Author Topic: Brace yourself....it may shock...but its how i feel  (Read 25843 times)

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Offline Chip

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Re: Brace yourself....it may shock...but its how i feel
« Reply #180 on: December 28, 2010, 10:39:34 PM »
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I agree. Audience members sitting down? Shouting louder for the old songs, not the new ones?

Still, I respect what U2 is doing here. The last two tours were all about the core fans. This is for the casual fans. It's a great spectacle and they get to see U2 in a stadium. I know, I know, the stadium is supposed to be U2's home, and no-one looks more comfortable than U2 performing in front of 70,000 people, but U2 is at its best in front of 20,000 people indoors where the music is louder and the fans are more hardcore and you can play songs like Miss Sarajevo, The Electric Co, BAD, The Fly etc and give the core fans a spine-tingling experience. This tour is not that tour. The next one probably will be. In the meantime, sadly, this tour will be remembered as their best simply because it's about to go into the record books as the biggest music tour in history.

I see things flip-flopped, although I guess it depends on how you define "core fans." If you mean '80s fans who didn't like most of what U2 did in the '90s and welcomed ATYCLB as a return to form for U2, then yeah, the Elevation and Vertigo tours were largely, but not totally, for the "core fans." (There was also a clear attempt to win over younger audiences during those tours, particularly the Elevation tour.) But if you mean fans who love U2 across the decades (even if some albums less than others) and love lesser-known album tracks, then the Vertigo and 360 tours were/are far, far more for "core fans." The Elevation tour was almost totally a greatest hits package, supplemented by (normally six) songs from ATYCLB. Beyond the ATYCLB songs, the nightly Bono/Edge acoustic song, and "Gone," you could pick the rest of the songs from either The Best of 1980-1990 or Achtung Baby. (I'm not counting the very early dates when "Discotheque" and "Staring at the Sun" were briefly in the set list, but even they were the biggest hits off of POP.)

The Vertigo tour, in contrast, was daring to bring back "An Cat Dubh," "Into the Heart," and "The Electric Co.," not to mention (although briefly) "The Ocean" and "Gloria." Even "Running to Stand Still" was a little bit of a gamble after so long (and even more so its European tour alternative "Miss Sarajevo"). And I'm still surprised by people calling 360 a greatest hits tour, or more for a general audience, when we got "The Unforgettable Fire," "Ultraviolet (Light My Way)," "Your Blue Room," "In a Little While," "MLK," "Scarlet," "Hold Me Thrill Me Kiss Me Kill Me," and others.

I think we should be thankful that U2 has been either brave enough or comfortable enough with themselves to bring back older songs that are no longer well-known by general audiences (if they indeed ever were, as some were not) during the last two tours. Including these songs is no way to either win over a new audience or appeal to the masses.
« Last Edit: December 28, 2010, 10:44:27 PM by Chip »

Offline singnomore

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Re: Brace yourself....it may shock...but its how i feel
« Reply #181 on: December 28, 2010, 11:08:19 PM »
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I agree. Audience members sitting down? Shouting louder for the old songs, not the new ones?

Still, I respect what U2 is doing here. The last two tours were all about the core fans. This is for the casual fans. It's a great spectacle and they get to see U2 in a stadium. I know, I know, the stadium is supposed to be U2's home, and no-one looks more comfortable than U2 performing in front of 70,000 people, but U2 is at its best in front of 20,000 people indoors where the music is louder and the fans are more hardcore and you can play songs like Miss Sarajevo, The Electric Co, BAD, The Fly etc and give the core fans a spine-tingling experience. This tour is not that tour. The next one probably will be. In the meantime, sadly, this tour will be remembered as their best simply because it's about to go into the record books as the biggest music tour in history.

I see things flip-flopped, although I guess it depends on how you define "core fans." If you mean '80s fans who didn't like most of what U2 did in the '90s and welcomed ATYCLB as a return to form for U2, then yeah, the Elevation and Vertigo tours were largely, but not totally, for the "core fans." (There was also a clear attempt to win over younger audiences during those tours, particularly the Elevation tour.) But if you mean fans who love U2 across the decades (even if some albums less than others) and love lesser-known album tracks, then the Vertigo and 360 tours were/are far, far more for "core fans." The Elevation tour was almost totally a greatest hits package, supplemented by (normally six) songs from ATYCLB. Beyond the ATYCLB songs, the nightly Bono/Edge acoustic song, and "Gone," you could pick the rest of the songs from either The Best of 1980-1990 or Achtung Baby. (I'm not counting the very early dates when "Discotheque" and "Staring at the Sun" were briefly in the set list, but even they were the biggest hits off of POP.)

