Author Topic: Disappointment with lack of younger fans and newer songs.  (Read 2684 times)

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Offline Johnny Feathers

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Re: Disappointment with lack of younger fans and newer songs.
« Reply #15 on: June 13, 2017, 11:50:20 AM »
I don't think bands who are nearly 40 years old are generally known for having young fans, nor do they typically produce work at the rate they did starting out.  For those things, seek younger bands.

Offline ShankAsu

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Re: Disappointment with lack of younger fans and newer songs.
« Reply #16 on: June 13, 2017, 12:24:09 PM »
I know its already been discussed on here before, but U2 just isn't viewed as cool anymore by younger generations.  Plus their sound isn't anything like what the youth are into- doesn't matter what producer they bring in.  Still- the band was cool for all of the 80's and 90's- they've got enough of a fan pool pulled in already as it is.  They don't need to pander to millennials.

Offline Vox

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Re: Disappointment with lack of younger fans and newer songs.
« Reply #17 on: June 13, 2017, 12:31:49 PM »
I agree with the gist of the OP.  And there's nothing wrong with how many times they want to see U2 live.  That doesn't deserve anyone's pointed critique or judgment.  The OP's favorite band is touring right now, and they want to see it...  No matter how old the music is that this tour supports.

What Allhorizonbomb is saying that they wish U2 came out with new music.  Since 2004, U2 have released two albums.  I'm an older U2 fan, and I don't see how anyone can be happy with U2's output of two albums of new material in 13 years.  Me personally?  I'd trade these last two tours for an album of new music.  But that's me.

As far as a new radio hit goes, I'd be surprised if it happened again.  But U2 has shown no signs of giving up the chase for their great white whale, which they've been doing for their entire career (didn't know if I should go with a Moby d**k reference, or Old Man and the Sea reference, here).

It's good to see younger folks who are U2 fans.  My oldest son is 18 and has grown up listening to U2 his whole life.  However, he good-naturedly rips on them every chance he gets, because it's easy to do.  And that's okay.  He says his friends only know U2 because of the iTunes release.  If pressed, he would say he doesn't mind Zooropa or Pop.  But then, rock music isn't on his radar.  He likes rap and hip hop.  I remember a couple months ago when the new Kendrick Lamar album dropped.  Together we stayed up late to listen to it, each of us worried in our own way how "XXX" would sound.  We both enjoyed it.  Basically and unfortunately, that's probably going to be our latter-day U2 moment together, since he leaves for college in August.

So -- more power to you Allhorizonbomb.  I share your hope that U2 releases more new music.  And I'd also love to hear another darker, moody, guitar-driven album from our favorite band.  But in the end, U2 has earned the right to do what they want, and I feel they've already given me so much.  Have a blast seeing them on tour!     

Offline bizkit34

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Re: Disappointment with lack of younger fans and newer songs.
« Reply #18 on: June 13, 2017, 02:38:11 PM »
It is cool that the young OP has such a passion for the bands music.  I think the reason behind the lengthy time between albums can be traced back to the "POP" album . They were feeling pressure from the record label and released it before they felt the songs were finished. The album is considered a critical failure.  The band doesn't have to do things they don't want any more so they don't release the music until it is ready. All we can do now is sit back and wait and enjoy The Greatest Show on earth , a U2 concert tour

Offline cocamojoe

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Re: Disappointment with lack of younger fans and newer songs.
« Reply #19 on: June 13, 2017, 03:11:12 PM »
I can only speak for myself, but the GA in Pittsburgh seemed to have quite a bit of younger fans. I'm 35, so don't quite know where you'd rank me in the age category. My friend Amy, 23, is a diehard fan and had a rail spot at the b-stage, after lining up early specifically to get a good spot like that.

All around us, though, were lots of people who looked to be 35 and younger. Hell, there was a large group of college guys immediately behind us.

Offline Johnny Feathers

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Re: Disappointment with lack of younger fans and newer songs.
« Reply #20 on: June 13, 2017, 05:04:40 PM »
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I can only speak for myself, but the GA in Pittsburgh seemed to have quite a bit of younger fans. I'm 35, so don't quite know where you'd rank me in the age category. My friend Amy, 23, is a diehard fan and had a rail spot at the b-stage, after lining up early specifically to get a good spot like that.

All around us, though, were lots of people who looked to be 35 and younger. Hell, there was a large group of college guys immediately behind us.

I'm guessing GA will attract younger fans simply for the fact that a lot of older fans don't want to have to endure the physical challenges GA entails.


