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  1. 5 points
    the community delivers 😃
  2. 5 points
  3. 5 points
    You know, I'm a big vinyl head. I prefer vinyl to everything else. And this is because I am a bit old school in that I like the idea of listening to music as being an active experience - HAVING to get up and turn the vinyl over, looking through the sleeve or booklet etc... For me music has ALWAYS been about the entire package, not just the song. So, for me, vinyl is the perfect annual gift (though... this year's and last year's I thought were kind of lame). That being said, I'm not like everyone else. And I respect that. I 100% agree that U2.com/Fanfire (or whoever) would save a bunch of money if they would ask which each subscriber would prefer when they acknowledge the gift for the year. Sure, some people who don't have a turntable may still ask for the vinyl because it's a cool collector's item, but by and large I think most people who don't have one aren't going to want one. Personally, I was thinking, if the purpose is to have a collector's item, why not also give the option of a CD that's designed the same way etc? That way non-vinyl folks can get something they can hold in their hands, that's tangible. That would at the very least make a collection of songs like the one they gave this year (three songs that, quite frankly, if you're invested enough in U2 to be a paying member, you likely have already) something that's unique - that no one else has. CDs are WAY cheaper to do, still make a useful collector's item, and you can still get the digital off the site (or rip the CD). Anyway... that's my two cents. I personally love that vinyl is so in right now. I have nearly collected all of U2's work in vinyl (the reissues... POP and Zooropa make me so happy and I'm dying for Passengers to get released - what a perfect sit-and-listen), I have all the Killers, most of Smashing Pumpkins, and I'm on the home stretch of Oasis - just to name a few. At the same time, it's not for everyone. And that's okay! I think it would be smart for U2.com to acknowledge that. Why NOT make your paying fans happy when it's something so easy to do? As for the gift itself...? I'm still a bit perplexed why, with all of the recording of EVERYTHING that U2 does, why don't we have more rarities or outtakes or demos or what-have-you sitting on our shelves?
  4. 4 points

    The tender echoes of a past overlapping with a now, presenting the possibilities of a different tomorrow. Don’t really know what that means yet. Think it might be poetic, but I am having it as the opening lines of this ramble-cum- first hand narritive from Manchester 1. Tonight, Bono recalls on stage the first ever time the U2 came to play Manchester, !980. May 1980 he pinpointed. I wasn’t there that time, but I was in this city back in 1992 when the band played the G-Mex Centre, captured on video as Stop Sellafield - The Concert. The G-Mex ‘room’ was quite similar to this one here at the Manchester Arena, as I recall - the 3 hour drive there and back to Newcastle area very similar. I have long outgrown that ‘Mini’ car that I made that journey in, sadly. Company back then was Mrs Bigwave, a last minute decision to chance it without tickets to see if we could blag some on the day. We got lucky.. 6 rows from the front… or so we thought. Soon as the band walked on stage, the first five rows stood up on their seats so all we were looking at were a line of fat arses.. and when we tried to stand on our seats, the security were having none of it and made everyone from Row 6 back, sit down! All this going on as Zoo Station, The Fly and Even Better Than The Real Thing were rocking the house (all 3 songs were played in tonights experience and innocence set too amazingly!), and we were left feeling faraway.. so close. 5 rows still on their seats jumping and bouncing, security letting them… not letting us. By the time One was getting introduced that night 5 songs into the set, the crowd lulled to listen to the singer’s intro speech.. which got interrupted by this scream from the soul of one angry fan… ‘I can’t fucking see!’ Guess the name of that angry fan. For a moment it seemed to silence the whole hall.. and caused the singer to pause for just a moment… I swear… (I couldn’t see him because of the fat arses at eye level), but as he paused in surprise of this angry cry, he calmed it in an instant with one word… ‘Speeeeech!’ The fat arses looked around briefly for a moment, to see who this nutter was behind them, the rest of the spoken intro to “One’ continued, and the show went on. Despite all this drama, we still ended up having one of the nights of our lives. Which leads on to how and why I find myself back in this city 26 years later, not with the Mrs this time, but with 4 of my Friday night drinking buddies, having worn them down over the years with this and other tales from my U2 life, they accompany me on this part of my personal ‘journey’ with this band, this night. Friday nights are a tradition in these parts for my generation. The numbers vary, depending on who is out that week. We have a regular watering hole where we meet, then wander around the local pubs in loud conversation, banter, pisstsaking, karaoke and watching whatever solo artist or covers-band happens to be in town. Sometimes we push the boat out and venture further afield, but the spirit is constant. Sometimes aggravating… infuriating. Sometimes