Author Topic: U2's Joshua Tree tour: stuck in the past, or a new sense of purpose?  (Read 6021 times)

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Offline This Dave

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Re: U2's Joshua Tree tour: stuck in the past, or a new sense of purpose?
« Reply #30 on: May 16, 2017, 01:38:24 AM »
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Certainly they deserve to look back a bit, though.  They have earned it.  Every act has a career arc, and it's worth noting that U2 has remained relevant for so long that they have far beaten expectations (TJT2017 tour is the hottest summer tour according to Stubhub).  They can't be all innovative all the time; every act coasts on past glories a bit, and that's okay.  Also, while they are reminiscing, they have given us a new song, and hints at a new album!

So let's enjoy it while they are still playing, folks.

I agree. I'm just saying that enjoyment of this tour doesn't require turning a blind eye and insisting that U2 have always and ever been forward-looking and innovative.

In the years to come, we will talk about this tour as the time we knew it was over. We won't admit it now. But we'll all know it later.

Offline Rik

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Re: U2's Joshua Tree tour: stuck in the past, or a new sense of purpose?
« Reply #31 on: May 16, 2017, 03:14:36 AM »
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As a band that never once in 30 years looked back at their own music, I find it kind of insulting that the minute U2 decides to reflect on their past for a bit, the world leaps on them and says "you can't do that." i find it even worse that fans complain about U2's new music and how they long for the good old days, and then whine about when they revisit those same days. to me the tour is the perfect balance between revisiting the past and being excited about the future. not to mention its a great way to get them back on the radar before their next album comes out.

Great post - couldn't agree more!

U2 can be accused of many things, but not for being stuck in the past. Actually a silly article for a quality newspaper such as The Guardian.

Offline jrodr079

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Re: U2's Joshua Tree tour: stuck in the past, or a new sense of purpose?
« Reply #32 on: May 16, 2017, 03:29:50 AM »
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Certainly they deserve to look back a bit, though.  They have earned it.  Every act has a career arc, and it's worth noting that U2 has remained relevant for so long that they have far beaten expectations (TJT2017 tour is the hottest summer tour according to Stubhub).  They can't be all innovative all the time; every act coasts on past glories a bit, and that's okay.  Also, while they are reminiscing, they have given us a new song, and hints at a new album!

So let's enjoy it while they are still playing, folks.

I agree. I'm just saying that enjoyment of this tour doesn't require turning a blind eye and insisting that U2 have always and ever been forward-looking and innovative.

In the years to come, we will talk about this tour as the time we knew it was over. We won't admit it now. But we'll all know it later.

Truth hurts. Deep down I think most of us agree.

Offline Jswallow

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Re: U2's Joshua Tree tour: stuck in the past, or a new sense of purpose?
« Reply #33 on: May 16, 2017, 03:38:48 AM »
I hope I look this cool at their agevisitors can't see pics , please You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login or You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login


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Offline the_chief

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Re: U2's Joshua Tree tour: stuck in the past, or a new sense of purpose?
« Reply #34 on: May 16, 2017, 03:49:09 AM »
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Certainly they deserve to look back a bit, though.  They have earned it.  Every act has a career arc, and it's worth noting that U2 has remained relevant for so long that they have far beaten expectations (TJT2017 tour is the hottest summer tour according to Stubhub).  They can't be all innovative all the time; every act coasts on past glories a bit, and that's okay.  Also, while they are reminiscing, they have given us a new song, and hints at a new album!

So let's enjoy it while they are still playing, folks.

I agree. I'm just saying that enjoyment of this tour doesn't require turning a blind eye and insisting that U2 have always and ever been forward-looking and innovative.

In the years to come, we will talk about this tour as the time we knew it was over. We won't admit it now. But we'll all know it later.

Over?

Mate, it's a band! It isn't a movement or a medical organisation, that are actively trying to change the world....

They make and play music. They made their mark, one of the biggest marks ever to be made.
They are touching their 60's....Anyone expecting another "relevant reinvention" needs to take a serious look at themselves and ask themselves, maybe they're the one's afraid of letting go of their youth 

So long as they make good music and play great shows, what's the problem?