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Offline rlabs19

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Re: Disappointment with lack of younger fans and newer songs.
« Reply #21 on: June 13, 2017, 05:33:16 PM »
I'm 22 years old, and am very happy that they don't have many younger fans. We don't need people going and screaming for Beautiful Day or Vertigo or really any song written since ATYCLB (although I admit there have been some good ones.)

This setlist is the best one in years because they are playing TJT all the way through, as well as Bad, NYD, Miss Sarajevo. They are playing more of their best material.

In my experience, a younger fan base will want the more "relevant" music... in U2's case their subpar music.

Offline aurabender

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Re: Disappointment with lack of younger fans and newer songs.
« Reply #22 on: June 14, 2017, 08:37:01 PM »
U2 is a very unique band. No other band of their magnitude has had their longevity with an original lineup. No other group has produced original material as consistently for this amount of time. (I am looking at you Rolling Stones.) One thing that some fans like and that drives others crazy, is that U2 still TRY to write a hit song and reach a younger audience. I think where the band struggles is trying to figure out how to get their music into the hands of your friends. (See: Apple fiasco) If I was a younger U2 fan, I would not worry too much. The band will eventually hit one out of the park again and then you can be all pretentious and brag to your friends on how you liked them before they were cool ;)
« Last Edit: June 14, 2017, 08:38:32 PM by aurabender »

Offline WookieeWarrior10

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Re: Disappointment with lack of younger fans and newer songs.
« Reply #23 on: June 15, 2017, 12:37:05 AM »
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U2 is a very unique band. No other band of their magnitude has had their longevity with an original lineup. No other group has produced original material as consistently for this amount of time. (I am looking at you Rolling Stones.) One thing that some fans like and that drives others crazy, is that U2 still TRY to write a hit song and reach a younger audience. I think where the band struggles is trying to figure out how to get their music into the hands of your friends. (See: Apple fiasco) If I was a younger U2 fan, I would not worry too much. The band will eventually hit one out of the park again and then you can be all pretentious and brag to your friends on how you liked them before they were cool ;)
U2 will never attain radio success again, given how formulaic both Bono and Edge have become in terms of songwriting. Sure, you have your fresh faces like Ed Sheeran that get away with that kind of thing, but they are younger. U2 don't have that luxury anymore, so the only thing that could possibly get them back in the Top 40 would be a total reinvention that sparks interest and gets people talking... and not in the same way as Songs of Innocence.

Of course, U2 should be above the Top 40 nonsense. They are a mature act and should embrace it, like Radiohead, for example.
« Last Edit: June 15, 2017, 12:39:40 AM by WookieeWarrior10 »

Offline Argo

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Re: Disappointment with lack of younger fans and newer songs.
« Reply #24 on: June 15, 2017, 03:21:45 AM »
Really interesting perspective in the first post of this re U2 losing younger fans by not putting stuff out more regularly. U2 have tried various things to connect to younger people through some of their support acts over the years (eg Kanye), collaborations (eg Kendrick), probably the iTunes stunt and so on, so quite a good point to make about the lack of output not helping them with younger fans which is probably a far bigger negative than any positive benefit from who they get as a support act or collaborate with.

I have given up on there ever been a quick release of anything but hold out hope one day that when they retire they will release, even if just through their website or member gifts, a bunch of unreleased stuff. There are definitely some gems out there and plenty of other listen-able stuff from what we have heard glimpses of like All My Life, Mercy, North Star etc.

The reality is that U2 are long past being cool and the only thing that would give them serious radio play is coming up with another Beautiful Day or Vertigo, which is possible but increasingly unlikely. I wish they would go the opposite direction and focus on creativity rather than acceptance. Their legacy is assured regardless of anything else they do now and actually might have more chance of enhancing acceptance by younger fans by taking much greater risks than trying to find hits.

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Re: Disappointment with lack of younger fans and newer songs.
« Reply #25 on: June 15, 2017, 06:05:18 AM »
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Really interesting perspective in the first post of this re U2 losing younger fans by not putting stuff out more regularly. U2 have tried various things to connect to younger people through some of their support acts over the years (eg Kanye), collaborations (eg Kendrick), probably the iTunes stunt and so on, so quite a good point to make about the lack of output not helping them with younger fans which is probably a far bigger negative than any positive benefit from who they get as a support act or collaborate with.

I have given up on there ever been a quick release of anything but hold out hope one day that when they retire they will release, even if just through their website or member gifts, a bunch of unreleased stuff. There are definitely some gems out there and plenty of other listen-able stuff from what we have heard glimpses of like All My Life, Mercy, North Star etc.

