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Nervous For The New Tour?

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Remember Bono ate crap on his bike before the tour.  I am sure that hampered their plans a bit.

 

According to Willie Williams, they actually did rehearse the "two shows" concept and had two different setlists ready to go.. and then got cold feet about the idea at basically the last minute.  I don't think the bicycle accident can be blamed for that; they didn't even announce the tour until about a month after his accident.

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I was surprised when they announced the tour because it sounded like Bono was going to need months of recovery. Five months from announcement to starting the tour didn't seem like enough time for that and rehearsals.

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Hello, everyone, 

 

I'm new here and I really should have introduced myself properly in the "introduce yourself area" (I will, because board politics and all) but I wanted to add my bit, here. My name is Michele, and I've been a huge U2 fan, forever. Since the early 80s, I can remember running around University with the War album, seeing that tour, Joshua tour, and so on. I grew up, some, got married, had kids, and always have remained true to U2. And each time they came, I was a little afraid I'd be disappointed --- How can they still be as great as before? Will I love them as much or feel I've outgrown their music? Will they not deliver? Have my expectations exceeded the reality? But guess what? Never, not once, have I ever been disappointed at a U2 show. My husband and I have been so to many, my girls are in their 20s, and I can't wait for this new show. I'm sooo excited, I still love them as much as ever. So I guess my point is (sorry for the ramble but) don't worry! Have faith in the band that, after all these years, they know what they're doing! They know how to deliver a GREAT show. And if they choose not to play all from J. Tree, so what? They'll have their reasons. AS for the other complaints, all legit, I can't comment on that, just (a little I will comment). Bands are really expensive, these days. We don't go to many, U2 always for me, Rush for my husband, that's it. But it costs a lot to put on a show like they do. Also, re someone said about the seating being behind the stage, in Toronto it says, I'm surprised it wouldn't say where you get the tickets. But anyway, I just feel so incredibly lucky that U2 is coming again, and that I have tickets. Take care, everyone.

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The seats behind the stage were sold by U2/Ticketmaster by virtue of a seat map that showed they were facing the stage and did not say "behind stage."

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The seats behind the stage were sold by U2/Ticketmaster by virtue of a seat map that showed they were facing the stage and did not say "behind stage."

I'm so sorry, that would suck. Did you contact Ticketmaster and complain? Maybe you could have gotten a credit or something?

 

One time, a long time ago, I had obstructed views for U2, and it said right on the ticker, turns out we were behind a post. I stood in the isles, though. We weren't really supposed to, but the poor usher finally gave up and let us stay there, so I ended up having a great view. 

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U2 has always had a little brother/big brother relationship with Bruce Springsteen.  I'm a huge U2 fan, and a huge Bruce fan, so I feel I can offer a perspective on both artists simultaneously.  Just over a year ago, Bruce announced The River Tour 2016 in celebration of The Ties That Bind/River boxed set.  A lot of his fanbase was skeptical about their hero touring behind a retrospective boxed set, feeling that he had run out of new ideas, etc.  Being 36 years old currently, I missed out on Bruce in the eighties, my first chance to see him was the 1999/2000 reunion tour, and I've seen him multiple times on every tour since.  This past run of The River-in-its-entirety shows were among the very best I have seen him and the E Street Band play.  They honoured the material, while injecting new life into the songs, despite sticking to original arrangements and keeping things tight.  Plus the remaining songs within the show that were played after the River portion was completed only served to add to the concept of the show as a whole.  Critical reviews were positive, and the response from the fan base was great once the tour got rolling and people could appreciate the tour for what it was....a celebration of some f@cking great rock 'n roll, and something that Bruce identified as his first album where he moved from dream-based rock 'n roll to actual characters, and how those characters and stories chose to use the finite amount of time within their adult lives to move forward.

 

Bono has gone on record multiple times stating that U2 has looked to Bruce for inspiration over the years.  I think they considered the success of Bruce's tour last year when evaluating the potential of a Joshua Tree tour this year, and are looking to build public interest for an upcoming release of new material, so they are playing their trump card (excuse the pun).  The other night, I saw a TV commercial for The Joshua Tree tour....when was the last time we saw a commercial for a U2 concert in TV prime time (other than their NLOTH/360 Comcast bit with the Super Bowl a few years ago?).  Make no mistake, the true measure of an artist is their ability to release engaging material until they reach their final act, but I have no problems with U2 revisiting The Joshua Tree and using it as a touchstone, a reset.