The Vertigo tour, in contrast, was daring to bring back "An Cat Dubh," "Into the Heart," and "The Electric Co.," not to mention (although briefly) "The Ocean" and "Gloria." Even "Running to Stand Still" was a little bit of a gamble after so long (and even more so its European tour alternative "Miss Sarajevo"). And I'm still surprised by people calling 360 a greatest hits tour, or more for a general audience, when we got "The Unforgettable Fire," "Ultraviolet (Light My Way)," "Your Blue Room," "In a Little While," "MLK," "Scarlet," "Hold Me Thrill Me Kiss Me Kill Me," and others.

I think we should be thankful that U2 has been either brave enough or comfortable enough with themselves to bring back older songs that are no longer well-known by general audiences (if they indeed ever were, as some were not) during the last two tours. Including these songs is no way to either win over a new audience or appeal to the masses.

I think we need to be careful about the definition of 'core fans'. I wouldn't bracket it on a decade basis. Core for me are the guys who want to hear 'album' tracks just because they get more to the band than just the 'hits'. However if it wasn't for the 'hits' there wouldn't be such an urge to hear the 'album' tracks. Its all self fulfilling.
If i use the definition of a core fan as someone who loves the 80's U2 - then I'm a core fan. The fact I like the other decades just some more than others perhaps confirms that definition (!?!) - dunno irrelevant i suggest - but I do know I want to hear Exit, Acrobat, Drowning Man, Stories for Boys, Red Hill, Mofo, Discotheque...etc

Lets face it we all want to hear U2 play there music and be able to see the guys play great music without needing binoculars!! We also want to hear our favourite tunes which in a lot of cases ain't the hits necessarily


Offline MarsGirl

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Re: Brace yourself....it may shock...but its how i feel
« Reply #182 on: December 29, 2010, 04:54:43 AM »
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You make a great point, MarsGirl!  Definitely all four of the guys would need to continue making music.  Like a writer would keep writing.  And like Jerry Seinfeld kept being a comedian.  My thought is that at some point, if U2 just goes and goes and goes, they are going to evolve into the antithesis of what U2 has always been.  Fresh, bold, innovative, important, relevant, popular, vibrant, etc.  To do what they've always done takes energy, stamina, the desire to put life on hold for a couple years at a time, to be out on the road, to push and promote.  Not every band needs to do these things so intensely, but U2 does.  Know what I mean?  At some point though, life does change.  Age and experience change your priorities, your perspectives.  At some point the guys in U2, if they stay together and active, won't want to tour so much, won't feel so rushed to make a new album, won't feel such a strong desire to tear it all down and start from scratch.  It's natural, I think.  But when all that happens, whenever it will be, U2 will have lost all semblance of U2.

I guess what I've always assumed is that U2 will be such a class act that they will bow out before making two crap records in a row, or before becoming something altogether un-U2-like.  Maybe they go their separate ways.  Maybe they stay together and casually record as Passengers, working with other musicians and doing things more for the fun of it.  But if they start making polka records in 10 years....ick!  I mean, I'm sure they would be the greatest polka records of all time, but still.  I've just always assumed, and still do, that at some point they will put U2 to bed rather than truly become a greatest hits touring band, in their 70s and doing their best to hit the same notes.  Or becoming totally out of touch and playing to county fairs.

An author will keep on writing, but at some point you might retire the character or the series you are best known for, because you've run through every idea you can, and you're starting to repeat yourself, and you don't care so much anymore to tackle all those months of research and effort to get to the end result.  And you don't want the legacy to suffer at the tail end of things, when it's all slipping.  You might just retire that series and start something altogether new.

I know this is off-topic.  And I don't want to sound like I've got my fingers crossed that U2 call it quits soon.  But I do hope they lower the curtain before they've grown to become a sad shadow of what they were, so that the last image we have of them in the media is of has-been old rockers.

Leonard Cohen never quit writing, singing. I think he's still out there playing places. Okay, he's not as big as U2.... But he's an example of an artist that never went away.

I agree with you to some extent, retiring the character. I would hope, though, they didnt do it officially, just kind of fade away... Maybe Bono and Edge get more into side projects (like Broadway or something) and the other guys circle off on their own. I dont know. But, admittedly, they've always done great movie soundtrack stuff. I guess they could be running around making music behind the scenes.

