound engineer who would join U2 a few years later: Joe O’Herlihy.

Edge included “Teenage Kicks” on his list of top 15 post-punk tunes for Rolling Stone in 2010.

Artist: The Jam
Song: “Town Called Malice

After seeing U2 in 1979, de Whalley said, “I was completely blown away. I hadn’t seen star quality like this since the first time Paul Weller and the Jam had played the Nashville two years previously, when I’d been writing for Sounds.”

A television appearance by The Jam gave Edge hope for U2’s future. He said in U2 By U2, “I suppose a watershed moment would have been seeing The Jam on Top Of The Pops and realizing that actually not knowing how to play was not a problem, in that music was more about energy and trying to say something and not necessarily about musicianship. So it was a great encouragement to hear these bands were playing very simple stuff, the way we naturally played, with total commitment, 10 times as fast as was appropriate with very little in the way of subtlety, just bashing it out. Which is what we were doing to everything anyway, so it fitted perfectly.”

Larry also saw inspiration in The Jam. He told The Register in 1981:

But we’re not “boys” anymore — we’re growing up. And the music will have to change because of that. I’m afraid some people will want us to repeat again and again, but with us it doesn’t happen that way. Like this band that we’re friends with, Stiff Little Fingers (an Irish punk-oriented band that has a strong following in the UK). They’ve moved to London, but they’re still writing about the troubles in the North. I find that strange. I never thought they were that good, but I feel sorry for them. But imagine being Ian Page (Secret Affair’s lead figure). He can’t do anything now, he’s finished. And yet two years ago he was everything because of mod. But a band like The Jam, they’re very smart. Though they were tied into mod they stayed themselves and now that that’s over they’ve still got it sussed up.

Niall Stokes said in Into The Heart that Gavin Friday also saw The Jam, along with The Associates and The Skids, as influencing how U2 viewed themselves. Friday’s continued creative involvement in U2’s productions over many decades offers that link between where U2 came from and where the band is going.

Stokes also wrote that the members of U2 became disillusioned by noticing the way bands like The Jam treated their road crews. He wrote, “But touring the album had been a draining and disillusioning experience. The more they got to know about the music industry, the greater the extent to which U2 were repelled by the cynicism and corruption of it. Their idealism had taken a battering, hearing stories about how bands they’d respected and been inspired by, ostensibly politically motivated outfits like The Clash and The Jam, treated their road crew, and seeing the inner workings of the record business for the first time in a sense they went into the recording of October with the attitude that if people didn’t like it, it just might be better for everyone concerned. Rejection would make it easier to walk away.”

Artist: The Virgin Prunes
Song: “Baby Turns Blue

Niall Stokes said in North Side Story, “In this parallel universe, with its echoes of Lord Of The Flies, they adopted distinctive new identities: Derek was renamed Guggi; Paul was given the name Bono; another friend, David Evans, was rechristened The Edge; and Fionan Martin Hanvey became Gavin Friday. It was as if, toward the end of what in many ways had been a cruel decade, they were desperate to dissociate themselves from everything they knew about Irish society: the compromises of their parents’ generation, the violence that was raging in Northern Ireland, and the conventional, low expectations in relation to work and careers that likely lay just around the corner unless they found a different way.”

After that Lypton Village transformation, the Dublin punk scene was never the same. Guggi and Gavin joined fellow friends Dave-id (David Watson), Strongman (Trevor Rowan) Pod (Anthony Murphy) and Edge’s older brother, Dik, to form The Virgin Prunes. Described as an avant-garde/performance art group, their theatrical stage presence was a direct influence on U2, which Stokes explained in the documentary Out Of Ireland (also known as From A Whisper To A Scream).

U2 are the ying to The Virgin Prunes’ yang. Without each other, neither would have existed. In U2 By U2, Adam said, “I liked the Prunes, we all did, even though they were almost the opposite of U2. But I had no difficulty with the concept, the exhibitionism of Gavin and Guggi and the fact that it was about making a noise and offending people I was always happy to make as much noise as possible.”

U2 and the Virgin Prunes shared the bill on several gigs in the earliest days of their bands, performing at the Project Arts Centre in Dublin and the Acklam Hall in Notting Hill. In U2 By U2, Paul McGuinness said that the Virgin Prunes became U2’s “obligatory opening act.”

