Wednesday, November 30, 2011

U2.COM : 'Pipe Dream'

Bajagirl - Claudia Espinosa as she's known when not on the boards of Zootopia - is a seriously big fan of the band. If you visit our community area, you'll know her as one of our longtime moderators, and if you followed shows online in Zootopia, Bajagirl was often your host. Her 'U22' setlist, she says, is the pipe dream of an 'uberfan.'

'Making this list is like choosing your favorite among many things that you love for completely different reasons. During the U2360Tour  discussing what songs were played and what SHOULD have been played was a conversation that never ended: we all come to U2’s music from different places, so what one song means to one fan can be completely opposite to another. But choose I must, and choose I shall: a setlist based on a pipe dream of this uberfan - that I know is completely unrealistic and a bit non-canonical.

My 'U22' starts with Breathe which will always represent the 360º tour to me, then let’s shake up things by adding Streets,  like the band did in Anaheim. After that, no one knew what would come. Lets follow with a bit of dance, some deep bass, and light. Next some rarities, songs that longtime fans  dream of hearing live - Zooropa, Mothers of the Disappeared (a personal favorite), and Electrical Storm. Then back to the groove with COBL, a bit of classic U2, and lets throw Crazy (Remix) in there, a song I fell in fun and joy with during the tour. In this last section a song squeaks in which would not have made it (WOWY) if not for it having the addition of the 'Shine like stars' lyrics.  To ramp up the ending, some heavy hitters with groove, and,  to close my U22 set list, a song that signifies a sentiment  a lot of fans share: I will follow...'

1. Breathe
2. Where The Streets Have No Name
3. Even Better Than The Real Thing
4. Magnificent
5. Ultraviolet (Light My Way) 
6. Zooropa 
7. The Unforgettable Fire
8. Mothers Of The Disappeared
9. Electrical Storm   
10. City Of Blinding Lights   
11. Pride (In the Name of Love)
12. Out Of Control
13. I'll Go Crazy If I Don't Go Crazy Tonight (Remix)
14. All I Want Is You/Love Rescue Me
15. One Tree Hill
16. Stay
17. With Or Without You
18. Return Of The Stingray Guitar
19. The Fly
20. Until The End Of The World
21. Bad
22.  I Will Follow

(Let us know what you think of Claudia's selection below. You can follow her on  twitter: @U2BAJA)

Monday, November 28, 2011

U2.COM : 'From The Sky Down' - BLU-RAY/DVD

'Quite simply, ' reported Entertainment Weekly, 'It's, one of the most transcendent close-up looks at the process of creating rock & roll I’ve ever seen.'

Screened in the UK as part of the BBC’s Imagine Series, From The Sky Down was the first ever documentary film to open the prestigious Toronto International Film Festival.   Now Davis Guggenheim's film about the making of  Achtung Baby is set for release worldwide on Blu-ray and DVD on Monday 12th December, 2011, with US release set for January 24th.

The Blu-ray and DVD release includes bonus footage of So Cruel, Love Is Blindness, and The Fly shot last May during the band’s visit to Hansa Studios to mark the 20th anniversary of Achtung Baby. It also includes a Q&A with Bono, The Edge and Davis Guggenheim filmed at the Toronto International Film Festival in September.

'Twenty years after the release of U2’s Achtung Baby (1991), Davis Guggenheim charts the path toward this groundbreaking album. Guggenheim uses animation and unseen footage from Berlin and Dublin alongside conversation to reveal what is now a key chapter in U2’s career. '

Seen From The Sky Down ? What did you think of it ? Add your review below.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

U2..COM : 'Monumental Task'

He's been making U2 sound at their best onstage for more than three decades but after hearing every song at every show on U2360,  Joe O'Herlihy found it a 'monumental task' to come up with a setlist of  just 22 songs for 'U22'.  So we let him have an extra one... (Editors Note: no-one else gets a 23rd track.)

