Author Topic: U2's Joshua Tree tour: stuck in the past, or a new sense of purpose?  (Read 10375 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 #75 on: May 20, 2017, 08:46:33 AM »
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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.

Alls I'm saying is that U2 have been consistently looking backwards, both for inspiration and in their musical style, since 1998. I am not saying it is all bad or begrudging them anything. They can do what they want (and what they want is often not what I want for them). That is all fine.

But what bothers me is when people claim that U2 has never looked back, and this current tour is the one example of their doing so. It's laughably revisionist and ignorant of the actual facts.

But then, facts don't matter anymore, so.

Well, to me, there is a difference between doing remasters of past albums, Best of collections, taking bits of your past into new albums (something that keeps cropping up in U2's 00's work) and going full throttle old album nostalgia tours, and even delaying new albums. With Edge's recent "amazing South American shows" comment, for all we know they might be extending JT30.

The biggest difference is that putting out a best of collection with some B-sides is work that can mainly be done by their staff. This tour is a totally different scenario in that regard. They can talk about bringing a mobile recording studio or whatever, but I think that has resulted in an album being made right away a whopping zero times. With the possible exception of Zooropa, that just isn't how it ever works out.  They should go the Zooropa route and try releasing something that isn't on its 400th draft once in awhile.

Offline wik73

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Re: U2's Joshua Tree tour: stuck in the past, or a new sense of purpose?
« Reply #76 on: May 20, 2017, 09:34:51 AM »
Though I am excited to see TJT30 show in Chicago, I also believe as others have said that this is really to buy time because it isn't happening in the studio. The new song is a case in point. Everything new from them feels pushed or half baked. It's as if they just don't have much to say anymore. Listen to much of their lyrics nowadays. They certainly don't say as much that I can connect with as I once did in the 80's, 90's, or even 00's.


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Offline xy

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Re: U2's Joshua Tree tour: stuck in the past, or a new sense of purpose?
« Reply #77 on: May 20, 2017, 09:54:50 AM »
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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.

Alls I'm saying is that U2 have been consistently looking backwards, both for inspiration and in their musical style, since 1998. I am not saying it is all bad or begrudging them anything. They can do what they want (and what they want is often not what I want for them). That is all fine.

But what bothers me is when people claim that U2 has never looked back, and this current tour is the one example of their doing so. It's laughably revisionist and ignorant of the actual facts.

But then, facts don't matter anymore, so.

Well, to me, there is a difference between doing remasters of past albums, Best of collections, taking bits of your past into new albums (something that keeps cropping up in U2's 00's work) and going full throttle old album nostalgia tours, and even delaying new albums. With Edge's recent "amazing South American shows" comment, for all we know they might be extending JT30.

The biggest difference is that putting out a best of collection with some B-sides is work that can mainly be done by their staff. This tour is a totally different scenario in that regard. They can talk about bringing a mobile recording studio or whatever, but I think that has resulted in an album being made right away a whopping zero times. With the possible exception of Zooropa, that just isn't how it ever works out.  They should go the Zooropa route and try releasing something that isn't on its 400th draft once in awhile.

Nah, they've been involved with the Best ofs too.

I don't know, I think Little things that give you away is a good sign for SOE. (I know I know...we heard Every breaking wave on 360 and we all know when SOI came out) Plus consider their Christmas promise the album "is coming".

Offline 73October

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Re: U2's Joshua Tree tour: stuck in the past, or a new sense of purpose?
« Reply #78 on: May 20, 2017, 11:16:41 AM »
New sense of purpose - it's a way of reminding people how great they were 30 years ago and the tour could continue long enough to get under people's skin - just in time for the release of the new album, by which time new people would have (re)discovered them and go and download it.

Also, in a divided world both sides of the Atlantic, the tour is something of welcome relief from politicking.  Yes the politics spiel is really about getting an issue on people's minds - not about decision making.  Although we are a divided people we are together as one enjoying the music and the visual artistry for one evening.

Offline This Dave

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Re: U2's Joshua Tree tour: stuck in the past, or a new sense of purpose?
« Reply #79 on: May 20, 2017, 03:04:26 PM »
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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.

Alls I'm saying is that U2 have been consistently looking backwards, both for inspiration and in their musical style, since 1998. I am not saying it is all bad or begrudging them anything. They can do what they want (and what they want is often not what I want for them). That is all fine.

But what bothers me is when people claim that U2 has never looked back, and this current tour is the one example of their doing so. It's laughably revisionist and ignorant of the actual facts.

But then, facts don't matter anymore, so.

Well, to me, there is a difference between doing remasters of past albums, Best of collections, taking bits of your past into new albums (something that keeps cropping up in U2's 00's work) and going full throttle old album nostalgia tours, and even delaying new albums. With Edge's recent "amazing South American shows" comment, for all we know they might be extending JT30.

The biggest difference is that putting out a best of collection with some B-sides is work that can mainly be done by their staff. This tour is a totally different scenario in that regard. They can talk about bringing a mobile recording studio or whatever, but I think that has resulted in an album being made right away a whopping zero times. With the possible exception of Zooropa, that just isn't how it ever works out.  They should go the Zooropa route and try releasing something that isn't on its 400th draft once in awhile.

Nah, they've been involved with the Best ofs too.

I don't know, I think Little things that give you away is a good sign for SOE. (I know I know...we heard Every breaking wave on 360 and we all know when SOI came out) Plus consider their Christmas promise the album "is coming".

