U2 6/28/17

(a) setlist

    1. Sunday Bloody Sunday
    2. New Year’s Day
    3. Bad
    4. Pride (In The Name of Love)
  1. The Joshua Tree
    1. Where The Streets Have No Name
    2. I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For
    3. With or Without You
    4. Bullet The Blue Sky
    5. Running To Stand Still
    6. Red Hill Mining Town
    7. In God’s Country
    8. Trip Through Your Wires
    9. One Tree Hill
    10. Exit
    11. Mothers of the Disappeared

Encore:

  1. Miss Sarajevo
  2. Beautiful Day
  3. Elevation
  4. Vertigo
  5. Ultraviolet (Light My Way)
  6. One
  7. The Little Things That Give You Away

 

(b) highlights

  • U2!!!!! what!!
  • people who hate U2 and people who hate Joshua Tree and people who hate Bono are the epitome of why 60% of the Bible is God going, “Oh, you don’t like when I give you nice things? Fine, here’s a plague, here’s a flood, learn to swim, girl bye.”
  • can we just talk about the first 7 songs in this setlist. just those 7. um. Give me the name of ONE band in the world right now that’s still together and still performing that has 7 incredible, perfect, and more recognizable songs than “Sunday Bloody Sunday,” “New Year’s Day,” “Bad,” “Pride (In The Name of Love),” “Where The Streets Have No Name,” “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For,” and “With or Without You.” Please send the name of such bands and their songs to my twitter (@Kat_Wilde) or Instagram (@katgoestoshows) or comment below here, thanks.
  • ULTRAVIOLET (LIGHT MY WAY). I cried. the band paired it with incredible images of famous and infamous women in history who lit the way for all the women after. I seriously cried, so so beautiful.
  • Speaking of the visuals, CAN WE TALK ABOUT THE VISUALS?? none of my pictures do it justice. U2 takes production to The. Next. Level. Every. Time.

(c) lowlights

  • I have really bad anxiety with heights and we were so high up in this actual STADIUM that my ears popped, ugh
  • we were really far away but honestly that’s not Bono’s fault, that’s my wallet’s fault

 

(d) overall thoughts

I’ve seen U2 once before this and wrote extensively on how they get too much hate in what feels like every corner of the internet at this point, so I won’t go too much into it. Long story short, people who bitch about U2 are probably the same people who bitch about getting free bread before their meal at restaurants. Oh, they brought bread? Now I’m going to be too full for dinner 😦 Oh, pack it in. U2 is great, go choke on that bread.

MetLife in East Rutherford, New Jersey is a bit of a trek from New York City, but it wasn’t going to stop what felt like half of Midtown from piling into Penn Station. You couldn’t turn a single corner without seeing an authentic Joshua Tree tour shirt from 1987, or someone in an Innocence Tour tee. The crowd was overwhelmingly older – which is to be expected – but still crossing a lot of demographics. And I think that’s one of my favorite thing’s about this band’s music: despite having such a strong point of view, U2’s music truly crosses all barriers and time in such a way that anyone can connect with it. I mean, you’d have to be living in remote parts of the world to have never heard those first 7 tracks on that setlist and not felt even the slightest emotion of connection.

Even though Joshua Tree is an album that’s older than me, it’s no surprise that it was the one that finally gave U2 their big break in America. The imagery of the endless landscape, roaring mountains, dirty deserts, rusted cars on highways, all in God’s country – these monuments feel so embedded in Americana at this point that I feel like so many people have forgotten how U2 revitalized these sentiments during a time when no one was interested. There wasn’t much to be proud of in American culture in the mid-80’s with decades of war, homelessness, strife, attack on civil liberties, clear injustices and discrimination. U2 manages to address these points out of the music while celebrating the positive and only slightly touching on them in context. In a way, they remain respectful but vigilant – merely Irishmen living on the outside, but admiring within.

This performance at MetLife was ultimately successful not simply in its nostalgia (I mean, anyone can do nostalgia these days with more and more bands performing anniversary tours to both celebrate and cash checks), but in its ability to transport the audience and visually tell a musical story. The gigantic screen of lights 50 feet high and 200 feet across could be seen from any seat in the stadium, and truly led the crowd through not only 1987, but America. Everything U2 does feels precise, well-intentioned, and deliberate, which is not something I can say for other musicians of lesser caliber. And should mean something in 2017.