Let us know what you think of his selection in the comments below - here's Joe:

'My song list is very much a collection of my favourite songs from the tour. They are in no particular running order, so hopefully my version of the U22 set list will have you smiling, literally from ear to ear.
'In choosing my U22 song set list from the suggested 46 songs, I fear that U22 will have its work cut out to match what the U2360 tour set list had to offer.  From a fans perspective, this is a monumental task to give anyone.
'Being a fan myself for the past 33 years, I’m indeed honoured that the band ‘let me in the sound’ all those years ago. It makes it all the more significant that the U2360 Tour offers the fans the chance to have a lasting memento until the next tour by the biggest and best touring band in the world.

1. Breathe - Best opening song of the tour for me, Larry at his best.
2. Get on Your Boots - The live performance, really makes this great song ignite.
3. No Line on the Horizon - Best new song in the set.
4. Magnificent – The new summer 2011 live remix takes this song to the subconscience forever.
5. New Years Day - Just rewards, for our fantastic audience at the show in Poland.
6. Beautiful Day - The higher ground lift to elevation.
7. Elevation - Going up, communication, connection, lift-off, away we go.
8. Still Haven't Found What I’m Looking For - Oh, the joy of a full stadium singing in unison.
9. Moment of Surrender – Just, such a beautiful song.
10. Sunday Bloody Sunday - My heart strings pulled apart every time.
11. City of Blinding Lights - Sonic sorcery, the most uplifting song.
12. I'll Go Crazy Tonight - Remix 'Club Stadium' version.
13. Bad – The painful reality of our youth.
14. One - Thought provoking, what might have been.
15. Where The Streets Have No Name - You can’t hear a U2 Show without 'Streets'.
16. Ultraviolet (Light My Way) - My favourite song on the  tour set list.
17. One Tree Hill - Greg Carroll, G Dub, always a tearful moment for me.
18. With Or Without You. Also the fans favourite.
19. Even Better Than the Real Thing - U2360 Tour 2011 remix version.
20. Zooropa – The WOW spectacle showpiece song of the tour.
21. I Will Follow - Send them home, sweating for more.
22. Out of Control - Fans love a surprise, goodnight and thanks for the dance.

The standout track? Well that gives me a chance to squeeze in another song. It has to be 'Stay (Far Away So Close)'. Now if we could only get the band to play a full band version of this song, maybe next tour.  Too bad it’s not U22 Plus + + + + + +.

The U2360 Tour took us around and around and around the world.  I hope U22 takes you even further….'

Monday, November 21, 2011

U2.COM : 'Blowing Up U2'

'These two scruff-bags with hoodies and a beard walk through the door, and it’s Bono and Adam, in disguise. They said, 'We want to blow up the old U2, and go to Berlin to make a new record. Are you interested?'

Flood - otherwise known as Mark Ellis - has worked in the studio with U2 for many years, first, as a sound engineer, and latterly, as producer. (He shared a Grammy for his work on the ‘Album of the Year’ in 2006 How to Dismantle An Atomic Bomb.) With the release of the 20th anniversary edition of Achtung Baby, Brian Draper tracked him down for and asked him to recollect those early days, in particular the role he played in the Hansa and Dublin sessions  on Achtung Baby. You first got the call to work with U2 on the Joshua Tree, didn’t you?
Yes. It was nearly April 1st, and I’d been receiving messages that someone in Ireland wanted to contact me. The phone went in the studio, and I was told, “It’s Bono, for you.” So I picked up and said, “OK, who’s winding me up?” But it was him. Whoops. What did he say?
The chaps are doing an album, and would I like to come over and have a try-out, to see if we get along? He liked a couple of things I’d done. And the thing I liked, when I got there, was that he swore a lot. I had assumed Bono wouldn’t swear. So I did a two week trial. They were working on the early stages of the album, demos. Not a bad moment to join, then?
Unbelievable. To come to Ireland and work with the biggest band in the world - or very close to it, then - was like: Oh my God! I’m only 26, but let’s go for it... How was it, working alongside Brian Eno and Daniel Lanois?
I’d been conventionally trained as a recording engineer, but I realised how unconventional their approach to everything was. Everything. I had to tear up the rule book I’d been using for six years and start again. It was like I’d woken up in another place, a good place, a happy place. And U2 wanted you back. You got the call for Achtung Baby!