I dont want to think about that day, though. I personally think they are still on fire. It's just a different kind of fire. Bono's voice is better than it's been since JT. I think it's awesome.

Offline CrossingGo

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Re: Brace yourself....it may shock...but its how i feel
« Reply #183 on: December 29, 2010, 07:36:58 AM »
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The Vertigo tour, in contrast, was daring to bring back "An Cat Dubh," "Into the Heart," and "The Electric Co.," not to mention (although briefly) "The Ocean" and "Gloria." Even "Running to Stand Still" was a little bit of a gamble after so long (and even more so its European tour alternative "Miss Sarajevo"). And I'm still surprised by people calling 360 a greatest hits tour, or more for a general audience, when we got "The Unforgettable Fire," "Ultraviolet (Light My Way)," "Your Blue Room," "In a Little While," "MLK," "Scarlet," "Hold Me Thrill Me Kiss Me Kill Me," and others.

Part of me is still shocked that they pulled those songs out for that tour.  Shocked in a good way.  Confused might be more appropriate.  Here they were, hitting the TV and airways hard with the Vertigo single and the iPod deal, making a grab for new, young fans, and in the midst of all that....pulling out songs that would not only be unknown to those new fans, but are also difficult to work into big rock shows.  ACD and The Ocean?  Cool for me!  And just as a side note, I think the version they did of RTSS that made it to the DVD was completely fantastic.

Offline CrossingGo

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Re: Brace yourself....it may shock...but its how i feel
« Reply #184 on: December 29, 2010, 07:47:20 AM »
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Leonard Cohen never quit writing, singing. I think he's still out there playing places. Okay, he's not as big as U2.... But he's an example of an artist that never went away.

I don't pretend that my thoughts stray beyond U2 to music in general.  There's something so unique about them that I treat them separately.  I think it's because most bands record lots and lots of crap along the way -- usually it's mostly crap, hope that doesn't sound pessimistic!  ::) -- so when they get crap and sentimental and cliche towards the end of their career, well....it's no big surprise.

Not that I'm lumping Leonard in there!  You're right, he's still out there in full force, touring and all.  So is Dylan.  So is Van.  I think those three would get grouped together pretty easily as some of the greatest songwriters of all time.  Maybe a band is a different organism altogether?  I remember one time talking to someone who was a musician and a Dylan fan, and if you could have seen the disgust and contempt in his eyes when I discussed Bono and Bob in the same breath as lyricists....oh boy!  :D  But I'll stand by our man as a phenomenal, instinctive writer.

If U2 does at some point call it quits, and while they're still riding the critical and popularity high that (at the very least) Bono aims for so vocally, then they will leave behind a legacy that will be unmatched forever.  The Beatles called it quits incredibly early in their career, but they did so much in that time at such a high level.  What would have happened if they'd kept going?  What would have happened to their legacy if they went down hill?  Elvis is a legend, but his career and fame really only skyrocketed after his death.  Bono talks often of his "comeback tour" when he was older, fatter, trying to rise up from obscurity after his few moments of initial fame, and how poignant a character he was.  The Rolling Stones have been discussed recently.  They are still selling out massively at concerts, but it's been decades since they've been known for original material.  You can look at less iconic but still very popular acts who have been very popular for decades -- like the RHCP and Dave Matthews Band, etc.  But as we all know, U2 is in a different league.  They are up there with the biggest acts in history, and they're doing something none of them have ever done.  Like you said, MarsGirl, they're still on fire.  Album after album.  Tour after tour.  Decade after decade.  Maybe, if they DO call it quits, they will be The Beatles on a much longer scale.  In other words, they will retire and then Edge will form a new band called Wings  ;D

Offline MarsGirl

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Re: Brace yourself....it may shock...but its how i feel
« Reply #185 on: December 29, 2010, 10:29:04 AM »
Crossing Go, I agree with what you said. And it's funny... I was talking to one of my friends a few weeks back--someone who *I* converted to a U2 fan by exposing him to the band--and I had just made him a CD full of some rarities that he'd never heard (cuz he just has some of the albums, having only recently become a fan, so I grabbed some stuff from Passengers, The Million Dollar Hotel, some singles, etc.). And he said, "Man, listening to this, I'm just so impressed with the amazing team of The Edge and Bono... I just wonder what would have happened if The Beatles had never split." So, you know, it was like he made the same analogy to the longevity of U2 as compared to The Beatles. I'd never thought of it that way, but he was right. U2 is THAT kind of band. And I, like you, classify them in a different category to the rest of the world. But then, I'm kind of a far-gone super-fan now... I dont think like everyone else. But no one else's music does what U2's does to me... I keep looking! Cuz it'd be great to have two or three great bands that I enjoy equally as much!! I do listen to a lot of great music, but my top 25 playlist on the Ipod says it all when about 18 of the songs on it are by U2...