Their friendship was bumpy at times, especially when somebody wrote, “If U2 are God, the Virgin Prunes are the Devil” in a festival program. Bono said in U2 By U2, “We really had become the antithesis of each other and our close friendship started to come under strain. I was probably coming back from tour and talking about America and what was happening for us and how we were becoming a big rock band, which they thought was a bit uncool. As a sort of art event, they used plaster of Paris to make a parcel out of my car and wrapped it up in paper and eggs. And then when I woke up in the middle of the night to discover them throwing eggs at my bedroom window, a row broke out … I think there might have been some violence involved. It all just got a little bit out of hand for a couple of years, and only really came back when I rediscovered my sense of humor.”

It shouldn’t be a surprise for a Virgin Prunes song to be in the mix as Friday has compiled the preshow music on the Vertigo and U2 360 tours. It’s possible he had a hand in the compilation of the songs for the Innocence + Experience tour as well.

Artist: The Stranglers
Song: “Peaches

Adam told The Guardian in 2011 that he took inspiration from The Stranglers in learning how to play the bass:

The comprehensive I went to in Dublin was where I met Edge, Bono and Larry. I much preferred it. It came with the freedom that I’d been deprived of, including the length of my hair and the clothes I wore. Punk was beginning and I connected with it immediately. Suddenly there was a line between people who listened to Led Zeppelin and people who listened to punk and I knew which side I was on. And to put it in context, our generation was facing an uncertain future. We were down to petrol rationing and a three-day week. Punk seemed like a movement that could question authority, although it doesn’t seem quite so radical now. I remember hearing the bass on "Hanging Around" and immediately knowing it was going to be the instrument for me. Punk meant you didn’t necessarily have to know how to play that well — you could do what you want. And in the hands of the Stranglers’ Jean-Jacques Burnel, the bass was a weapon of mass destruction. It was the aggressiveness of the way he played that I picked up on.”

In 1977, when U2 were known as The Hype, their earliest gigs consisted of Stranglers covers. By 1978, U2 was the opening act for The Stranglers at the Top Hat Ballroom in Dublin. Attendees numbered 2,500, and U2 received 50 pounds. In U2 By U2, all four band members described the gig as not pretty because of a row between U2 and Burnel when he refused to wear a U2 pin on his bass guitar strap. In protest, Bono went into The Stranglers’ dressing room and swiped a bottle of wine, which the band drank behind the loudspeakers during the gig. “I was full of righteous indignation, and fearlessness,” Bono said. “It was a kind of anger that was in me, always picking fights with people who were much bigger.”

Artist: Simple Minds
Song: “Celebrate

“Celebrate” was featured on the 1980 album Empires And Dance, released around the same time as Boy. U2 shared the same concert bill as Simple Minds at the Phoenix Park gig in 1983, as well as at the Werchter Festival that same year. Simple Minds have been dubbed the “Scottish U2”, and U2 might have taken some inspiration from Simple Minds’ New Gold Dream for The Unforgettable Fire.

Jim Kerr’s former wife, Pretenders frontwoman Chrissie Hynde, had a bit of a hand in U2’s “Pride (In The Name Of Love).” She is credited with backing vocals for the song as Mrs. Christine Kerr. “Pride” is currently a staple song on the Innocence + Experience tour set list. She also is a part of the post-show music for the first few Innocence + Experience tour dates with the song “Spiritual High Part 2” by the Moodswings. She’s on lead vocals.

Bono joined Simple Minds onstage in Glasgow at the Barrowlands on Jan. 5, 1985, to perform “New Gold Dream” with the snippets of “Take Me To The River” and “Light My Fire.” In 1986 they came together again at Croke Park for “Sun City.”

Also, Simple Minds’ 2015 tour features The Stranglers as an opening act.

Act: XTC
Song: “Making Plans For Nigel

Steve Averill said XTC inspired The Hype to change its name to U2. He told the Sunday Business Post, “I did their very first poster and I came up with the name U2, which came about after a conversation with Adam [Clayton] just before entering a music competition in 1978. The band wanted something as meaningless and meaningful as ’XTC’ and something strong. U2 won the competition and the name stuck.”