Yes, though I didn’t actually get ‘the call’. Depeche Mode were playing Giants Stadium (after we’d recorded Violator together) and I was sitting on my high throne in the press box, getting absolutely mullered, thinking, 'How good does this get?', when Anton Corbjin says, 'Flood, I have a couple of people to see you.'
These two scruff-bags with hoodies and a beard walk through the door, and it’s Bono and Adam, in disguise. So we were all there, having a few jars, and they said, 'We want to blow up the old U2, and go to Berlin to make a new record. Are you interested?' How much can you plan for something as profound as ‘blowing up U2’ ahead of time? Or do you just show up with some dynamite?

 Well, it is a big deal, but it’s strange: there’s such a level of respect amongst those musicians and the producers that everyone’s on the same wavelength.
The band couldn’t go back to where they were - that was the overriding philosophy. They were saying to me, 'Be as free as you want to be. Try everything!' I’d been working with Depeche and Nine Inch Nails, so they were looking for some of that ‘industrial’ input.
But every day, they’d say, 'It’s too much like the old thing.' I remember hearing Trying to Throw Your Arms Around the World - it sounded like a campfire version, to start with. I was saying, 'Oh, that sounds good,' and they were saying, 'NO! It can’t be like this!'
Everybody knew what they didn’t want. So how do you find what they do want?

Bono puts it perfectly: 'You have the material, and then you circle it.'
A good example is One. That was pretty much the only backing track that was done in Berlin. It took about an afternoon, once things fell into place; they did the melody, the chords, all in about three takes. Everyone’s going, 'It’s amazing, it’s a classic song, it’s brilliant, it’s U2!' and there was a great sense of relief from the band.
But Eno and I were saying, 'It’s a brilliant song, but boy.. is it a pedestrian, boring arrangement?' So we spent six months trying every which way with it. It doesn’t seem very different, but many tiny things went in to shifting it away from the traditional sound. Like what?
The drums, for a start. For ages, we were experimenting with big heavy drums. But Danny had an idea for Larry to play with a delay effect on the whole kit. It gives it that sort of tumbling feel - it’s not obvious in the finished mix, but it’s there - and it gave Larry a different way of attacking the song, too.
I also started to work out that drums in mono could be just as powerful, without having to be as loud. That’s one of the major subtleties on Achtung Baby: most of the drums are in mono, which is very, very unusual.'

(In Part 2 of our conversation with Flood he recalls the tension in the studio during recording, coming up with the voice for The Fly and finally 'standing on top of Everest' when the record was finished.)

Friday, November 18, 2011

U2 back in town with wall-to-wall support at studio

U2 were back in town yesterday to record part of the band's newest studio album at their Hanover Quay studio.
U2 frontman Bono was spotted signing autographs for fans outside the band's Dublin studio, where many of their best-selling albums were recorded after the band bought the studios in the early 1990s.
He even took time to pose next to some of the graffiti left on the studio walls by fans of the band.
Among the excited fans waiting outside the band's studio yesterday was Gary Paul from Parkwest, Co Dublin, who asked Bono to sign his miniature 'Achtung Baby' Trabant car, which had been earlier signed by The Edge.
He later attended the opening of an exhibition of art by his niece, Leah Hewson, at the KTcontemporary gallery in Donnybrook.
Leah graduated last year from Dun Laoghaire Institute of Design, Art, and Technology. Her new exhibition, 'What's behind the Magic Door?', uses multimedia to explore the importance of preserving imagination,
- Edel O'Connell

Thursday, November 17, 2011

U2.COM : 'Meet My Monster'

Matt McGee of fansite is the latest guest writer to come up with their own personal wishlist for 'U22'.

Matt's been to a few U2 shows over the years and when the 360 Tour opened in 2009 he harboured a secret desire for 'a Zoo-TV like tribute to everyone who wanted a greatest hits show.' That explains the 'monster' 'U22' set list he's come up with below. Does it scare you? Or do you love it? Tell us what you think in the comments below.

'So this is how Dr. Frankenstein felt, isn't it? But instead of building a monster from disparate parts, I'm trying to build a Best-Of-U2-360 setlist, pulling in songs from three quite different tours that spanned more than two years.

