When I am at a u2 show - and I've seen six over the years - I never ever once question how much I paid because I could never name another place for any price I'd rather be. We all talk about living in the now but it's one of the few times all the crap in life melts away and I really feel present. The memories / man I don't even know what I had for lunch two days ago but so many vivid , palpable , take it to the grave memories of their shows. Some of my friends gripe about costs well tell me - name one thing you could do that night of the show instead that's going to stay with you like that . I paid $350 a pop to see R.E.M. in college (1987) and man - ESP now that they crumbled and dissolved it was worth it - every penny . Anyway everyone has a right to their opinion but at some point analysis destroys wholes...
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You make a great point. And analysis is useless, since no one can know what and how the members of U2 think. U2 are one of the few bands that spend a crap load of money to make a revolutionary stage set for their fans...they continue to be creative in live shows. I don't know of any other bands that put so much thought, creativity AND money into forging new ways to make a rock show. I believe you get your money's worth in the ticket prices, and I have on occasion paid scalper prices to go, but I never regretted it.
U2 really don't need the money, and I believe they are true artists, no different than a successful painter or film maker. Why would a rich film maker make another movie? Would you criticize him or her for trying to make another movie...some flop, some may be great works of art.
Retirement, old age, etc are all artificially constructed by us keeping track of time...there are many very successful CEOs who work well into their 70s, 80s and love what they do. Rock n roll is relatively young as an art form, who is to say what and when anyone should give up and stop because they are no longer relevant.
Listen to the Podcast, Off Camera with Sam Jones, episode 62. He interviews The Edge and you get a clear sense of who these 4 guys are and why they still fight to make great albums and music, when really, they do not need to, they want to. And for anyone to question "why" they do what they do is purely speculation. No one can go into the head of anyone else and know what they think.
And all the talk about set lists and 'greatest hits' tours is crap. I&E was new and innovative...and what all of us LOVE about going to see U2 live is the 'oneness' of the crowd, the fans, singing together and feeling the love...even the not so hard core fans get swept up in that moment and feel something they don't get at many other concerts...and for that reason it's important they play song most people love and know, or else that energy isn't quite the same. I would love to hear some more rare songs, for sure, but I've never left disappointed from a U2 concert and I've seen about 20 shows since 1987. I personally would rather see U2 in a huge venue than in a small club, specifically for that reason.
I hope the JT tour will reintroduce some former casual fans into seeing how great U2 still is, live, and musically.
If you haven't listened to it yet, check out the interview with Edge, it's really quite telling of what U2 are about. I believe you can be a true artist and still make lots of money...there's no crime to that. Money isn't evil and does not take away from art. It may in some cases, but I do believe that money and art can exist together.
Check Episode 62:
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