“As Averill admits,” the Sunday Business Post continued, “it is difficult to say absolutely that the name had anything to do with the band’s subsequent success. However, the simplicity and ease of recognition of such a bare moniker speaks volumes about the need to give brand/logo names impact and paring then down to a Zen sparseness.”

Producer Steve Lillywhite worked on XTC’s Drums And Wires in 1979, which has “Making Plans For Nigel” on it. It wasn’t too long after this album came out that Lillywhite worked with U2 on Boy.

Lillywhite also shares other connections by producing Simple Minds, Bruce Foxton of The Jam and Talking Heads in the 1980s.

After U2 opened for XTC on Sept. 25, 1980, Joe O’Herlihy first came into contact with them, and as he told TCI Magazine, “I’ve been with them ever since."

Artist: Talking Heads
Song: “Life During Wartime

Of the songs in the preshow mix, “Life During Wartime” has the most direct references to what U2 presents later in the show in “Raised By Wolves,” with the lyric “Heard of a van that is loaded with weapons, packed up and ready to go.”

U2 served as a support act for the American act Talking Heads in the Electric Ballroom on Dec. 8, 1979, in Camden, England, just as “Life During Wartime” was in full promotion. Record companies came out to see U2 at this gig, but none signed the band.

U2 also supported Talking Heads at the Hammersmith Odeon on Dec. 1 and 2, 1980, and at Baltard Pavilion in Paris on Dec. 3, 1980.

A few years later, U2 signed with touring company Wasted Talent, which also promoted Talking Heads. Another connection was Brian Eno, who worked with Talking Heads before collaborating with U2 on The Unforgettable Fire. Edge also credits Stop Making Sense as an inspiration for Rattle And Hum.

Artist: Blondie
Song: “Atomic
Artist: Gary Numan
Song: “Cars

”Cars” and “Atomic,” both released in 1979, were compared to music by U2 as Island Records contemplated signing the band.

Before U2 signed to Island Records, Chris Blackwell and A&R rep Nick Stewart had a conversation about the future of the music scene. Stewart told Uncut magazine:

It was the post-punk era, and New Romantic was just starting to happen. Gary Numan and Blondie were very big. If you didn’t have a synthesizer and a funny haircut, you weren’t interesting. So I said to Chris, ‘I’ve absolutely no doubt that Spandau Ballet will be a phenomenon, but it’s a pop act.’ 

There were four acts I was looking at very closely at that time. U2, Simple Minds, Echo and the Bunnymen and the Teardrop Explodes. Funnily enough, I actually did a deal with The Teardrop Explodes, which I thought was signed, until Chris Blackwell tore it up — which was rather ironic because obviously he signed Julian Cope some years later. In a rather ambitious, naive way, I wanted all four of them, but I got nowhere. Simple Minds’ managers weren’t even prepared to talk about signing because, even in those days, there was this great rivalry between them and U2.

A few years later, Edge shared in Propaganda that U2 did work with Blondie’s Jimmy Destri on a rough demo of “The Unforgettable Fire.”

Beyond the history, a key point in the Innocence + Experience show is the transition between "Sunday Bloody Sunday" and "Raised By Wolves" as a car appears on the screen and a simulated car bomb detonation occurs to represent the 1974 Dublin car bombings. Having both "Atomic" and "Cars" in the preshow mix could be designed as a subtle nod to that portion of the show. 

Artist: Joy Division
Song: “Love Will Tear Us Apart

Just after signing with Island Records, U2 visited producer Martin Hannett to pitch him their demo of “11 O’Clock Tick Tock” and discovered he was recording “Love Will Tear Us Apart” with Joy Division. Bono and Edge explain in U2 By U2:

Edge: They were actually recording “Love Will Tear Us Apart,” so we were in on that session. There was an atmosphere in the building, like something amazing was happening, plus a kind of stifling hipness — it was a very intense vibe. I think they might have been listening to some Wagner. I was not your common rock ’n’ roll session by any stretch of the imagination, but it did sound great.

Bono: Here was Ian Curtis, this guy with the big, haunted, hunted voice in person. We were looking through their records and they had Frank Sinatra records, The Wee Small Hours, Songs For Swinging Lovers. This was post-punk, they were listening to Wagner. They had the most incredible collection of music I had ever seen in my life, which had more in common with Bob Hewson than his son. They blew it right open for me.