Offline CrossingGo

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Re: Brace yourself....it may shock...but its how i feel
« Reply #186 on: December 29, 2010, 10:40:23 AM »
Hahahah!  Thanks for that message, MarsGirl.  My Top 25 list sounds like yours!

Offline Chip

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Re: Brace yourself....it may shock...but its how i feel
« Reply #187 on: December 30, 2010, 04:56:04 PM »
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The Vertigo tour, in contrast, was daring to bring back "An Cat Dubh," "Into the Heart," and "The Electric Co.," not to mention (although briefly) "The Ocean" and "Gloria." Even "Running to Stand Still" was a little bit of a gamble after so long (and even more so its European tour alternative "Miss Sarajevo"). And I'm still surprised by people calling 360 a greatest hits tour, or more for a general audience, when we got "The Unforgettable Fire," "Ultraviolet (Light My Way)," "Your Blue Room," "In a Little While," "MLK," "Scarlet," "Hold Me Thrill Me Kiss Me Kill Me," and others.

Part of me is still shocked that they pulled those songs out for that tour.  Shocked in a good way.  Confused might be more appropriate.  Here they were, hitting the TV and airways hard with the Vertigo single and the iPod deal, making a grab for new, young fans, and in the midst of all that....pulling out songs that would not only be unknown to those new fans, but are also difficult to work into big rock shows.  ACD and The Ocean?  Cool for me!  And just as a side note, I think the version they did of RTSS that made it to the DVD was completely fantastic.

I agree. And what all of this shows is that U2 intentionally picks songs for its concerts that go together thematically on the lyrical end -- a trait for which I love them. On that level, 360 hangs together far, far better than people tend to acknowledge.

Offline xy

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Re: Brace yourself....it may shock...but its how i feel
« Reply #188 on: December 31, 2010, 06:06:22 AM »
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I paid 150 for a great seat at the O2 arena in London to see The Stones in 2007, but I'll be damned if I'd pay the 150 being charged for a ticket to see U2360 at Wembley Stadium.  I would, however, happily pay 150 to see U2 at the O2.

In 1994/95, 6 Million people bought a copy of the Stones Voodoo Lounge and 6.6 Million went to see the Voodoo lounge tour.

In 2009/11, 4 Million people bought a copy of U2's No Line On The Horizon and between 7 - 8 Million will have seen the 360 by tour end.

What does these figures suggest?





You prefer arenas to stadiums.

In the same point of their career/same age, more people will go see U2 compared to the Stones.

I thought you might have concluded that U2 sell almost 2 concert tickets for every copy of their new music sold, where as the Stones, at the same point in their career, sold nearly 1 album of their new music for every concert ticket sold.

What does that suggest?






More people will go see U2 compared to the Stones. Like I said a little while ago ?

I also think it's noteworthy that the Stones comeback album sold only a million more copies than U2's quickie, mid-tour EP-turned album.



Then it can't be a comeback album then. ::) Voodoo Lounge, on the othe hand, sold 6 million copies - 2 million more than NLOTH - at the same stage of their careers as U2 today.



That was a typo - I was thinking of Steel Wheels rather than Vodoo Loung with the comeback album.

But again, while U2 may be the same age with NLOTH as the Stones with Voodoo Lounge, the album sales have changed drastically in the years between the release of the two albums.


Offline Yukona [The League of Extraordinary Bonopeople]

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Re: Brace yourself....it may shock...but its how i feel
« Reply #189 on: January 04, 2011, 07:40:00 AM »
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I agree 100% that U2 should stop playing their greatest hits like Scarlet, Ultraviolet, Your Blue Room and The Unforgettable Fire. Man, those songs are so totally overplayed.