The reality is that U2 are long past being cool and the only thing that would give them serious radio play is coming up with another Beautiful Day or Vertigo, which is possible but increasingly unlikely. I wish they would go the opposite direction and focus on creativity rather than acceptance. Their legacy is assured regardless of anything else they do now and actually might have more chance of enhancing acceptance by younger fans by taking much greater risks than trying to find hits.
A release of unreleased stuff would be fun, and could perhaps give them an "out" to release something darker and less commercial, like Passengers was. Apart from the songs you mentioned, I want, need, demand Heaven and Hell from the Achtung Baby outtakes, I always thought that sketch had legs.

Offline U2Pride

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Re: Disappointment with lack of younger fans and newer songs.
« Reply #26 on: June 15, 2017, 07:35:01 PM »
Hey Allhorizonbomb, I get where you're coming from. As a millennial U2 fan, a lot of my time spent growing up was also time spent being made fun of because my favorite band was a bunch of "old" guys. I've often felt that I didn't belong as well - I only have one friend who is a U2 fan who actually enjoys listening to them and has seen them live. It's few and far between that you come across a millennial who a) is a U2 fan and b) isn't pi**ed about the iTunes thing.

I love their newer music as well, and I wish they were playing more of it during the encore of the setlist. As previous posters have said, I don't think they will attract many new, younger fans unless they do have another Beautiful Day, and even if they do do that it will have to be heavily commercialized. There's nothing wrong with that, of course, but I think it would take a lot of effort for them to attract new fans at this point in their careers.

I am thankful at least for the handful of millennials on here, as it makes me feel more like I belong in this group of fans, but I agree it always has made me feel a bit out of place.

PS: I will take you up on that "self-proclaimed biggest NY U2 fan"  ;) ;)

Offline JTNash

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Re: Disappointment with lack of younger fans and newer songs.
« Reply #27 on: June 15, 2017, 07:48:45 PM »
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I teach high school, and the most frequent U2 comment from my students always has something to do with that terrible iTunes stunt they pulled with Songs of Innocence.  You just don't mess with kids' phones under any circumstances!
this so annoys me it was how their phone was set up.  I had to go download it from my cloud because I don't have it set up to auto download.  Sheesh kids

Offline ljencik

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Re: Disappointment with lack of younger fans and newer songs.
« Reply #28 on: July 03, 2017, 12:03:50 PM »
Another millenial fan weighing in here (I'm 27 for the record)! I would like to see the newer stuff being played as well in the shows and look forward to SOE--given their age I appreciate that they're still putting out newer content and hope they play it more in future tours--though I love hearing the older stuff too. As everyone has said, this tour is specifically in honor of the JT's 30th anniversary--though I wouldn't mind if they mixed up the opening songs or encore a bit (getting really tired of Elevation, tbh). I do agree with a lot of points made on here about attracting younger crowds. As someone who has studied international development and humanitarian response and is hoping to go into that field (just got my Master's), I can say that a lot of my friends and colleagues, who are current or aspiring aid workers, don't like U2 or at least don't like Bono and his perceived "self-righteous" (I've never seen him or any of the band that way--they have always been genuine and sincere in their endeavors...just look at the inspiration for so much of their music) activism, though there are plenty in the aid industry (one of my professors included) that also like him--depends on your views of development assistance and how development should be done.

I think for many younger people, there is also the general view that they are older and not as cool or had their heyday, as others on here have said. As someone who became a fan in high school when How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb came out, I felt a bit isolated and like an oddball because no one I knew was into them. However, I didn't just become a fan of them and their newer stuff, I became obsessed with all their music and started listening to everything they've ever put out. I consider Achtung Baby to be my favorite album even if I was only 2 when it came out. So much so that I am secretly hoping they honor the album's upcoming 30th anniversary with a revival of the ZooTV (which, as Bono said in an RS interview would really now be Zoo.com) tour--mostly because I am sad I wasn't able to see the original one :) I love talking to my friends about U2 in the hopes that I can convince them to listen to the band--a classmate of mine who's Irish and had never listened to all of the JT was inspired to listen to it after seeing an Instagram post I made about the 30th annivesary of the album's release...so there is still hope!

Offline Saint1322

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Re: Disappointment with lack of younger fans and newer songs.
« Reply #29 on: July 03, 2017, 12:27:12 PM »
I'm 40. When I was in late middle school and junior high, all my friends listened to Motley Crue and Poison and made fun of me for listening to U2, The Beatles, etc. Later, they moved on to grunge and metal, and made fun of me for still listening to U2, REM, etc.

By college, these guys had lost interest in Metallica and Pantera and were asking to borrow my U2 and REM cds. Now, they beg me to help them get tickets. :)

It all comes around. They'll learn. Or they won't. No biggie either way.