belly-laugh funny as the cares of the working week are let go and the alcohol does it’s work. Sometimes heated, especially when the conversation gets around to politics or religion or the dreaded upcoming Brexit (for some of us), or why we are here, why we exist… and other light hearted stuff. Sometimes when I am feeling mischievous I remind this bunch of misfits, some of who I have known since schooldays, that I only hang out with them because they are my living social experiment. That goes down well as you might imagine… In truth these folk are my friends. As imperfect and beautiful as friends come. I have often been at U2 shows and had a moment when I though, gee, I wish he was here… Oh wow, she would love this bit… I have heard other fans talk about this phenomena too. An invocation of ghosts that can appear to accompany the thrill of being at a U2 show… something like that. Well, with this lot I am with tonight, this dreamy manifestation that has been invoked into being; its not so much as being in the company of ghosts tonight, but more apt a title for this gang, we will go with ‘The Spooky Clowns’. One is a Hard Brexiteer. One is a People’s Vote staunch Remainer. One has never been to a rock show. One is a long-time ‘casual’ U2 fan, but never seen them live. As we travel down in the car (a bit bigger than a Mini), the banter starts early, the piss-taking and rib-digging about how this ‘better be fucking good, dragging us down to this palaver of a fucking-Friday!’ quite relentless. That mood kind of changes completely the minute we walk not the Manchester Arena... yapping stops. Gobs and eyes a bit wider than usual. Don’t think they were quite expecting what presents itself within touching distance. The giant screen, the 2 stages either end.. wheres the Amps? Where’s the PA? Who is the support band? Where do we fucking stand? (We were in GA). Instead of trying to curate each and every moment of the night for them, after sorting them out with a beer, I stand back a few paces and let the magic do its work. Yep, thats Adam & Edge IN the screen. Which was a (barri)cage just seconds ago… Yep, Charlie Chaplin is The Great Dictator. Yep, thats also a drum kit and a drummer, drumming IN the screen. The Blackout begins. The Brexiteer is bouncing. The Remainer has disappeared down the front cos the opening chords of I Will Follow crack out, (where he remains attached to the front rail for the rest of the night, aged 16 again). The Rock-show virgin and the casual U2 fan both looked happily confused for much of the night, phones constantly in and out of pockets capturing as many moments as possible, whist trying to make sense of whats going on around them. We have hit a lucky night in that this floor space has a bit more room to wander than the recent European shows, which means I can tip them off about some good vantage points as the show progresses, they start getting the hang of it… I manage to take in some special moments from Manchester 2018 version of the U2 experience. Only feet away from Larry Mullen Jr, I am sure we catch each other’s eye, I think a tiny nod, a raised eyebrow! Was that the hint of a smile. I must be drunk. Can’t be. I am designated driver. That man can drum like no one else. It's his band in a line next to him. It’s his crew that put up this whole show each night, then take it down again and drag it around the World. It’s his audience that pay for it. As Bono reminds us. The Spooky Clowns phrase it well just after the show, ˜How fucking close did we get to see U2! - We were even closer to them than we were that covers band in the local boozer last week. How dio they do that???!!!’ Tender, tender moments too, like the feelings expressed during tonights intro to ‘One’ about how sad the singer, and the rest fo Europe are about the (dis)United Kingdom are, knowing we are leaving the European family soon. And the spoken prayer that becomes ’13’, for those lost in the Manchester bombing just yards away is sincere and received by all around me. The defining moment from tonight, as experience truly meets innocence once again, will forever be as the band are well into their set on the e-stage, Elevation, Vertigo, and Bono is telling us all us about the time his brother does the put down, asking who the hell he thinks he is, he is not a rock star etc etc. I have heard versions of this bit of the story told before at recent shows, but the big guy just to my left with a mad look in his eye obviously hasn’t, and with something he needs to get off his chest he suddenly lurches forward, 20 feet from the band and screams “Just play the fucking music Paul!”… I want to stop him, want to challenge hm, but why should I? I wanted to tell him to wait just a few seconds, hear the man out, he will get it if he waits for the punchline… Too late - big mad eye guy on left has stepped back, having had his moment. Wonder if his ears are open enough to hear the next bit… Paul? I’m not Paul! Paul is DEAD! I’m fucking BONO!’ Even Better Than The Real Thing fires up. And the big guy (him and me), are dancing. The tender echoes of a past overlapping with a now, presenting the possibilities of a different tomorrow. Again
  5. 4 points
    YAY.......I’m first in the Zoo GA line ✌️
  6. 4 points
  7. 4 points
    They did Stay in the barricage. 😱😍
  8. 4 points
  9. 4 points
    This one... would have been great for the official DVD/BluRay/Digital Download thing, I think...
