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The Music and Lyrics / The Benefit of Taking a Breather
« Last post by hollywoodswag on Today at 10:01:33 AM »
My full-fledged U2 kick hit about this time last year (maybe a little later) when I saw that U2's albums had gone on sale on iTunes leading up to the 30th anniversary re-release of the Joshua Tree. I had purchased the Perfecto Remix of Mysterious Ways and the Fish Out of Water remix of Even Better Than the Real Thing from the deluxe edition of Achtung Baby, and I decided to pay the few extra dollars to complete the album. I owned the original version of it and enjoyed it immensely, but there I was playing through some of the added material and discovered some brand new favorites like Lady With the Spinning Head, Blow Your House Down, and Where Did It All Go Wrong?, stunned that there was finally a deluxe edition of an album with extra songs actually worth purchasing. Fast forward through months of completing the studio album collection and playing U2 pretty much non-stop to December, when Songs of Experience was finally released. It was the first U2 album I was actually anticipating prior to its release instead of discovering later (or at the last minute, as in the case of Songs of Innocence), and I was so excited to play through it as the songs finished downloading...

...only to find myself highly disappointed. Gone was the U2 that I really enjoyed and instead I found myself with a bunch of late-career rock stars sounding like they were desperate to join the ranks of pop stars less than half their age. I gave it multiple additional chances and tried my level best to appreciate it and perhaps come to discover things that didn't grab me on the first listen, but it just wasn't winning me over.

My U2 fixation neared burnout earlier this year, several months after its release, and wanting to avoid growing tired of the songs I once loved, I took a bit of a U2 breather. A few heavy hitters or otherwise newer discoveries from other albums retained spots in various playlists of mine, but for the most part, I was focused on finding some new music to balance things out a bit.

At some of my shifts at work, I had been assuming DJ duties and rather just throwing on Spotify to some Top 40 or 80s channel (why is that decade's music so popular?), I would play through albums in their entirety to try and expose everyone to "new" music, or at the very least songs that the same overplayed hits had overshadowed on their respective records. Today, I decided to add Songs of Experience to the list, and lo and behold, I found myself enjoying the album far more than I ever had. I maintain much of my criticism of the record that I had previously made, but gone was the animosity behind my critique. There was something about approaching the album with an eagerness to listen to U2 again as well as already knowing exactly what to expect that enhanced my appreciation of it. It seemed so refreshing, and that despite following up the quartet of juggernaut albums that preceded it on today's list (Achtung Baby, Full Moon Fever, The Outsiders, and Hotel California).

I apologize for the long-winded nature of this, but I just figured I'd throw it out there for anyone else like me who perhaps gets jaded on an album, or at the very least not won over early. Play it a few times to get a feel for it, but then put it on the physical or digital shelf for a bit and cleanse your palette with some other music before coming back to it a few weeks or months later. You might be surprised what you find.  ;)
12
Tours / Re: New Zealand and Australia left out again
« Last post by d.darroch on Today at 09:47:55 AM »
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Yet, one of the few countries that the Joshua Tree album failed to go to #1 in was Australia.
Though TJT has outsold AB (which went to #1) in Australia. It's a very popular album there.
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Tours / Re: Only 2 L.A. shows?
« Last post by cocamojoe on Today at 09:13:19 AM »
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Is over pricing the main problem? Or over exposure plus lukewarm album reception? Overpricing can't be helping of course.
I wouldn’t say that it’s the only problem, but it is certainly part of it. Seriously, at least 40% of the tickets in any given city are over $300. The shoddy excuse that Ticketmaster/Live Nation is offering is that they’re simply selling them at what they’d go for on secondary markets, like Stubhub. Whatever the excuse, U2 signed off on it, as their past successes have gone to their head, where they expect their fans to pay damn near whatever they end up charging, and that their new album, containing many of their absolute worst lyrics in their entire career, is far better than it is (hence their seeming to entertain the thought that they can do a set that skips their signature live song).

I’m a casual fan of Elton John and Andrea Bocelli, but I sure as hell am not going to see either of them when they play my city coming up, due to how hilariously expensive tickets are. Also, I’m driving 2 hours to see Metallica, as tickets were at least 20% cheaper than in my own city (seriously, I paid something like $80 for a ticket that is going for around $180 in the identical section in my own cities arena).
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Tours / Re: New Zealand and Australia left out again
« Last post by wons on Today at 09:08:26 AM »
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If U2 does come Down Under at the end of 2018 or early 2019 it will be interesting to see whether the proposed E+I setlist remains as is, or whether there's a TJT section added in. They might have trouble selling out even arenas if word gets out that there's a complete absence of TJT songs in the set...