Let's see‚ I'll take the heart of this tour and match it with the brains of this other tour, and then throw in some of the muscle from that other tour. Voila! Our 22-song creature lives!

I'm not usually big on debating set-lists, dreaming up set-lists, or anything along those lines. I prefer to count myself blessed that U2 is still touring and that I'm still able to see a few shows each time. But here's a confession: before the 360 tour began, I secretly harbored a desire for U2 to start each show with a barrage of songs from No Line On The Horizon, a Zoo TV-like salute to everyone who bought tickets wanting a greatest hits show. So, now that has invited me to play Dr. Frankenstein and build my own version of U22, that's how I'll begin! Ready to meet my monster?'
1. No Line On The Horizon
2. Get On Your Boots
3. Breathe
4. Magnificent
5. Unknown Caller
6. I'll Go Crazy If I Don't Go Crazy Tonight
7. I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For
8. City Of Blinding Lights
9. Beautiful Day (the Mark Kelly version)
10. Your Blue Room
11. Zooropa
12. Until The End Of The World
13. Bad
14. Where The Streets Have No Name
15. One
16. One Tree Hill
17. Ultraviolet
18. The Fly
19. The Unforgettable Fire
20. Moment Of Surrender
21. Out Of Control
22. '40'

Matt McGee is Founder and Editor of and author of U2-A Diary (Omnibus Press, 2008).

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

U2.COM : Download 'Ǎhk-to͝ong Bāy-Bi Covered'

Ǎhk-to͝ong Bāy-Bi Covered featuring Nine Inch Nails, Patti Smith, Depeche Mode, Jack White, The Killers and others is available for download from today in the iTunes Store.

All proceeds will benefit Concern Worldwide's work in famine-stricken areas of East Africa. (The album will be available on iTunes in the UK on November 28th.)

With the support of iTunes, the Independent Online Distribution Alliance (IODA) and all the participating artists, managers and labels, all proceeds from the sale of Ǎhk-to͝ong Bāy-Bi Covered will support Concern’s response to the East Africa crisis, where thousands of children have already died of hunger or related diseases and over 10 million people remain at risk.

'This crisis in East Africa is still very much an emergency and Concern is delighted that all of the parties involved are making this hugely significant contribution to our work in the region,' said Concern CEO, Tom Arnold. 'We are honored they have chosen Concern as the exclusive beneficiaries.

'It is disappointing that such a major ongoing humanitarian situation has largely disappeared from the media headlines. Offering the proceeds from Ǎhk-to͝ong Bāy-Bi Covered to Concern’s East Africa appeal also provides a timely reminder that alleviation of the hunger and wider health crisis in the region must not be forgotten and should remain a global priority.'

 Ǎhk-to͝ong Bāy-Bi Covered was conceived for Q Magazine to mark their 25th Anniversary issue,  coinciding with the 20th Anniversary re-release of Achtung Baby. The CD is available with Q Magazine’s December 2011 issue.

'Drought may be an act of nature, but famine is not.'  Visit ONE  for  more information on the causes of famine and how to prevent it.

Monday, November 14, 2011

U2.COM : 'In Your Dreams...'

'Bigwave' - John Noble in real life - is one of the hosts of the buzz in Zootopia, our community site. For the duration of U2360° he gave up sleep -  tuning in to the show on obscure audio feeds, following on Twitter and hosting our own live fan commentary. 

John got to know the tour and the songs pretty well so here's his personal tracklisting for 'U22'.

Has he caught it - or does he need more sleep? Let us know in the comments below.

'Pick your own personal U2 setlist ? Nah never gonna happen.
Have it released as a fan club only double CD ? Yeah, right! In your dreams.
Oh! right. Well... here goes then!
And this is just for me without consideration of any other single soul, it's U2 performing purely to an audience full of me... right?'

