I've been thinking about how out of character it is for U2 to look back like this... I mean come on - many on here will remember Bono's mantra on Popmart: "Kiss the future, fuck the past".
I am wondering if it's a way to allow them to fast forward a bit at on the next leg of I+E. That could be the "Experience" leg, if you will. Assuming we ever see that album, and I'm not holding my breath, lol.
So - when I+E was announced, the band originally wanted to play one night of old tunes followed by one night of newer stuff.
Now - and this is my own interpretation - that COULD be seen as pre-Achtung stuff and post-Achtung stuff. Right?
It's well documented that when they got into the nitty gritty of rehearsals and tour planning, U2 realised there were too many classics that they felt they just could not play on one night only - either the innocent or the experienced audience might feel screwed over if they booked tickets for the "wrong" night from their point of view.
Now - disregarding the comments last week about how the world has changed with recent political upheavals and so on... let's just imagine for a minute that the U2 team is planning an album release and the associated tour - likely an extension of the last tour.
I could imagine a desire to do two things:
1). Continue indoors - the shows were great, everybody loved them
2). Play the Experienced songs... more stuff from 1990 onwards, the more electronic complicated and musically interesting stuff. It sort of fits the theme. Yes, I know they played lots of this stuff on I+E, but there is a *lot* more that could be played. The whole Pop album, for starters - actually that won't happen, disregard :-)
Now, imagine somebody in the room floats the above idea.
Then some pragmatist in the group - possibly in the rhythm section - says "no way lads, we just can't do it - we have millions of fans who want to hear With Or Without You again. And by the way, sing the bloody SHINE LIKE STARS bit Bono".
Then the manager notes that they can't stay indoors, there's too much demand for tickets. "We need to go outdoors or we'll be playing 5 nights in every city again. We'll never get to Australia at that rate".
So, some bright spark floats the idea of a Joshua Tree anniversary tour.
They go all out, play stadia to big crowds and lash out all old-school crowd-pleasers. Every night a guaranteed sellout.
Then, afterwards, release Songs of Experience and immediately do another tour - this time indoors again, but make it very public that it's going to be a tour that focuses on the post-Joshua Tree era. One for the experienced fans as opposed to the old fans - the ones who have seen those old tunes a million times.
I would personally love that Experience tour, it would be nirvana for me.
It would mean the Joshua Tree tour has no songs from after, say, Rattle and Hum. That would also be kind of cool, and true to the title of the tour.