Stokes said in Into The Heart, “Bono remembers a developing interest in atmospherics within the band, referring to David Bowie’s Low and to Joy Division among the influences that were coming on-stream at the time. From Tom Verlaine of Television, Edge had learned that less is more, and had begun to develop an awareness of the architecture of sound: Songs could be built. It was, as he later told John Waters, about judgment and your brain rather than your fingers. It was about ideas.”

Also. while working for NME, Anton Corbijn photographed Joy Division and The Undertones before connecting with U2 for their decades-long relationship.

Artist: A Flock Of Seagulls
Song: “I Ran

The Urban Dictionary defines “A Flock Of Seagulls” as “not just a band, but a term reserved for anyone with a stupid haircut.” U2’s early days fit that definition.

A Flock Of Seagulls formed in 1979, ushering in the new wave and synth-pop scene just as punk was on its last legs. One of U2’s crew members, Steve Rainford, handled the PA for them.

”I Ran” hit the scene in 1982, just as U2 was recording War. Fans might recall Larry using A Flock Of Seagulls to describe some of the string section pieces recorded for The Unforgettable Fire, specifically the bits he wanted edited.

Artist: Iggy Pop
Song: “Lust For Life

Bono told Neil McCormick in a 1981 interview with Hot Press:

We spent all our time on the music, and on working out improvisations. We got hooked on guitar sounds, on bass lines, on drums. And then when we were doing that, we’d maybe seize a few minutes and I’d write the song down. Even though a lot of these songs were played live before we recorded them, I never learned the lyrics. Playing the Dandelion Market — or wherever — the lyrics would be changed. I think we can blame Iggy Pop for that. We’d read that he improvised his lyrics on the microphone and if it was good enough for Iggy, it was good enough for us. So it wasn’t like I had worked out the lyrics and then had time to think about them. They were always changing.

In U2 By U2, Bono said he listened nonstop to Pop’s 1977 album The Idiot: “I’d been working in a shoe shop in town called Justin Lord’s. Myself and Guggi got a gig there over the summer, so we got a little bit of money. We were into punk rock; and we got jackets like Iggy Pop on the cover of The Idiot, with sleeves too short, and we had those mad-looking psychedelic winklepicker shoes. We chopped our hair. I walked into school one day with a safety pin stuck in my check to wind everyone up, which of course it did — I think a riot broke out. Ali broke up with me, so I gave up the safety pin for love.”

Edge told Uncut, “Iggy is an amazing rock ’n’ roll lyric writer. And The Idiot has some amazing songs. A lot of music up to that point had lost any ability to engage. So when suddenly I heard Bowie, and then Iggy Pop, it was a fascinating world that they were able to conjure up, and I wanted to be a part of it. It felt authentic, like they were writing what was going on in their lives.” He labeled the album as one that “restored my faith in rock.”

Bono told Record magazine in 1983, “What I want from music are people who lay themselves on the line. People like John Lennon or Iggy Pop did that. Whatever you feel about their music, you do learn about them from it. If anything, that’s where the division lies. When you listen to U2 you are listening to the four people involved. There’s no mask. We are U2.”

“Lust For Life,” co-written by David Bowie, came out on Pop’s next album and has a more rock ’n’ roll feel to it than punk. It’s also more known commercially thanks to its use in Guitar Hero 5, the film Trainspotting and various television ads.

(On a related note, David Bowie has had an incredible influence on U2, including the band’s preshow music for the U2 360 tour, with “Space Oddity” as the lead-in song. Bono has not been shy in his admiration of Bowie.)

The Pop/Bowie inspiration might have led to U2 recording at Hansa Studios in Berlin. Pop’s post-production for The Idiot was done at Hansa.

Bono joined up with Pop and Marilyn Manson onstage at the HQ Club in Dublin after the MTV Europe Music Awards in on Nov. 11, 1999.


As the tour continues, more songs and artists may be brought into the fold. Full albums, such as Talking Heads’ 77 and Television’s Marquee Moon, have been played to fill the time as well. Bob Marley, Devo, The Motors and Plastic Bertrand are in the preshow music mix too. Make no mistake, the songs played over the PA prior to U2 taking the stage are built into the narrative of the show and should be considered a part of the entire production.

A special thanks to for compiling the #U2ieTour mix

©@U2/Lawrence, 2015

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