  10. 4 points
  11. 4 points
    I don't like cut n paste thank yous so ... just a quick note to 'say in person' ... thank you very much to EVERYONE who supported this year's t-shirt day. It was really great the amount of response we got - pretty much right round the planet. Whilst we live on the internet, I still find things like this amazing. We must do it again next year, fingers crossed. So once again many thanks to you and you and you and you and you and you....
  12. 3 points

    I’ve said this before (but this time I mean it!!) U2 yet again draw me back in if I ever had any moments of doubt! Wild horses in particular was a standout for me and at one point as they were all together at the end I thought wow the energy was amazing!! During stay I got a bit emotional and two complete strangers one beside me and a lady behind me asked if I was ok so sweet.. damn u2 they know how to set me off! Not sure London can top Manchester but let’s find out 😊
  13. 3 points
    Found this new interview with the band. I'm not gonna lie, some of it is quite difficult reading but well worth it. The Sunday Times is hidden behind a paywall so I've copied and pasted it for the benefit of everyone on here. https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/exclusive-u2-interview-chrissy-iley-meets-the-band-on-tour-to-talk-rsi-clean-eating-and-bonos-neardeath-experience-2223nwhpt Exclusive U2 interview: Chrissy Iley meets the band on tour to talk RSI, clean eating and Bono’s near‑death experience Constant physio is getting U2 through yet another gruelling world tour. Could it be their last? I am standing side of stage at the Boston Garden arena — I’ve just watched U2’s Experience + Innocence show, a performance that covers the folly of the former and the optimistic power of the latter. It is both personal and political. The final number finds Bono alone on stage with a single lightbulb, staring at a replica of the house he grew up in on Cedarwood Road in Dublin. A Bono doll’s house. He comes off stage breathy and dripping with sweat. Black jacket, black jeans, black boots and a towel. We swoop into a waiting black SUV. Other SUVs are lined up behind us ready to go. A police escort will flank us as we speed through the city at night into the bowels of a hotel. But this moment is not just about rock-star secrecy and protocol. It’s about seeing Bono, totally spent, soul bared. He talks in jumbled phrases about how he’s on the circumference of awkwardness, about the reconstruction of the American dream, not making sense. He’s undone by this show. I hold his hand. His is a weak but intense grasp. Apparently, a lot of people loathe Bono. I can tell you that nobody has loathed Bono more than Bono has loathed himself. He can see the contradiction of his situation, raging conscience straddling galloping success. Usually it’s his wife, Ali, who collects him from the stage and puts him in the car. Once it was Oprah. Today it’s me, so if you don’t like Bono, stop reading this now. We are friends. I’ve known him for 20 years, since we first met over poached eggs at the Savoy several albums ago. I’ve seen him operate first hand at the White House during the Bush regime. I’ve seen him shrink stadiums with his big charisma and soaring voice. I’ve seen him at home as a daddy, as a husband. But I’ve never seen him shake after a show. I don’t take this hand-holding as a display of affection, it’s more that he physically needs a hand to ground him. His eyes look sad and careworn behind his lilac-tinted glasses. He has a stubbly face, which gives him definition but also vulnerability, as if his face is smudged. Now we’re in the basement car park of the Ritz-Carlton hotel. He is escorted to a lift that will take him to his floor, where he will stay in his room. I take another lift to the lobby, where there’s a nice bar and where various people who work for U2 are starting to congregate. The Edge will come down with his wife, Morleigh Steinberg, who is a creative consultant for the show, but no other band members emerge. They’re all in their fifties. They’ve been on the road for two years and they need to preserve their energy for the next night’s show. Adam Clayton, the bass guitarist, gave up alcohol in the 1990s, around the same time he gave up supermodels. The drummer, Larry Mullen, has never been a party animal. He’s much too reserved and now needs an hour of physio after the show. The next day I’m in Bono’s penthouse suite. Room service has delivered a lunch of chicken and greens. He takes the metal covers from our lunch and clashes them together like cymbals. It reminds me of the noise at the start of the show that mimics the deafening sound of an MRI scanner. The accompanying song is about facing death. “It’s not a very sexy subject, mortality, is it?” says Bono, 58. “But what is sexy is being in a rock’n’roll band and saying, ‘Here’s our new song, it’s about death.’ “Does it sound pretentious to say that we are an opera disguised as a rock’n’roll band?” he wonders. Yes, it does. “When opera first started out it was punk rock. Opera only became pretentious. Mozart had a punk-rock attitude.” Let’s maybe not say it’s opera. Let’s just say there are grand themes in the show. “Right,” he says. Although this show seems to be about Bono’s life, it’s actually about the experiences of all the band members. He may be the lightning rod, but he speaks for all four of them. There was a section in last night’s performance when Bono said he had once lost his head along with Adam, whose reckless years are well documented. “And then it happened to the Edge and Larry later,” he continued. The Edge, a zen Presbyterian, looked askance. When did the Edge fall off the edge? “OK, I was just saying it because I was feeling a little mischievous. I don’t like seeing them looking smug.” He’s laughing, but he is also serious. “Who would want to stay the same is what I’m talking about. If success means that you trade in real relationships and real emotions for hyper media-centric ones, then maybe success is not good. Early on in the 1980s, I remember being very self-conscious and thinking what newspaper I chose to buy was going to define me. And I remember hanging out with Chrissie Hynde, who was so totally herself at all times. It took me a few years to get there.” He doesn’t think he was really himself for decades. “In public, I had different selves and all of mine were pretty annoying. We went to watch Killing Bono [the 2011 film, based on a memoir by a former schoolmate], and I said to the Edge about the actor playing me, ‘What’s that accent he’s speaking in? That’s not my accent.’ And the Edge said, ‘It’s the accent you used to give interviews in.’ It’s like people have a telephone voice, and I had one in the 1980s.” The summer sun streams in and we’re submerged in the hot breath of the humidifiers. Bono doesn’t touch his lunch. In a recent interview, Quincy Jones said that, when he goes to Ireland, Bono always insists that he stays in his castle because it’s so racist there. Which castle is this? “I love Quincy,” he begins. “But I don’t have a castle.” He does have a Victorian folly at the end of his garden, though, which Quincy may have stayed in. Most guests do. When I stayed, there was a wall signed by Bill and Hillary Clinton: “A + B = a bed for C.” “Now that I think about it, [Quincy] did tell me that he had some racist incidents in Ireland in the 1960s, and I said it’s not like that now. Come and stay with us.” Quincy also said that U2 will never make a good album again because there was too much pressure. “Yes, and Paul McCartney couldn’t play bass. We’re all having these meltdowns, apparently. Most people accept that the album we’ve just made, Songs of Experience, is right up there with our best work. It certainly had the best reviews.” The tour comes to the UK next month, after shows in Europe. There’s a section with a film showing the neo-Nazi riots in Charlottesville in 2017. How does he think that will work in Berlin, for instance? “We will rethink it, but there’s plenty of Nazis right now in Europe. I think we can reimagine it with the same spine.” In fact, they decide to start the European shows with Charlie Chaplin’s speech from The Great Dictator: “Dictators free themselves, but they enslave the people! Now let us fight to fulfil that promise! Let us fight to free the world.” Bono and the presidents The band have always been close to the American dream and those who dreamt it. Only the other week, Bono went to visit George W Bush. “I did. And I saw the 44th president last week — I’m still close with Obama.” Barack hasn’t stayed in his “castle”, “but he and his missus and his kids have been in our local pub. I don’t like to think of my relationships with these people as retail. Having gone through some stuff together, we stay together even when they’re out of office. I saw George Bush on his ranch. He spent $22m on antiretroviral drugs and I had to thank him for that.” He also recently met Mike Pence, the US vice-president, because of his involvement in the President’s Emergency Plan for Aids Relief, founded in 2003 under the Bush administration. Was he helpful? “Well, we haven’t