U2 scans new political landscape at US `Joshua Tree` tour debut

  • Posted at: 17 May, 2017, in Entertainment


SEATTLE: With evocative montages of the American west scrolling on screens behind them, Irish rockers U2 kicked off the US leg of their Joshua Tree tour on Sunday with a few jabs at the new political landscape.


The tour was billed as a look back at the band`s 1987 breakthrough album The Joshua Tree with its globe-spanning hits With Or Without You and I Still Haven`t Found What I`m Looking For.


U2 started with one of their even earlier songs, Sunday Bloody Sunday and its opening lines "I can`t believe the news today", before roaring through New Year’s Day, Pride, and the whole Joshua Tree LP played in the order of its tracklist.


Bono largely steered clear of the overt references to President Donald Trump that had peppered his performances during the election campaign. But more guarded references to modern-day events kept breaking through. "Some of you think that the dream is dead. Maybe that dream is just telling you to wake up," Bono said during Pride, as the words of Martin Luther King were projected behind him.


The screen switched to images of models in front of a faded American flag and vast desert landscapes. Other scenes showed the destruction in Syria and a girl there appealing for help.


Speaking about the band`s charitable organisation One, which fights poverty, Bono urged the crowd to "organise" for change. "Nothing scares ... politicians like people getting organised. That`s how it should be, the government scared of the people, not the other way around," he said.


The lead singer gave a shout out to Bill and Melinda Gates, who were both in the sold-out audience at Seattle`s CenturyLink Field venue, hailing them as "luminary figures" for their charitable work.


Pearl Jam frontman Eddie Vedder, joined the band on stage for Mothers of the Disappeared, the last track on The Joshua Tree`s flipside.


The band saved more recent hits for the encore, belting out It`s a Beautiful Day and Elevation as Bono called on women to "unite to rewrite history as `her-story`".


Bono also acknowledged US Mother`s Day on Sunday, dedicating the song Ultraviolet to "women who stood up or sat down for their rights, who insisted, resisted, persisted for their rights".


U2 will play 33 shows to 1.7 million people during the Joshua Tree tour. The tour is also the top-selling concert in the US this summer, according to ticket seller StubHub, with most shows already sold out.


Top-selling live act in summer 2017


U2 came out as the top-selling live music act in the US for summer 2017, ticket seller StubHub said on Sunday, outpacing pop acts such as Ed Sheeran and Lady Gaga with a concert tour celebrating its seminal Joshua Tree album.


U2`s 13-stop The Joshua Tree Tour 2017 topped the list of most popular live music acts in the United States between Memorial Day (May 29) and Labor Day (September 4). British singer Sheeran`s US leg of his "divide" tour came in at No. 2 with 32 shows over the summer.


Unlike most artists who tour in support of new albums, U2`s concert celebrates the 30th anniversary of its 1987 The Joshua Tree album, with lyrics that drew from the band`s travels across America and social commentary.

SEATTLE: With evocative montages of the American west scrolling on screens behind them, Irish rockers U2 kicked off the US leg of their Joshua Tree tour on Sunday with a few jabs at the new political landscape.The tour was billed as a look back at the band`s 1987 breakthrough album The Joshua Tree with its globe-spanning hits With Or Without You and I Still Haven`t Found What I`m Looking For.U2 started with one of their even earlier songs, Sunday Bloody Sunday and its opening lines "I can`t believe the news today", before roaring through New Year’s Day, Pride, and the whole Joshua Tree LP played in the order of its tracklist.Bono largely steered clear of the overt references to President Donald Trump that had peppered his performances during the election campaign. But more guarded references to modern-day events kept breaking through. "Some of you think that the dream is dead. Maybe that dream is just telling you to wake up," Bono said during Pride, as the words of Martin Luther King were projected behind him.The screen switched to images of models in front of a faded American flag and vast desert landscapes. Other scenes showed the destruction in Syria and a girl there appealing for help.Speaking about the band`s charitable organisation One, which fights poverty, Bono urged the crowd to "organise" for change. "Nothing scares ... politicians like people getting organised. That`s how it should be, the government scared of the people, not the other way around," he said.The lead singer gave a shout out to Bill and Melinda Gates, who were both in the sold-out audience at Seattle`s CenturyLink Field venue, hailing them as "luminary figures" for their charitable work.Pearl Jam frontman Eddie Vedder, joined the band on stage for Mothers of the Disappeared, the last track on The Joshua Tree`s flipside.The band saved more recent hits for the encore, belting out It`s a Beautiful Day and Elevation as Bono called on women to "unite to rewrite history as `her-story`".Bono also acknowledged US Mother`s Day on Sunday, dedicating the song Ultraviolet to "women who stood up or sat down for their rights, who insisted, resisted, persisted for their rights".U2 will play 33 shows to 1.7 million people during the Joshua Tree tour. The tour is also the top-selling concert in the US this summer, according to ticket seller StubHub, with most shows already sold out.U2 came out as the top-selling live music act in the US for summer 2017, ticket seller StubHub said on Sunday, outpacing pop acts such as Ed Sheeran and Lady Gaga with a concert tour celebrating its seminal Joshua Tree album.U2`s 13-stop The Joshua Tree Tour 2017 topped the list of most popular live music acts in the United States between Memorial Day (May 29) and Labor Day (September 4). British singer Sheeran`s US leg of his "divide" tour came in at No. 2 with 32 shows over the summer.Unlike most artists who tour in support of new albums, U2`s concert celebrates the 30th anniversary of its 1987 The Joshua Tree album, with lyrics that drew from the band`s travels across America and social commentary.

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