Tuesday, July 30, 2013

U2's Upcoming Tour: Three Fan-Friendly Scenarios

The U2 fan community went into a mini-frenzy today due to a story on an Italian fan site claiming to have inside info on the tour. According to Google Translate, the story states, "One of our inside sources inside the band's management informs us that the organization phase of the new tour is at full capacity. . . The Irish band seems to have no intention of touching fewer cities but to do more concerts in the same location, for example every city three concerts instead of touching different cities and make a full concert. . . each concert with a different setlist."
We'd usually never run a rumor as poorly sourced as that one. Translation issues aside, it seems unlikely that a management source is blabbing about this. Also, the European media doesn't have the best track record when it comes to accuracy. In fact, very little is known about their tour plans. Bono has been pretty clear about the fact that they don't want another stadium run like the massive 360 Tour that ran from 2009 and 2011 and shattered attendance records wherever it went. It's a safe bet they're going back to arenas, much like they did in 2001 after the enormous PopMart stadium tour of 1997/98. (On that note, little is also known about U2's upcoming album, other than Danger Mouse is the producer and it's coming out sometime in the not-too-distant future.)
All that said, the phrase "each concert with a different setlist" did grab our attention. U2 do change around their setlist a bit as their tours go on, but not nearly enough to please the hardcore fans. The vast, vast majority of their catalog remains unplayed throughout the course of their tours.
So let's pretend that this rumor is true. Here are some ways they could structure the shows to make the fans go absolutely insane.
Scenario 1 - Complete Album Shows
Night One:  War + the new album
Night Two: The Joshua Tree + the new album
Night Three: Achtung Baby + the new album
Pros: It seems like the obvious move, since so many bands have had great success with this in recent years. Hardcores will go every night and they will finally get to hear super-deep cuts like "Drowning Man,"  "Red Hill Mining Town," "The Refugee" and "Acrobat" live. They could even swap around the albums as the tour goes on, forcing fans to fly all over the world for the chance to hear Zooropa or October live. 
Cons: It's hard to imagine U2 will want to do something so nakedly nostalgic. Also, it can be a bit lame when you go into a concert and you know exactly what songs they're gonna play and in what order. It takes out much of the fun.  
Scenario 2 - Decades Nights
Night One: The 1980s + selections from the new album
Night Two: The 1990s + selections from the new album
Night Three: The 2000s + selections from the new album
Pros: This is still an unabashed nostalgia-fest, but it opens them up to a broader range of material. On night one, they could play hits hits like "Where The Streets Have No Name" and super-obscurities like "I Threw a Brick Through a Window." It'll please the superfans, but not leave the casual ones bored.  
Cons: To be frank, night three will be a bit of a letdown. There's plenty of great songs from the 2000s, but it's their weakest decade. 
Scenario 3 - Theme Nights
Night One: Hits + selections from the new album
Night Two: Rarities + selections from the new album
Night Three: Band's choice 
Pros: If they do this, they won't be tied to a single time period each night. The casual fans can all attend night one, and the hardcores can come to night two and have the chance to hear 1980s rarities like "Surrender" followed by latter-stuff like "Daddy's Gonna Pay for Your Crashed Car" and "Moment of Surrender." Then night three can be a nice balance of the two nights.
Cons: There really aren't any cons for this one. It seems like everybody wins, except the casual fans that find themselves at rarities night and have to endure "Your Blue Room" followed by "A Different Kind of Blue" and "Pete the Chop." 
source : http://www.rollingstone.com/ by Andy Greene

Monday, July 29, 2013

U2.COM : On Mick Jagger At 70

In a wide-ranging interview with the journalist Martin Scholz for Germany’s Die Welt, Bono has paid homage to Mick Jagger who turned seventy on Friday. Bono is a longtime friend of The Stones frontman and says one of the many things he likes about Mick as a person ‘is that he always speaks his mind openly and he never talks much about himself. He is not a narcissistic person.’ 

Die Welt asks Bono '…. what goes through your mind when you see this man running across the stage for more than two hours, dancing, shaking, singing without stopping, as he has done it for more than, well, 50 years now?' 
'There are a lot of things I admire about Mick Jagger, ' replies Bono, 'He looks like Baryshnikov, he is like a ballet dancer from another age. And he has a very beautiful face, and it is made more beautiful by all the lines in his face. Why? Because he wears them so well. I love the lines in his face.’ 

