U2

Discussion regarding other bands, movies, etc.
Message
Author
blackcoffee
Posts: 792
Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2011 2:24 pm

Re: U2

#161 Post by blackcoffee » Mon Dec 11, 2017 6:40 pm

AM waiting for Panda's review of the new album.

User avatar
Larry B.
Posts: 6831
Joined: Fri Aug 05, 2011 6:25 am
Location: Back in Santiago.

Re: U2

#162 Post by Larry B. » Tue Dec 12, 2017 6:27 am

Preview: It's absolute shit.

User avatar
Pandemonium
Posts: 5194
Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2011 3:18 pm

Re: U2

#163 Post by Pandemonium » Tue Dec 12, 2017 5:01 pm

Larry B. wrote:Preview: It's absolute shit.
I wouldn't go that far, at least to my ears it's better then the last album "Songs Of Innocence" which I consider to be the worst album they've ever put out. The first time I listened to it, for the first few songs I was thinking "this might be a really solid album" but that opinion started giving way to "this song sucks, this song sucks, this song sucks" as I waded through the last half of the album. The opening track "Love Is All We Have Left" should be the closing song on the upcoming tour and "You're The Best Thing About Me" is a solid single. Past that, there's not much to recommend... I guess Summer Of Love and Red Flag Day are ok in a kind of simple Beatle-esque light pop tune thing but especially the songs that try to rawk like The Blackout and the obnoxious American Soul make it appear U2 have completely run out of ideas.

Speaking of American Soul, someone explain to me how you can take a promising song like this...



...and fuck it up and make it this:


User avatar
Larry B.
Posts: 6831
Joined: Fri Aug 05, 2011 6:25 am
Location: Back in Santiago.

Re: U2

#164 Post by Larry B. » Wed Dec 13, 2017 4:50 am

Yeah, the only track I can swallow is "You're The Best Thing About Me", which has been in rotation in my house. The rest is so forgettable, it's almost painful. And similarly to their previous album, there's just too much Bono in it. There's barely any space for the music, Bono is always there pushing his poorly crafted rhymes.

Any predictions on when they'll call it a day, Panda? At what point the cow dries out?

User avatar
Pandemonium
Posts: 5194
Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2011 3:18 pm

Re: U2

#165 Post by Pandemonium » Wed Dec 13, 2017 4:35 pm

Larry B. wrote:Yeah, the only track I can swallow is "You're The Best Thing About Me", which has been in rotation in my house. The rest is so forgettable, it's almost painful. And similarly to their previous album, there's just too much Bono in it. There's barely any space for the music, Bono is always there pushing his poorly crafted rhymes.

Any predictions on when they'll call it a day, Panda? At what point the cow dries out?
Achtung Baby 30th Anniversary/Greatest Hits stadium cash-in tour in 2021 is my guess.

I'm going to the 2nd LA Forum show next May. It's kind of like I'm continuing to see them when they roll around partly because they're one of the bands I saw every tour since day one and don't want to break the streak nearly 40 years in and also I figure they don't have too many more tours left in the tank. And to be fair, even if the new music has mostly blown the last 3 albums, they still put on a solid show and the production they've used for arenas for the 2015 tour and presumably this one is admittedly pretty cool.

blackcoffee
Posts: 792
Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2011 2:24 pm

Re: U2

#166 Post by blackcoffee » Thu Dec 14, 2017 10:12 pm

Thanks for the review, Panda. I have a love/hate relationship with this band. I remember the exact moment I heard U2 War. I might have been in 8th or 9th grade. Joshua Tree was the album my high school class ranked as #1, but it wasn't to my taste at the time. When Bono tried to convince us they were edgy and/or alternative in the early 90s I wasn't buying it, but I listen to songs from that period now. I did like All That You Can't Leave Behind. Seems I heard it around 9/11 and it stuck. And since then I'm always curious about what they'll do next.

User avatar
Pandemonium
Posts: 5194
Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2011 3:18 pm

Re: U2

#167 Post by Pandemonium » Wed May 02, 2018 6:18 pm

Setlist for opening night of the tour. Probably the weakest, weirdest set I've ever seen from the band. No Joshua Tree songs. A few deep rare cuts, the same first half as the 2015 tour. It will be weird seeing a U2 show without Streets in the set....

Image

User avatar
Pandemonium
Posts: 5194
Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2011 3:18 pm

Re: U2

#168 Post by Pandemonium » Thu May 17, 2018 12:46 pm

Caught my 31st, U2 concert dating back to 1981 last night (LA Forum night 2). Almost exactly a year to the day from seeing them last year on their 2nd night of their Joshua Tree tour Rose Bowl stand. I have never seen a truly awful U2 show, and most of them have been really good to excellent concerts with a few I’d rank as in the top 10 shows I’ve ever seen.

However, last night’s show ranks at the very bottom of this long streak of shows I’ve seen from U2. It’s not really due to performance issues, Bono still sounds pretty solid in his late 50’s, the rest of the band still plays well even if the use of backing tracks and additional unseen live backing (under)stage to pad out songs including backing vocals is more prominent and sometimes distracting then ever these days. And to be fair, there were plenty of people happy with the show during and afterwords.