Yet, one of the few countries that the Joshua Tree album failed to go to #1 in was Australia.

Peak position isn't everything - the album is at least 6x platinum... and Rattle And Hum 8x. People here love U2's old stuff and most aren't aware that SOI or SOE came out. Given the amount of time since they've toured, the lack of big songs and the high ticket prices I think they'll struggle to sell out an arena tour. I think we will hear info after the tour starts.

Hope that is not the case. If they get there in early 2019, that will mark 8 years away. U2 did amazing business in Australia in 2006 after having been away for 8 years and that was in Stadiums. I think there will be enough fans to fill arenas.
15
Tours / Re: Only 2 L.A. shows?
« Last post by wons on Today at 09:02:37 AM »
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Is over pricing the main problem? Or over exposure plus lukewarm album reception? Overpricing can't be helping of course.

Underexposure to the general public, plus too many shows over the past 3 years in this market. 5 arena shows in 2015, 2 stadium shows in 2017, has meant the band can barley fill two shows in 2018 in the LA market. Take away the Joshua Tree tour in 2017 and you might be getting 4 arena shows in LA for this tour. The band originally planned for 8 shows in 2015, but peaked at 5 because demand had fallen by 50% from the 360 tour.

Only the hardcore fanbase is supporting U2 at this point, and some of them are skipping these shows because they saw them last year and in 2015.

U2 may need to take a break for about 3 years to allow demand for them in these market to return to what it was in 2015. But without a hit like Vertigo or Beautiful Day, they won't be doing business like they did on 360 again.
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General U2 Discussion / Re: A post 80's fan perspective on live aid
« Last post by laoghaire on Today at 08:58:43 AM »
Sorry, I'm knowingly waking a dead thread.

I just watched their (and Queen's, too) performance at Live Aid for the first time since I was a kid (and I think I only saw it once then). I searched this forum for takes because I was trying to make sense of the performance through the eyes of someone in 1985. I was 8 years old at the time, didn't know U2, though I certainly knew about Live Aid, the horrible Do They Know It's Christmas? song, and I, along with all my classmates, had the We Are the World album.

What I just watched was a hot mess.

But I think the OP of this thread, despite being younger than me and thus even more removed from this moment, put his/her finger on it: I think even at the time people saw a hot mess but also the sheer earnestness of the performance.

It must have been excruciating for Edge and Adam (Larry was at least buried behind his drum kit) to be left standing there and playing that repetitive music over and over while Bono was trying to do his connection thing in vain. They didn't have a wireless mic back then, or he would have at least been talking/singing during this crazy gap. Bono himself must have been freaking out when he was down there, but he was committed.

By the way, props to the stage tech who rescued his mic when he dropped it, then brought it back to him when he finished his messy journey - that guy was just as committed and was not messing around. Anybody know his name? Cheers, dude.

If some young band had done this today, I think they would be skewered. So it's difficult to put myself back in 1985 and see it through those eyes. Bono just walked off the stage like he was gonna go die or something. But I guess people said "who IS that??" in a positive way.

Also, were all the U2 flags the real deal or plants? I wouldn't wonder if it were a U2 gig, but that was a LOT of flags for a non-U2 gig.
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Tours / Re: Only 2 L.A. shows?
« Last post by wons on Today at 08:55:48 AM »
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It's clear Live Nation/U2 over-priced the tickets this time.

Tickets are still available for LA 2 for ALL price levels. Given that, it appears to be more a lack of demand than ticket price.
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Tours / Re: New Zealand and Australia left out again
« Last post by Chargedvt on Today at 08:21:01 AM »
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If U2 does come Down Under at the end of 2018 or early 2019 it will be interesting to see whether the proposed E+I setlist remains as is, or whether there's a TJT section added in. They might have trouble selling out even arenas if word gets out that there's a complete absence of TJT songs in the set...

Yet, one of the few countries that the Joshua Tree album failed to go to #1 in was Australia.

Peak position isn't everything - the album is at least 6x platinum... and Rattle And Hum 8x. People here love U2's old stuff and most aren't aware that SOI or SOE came out. Given the amount of time since they've toured, the lack of big songs and the high ticket prices I think they'll struggle to sell out an arena tour. I think we will hear info after the tour starts.
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Drop Hold Me and SBS.
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day six setlist seems much more satisfying for obvious reasons.  I will be somewhat disappointed if a couple of those songs are played.  just saying
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