As consecutive tours by U2 and The Stones continue to break audience records, Bono laughs that any competition between the bands is ‘only on a humorous level’. ‘If you put on big shows, people understand by now better that you are spending the money on them. High production cost are investments in the audience, because you want to make sure that they get something for their money.’ 

Die Welt asks what is the most common misconception about The Stones. Bono muses that 'people often wonder why Mick is so savvy, they criticise that he is so good with the numbers and money' before explaining the reason is that The Stones lost a lot of money in the early days. He goes on to say. 'It´s that left-brain-right-brain-thing that I particularly admire, the combination of the creative and the management-part which is a rare thing among artists, musicians – not amongst filmmakers or architects though.' 

Martin Scholz translated his interview with Bono directly into German for last week’s publication. But if you speak German and you read that original interview on the Die Welt website you'll have noticed several sections have been mis-translated and mis-reported by some English language websites. As Martin Scholz points out, these versions in English 'even invented a sentence which doesn’t exist’. 

Martin got in touch with us to express his dismay with how some publications had created a false impression of the interview. The original interview in German is a great read and we’re planning to bring you an accurate English translation on U2.com.

Friday, July 26, 2013

U2.COM : 'Letting The Moments Speak For Themselves.'

He failed photography at high school, and had to take all his pictures of U2 from within the crowd. So how come Otto Kitsinger ended up going to over 100 shows and being sought out by thousands of fans on-line, as well as by Rolling Stone magazine and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, for his performance photos of U2? Special to U2.com subscribers, Brian Draper spoke to a photographer who’s taken some of the most memorable live pictures of U2... and here Otto talks us through some of his favourite shots

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

U2.COM : Commandeur De L'Ordre Des Arts Et Des Lettres

Minister of Culture Aurélie Filippetti presented the Commander of the Order of Arts and Letters to Bono today, in a ceremony at the Ministry of Culture and Communication in Paris.
The award, which is the highest cultural honour of France, is awarded in recognition of Bono's contribution to music and the arts.
Speaking of Bono today Minister Filippetti said: “Beyond notes and beyond words, you committed yourself and dedicated your fame and career to wage some of the greatest wars of our time. Not for charity’s sake but in the name of Justice.”
Bono said of the award: “This is a huge honour for me, but really it belongs to the band.  I've got the biggest mouth and the loudest voice but the music we make comes from each other. Being an Irish Francophile, a student of many great French artists and writers… it is unspeakably special to receive an award from France for being an artist.  Thank you.”

Previous recipients of the award include: Patti Smith, Václav Havel, David Bowie, Séamus Heaney, Anish Kapoor, T.S. Elliot and Bob Dylan. Today's award follows a 2003 honour, when Bono received the prestigious French decoration, the Legion D’Honneur from the then President Chirac. Other awards  include being made Time Magazine’s Person of the Year in 2005, and an honorary British knighthood in 2007.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Bono and U2 celebrate completion of their 13th studio album in New York

Bono and company were in New York recently putting the finishing touches on their latest studio album at the Electric Lady Studios in Manhattan.
This new album, the 13th album in U2’s discography, is as yet untitled but what is known is that the band has enlisted the mixing talents of musician/producer Danger Mouse of Gnarls Barkley fame.
In addition to Bono, The Edge, Adam Clayton, and Larry Mullen Jr., Coldplay’s Chris Martin was spotted on the scene, potentially as a featuring artist on the new album. Immediately following the wrap-up of the album, the band hosted a celebratory bash atop the studio.
Some famous faces turned up to wish the band success on the new album including Julian Casablancas of The Strokes and supermodel Helena Christensen.
At this rooftop celebration, the band also recorded an acoustic version video of ‘Sunday Bloody Sunday’ featuring Clayton on piano for “global participatory art project” Inside Out.
Though no official release date has been stated, Adam Clayton has expressed told AtU2, “[They] very much want to have a record out by the end of the year, September, October, November; that kind of time.”