1. Return Of The Stingray Guitar
2. Where The Streets Have No Name
3. Get On Your Boots
4. Out Of Control
5. I Will Follow
6. Spanish Eyes
7. Zooropa
8. Miss Sarajevo
9. All I Want Is You
10. Unknown Caller
11. Even Better Than The Real Thing
12. Electrical Storm
13. One Tree Hill
14. Mothers Of The Disappeared
15. Sunday Bloody Sunday
16. Bad
17. Walk On
18. One
19. Ultraviolet
20. With Or Without You
21. I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For
22. 40

All this takes me back to every single show, mainly sitting at my mac following  online with many thousand of others, every setlist, every dodgy audio feed, tweet, setlist update.
Into the early hours and daylight many nights: 'What time is it in the world?'  Showtime!

So this would be me dream setlist. Kicking off with heavy pogo-style artillery then mellowing into the soulful centre, and gearing up towards the almighty spine tingling.

Standout tracks a-plenty. Lots of stuff that truly stunned fans when they heard it coming out of the Claw. Twitter-busting Zooropa perhaps being the most surprising.

Of course, this is what my #setlist REALLY should look like...


1. Stingray 2.Streets 3. Boots 4. OOC 5. IWF 6. Spanish Eyes (whey-hey-hey!) 7. Zooropa 8. Miss S 9. AIWIY 10. UC 11. EBTTRT 12. ES 13. OTH 14. MOTD 15. SBS 16. BAd 17. Walk On 18. One 19. UV 20. WOWY 21. ISHFWILF 22. 40


(Follow John on Twitter: @_Bigwave_  )

Thursday, November 10, 2011

U2.COM : 'All Three Show Openers...'

Band members aside, few know U2360° as well as Show Director Willie Williams.

But forced to choose only 22 songs in  selecting the tracks for  'U22'... what would he choose?

Here's Willie's thinking and, below, his tracklisting.  Jump into the comments with what you  think of what he's included... and what he's left out.

'This was a difficult choice mostly because, through complete force of habit, I kept thinking of it as a set list. It became considerably easier once I'd abandoned the notion of this list ever being performed live so I could start with all three openings of the show -  first the 2010 opening ('Stingray'), moving on to the 2011 opening ('Real Thing') then popping back for the 2009 opening (Breathe).

There was temptation to abandon all the hits in favour of the rarities but given that this is in some way supposed to represent the tour there were a few reinvented classics which it would have been rude to leave out - the 'Arab Spring' remake of Sunday Bloody Sunday, the intense 360 immersive version of 'Still Haven't Found' and, most of all, Beautiful Day as a 'duet', with Commander Mark Kelly performing on the International Space Station.

The pillars of the 360 show have to be there of course: City of Blinding Lights, 'I'll Go Crazy',  Moment of Surrender, 'Boots'.  It is also a great opportunity to immortalise some of the songs that only appeared briefly on the 360 tour, particularly Your Blue Room and the spontaneous medley of All I Want is You / Love Rescue Me.  It seems only right to give space to the songs that we may not hear performed again for some time (Scarlet, Unforgettable Fire) and then there are my personal favourites to cram in (Ultraviolet, Zooropa, No Line).

Given enough space I would have probably included all 46 songs (plus the unreleased ones and a few more that never made it beyond soundcheck) as they all played their part in building the character of the tour.  However, the rules said 22 only so, for better or worse, this is how I'll remember U2360°  - a remarkable collection of U2 songs that references every one of their albums... if you count the 16 bars of 'Discotheque' mashed into 'I'll Go Crazy'.

The Return of the Stingray Guitar
Even Better Than the Real Thing
Get on Your Boots
I Still Haven't Found
One Tree Hill
No Line on the Horizon
The Unforgettable Fire
All I Want is You / Love Rescue Me
Beautiful Day (with Mark Kelly)
Your Blue Room
Unknown Caller
City of Blinding Lights
I'll Go Crazy
Sunday Bloody Sunday
Hold Me Thrill Me
Moment of Surrender
Out of Control

The standout track?  Has to be Ultraviolet.  Listen carefully enough and you can almost hear the mirror ball...

(If you already subscribe to don't forget to cast your vote and if you don't, here's everything you need to know about 'U22'.)