Offline eddyjedi

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Re: U2's Joshua Tree tour: stuck in the past, or a new sense of purpose?
« Reply #35 on: May 16, 2017, 03:55:06 AM »
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Certainly they deserve to look back a bit, though.  They have earned it.  Every act has a career arc, and it's worth noting that U2 has remained relevant for so long that they have far beaten expectations (TJT2017 tour is the hottest summer tour according to Stubhub).  They can't be all innovative all the time; every act coasts on past glories a bit, and that's okay.  Also, while they are reminiscing, they have given us a new song, and hints at a new album!

So let's enjoy it while they are still playing, folks.

I agree. I'm just saying that enjoyment of this tour doesn't require turning a blind eye and insisting that U2 have always and ever been forward-looking and innovative.

In the years to come, we will talk about this tour as the time we knew it was over. We won't admit it now. But we'll all know it later.

Over?

Mate, it's a band! It isn't a movement or a medical organisation, that are actively trying to change the world....

They make and play music. They made their mark, one of the biggest marks ever to be made.
They are touching their 60's....Anyone expecting another "relevant reinvention" needs to take a serious look at themselves and ask themselves, maybe they're the one's afraid of letting go of their youth 

So long as they make good music and play great shows, what's the problem?

I think people feel that because they are the only band capable of big reinvention and if they can't do it I don't think anyone can. I certainly feel they are capable whether they do it or not doesn't matter though. They have nothing to prove.

Offline the_chief

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Re: U2's Joshua Tree tour: stuck in the past, or a new sense of purpose?
« Reply #36 on: May 16, 2017, 04:03:34 AM »
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Certainly they deserve to look back a bit, though.  They have earned it.  Every act has a career arc, and it's worth noting that U2 has remained relevant for so long that they have far beaten expectations (TJT2017 tour is the hottest summer tour according to Stubhub).  They can't be all innovative all the time; every act coasts on past glories a bit, and that's okay.  Also, while they are reminiscing, they have given us a new song, and hints at a new album!

So let's enjoy it while they are still playing, folks.

I agree. I'm just saying that enjoyment of this tour doesn't require turning a blind eye and insisting that U2 have always and ever been forward-looking and innovative.

In the years to come, we will talk about this tour as the time we knew it was over. We won't admit it now. But we'll all know it later.

Over?

Mate, it's a band! It isn't a movement or a medical organisation, that are actively trying to change the world....

They make and play music. They made their mark, one of the biggest marks ever to be made.
They are touching their 60's....Anyone expecting another "relevant reinvention" needs to take a serious look at themselves and ask themselves, maybe they're the one's afraid of letting go of their youth 

So long as they make good music and play great shows, what's the problem?

I think people feel that because they are the only band capable of big reinvention and if they can't do it I don't think anyone can. I certainly feel they are capable whether they do it or not doesn't matter though. They have nothing to prove.
And do these people realise how laughable it would be to see Bono and The Edge in something like their Zoo TV gear again? Or Adam in his Popmart stuff?

Musically, yes they could do it. Tourwise, they have with 360 and i+e....Image wise? Can you imagine Bono acting like and dressing like a 28 year old again, as he hits the big 60?

Some people need to realise that we're not getting another Zoo TV type era....Popmart was spectacular and yet, it's looked down on because it wasn't Zoo TV. It ain't happening

Offline xy

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Re: U2's Joshua Tree tour: stuck in the past, or a new sense of purpose?
« Reply #37 on: May 16, 2017, 05:14:39 AM »
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As a band that never once in 30 years looked back at their own music, I find it kind of insulting that the minute U2 decides to reflect on their past for a bit, the world leaps on them and says "you can't do that."

Revisionist history much?

Look, I was at last night's show and loved it for what it was, quibbles aside (and there are plenty). But to suggest that U2 has "never once in 30 years looked back at their own music" demonstrates not a moment of critical reflection on the band's own propaganda.

U2 started looking backwards before the PopMart stage was disassembled in Johannesburg:

- They re-recorded The Sweetest Thing, a B-side from a single from 11 years prior, and used for its cover old pics of the kid from War, and had as its B-sides old live recordings from the Boy album.