had the vicious cuts that the administration proposed.” And what about Trump? “I’m wise enough to know that any sentence with his name in will become a headline, so I just don’t use his name. It’s nothing personal. It’s just you have to feel you can trust a person you’re going to get into that level of work with. Lots of my lefty friends doubted I could work with George Bush, but he came through, as did Tony Blair and Gordon Brown.” Is Trump onside? “No, he’s trying to cut all that stuff at the moment, which is why I don’t want to be near him. If he’d put down the axe, maybe we could work with his administration. But we can’t with the sword of Damocles hanging.” And Ivanka? “I have no doubt she has the intention to try to move the gender-equality debate.” Bono worked closely with Harvey Weinstein on the 2013 Mandela movie Long Walk to Freedom, winning a Golden Globe for the accompanying song Ordinary Love. “He did very good work for U2. My daughters are very unforgiving in this regard. Whenever I get philosophical, they tell me, ‘It’s not your time to speak on this.’” I can’t tell if it’s sadness I see in his eyes or just tiredness. On the liner notes to Songs of Experience, Bono revealed that in the winter of 2016 he’d had “a brush with mortality”. “I was on the receiving end of a shock to the system,” he wrote. “A shock that left me clinging on to my own life. It was an arresting experience. I won’t dwell in it or on it. I don’t want to name it.” Last year he went further in an interview, describing it as “an extinction event” that was “physical” in nature. So what happened? “I don’t want to speak about it,” he tells me. “But I did have a major moment in my recent life where I nearly ceased to be. I’m totally through it, stronger than ever.” He’s talking as though he had a decision in the outcome? “No, I didn’t. It wasn’t a decision. It was pretty serious. I’m all right now, but I very nearly wasn’t.” It helps make sense of many of the songs on the past two albums — some are letters to his children and wife, reflections, conversations with his younger self about how things could have been. “Funnily enough, I was already down the road of writing about mortality. It’s always been in the background.” How could it not be? He was 14 when his mother, Iris, died. She suffered an aneurysm at her father’s funeral and died four days later. He has always liked to point out how many rock gods lost their mothers early — John Lennon, for instance. Initially, he and Larry bonded over the death of their mothers. It was always in the background. “And then it was in the foreground.” Did he have a premonition that this brush with death was going to happen? “No, but I’ve had a lot of warnings. A fair few punches over the last years.” Like falling off a bike in late 2014 and breaking his arm in six places and his eye socket? He needed a five-hour operation after that one. “That was only one of them. There were some serious whispers in the ear that maybe I should have taken notice of. The Edge says I look at my body as an inconvenience, and I do. I really love being alive and I’m quite good at being alive, meaning I like to get the best out of any day. It was the first time I put my shoulder to the door and it didn’t open. I feel God whispered to me, ‘Next time, try knocking at the door, or just try the handle. Don’t use your shoulder because you’ll break it.’ ” Has this had an impact on practical things, such as touring? “Yes. I can’t do as much as I used to. On previous tours I could meet a hundred lawmakers in between shows and now I know I can’t do that. This tour is particularly demanding. Whether you have a face-off with your own mortality or somebody close to you does, you are going to get to a point in your life where you ask questions about where you’re going.” Does that mean there won’t be another U2 tour after this one? “I don’t know. I don’t take anything for granted.” Bono has always lived in fear of the band being called a heritage act known for touring their greatest hits. Last year they went on the road with The Joshua Tree, playing the 1987 album in its entirety. “It’s OK to acknowledge work you’ve done and give it respect, but if it’s the best we can do, then we’re not an ongoing concern,” he says now. Would his younger self be disappointed with his older self? “I’m not sure that my younger self would approve of where I’ve got to, but I like to think that if my younger self stopped punching my face, my younger self would see that I’ve actually stayed true to all the things I believed in. I’m still in a band that shares