The earnestness, talent, and strength of Joshua Tree and U2’s music ultimately reveals more of its audience than the band. But you know what does give U2 away? This. At the very end of the show, Bono told the crowd, “Our first show in America was just across the river there. At the Ritz. Not all of you were there, I assure you. Only about 10 people were and that was 1980. It feels like we’ve come so far now and not too far at all.” Isn’t that amazing? Instantly, all at once, Bono has revealed all the cards in his hand and U2 makes so much sense as a band, a group, as people. And we should be so lucky.

Bottom line: U2 are untouchable, a true staple in the entirety of modern music. Only performers of their caliber could perform a 30-Year Anniversary tour for an album that remains more relevant than ever without appealing to pure nostalgia but simply transporting its listeners through a state of being. U2 have the honor of being both incredibly timely and utterly timeless, and that’s never a bad thing in my book.

 

U2 7/18/16

(a) setlist

  1. The Miracle (of Joey Ramone)
  2. The Electric Co.
  3. Vertigo
  4. I Will Follow
  5. Iris (Hold Me Close)
  6. Cedarwood Road
  7. Song For Someone
  8. Sunday Bloody Sunday
  9. Raised By Wolves
  10. Until the End of the World
  11. Invisible
  12. Even Better Than the Real Thing
  13. Mysterious Ways
  14. Elevation
  15. Ordinary Love
  16. October
  17. Every Breaking Wave
  18. With or Without You
  19. City of Blinding Lights
  20. Bullet the Blue Sky
  21. Pride (In The Name of Love)

Encore:

  1. Beautiful Day
  2. Where The Streets Have No Name
  3. One

(b) highlights

  • this was my first time seeing them!!!
  • U2 is INCREDIBLE, haters may proceed to the LEFT, BYEEEE
  • so so SO many great ass songs, like look at that encore, LOOK AT IT
  • making fun of Bono while also worshiping Bono is like my favorite thing to do ever
  • their production notoriously costs about $2947203 million dollars but damn, it is so worth it – I can’t even describe how intricate and unique the use of art and screens and projections was during this show, like wow
  • “Ordinary Love” was dedicated to Nelson Mandela because it was his birthday; then Bono just started naming people like Desmond Tutu and Yo-Yo Ma and like Angelina Jolie or whoever, saying they were all in the crowd tonight; like can you imagine what the U2 VIP guestlist must look like
  • Bono was top-notch Bono-y, I loved it

(c) lowlights

  • would’ve liked to hear “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” 😦 but damn that setlist was so good, so this complaint is a very minor one

(d) overall thoughts

I fell in love with U2 the summer of 2005 pretty much on accident. They, like the Beatles and the Beach Boys, had kind of always existed in the world I grew up in, but I somehow became enamored with their Best Of (1980-1989) when I was 14. I’ve heard for years that their live shows are next-level and with crazy cool production, so I was freaking psyched for this. And I totally was not disappointed.

I feel like a minority in saying that I actually enjoyed U2’s last album Songs of Innocence (and not just for the William Blake reference!) because most of the songs were genuinely great and, oh, sorry, I’m not gonna hate on a super popular band for literally GIVING ME THEIR ALBUM FOR FREE. (Why was everyone such a dick about that Apple thing? I really don’t get it. You got a free album. It’s a standard setting on iTunes for albums to NOT download, so you had to go OUT OF YOUR WAY to make sure iTunes put that album on your phone. Everyone is a douche, bye.) The newer material told a beautiful story that not only Bono spelled out for the audience between and sometimes during songs, but the visual story-telling with the projected artwork and jumbo screens was seriously awesome.

My friend and I were the youngest people in the crowd who weren’t there with their parents, but the crowd – for the most part – was pretty damn into it. Belting out the appropriate numbers (“Pride,” “Where the Streets,” and “With or WIthout You”) with everyone cheering and waving their arms made me wanna close my eyes and just listen to the individual notes. It was impossible to not smile throughout.

Also, hearing “One” for the first time almost exclusively reminded me of my favorite Noel Gallagher quote of all time: “(to Bono) Shut the fuck up about Africa and just play ‘One’!!”

Bottom Line: U2 is amazing, providing true evidence that showmanship is not dead, and everyone wants to be a hater for no reason because people don’t want to be reminded that their stupid lives are inherently better than poor kids in Africa, so everyone shits on Bono when he’s a wonderful man and his band is great, so SUCK IT.

Note: I took 14,283,382 photos, you’re welcome.