- They have put out 2 Best Of collections, as well as the U218 set.

- They released U2 by U2, a book that's a look back at their career up to that point.

- ATYCLB was explicitly touted as an attempt by the band to recover their prior greatness and "reapply" for that job.

- The Elevation Tour was characterized by Bono actually pretending that it was 1980 again, introducing the band and introducing their early songs by saying things like, "We're a band called U2, this is our first single."

- HTDAAB was hailed as a throwback to Boy, and its supporting tour reinforced that by showing the Boy album cover on the screen as they played songs from that album.

- They released an entire documentary about Achtung Baby and even went back to the studio where it was recorded and drove around Berlin in old Trabants (and what was funny was that, despite everything I've listed above, Bono insisted that FTSD was this utterly uncharacteristic look back!).

- The 360 Tour devolved from supporting their new album to dropping almost all those songs and playing loads of stuff from Achtung Baby.

- Their most recent album, SOI, is explicitly backward-looking. Almost every song is about Bono's past (the street he grew up on, the bombing that happened in that road he used to walk to school down, his mother, that one time they saw The Ramones, how influential The Clash were, etc.).

- The i+e Tour was replete with harkenings back to the past (Bono as a teen playing guitar in his room, etc.).

- And now we are asked to believe that this Joshua Tree 2.0 Tour is NOT exactly what anyone with any critical faculties sees it to blatantly be, namely, a nostalgic look back at their former glories?

Again, I have loved U2 since 1983, I listen to my SOI playlist almost weekly, and I had a great time at the show last night. And I am not saying that these things I have listed are necessarily bad. But for anyone to insist that U2 "has never looked back even once" is to drink the Kool-Aid and bury one's head in the sand.

I'm sure all these historical facts will be dismissed as "negativity" by the more sycophantic types here (you know, those who post shirtless pics of Larry in the Band section and know what Edge's kid had for breakfast yesterday). And that's fine, to each their own and all that.

But others of us will still be around, pointing out that just because the masses are insisting that the emperor's clothes are beautiful doesn't prove he's actually wearing any.

Let us take a closer look at this though :

- Yes, they released Best of compilations. This, by most views, is something all bands do eventually and isn't necessarily seen as nostalgic.

- They certainly reapplied for the job with ATYCLB. A new direction for the band.

- I think the main message for Elevation was not to take anything for granted ; thus the band introductions. While certainly hits-filled they did still promote new music.

- Eh. I think HTDAAB owes more to JT era U2 - that chime is vintage late 80's Edge. Agreed - despite "no reverse gears on this tank" Bomb is the first U2 album loaded with nods to the past. A little less so the trend continued on NLOTH and SOI.

- True, but Bono has a point in that U2 never sat down like that and discussed an album before. They also did a 20yrs anniversary editions of JT and AB. Is that nostalgic too ?

- I still consider this a low point in their setlist history. Dropping NLOTH in favor of AB was a bad move imo.

- Bono does tackle some of his old themes (his mother, Ali, violence in N. Ireland etc) but then again he hasn't written about hearing Clash or Ramones or C. Road before. That said, a lot of writers tend to have themes they often get back to.

- have yet to see I/E myself.

And all THAT said - this is absolutely nostalgia. Hey if JT is your fave album and you always wanted to hear it, enjoy and have fun. However, I'm not inclined to applaud a band that would skip a new album in favor of touring a 30 yr old album. I'm willing to cut them some slack if them playing Little things that give you away means SOE is coming later this year. And for all we know JT30 may be Live Nation twisting their arm because SOE isn't out yet, thus I/E tour doesn't continue.
 But still...it's dissapointing to see a band once so focused on new material so bent on looking back.

Offline the_chief

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Re: U2's Joshua Tree tour: stuck in the past, or a new sense of purpose?
« Reply #38 on: May 16, 2017, 06:54:48 AM »
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As a band that never once in 30 years looked back at their own music, I find it kind of insulting that the minute U2 decides to reflect on their past for a bit, the world leaps on them and says "you can't do that."

Revisionist history much?

