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mike7man

Concern re Bono's voice (JT & SOI tours)

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I hate to say this, but I'm pretty concerned about Bono's voice.  Pretty much throughout the SOI tour, he was a bit shaky--nothing huge, but he doesn't seem to have the control and precision he's had in the past (not counting miscellaneous shows where he's had some trouble for one reason or another).  Often in past tours, the first part of the tour might be a bit shaky, but then he'd settle down and sound quite good more or less consistently.  When this didn't happen in the SOI tour, I was concerned, but thought, hey, maybe the injury messed up his preparation.  But--now we're in the JT tour, and he still sounds a bit shaky (again, mainly not having the control he's had in the past).  Indeed, I haven't heard a single show from the SOI or JT tours that matched the singing level of his better 360 (or Vertigo) shows.  For example, compare the bootleg of Nashville (360) with anything from SOI and JT.  I'm still a huge fan, going to lots of shows, etc., but worried that this may reflect a permanent (?) decline in his singing.

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Your observation is astute. He is human and his voice seems to have been consistently declining for a while (age and perhaps maybe smoking) and can't hit all the notes he used to. New rendition of Red Hill Mining Town is case and point. Still sometimes it seems he more and more talks through songs on the live shows. Love them though and like you, love going to the shows, tour after tour!

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I can't imagine the grueling nature of touring! My husband & I have a band/trio in the greater-Detroit area, and I tell ya...the little bit of "touring" we did started to reek havoc on my voice. I think it's pretty rare to maintain the power and sheer range with aging. Sure, opera singers seem to...but rockers? I've heard Robert Plant a few times in concert and that man is a master class on control. I would think Bono probably has a voice coach on speed dial, should he need to do the consult thing. I was noting the little tricks (I've done 'em too, lol) Bono would use when we saw him In Chicago. The backing in and out of a vocal "expression", and doing a full-on belt where it counts. I wouldn't doubt it that he's probably had some nodules repaired over time. I read once that, lol, Axl Rose had a teacher to show him how to scream properly...it is a technique for sure. Undoing "bad" technique is really hard, just ask moi...lol. I still struggle. Again, I cannot imagine the pace of doing so many shows!!! God love 'em! I think he leans on the Edge a lot too...as he should. Good ol' Edge, he has the prettiest voice.

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Yeah to the above.  I'm not surprised he needs to cheat a little (re top end)--what concerns me is the (relatively minor but noticeable) control problems.  For what it's worth, my own sense (and from listening to a zillion bootlegs) is that, excepting the usual beginning-of-tour issues and the occasional one-off problems, he sang quite well (especially in the latter part of tour legs) all the way up through the 360 tour (OK, not up to his Zoo TV peak, but close)--but has had some control issues (and more top-end conservation tricks, although that doesn't bug me) pretty much from SOI to date.  Given that he's only 57, that does surprise me.

So--my own sense is not one of a gradual decline to date (OK, may some of this from Zoo TV-360, but not much), but then a fairly notably, step-like control loss beginning with the SOI tour.  Come to think of it, I really wonder if this might somehow (?) be connected to that nasty bike injury before SOI.  Seems unlikely, but does coincide time-wise with recent decrement (which, since it "set in", has been pretty consistent).

Edited by mike7man

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