The stage production, much the same as in 2015’s IE arena tour although there’s some worthy new tricks this tour involving the huge suspended video screen that divides the arena floor down the middle. The sound was arguably better in the Forum last night versus the 2015 tour which imo, was over the threshold of being painfully loud at least on the floor. Last night, it loud but not painfully so, however the bass and drums seemed more muddy and boomy then I recall in 2015.

No, the basic problem with this show and the tour as it stands in general is the poorly paced setlist heavy with (imo) mostly mediocre songs from the last 2 studio albums, even more than usual pontificating from Bono (at times with a bullhorn, no less) and some arrangements of songs which in most cases absolutely guts them of whatever power and impact they had in previous performances or original album versions. I will readily admit I am no fan of the last two albums which certainly colors my opinion of the current shows and I can’t believe more than a couple songs if any from these two albums will make it into future tours.

The overall concept of the show is a near-Broadway style production vacillating between Bono’s somewhat abstract “Innocence and Experience” and the ham fisted lecturing of how America has apparently suddenly gone down the toilet since Trump won/stole (depending on one’s pov) the election. In the past, similar points were often succinctly addressed in the confines of vastly superior songs such as the visuals addressing growing European fascism in the 1993 Zooropa tour version of “Bullet The Blue Sky” or the opening run of Boy/October songs early in a typical Vertigo tour setlist. Now, audiences are hammered with a brace of new, mediocre songs and visuals making similar points in a much less elegant way.

Still, there were high points. The introduction into “Love Is All We Have Left” is poignant. When the band kicked into “I Will Follow” playing the song as basically the four guys who originally wrote and performed the song, the band and crowd lit up. That momentum carried through a somewhat rushed, out of time performances of All Because Of You and Beautiful Day (Edge barely had time to switch guitars between those songs). But once the set settled into a rather muddy sounding version of The Ocean with Bono awkwardly explaining the “Innocence” portion of the set, the air was out of the building and only briefly returned during Raised By Wolves and especially for Until The End Of The World for the first set. I will admit I was disappointed to not get Gloria or Red Flag Day. It used to be that 2nd or final shows of a multi-date stand would be the better nights, especially for U2 – that no longer seems to be the case.

Say what you will about burnout tracks Elevation and Vertigo, but the audience still gets into the songs which led off arguably the best part of the show in the 2nd half. Acrobat especially is a great performance of the song although the awkward McPhisto bit before the song needs a lot of fine tuning.

The acoustic version of You’re The Best Thing About Me ranks right up there with the current version of Sunday Bloody Sunday as the worst reimagining of one of their songs ever. Simply kills the song and while the acoustic version of Staring At The Sun is better, it’s still frankly boring to sit through.

Pride kicked off the “political” portion of the set with an extended bass and drums intro as Adam and Edge took stations on small risers on the floor at half court. Along with footage of rioting and protests from the last few years featuring much KKK footage, Bono blairs about “This is not America!” through his megaphone. This led to the absolutely cringe-worthy posturing/lecturing of “Get Out Of Your Own Way” and “American Soul.” This was Bono/U2 at their most insufferable. Nice of them to hang a gigantic American Flag blocking off the view of the entire section behind the stage while Bono yells at the audience to “Stand up for America.” Honestly, a song like City Of Blinding Lights as the single big “classic” upbeat encore rocker is never going to come close to Where The Streets Have No Name and comes up short, too little, too late. Many in the audience were streaming out in droves after City Of Blinding Lights, many thinking the show was over or just getting a head start on the traffic getting out of Inglewood. I will say I (and apparently Bono) was surprised at the audience carrying the chorus of “Love Is Bigger~” at the end of the song. After the true finale of the show after closing song “13,” the remaining crowd response was subdued confusion (“that’s it?!?”).

The show seemed pretty close to if not completely sold out by 8:30. The band came on late (for them) around 8:45. The vibe in the audience (even for notoriously stoic LA crowds) was very different from every previous U2 concert I’ve ever seen. Sure, the absence of any Joshua Tree and many other big warhorse favorites had something to do with it but the show simply lacked the well-crafted buildup, peak and fulfilment of a typical U2 concert, something that could easily be addressed without negating the overall theme of this tour or falling back on the usual Joshua Tree/Achtung Baby crowd-pleasers.

After the whole U2.com fanclub/Verified Ticket fiasco and the disappointment from last night’s show, I will have to think long and hard before committing to seeing this band again.

User avatar
SR
Posts: 6708
Joined: Wed Aug 03, 2011 12:56 pm

Re: U2

#169 Post by SR » Thu May 17, 2018 1:14 pm

Sounds like I would have enjoyed the vitriol. Too bad they chose a set list and arrangements to not punctuate it.

User avatar
Pandemonium
Posts: 5194
Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2011 3:18 pm

Re: U2

#170 Post by Pandemonium » Sat Sep 01, 2018 2:09 pm

U2 started their European leg of the current tour this week. Unfortunately for the 2nd show in Berlin, Bono's voice completely crapped out 4 songs into the set and he barely made it through 5th song Beautiful Day before stopping the show and the band leaving the stage for a "break." After about 45 minutes, it was announced the show was over and that fans hold on to their tickets for either refunds or a possible rescheduled date.


Post Reply