Look, I was at last night's show and loved it for what it was, quibbles aside (and there are plenty). But to suggest that U2 has "never once in 30 years looked back at their own music" demonstrates not a moment of critical reflection on the band's own propaganda.

U2 started looking backwards before the PopMart stage was disassembled in Johannesburg:

- They re-recorded The Sweetest Thing, a B-side from a single from 11 years prior, and used for its cover old pics of the kid from War, and had as its B-sides old live recordings from the Boy album.

- They have put out 2 Best Of collections, as well as the U218 set.

- They released U2 by U2, a book that's a look back at their career up to that point.

- ATYCLB was explicitly touted as an attempt by the band to recover their prior greatness and "reapply" for that job.

- The Elevation Tour was characterized by Bono actually pretending that it was 1980 again, introducing the band and introducing their early songs by saying things like, "We're a band called U2, this is our first single."

- HTDAAB was hailed as a throwback to Boy, and its supporting tour reinforced that by showing the Boy album cover on the screen as they played songs from that album.

- They released an entire documentary about Achtung Baby and even went back to the studio where it was recorded and drove around Berlin in old Trabants (and what was funny was that, despite everything I've listed above, Bono insisted that FTSD was this utterly uncharacteristic look back!).

- The 360 Tour devolved from supporting their new album to dropping almost all those songs and playing loads of stuff from Achtung Baby.

- Their most recent album, SOI, is explicitly backward-looking. Almost every song is about Bono's past (the street he grew up on, the bombing that happened in that road he used to walk to school down, his mother, that one time they saw The Ramones, how influential The Clash were, etc.).

- The i+e Tour was replete with harkenings back to the past (Bono as a teen playing guitar in his room, etc.).

- And now we are asked to believe that this Joshua Tree 2.0 Tour is NOT exactly what anyone with any critical faculties sees it to blatantly be, namely, a nostalgic look back at their former glories?

Again, I have loved U2 since 1983, I listen to my SOI playlist almost weekly, and I had a great time at the show last night. And I am not saying that these things I have listed are necessarily bad. But for anyone to insist that U2 "has never looked back even once" is to drink the Kool-Aid and bury one's head in the sand.

I'm sure all these historical facts will be dismissed as "negativity" by the more sycophantic types here (you know, those who post shirtless pics of Larry in the Band section and know what Edge's kid had for breakfast yesterday). And that's fine, to each their own and all that.

But others of us will still be around, pointing out that just because the masses are insisting that the emperor's clothes are beautiful doesn't prove he's actually wearing any.

Let us take a closer look at this though :

- Yes, they released Best of compilations. This, by most views, is something all bands do eventually and isn't necessarily seen as nostalgic.

- They certainly reapplied for the job with ATYCLB. A new direction for the band.

- I think the main message for Elevation was not to take anything for granted ; thus the band introductions. While certainly hits-filled they did still promote new music.

- Eh. I think HTDAAB owes more to JT era U2 - that chime is vintage late 80's Edge. Agreed - despite "no reverse gears on this tank" Bomb is the first U2 album loaded with nods to the past. A little less so the trend continued on NLOTH and SOI.

- True, but Bono has a point in that U2 never sat down like that and discussed an album before. They also did a 20yrs anniversary editions of JT and AB. Is that nostalgic too ?

- I still consider this a low point in their setlist history. Dropping NLOTH in favor of AB was a bad move imo.

- Bono does tackle some of his old themes (his mother, Ali, violence in N. Ireland etc) but then again he hasn't written about hearing Clash or Ramones or C. Road before. That said, a lot of writers tend to have themes they often get back to.

- have yet to see I/E myself.

And all THAT said - this is absolutely nostalgia. Hey if JT is your fave album and you always wanted to hear it, enjoy and have fun. However, I'm not inclined to applaud a band that would skip a new album in favor of touring a 30 yr old album. I'm willing to cut them some slack if them playing Little things that give you away means SOE is coming later this year. And for all we know JT30 may be Live Nation twisting their arm because SOE isn't out yet, thus I/E tour doesn't continue.
 But still...it's dissapointing to see a band once so focused on new material so bent on looking back.


Bit of a music snob really then.