 :D  :D  :D  Yeah, it is odd to hear 360 referred to as a "greatest hits tour" when they're regularly pulling out old songs that many in the crowd have never heard and brand new songs that most people have never heard.  Still, it is clear at least that 360 is not in support of a specific album.  I think that is a huge and groundbreaking thing, and a statement in and of itself.

And a pointless one at that. Not much added content from the stage, just a "Look how big our spacejunk is" showiness that fits only creakily with our economically challenged times. It's probably a midlife crisis thing that they hopefully get over come the next album or the one after... 

As for the rare songs, it's entertaining but they replaced a focused batch of finished songs with semi rehearsed (sometimes poorly performed to be honest) rarities and admittedly and audibly unfinished ditties, often in a two-piece format, that might or might not resurface later.

I'm glad they're having fun, but this tour is in fact dinosaur band territory.

Semi-rehearsed and poorly performed? What on earth are you talking about? Ultraviolet, Unforgettable Fire, HMTMKMKM. These are songs that were pretty much built into the core of the set list--the screen opens up at TUF, the laser jacket at Ultraviolet. Do you see the Stones building their set designs around songs they haven't played in 20 years?

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Re: Brace yourself....it may shock...but its how i feel
« Reply #190 on: January 04, 2011, 07:55:50 AM »
I wrote and meant rarities, like Scarlet and Love Rescue Me, which I think were underwhelming both in choice and execution, and the unfinished new songs, North Star, EBW and Mercy, but this is my personal opinion.
UV, HTMKMKM and TUF are not what I meant, you pulled them out of your hat to suit your needs, Yukona. Don't fight me over something you made up.
I did not compare U2 to the Stones in that post either, but I do mean they are out of touch with themselves and with the times. They like their shows big, but I like their shows with added content which is in context with the music. 360 is not the best they can come up with, and it doesn't depend on age before anyone starts on that.
How big the shows are should depend on the audience they choose to play to, but nothing to do with the themes and undercurrents in the visuals.
 

Offline CrossingGo

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Re: Brace yourself....it may shock...but its how i feel
« Reply #191 on: January 04, 2011, 08:26:21 AM »
Here's what I love about U2, and I think it's the reason that they have always been so popular.  They are not "out of touch" -- they are, as they have always been, out of step.  It's the reason they've always sounded different, and always been able to reinvent their sound.  It's the reason they've always sounded different and stuck out.  They don't follow the times or the trends, they go their own way, and that's a lot more difficult than it sounds.  :)

On a different note...I had a realization recently about what made NLOTH difficult for me, and what also might make the live shows challenging.  I know that at least Lanois and I'm sure Eno have performed subtle backing instrumental parts in the past for U2, but U2's recordings have always been primarily U2.  The 4 guys.  To have them perform and write with the band changed the dynamic, noticeably.  You can feel those two guys' impacts on certain songs.  I was never able to get into Eno's solo music.  I do really enjoy Lanois' stuff -- especially Here Is What Is.  But his stuff is different from U2's.  I think a big part of the reason why I haven't been able to connect to the music on NLOTH is that contribution.  It really changed the mix.  And since that mix is what created the album, 6 musicians, that must be a challenge to morph that back into a straight U2 event.

satellitedog01

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Re: Brace yourself....it may shock...but its how i feel
« Reply #192 on: January 04, 2011, 08:50:33 AM »
The two guys have been a part of the writing team since before No Line times I guess, either by active musicianship (Lanoise played guitar on some ATYCLB tracks, he said in an interview in a Guitar magazine at the time) or by advice.

I see what you mean with being "out of step", but I find it only partially applies. They were sometimes out of step, sometimes in step, and when they were "in" it worked very well. Zoo Tv Popmart.
360 as it was after surgery, is a celebration and a money making enterprise for U2. I'm not sure how badly it would've damaged U2 financially if they cancelled all the 2010 dates, but money is an important factor. Also the ticket prices are insane, compared to all previous tours. There are most likely threads dealing with the financing/ticketpricing Live Nation aspects of 360 so I won't dig up old information, but it is not a nice move to scale the whole thing up knowing the audience will pay whatever price they ask, regardless of the provided experience of the show in harder economic circumstances.
 
About the stage, I don't think an expanding screen is exciting, even less as it doesn't work properly as a screen when expanded, it's a lot of shards of pictures. It's a disco gimmick and not a great one either... The "claw" looks nice in airial shots though, watched on TV or a screen, so kudos for that. :-)

I hope after 360 if they do stadiums, and if they build a big set, they will provide something interesting and integral to the show.