everything. I’m not just shining a light on troublesome situations, but trying to do something about them. I still have my faith, I’m still in love, I’m still in a band. What about your younger self?” My younger self would say you screwed up on life, you screwed up on love, you’ve been evil and destructive, but hey, you’re in a penthouse with Bono. My younger self would be: “Yay, you made it!” Laughing, Bono turns to me and says: “You should be the singer of this band.” Naked with Adam Clayton I’m back in the Boston Garden arena. In the winding innards of the building, the U2 production team weave seamlessly. They do this every day and most of them have been doing it for years with a loyalty that’s unquestioning. Most of the production staff are women, women who get things done. They pad about in dark jeans and Converse. I first ventured backstage with U2 a couple of decades ago. There was a different uniform then — a floaty maxidress and platform shoes, and women would run, not teeter, in vertiginous heels across stadiums. I meet Adam Clayton in the guitar bunker beneath the stage. He gives me a tour. The Edge’s technician, Dallas Schoo, is lovingly poring over his 33 guitars. Clayton’s bass guitars are less in number — about 18 — but they make up for it in sparkle. He has given them names: there’s a lilac glitter guitar with a heavily studded strap that he calls Phil Lynott, after the Thin Lizzy frontman, and one with a more gothic strap that he calls the Cure. Clayton is wearing a Vivienne Westwood T-shirt and sandalwood scent. His body is ripped, impressive. He likes to work out. We part some makeshift curtains to do our interview, which will take place while he’s having his physio. Soon he is naked but for a towel. The physiotherapist is on tour with the band and Clayton gets his treatment before every show. “I work out a lot. I run and do weight training in the morning, so that tightens me up, and then in the show, carrying the bass, there are various other occupational quirks that affect the body. I have to make sure they don’t develop into real problems. It was a bit of a shock to learn that the things you could do in your twenties and thirties in terms of being a player, when you get into your forties and fifties, they cause repetitive strain injuries.” Does he mean carpal tunnel? He’s playing his bass and his fingers won’t move? “Exactly. But actually for me more of an issue is what it does to my hips and lower back, shoulders and neck. You just get so tight that you can’t turn, you can’t move.” Hagen, the physiotherapist, is German and he speaks with a German-Irish accent. He’s got strong hands that seem to know what they’re doing. Watching someone be massaged is quite meditative. “It is. You make sure that your channels are open when you’re on stage,” Clayton says. “You don’t want random thoughts coming through your mind.” There was a time in the 1990s when he was full of random thoughts and random excesses. The polite gentleman went wild. He fell in love with Naomi Campbell. His man part was on the back cover of Achtung Baby, his inherent shyness replaced by rampant exhibitionism. He has come a long way since then. He is married to Mariana Teixeira de Carvalho, a former human rights lawyer from Brazil, and has a baby daughter, Alba. These days, his addictions end at exercise and designer T-shirts. “When we started, from 1976 onwards the sound of the punk band was the most powerful thing a teenager could hear, and all the bass players were stars. It was much cooler than the guitar. We are also a little more mysterious at the back. These days, most modern records are programmed and synthesized bass and drums. It’s not real.” He thinks the toll that playing has taken on his body is nothing compared to what it has done to Larry Mullen. “He has to have physio an hour before the show and an hour after. He’s in pain and his muscles need to function. Drumming is the most debilitating thing you can do. It’s like a sports career, where you shouldn’t really be doing it past the age of 35, but nobody knew that when rock’n’roll started. Nobody realised it could be a long career.” Three consecutive tours have had a cumulative effect, and Clayton is looking forward to a holiday “with the rest of the lads in the south of France”. They all have houses near to each other on the French Riviera. It’s extraordinary that they not only work together but also want to holiday together. “Yes, it’s perverse. Everyone now has children and there’s a group of friends that revolve around that, so it’s a community and it’s nice to spend time together.” They