If that's the case, U2 have always looked back since 1986. I mean, after all, the music on JT is inspired by the RnB and American blues music of the early 20th century....Nostalgic throwback is all that album is then so

Offline mariamontreal

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Re: U2's Joshua Tree tour: stuck in the past, or a new sense of purpose?
« Reply #39 on: May 16, 2017, 10:12:26 AM »
I  think the JT tour is a final farewell to the past so they can move ahead with SOE .

Offline miryclay

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Re: U2's Joshua Tree tour: stuck in the past, or a new sense of purpose?
« Reply #40 on: May 16, 2017, 10:17:18 AM »
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Certainly they deserve to look back a bit, though.  They have earned it.  Every act has a career arc, and it's worth noting that U2 has remained relevant for so long that they have far beaten expectations (TJT2017 tour is the hottest summer tour according to Stubhub).  They can't be all innovative all the time; every act coasts on past glories a bit, and that's okay.  Also, while they are reminiscing, they have given us a new song, and hints at a new album!

So let's enjoy it while they are still playing, folks.

I agree. I'm just saying that enjoyment of this tour doesn't require turning a blind eye and insisting that U2 have always and ever been forward-looking and innovative.

In the years to come, we will talk about this tour as the time we knew it was over. We won't admit it now. But we'll all know it later.

Over?

Mate, it's a band! It isn't a movement or a medical organisation, that are actively trying to change the world....

They make and play music. They made their mark, one of the biggest marks ever to be made.
They are touching their 60's....Anyone expecting another "relevant reinvention" needs to take a serious look at themselves and ask themselves, maybe they're the one's afraid of letting go of their youth 

So long as they make good music and play great shows, what's the problem?

I think people feel that because they are the only band capable of big reinvention and if they can't do it I don't think anyone can. I certainly feel they are capable whether they do it or not doesn't matter though. They have nothing to prove.
And do these people realise how laughable it would be to see Bono and The Edge in something like their Zoo TV gear again? Or Adam in his Popmart stuff?

Musically, yes they could do it. Tourwise, they have with 360 and i+e....Image wise? Can you imagine Bono acting like and dressing like a 28 year old again, as he hits the big 60?

Some people need to realise that we're not getting another Zoo TV type era....Popmart was spectacular and yet, it's looked down on because it wasn't Zoo TV. It ain't happening

I look forward to the showbiz and psychological layers that could be explored with a character like MacPhisto. The Sydney broadcast could give us just a glimpse of those possibilities.

Offline mariamontreal

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Re: U2's Joshua Tree tour: stuck in the past, or a new sense of purpose?
« Reply #41 on: May 16, 2017, 10:43:44 AM »
I don't get all the fuss. I will listen and attend U2 concerts no matter what they choose to play. Old,New whatever it is. As long as they tour people will go.

Offline Mr. Sinnerman

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Re: U2's Joshua Tree tour: stuck in the past, or a new sense of purpose?
« Reply #42 on: May 16, 2017, 10:52:55 AM »
I know it's been said a million times but it's really so true.

You glorify the past when the future - or indeed the present - dries up.


Offline aviastar

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Re: U2's Joshua Tree tour: stuck in the past, or a new sense of purpose?
« Reply #43 on: May 16, 2017, 11:12:43 AM »
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I know it's been said a million times but it's really so true.

You glorify the past when the future - or indeed the present - dries up.

If present/future dries up = hottest tour concert ticket of the summer, and the band unveiling a brand new song, then the world is topsy turvy.  If U2's future is indeed dried up, they wouldn't have attracted this much notice.

Offline Mr. Sinnerman

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Re: U2's Joshua Tree tour: stuck in the past, or a new sense of purpose?
« Reply #44 on: May 16, 2017, 12:01:46 PM »
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I know it's been said a million times but it's really so true.

You glorify the past when the future - or indeed the present - dries up.

If present/future dries up = hottest tour concert ticket of the summer, and the band unveiling a brand new song, then the world is topsy turvy.  If U2's future is indeed dried up, they wouldn't have attracted this much notice.

Each to their own.  For me it's Phil Collins at the RAH.