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

U2 not splitting up: McGuinness ends speculation on band's future

It's official - U2 are not splitting up. The band's manager, Paul McGuinness, last night flatly denied reports that the four school friends are going their separate ways after 35 years.
Known as the fifth member of U2, Mr McGuinness (60) has steered their career from local outfit to global superstars. Asked about the constant speculation that U2 have hit the end of the road, he said: "No, and I think I would have heard. Not all all. They are always working on the next record."
Fears of a U2 split began with an interview Bono gave to 'Rolling Stone' magazine last month in which he hinted that himself, Larry Mullen Jnr, the Edge and Adam Clayton may part company sometime in 2012.
"I'm not so sure the future hasn't dried up," said the 51-year-old frontman.
"It's quite likely you might hear from us next year but it's equally possible that you won't. The band may have finally run its course."
However, at the opening of a new stage version of Edna O'Brien's novel 'The Country Girls', Mr McGuinness said: "I'm not sure what was said, but I think it was a chance remark taken out of context. I would disregard it."
First published in 1960, Ms O'Brien's novel shocked the Republic of Ireland on its release and was promptly banned due to the frank approach its young female characters had towards sex. Her books were burned with the blessing of her own mother.
But half a century later, the writer, now 80, was being celebrated by a who's who of Irish theatre and literature who turned up at the Gaiety Theatre in Dublin, including Nobel Prize winner Seamus Heaney.

source :

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

U2.COM : Stingray to Surrender

Caroline van Oosten de Boer knows a thing or two about seeing U2 on the road. Founding editor of (2000-2011) and author of 'U2 Live - A Concert Documentary' (Omnibus Press, 2003), Caroline guesses she's seen the band play sixty-plus times.

Who better to kick off a new series in which we ask guest columnists to select their  own 22 tracks for the upcoming, live  double-CD 'U22' ?

(If you already subscribe to don't forget to cast your vote and if you don't, here's everything you need to know about 'U22'.)

Read Caroline's 'U22' tracklisting then get in the comments below and tell us what you think of it.

'U2360°.  A tour named after a stage concept? The centrepiece a creepy 4-legged hulk dubbed ‘The Claw’ with orange pimples and pastel green trousers? You are having me on, right? But when the lights went down and the sound swelled, it worked. You see live concerts are as much about pyrotechnics as sex is about hydraulics. That is to say, not much. What really matters is the connection we make between our individual experience, and a lyric and a melody. That’s where the intimacy occurs. In short: it’s about songs. The songs are bigger than the performer – and U2 had a beautiful, relevant, new album full of gorgeous tunes to work with.

A live tape enthusiast since the early days, I have always preferred listening to full concerts - raw, unedited audience recordings - rather than the polished official product. Forced to select 22 tracks from different shows, trying to create a coherent document of the tour, I find sequencing a bitch. Do I roughly follow the flow of U2’s own setlist or do I create my very own ‘perfect’ show? It’s a bit of both. My U22 collection suffers from the fact that I have a yin for rarities and the fact that there are songs on the longlist, mainstays in U2’s shows, that I’ve either never cared for or never want to hear again in my life. (I’m looking at you, Pride.) This leaves me with an abundance of mellow tunes and little leeway to shape light and dark in the set. I had to drop in one or two tracks that weren’t my first choice. Compromise, that’s nothing new to you…

So here’s my personal U2360° live brought back to 22 songs, hand picked to create, hopefully, a credible souvenir of the tour. Claw not included.'

1.    Return of the Stingray Guitar
2.    Breathe
3.    No Line on the Horizon
4.    The Fly
5.    I Will Follow
6.    I'll Go Crazy if I Don't Go Crazy Tonight (Remix)
7.    New Year's Day
8.    Electrical Storm
9.    Your Blue Room
10. Stay
11. Spanish Eyes
12. Miss Sarajevo
13. Unknown Caller
14. Zooropa
15. The Unforgettable Fire
16. City of Blinding Lights
17. Ultraviolet (Light My Way)
18. Scarlet
19. Mothers of the Disappeared
20. Bad
21. 40
      22.Moment of Surrender

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

U2.COM : 'Sick Puppy'

''Ah! It's the bass part from Mysterious Ways...'

With the 20th anniversary edition of Achtung Baby now released worldwide, in our latest clip from Davis Guggenheim's From the Sky Down, Bono and Edge recall the birth of a classic track.