 

Like it or not, and despite the fact that they are the biggest band on the planet, U2 is no longer the flashpoint band they were from 1986-1993.  I would argue that POP was their victory lap for that period, ATYCLB/Vertigo was a renaissance for the band whose catalyst was fueled by the unplanned link between ATYCLB and the events of Sept. 11th/2001 (not implying that the band tried to cash in on Sept 11th, at all, just simply acknowledging that after Sept 11th, a lot of people REALLY took ATYCLB to heart, its songs, its messages, its theme).  Since that period, the band has been searching for.....something.  The biggest, most engaging live show? Yes for sure.  But the fuel that fires the creative aspect of the band? They have not been able to find it, that theme, that arc.

 

The Joshua Tree 2017 tour will put U2 back in the realm of public awareness, it's too important of an album not to.  In my opinion, given the band's age and collective inertia, this is their last chance to bring in the masses who may have tuned out over the years, to re-introduce them to the band, and offer something new for the future.  Not saying that it's their last chance to be a great band, they already are and always will be.  But if they are searching for that cultural relevance that they so desire, it very well is, IMO.  The only way to play these shows is to start them off full throttle with Streets, play the full JT album with fire, then move into the rest of their repertoire that defines the BEST themes of U2.  No high art concepts, just searing & smoldering rock 'n roll.  Not saying greatest hits, just their BEST work.  They know what it is.  Don't get cold feet, don't play JT backwards, don't dodge RHMT...play it as 4 men in 2017 would play it.  If they do that well, and round out the show with all killer, no filler, this could be one of their most memorable tours.  I am looking forward to it.

Edited by zooropamofo

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Well,for me, I am just utterly delighted to see them again regardless of what they play. I was devastated to miss them in 2015 due to health when I had to sell both my Koln and London tickets having not missed a tour since I first saw the original Joshua Tree tour twice in 87. I cried so much and avoided all social media and internet in the days leading up to and post the shows in 2015 as I couldn't bear to see and hear what I had missed! I've got over it now and I will be so pleased to be there they can play what they like. I like the idea of them performing what they would have done on the original Joshua Tree tour which would include songs in pre Joshua tree days as well. I can see how it would be annoying to buy tickets for 8 shows expecting something different and seeing the same...but then I would love to go to 8 shows at a time regardless. I have red zone for first time in London and great seats in Dublin so I can get 2 different experiences anyway. if they play more recent stuff too then all is good with me! It will be good to see what they do in the US before it comes to Europe so I can get more excited!

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They are billing it as the Joshua Tree tour. They promise to play the entire album. They will.  Red Hill Mining town will not be a problem. They will surely lower the key so he can hit the notes.  They already play a half step down anyway. Im looking forward to it!

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They will play the full album.  There is no reason for them not to and all of the promo materials have stated that that is exactly what they intend to do.  I think the concern with the I&E tour was that they wouldn't be playing enough of their hits at every show if they spread them over 2 completely different setlists from night to night. Ultimately it sounds like they got cold feet worrying about whether an arena full of many (mostly?) casual fans would respond to a set that didn't include enough of the requisite hits on any single night.  That really won't be an issue on this tour.  The Joshua Tree is their most successful album and 4 of the 11 songs have been regulars in their setlists ever since it was released (Streets, I Still Haven't Found, With or Without You, Bullet).  That leaves plenty of room for the 7 lesser played songs on the album plus a whole bunch of other classics and some deep cuts from other eras.  They clearly got cold feet last time about having to pick which of the 2 nights would get One or which would get WOWY, but this go round they can play all of the big hits in one show and still have room for some other stuff as well.

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NYRU2 and AGNTBK007 - I generally agree with your assessments and hope to hear the full album.

 

Before the I&E tour, I trusted anything that U2 officially announced implicitly.  I'd always give a grain of salt to an interview question where they promised a new album sooner than seemed possible, but if they put out an official statement, I had no reason not to trust it.  The I&E tour changed that for me.  The two different nights scenario was announced officially before tickets went onsale - they were practically encouraging people to be buying pairs of tickets.  You guys say that U2 will play the Joshua Tree on this tour because they announced that they will - but I'm saying, on the I&E tour, they announced they'd be playing two different shows, and then didn't.  So the fact that they've announced that they're playing Joshua Tree doesn't fill me with overwhelming confidence that each show will get the entire album.  I really hope to hear the entire album.  I hope the I&E thing was a fluke.  But I think it was really crappy how they made a big deal about the two shows business on the I&E tour, and then quietly ducked out of it after all of the (nonrefundable) tickets had been sold and never offered a public mea culpa for selling us one thing and delivering another.

