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"We love this idea, especially in rock 'n' roll, of good guys and bad guys. We're the good guys; they that wear the suits are the bad guys. But in fact they're just the busy guys." — Bono



by Crewboy

Not Quite What I Had Expected:

The Joshua Tree Tour 2017 finally hit Los Angeles for the fourth show on the tour.

I went into this show with very high expectations.  I left questioning whether the decision to go out on this tour was made by the band of its own accord or made as a result of pressure put on the band by Live Nation to tour after cutting the i+E Tour short so that they could focus on Songs of Experience.

With the last two tours (360 and i+E) being full blown spectacles, it was nice to see the band go back to a basic stage.  It felt very reminicient of the staging (although updated to today's technology) the band used for the stadium leg of the original Joshua Tree Tour back in 1987.

The band comes out and goes right into Sunday Bloody Sunday and follows it with New Year's Day.

The third song comes and that's where I feel the band senses that they have yet to figure out a proper flow for the show.  A Sort Of Homecoming has long been on my "would love to hear" list for 30 years.  Tonight, I finally got to hear it.  As much as I loved hearing it, I also felt that it's placement slowed down the momentum that the show opened with.

A rousing Pride leads into what we all came for.  The red screen tells us it's that time.  As the music swells, the band clearly pays tribute to the album that made them global superstars.

Ironicallly it's when they begin playing The Joshua Tree that the problems with the show stand out.  Several instances during this portion of the show, the band looks like they're going through the motions.  Or it could simply be their frustration that they've yet to get the flow they feel the show is lacking.

Perhaps it could simply be that by playing the album in full and in sequence, the band feels "handcuffed" by being stripped of the ability to create a show with songs that are built around the tracks from The Joshua Tree instead of bookending the show with other material.

Sonically, the band sound tight and well rehearsed.  They just don't seem as invested on stage as they were on the previous two tours.  The amazing visuals shot by Anton Corbjin greatly enhance this portion of the show.

Red Hill Mining Town, One Tree Hill and Mothers of the Disappeared were the songs everybody wanted to hear most this tour.  Red Hill gets a slower tempo and new arrangement, but it gets the job done.  Bono is able to easily sing it in his register.

However it's Exitthat reignites the band.  Their performance is blistering, bringing the show back on track.

With the encore, the band plays as if it's been unshackled from their handcuffs of playing the album in sequence.  they come out fast and furious with Beautiful Day, Elevation and Ultraviolet.

Pacing and flow issues arise again when the band follows three fast tracks with One.  The issue isn't the song, but it's placement.  Miss Sarajevo follows this and momentum is lost again.  They follow with Bad.  Always a crowd favorite, always well received.

As the band prepares to begin what we believe to be The Little Things That Give You Away, Bono calls an audible and instead the show closes with a blistering I Will Follow.  The song does the trick as the show ends with a manic audience wanting more.

The show's over but it's very clear that the band has yet to find the pacing and flow that they're happy with.

This tour while short is still a work in progress.

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