all still like each other? “Yes, I still think that Bono and Larry and Edge are the most fascinating people in my life. They constantly surprise me in terms of their insight, their development, their intelligence. When you find people like that, you hang onto them.” The band takes a chef on tour to make sure they eat healthily. “I’ve gone vegetarian. I’ve heard so much about the meat-processing business that I don’t trust anything. I’ve got high levels of mercury in my blood, so I don’t eat fish. I’ve not drunk for 20 years, and that was a completely different life, but I notice other people are heading that way. There’s now a theory that even one drink is harmful. I think that’s a bit extreme and a bit of a buzz wrecker, but it does seem that alcohol is being thought of as possibly causing cancer.” Not very rock’n’roll, is it? But if old rock’n’roll was about living for the moment, the new challenge is longevity and not losing relevance. No more touring? Larry Mullen was the founder of the band and is still the heartbeat. Nothing happens without him. He also has a Dorian Gray thing about him. He has always looked much younger than his 56 years. He’s always fit and I’ve always loved those drummer’s arms. As we chat before the show, he tells me that these days those arms don’t come easy and neither does the drumming. For Mullen, constant touring has been hard. In the 1990s, after a huge tour he simply took off on his motorbike and disappeared. It was some kind of reaction against the band and also an inability to cope with being home, but it’s long since been worked through. He’s had ambitions to further his acting career. “We’ll finish this and then there will be time to decide what we want to do next. I’d like to take a really long holiday.” There’s something in the way he says it, not just tiredness, that makes me think maybe this really is it. “You never know. I assume there’ll be another album. I don’t know that anybody needs another U2 record or tour anytime soon. People could do with taking a break from us and vice versa.” Will he try to resume acting? “I’d like to, but I had to put all that stuff on hold. The problem is if the tour gets changed, the album gets released at a different time and all bets are off. My agent said, ‘I can’t do this because you’re just not available,’ so I think I will re-employ the agent and tell them I won’t be doing this for a couple of years. I’d like to do something else.” Shouldn’t the agent have kept him on the books? “Well, in fairness it was difficult. I wasn’t answering the phone.” The perils of privilege The next day we all travel from Boston to New York on Amtrak for three nights at Madison Square Garden. U2 have reserved an entire carriage for cast and crew. The Edge, with his wife and daughter, Sian, is the only band member on the train — the others all left after the gig last night to see their families. Yesterday was his 16th wedding anniversary. Did he give Morleigh a gift? “You get special dispensation when you are on the road — she is with me and that is the best present.” He’s very smiley when he talks about family and equally so on the subject of guitars. Does he really use 33 each night? “It’s possible.” In the early days, he only used one. Back then, Bono would hit some very high notes. “These days, we try to save his voice. He has a good range. His top note would be a B these days, but he has hit C, which is what a top tenor would hit, and is very, very high. An opera singer would hit that maybe once a night.” Earlier this month Bono lost his voice on stage in Berlin, and the show was cut short. He was back performing again three days later. I sense a strong concern for him. “He has a very ambivalent attitude to his physical self. He doesn’t naturally take responsibility for his physical wellbeing. Which is fine in your twenties, but you get to a certain point … It is a difficult shift for him. If you spend too much time thinking you are old and past it, you probably can’t do it any more.” We see passengers on the platforms peering in. Perhaps they can spot the odd vacant seat in our carriage and are wondering why they can’t get in. Being with the band is like being in a cocoon. You feel set apart, not so much alienated as special. “I am not under any illusions that we are not to some extent institutionalised by being members of U2,” he says. “How could you not be?” Sian is very smart and engaging. She appears in the show’s visuals and is also on the cover of the new album with Bono’s 19-year-old son, Eli Hewson. Last night in the bar, she and I bonded over dyslexia. “I