 

Similarly, the I&E seating charts were clearly wrong, with the Red Zone mislabeling being deceptive to a point where it could be considered fraud.  These were nonrefundable tickets, so a fan who purchased a ticket in good faith with the expectation that it would be in the location the seating chart designated, had no recourse when the section was moved. I bought a Red Zone ticket for the I&E tour, and no one ever communicated that they were moving the Red Zone.  No emails from the band, from Ticketmaster, from the promoter, from the venue, nothing.  A few days before the show, they emailed the info for where to pick up the ticket, and released a seating chart that bore no resemblance to the one used to sell me the ticket.  I have a Red Zone ticket this time around (which probably makes me an idiot), and very little faith that the Red Zone will actually be in the area that the map describes.

 

Until 2015, I had never felt mislead or taken advantage of by the band before, and now I just don't know.  I don't think they're evil masterminds that wake up with the thought "How can we screw our fans?"  I think the more likely explanation is that this is the result of years of stepping back from the business side of things.  They did the ZooTV and PopMart tours basically as break-even affairs, and Larry was quoted in multiple places saying they'd never do that again.  When the Elevation tour began, the prices had more than doubled from PopMart, but they still ran their own fan club ticketing which was reasonably priced.  (Top PopMart price was $50, top Elevation price was $130.)  When the Vertigo tour began, they turned over their fanclub ticketing and that was a giant debacle, to the point that Larry had to apologize during the Grammys in what should have been a moment of triumph.  After Vertigo ended, U2 sold the rights to their tours to LiveNation, and the prices basically doubled again - the Vertigo top price of $150 jumped to $250, which means that in little over a decade, U2 tickets went up from $50 to $250.  But Paul McGuinness was still managing the band, so even though the prices were outrageous on the top end, they did things like keeping the entire floor at about $50 a ticket, and having $30 tickets in the upper level.  Red Zone tickets were created, but they weren't for a fixed price - fans were allowed to bid on them, and it was said that 100% of the money went to charity.  But for I&E, McGuinness was gone, and they brought in Madonna's manager, Guy Oseary, who is known for maximizing profits and is not knowing for being attentive to fans.  Ticket prices shot up yet again, with Red Zone tickets now being assigned a $300+ price point, and instead of all the money going to charity, we're now told that a vague percentage will go to charity.  The seating chart for each and every show announced on the tour was wrong when tickets went onsale.  Fans were told there would be two different shows before tickets went onsale and encouraged to go twice; once tickets were sold out, fans were told there would just be one show.  Unlike the ticketing debacle of the Vertigo tour, this time, no one from the band made any kind of statement regarding any of these issues.

 

I think the band have decided to stop caring about the day to day touring operation, and simply want to show up and play, collect the check, and head to the next stop without wasting half of their day in details.  I think for this tour and the last, they provided a list of blanket requests for the tour (for instance, that they wanted general admission floor tickets priced cheaper than lower level seats) but did not get involved in the specifics.  And the LiveNation people have shown, again and again, whether its with U2 or any other act that they work with, that they don't really care about the fan experience - they care about maximizing profit.  In the end, the band can still give one hell of a performance, but the fan experience involved with everything that happens from the announcement of a tour to showing up at your seat has gotten more complicated, more expensive and less fan friendly.  The band may have insulated themselves from this to such a degree that they may not even be aware of these issues.

 

I mean, think about it - let's say you're a giant U2 fan and you've always wanted to meet someone in the band.  You get to the venue before the concert early, and just so happen to catch one or more of the members who decided to stop to sign autographs.  You've got Bono's attention for ten seconds.  What do you do?  Try to blurt out a coherent quick sentence on a complex topic and try to express that the fans aren't being respected in the way that they had been for the band's entire career, and hope that it somehow sinks in, knowing full well that the band signed a multi-year management deal and that nothing is likely to change?  Or worse, that the band would say they knew, and they didn't care?  Or do you quickly tell him that you love the music, and maybe try to sneak in a song request?  I'm willing to bet that over the course of the tour, not one fan wasted their ten seconds to say that organizationally, things are falling through the cracks.  And the truth is, U2 still does more for their fans than just about everyone else - compared to all other acts, U2 are still winning.  It's only comparing U2 now to U2 of the past that they come up short.

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