I am really getting torn about U2. I have been a rabid fan for 25+ years and the last few years with them has been hard. I loved NLOTH, it was better then I expected but something still wasn't right. I loved the 2 360 shows I saw but something was still missing. I can't actually pinpoint what it is but something definitely is lacking. It's not me as I can listen to the JT and AB era and get the same feeling I have always gotten. ATYCLB and HTDAAB are 2 cds I never listen to and just can't make it through anymore.
I can honestly say unless the next CD is a killer I may not even see them live. I haven't missed a tour since The Unforgettable Fire.
I used to feel about POP as I do now about NLOTH, and I have been a fan for the release of both. I am a hardcore Achtung Baby and Zooropa fan so POP was like, "Wha...?"
Some songs are brilliant from NLOTH but it's like I'm not completely bonded to it yet. The thing is, if you asked me my opinion of POP right now, I'd tell you it's one of my top favorite U2 albums. It just took time to truly discover what was great about it.
Even if U2 put out another album that I felt a bit of a disconnect with like NLOTH, I'd NEVER miss a tour. Going to U2 concerts to me is much more than hearing songs off the current album being played live, though that's what keeps going to concerts a long time fresh. Actually, with the 360 tour I discovered I liked songs off NLOTH a lot more after seeing them played live. (Breathe is an example.)
That said, I will admit that I also felt like something was lacking after the 360 shows I went to. I had a ton of fun attending multiple shows but not one of them did I feel "satisfied" like I have with any other tours I've seen shows for. Not sure what this was!
I think once U2 puts something new out, the energy for being a fan will be invigorated in us that feel kind of "lost" or disappointed from U2 right now.