am sort of dyslexic when it comes to music,” the Edge tells me. “I am totally instinctive. I use my ear and am not technically proficient.” The other night on stage, he looked perplexed when Bono said that he had gone off the rails. When did that happen? He laughs, knowing that it never has. The eyebrows arch as he briefly ponders just how devastating that would have been, not just for him but for the rest of the band. “I have been pretty together through the years. I am sure we have all had our moments and lost our perspective and started to buy into the bullshit. That’s the hardest thing, to hold on to the perspective. The general rule is that everybody involved in any endeavour always overestimates their own importance while simultaneously undervaluing everyone else; once you realise that, you can start catching yourself.” I tell him that I had to catch myself from feeling put out on the second night at the hotel when the U2 crew were only given a cordoned-off area in the bar, instead of the whole bar to ourselves like the first night. How had I become so arrogant in the space of two days? “Good question. We all have that tendency to enjoy being made a fuss of. It’s a Seamus Heaney phrase, ‘creeping privilege’ — you have got to look out for it because it can turn you into a monster, or somebody who needs help, a victim. And you don’t want to be that.” He laughs his wise laugh. “That is the good thing about being a band member, we all spot each other’s tendencies to go off track. We are peers and equals. Solo artists have no peers or equals.” Do they actually criticise each other? “It generally doesn’t have to be said, it just becomes clear. That’s the nature of our band culture, things get figured out. There have been very few times when we’ve had to have what you might call an intervention. It’s what friends do for each other, because that’s what we are, a bunch of friends.” It was their first manager, Paul McGuinness, who looked after the band for 35 years, who suggested very early on that the band should split everything equally. This levelling seems to have kept them together. So many bands split up because of egomania and rivalry. “It was a piece of genuine wisdom. It took us about three minutes to consider and go, ‘Yes, that’s a good idea.’ ” When the train pulls into Penn station, we head off in opposite directions. I’m already sad to leave behind the cocoon, my rock’n’roll family. What if this really is the end? U2 play Manchester Arena on Oct 19 and 20 and the O2, London SE10, on Oct 23 and 2
  14. 3 points
    Me too. This is an excerpt from my concert review: And just when you thought the song couldn't get any more epic, Bono went into a lengthy snippet of 'Heroes', which.... well, to say it was moving would be an understatement. I'm not even that fond of Heroes, but hearing it immediately reminded me that they were friends with David Bowie, and I realised how much Bono must miss him, and my eyes were full of tears. (I remember thinking this must be a new record for me, crying already after only three songs!) And like.... holy shit, I don't think I've *ever* seen Bono singing so passionately as he did at the end of that song. Just howling with love and grief and the thrill of us all being alive and together in that moment. Seriously, I defy you to watch the video from about 6:40 onward and not get major goosebumps - it's making me cry again as I write this! The energy in that room was unreal. At the time I thought it was just the loss of Bowie that was driving the performance, but I guess I was nearer the mark than I realised when I wrote that description. A few months later when we heard about Bono's near-death experience, that whole "rage against the dying of the light" feeling made a lot more sense - no wonder it sent chills right down the back of my neck.
  15. 3 points
  16. 3 points
    I must say, this new song of theirs, I Will Follow, is really rather good. I hope they release it on an album someday!
  17. 3 points
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  19. 3 points
    would love to have a e+i cup set, for when fancy dinners and such...
  20. 3 points
    Oh wait...I got confused and thought the show was tonight! 😂
  21. 3 points
    electricco & chrissie 25 Sept Wear A U2 T-Shirt ......... it Was Hard to Choose ONE !!!!!!!!! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TfWV6G830og
  22. 3 points
    This shirt reminds me the Popmart gig of Helsinki, it was amazing.
  23. 3 points
    Happy Birthday to you too!
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  25. 3 points