Ok but their personal time commitment to putting out a best-of has to be ten thousand times less than a tour

Offline MattD

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Re: U2's Joshua Tree tour: stuck in the past, or a new sense of purpose?
« Reply #80 on: May 20, 2017, 03:18:04 PM »
Stuck in the past.

Certainly no bad thing if You're The Best Thing About Me is the future.

Offline Blueyedboy

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Re: U2's Joshua Tree tour: stuck in the past, or a new sense of purpose?
« Reply #81 on: May 20, 2017, 07:59:22 PM »
It's crazy talk that somehow U2 must never tour a 30yr old album because they are U2. Let's think about that. How many bands get the chance to tour a 30yr old album with the same lineup without ever retiring? Not many.

In my own opinion, the U2 we get today are the best possible version of the band we could hope for at this stage in their career. Still active, still making original material.

SOE is coming, so no dramas with an album being written off due to the tour, just delayed slightly, and for a band that has released material so sporadically in the last decade and a half, this period is positively buzzing in comparison, even if worse case scenario is early 2018 (which I doubt very much).

The band deserve their time in the sun, let's not lose sight of the fact that they themselves created this masterpiece and can do as they like with it.
If it attracts fans of the album that are not necessarily fans of the band then so what? What's the crime? Should this not happen just because it's U2?

There's a separate and very valid conversation to have with regards to at what point in their career they stopped pushing the envelope, but this tour is not the catalyst for it.
« Last Edit: May 20, 2017, 08:03:05 PM by Blueyedboy »

Offline jjcruiser

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Re: U2's Joshua Tree tour: stuck in the past, or a new sense of purpose?
« Reply #82 on: May 22, 2017, 03:16:07 PM »
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It's crazy talk that somehow U2 must never tour a 30yr old album because they are U2. Let's think about that. How many bands get the chance to tour a 30yr old album with the same lineup without ever retiring? Not many.

In my own opinion, the U2 we get today are the best possible version of the band we could hope for at this stage in their career. Still active, still making original material.

SOE is coming, so no dramas with an album being written off due to the tour, just delayed slightly, and for a band that has released material so sporadically in the last decade and a half, this period is positively buzzing in comparison, even if worse case scenario is early 2018 (which I doubt very much).

The band deserve their time in the sun, let's not lose sight of the fact that they themselves created this masterpiece and can do as they like with it.
If it attracts fans of the album that are not necessarily fans of the band then so what? What's the crime? Should this not happen just because it's U2?

There's a separate and very valid conversation to have with regards to at what point in their career they stopped pushing the envelope, but this tour is not the catalyst for it.

I quite agree with you, except for your last sentence. 

I think this tour is exactly the time to discuss whether they stopped pushing the envelope.  I love the new song, I think Bono sings it heart wrenchingly, but it feels like they chose it as a coded "goodbye" to touring.  After how incredibly inventive the storytelling and music was in I&E, stepping back 30 years into the past is jarring. 

I went back and watched the Chicago Vertigo tour DVD last night.  Bono says something along the lines of them always looking forward and bringing only the best parts of the past with them.  This JT2017 tour feels like the opposite.  Holding on a bit to the hope of the future but looking backwards. 

Mind you I agree completely they are both entitled to do so and I'm not criticizing them for it!  Far from it.  I've already gotten at least two albums I never realistically thought we'd get and unlike a lot of folks, I think I like the last four albums more than their first four.  But no one remains the same creative force they were in their 20s into their 60s. 

I'm rambling a bit because I'm a little emotional right now and not in the mood to go back and edit.  In sum, I just keep praying for more new music but I think they've earned whatever timeline they want to follow.

Offline eddyjedi

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Re: U2's Joshua Tree tour: stuck in the past, or a new sense of purpose?
« Reply #83 on: May 22, 2017, 04:25:19 PM »
I think let's hear SOE to see if they are pushing the envelope.

This band can do whatever they like, I'm glad they are touring this album, they recognise it's importance in music culture and the impact it had and continues to. I just hope the set list gets longer!

Offline mcpaulson22

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Re: U2's Joshua Tree tour: stuck in the past, or a new sense of purpose?
« Reply #84 on: May 22, 2017, 06:05:27 PM »
Just got back from the Pasadena #1 show. I don't really waste the energy to think or care about if they are stuck in the past etc. etc. I just went to enjoy a night of amazing music and left satisfied. Just enjoy them while they are still playing. Sometimes I feel like people pick apart every song, setlist, and thing they say. They won't be touring for too much longer - smell the flowers while you can.

Offline mariamontreal

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Re: U2's Joshua Tree tour: stuck in the past, or a new sense of purpose?
« Reply #85 on: May 22, 2017, 06:32:16 PM »
 I am banking on the next album and tour is going to be something we haven't seen fron them in a long time big sounds and great tunes.
Can't wait to see.

Offline Blueyedboy

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Re: U2's Joshua Tree tour: stuck in the past, or a new sense of purpose?
« Reply #86 on: May 23, 2017, 03:40:12 AM »
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It's crazy talk that somehow U2 must never tour a 30yr old album because they are U2. Let's think about that. How many bands get the chance to tour a 30yr old album with the same lineup without ever retiring? Not many.

In my own opinion, the U2 we get today are the best possible version of the band we could hope for at this stage in their career. Still active, still making original material.

SOE is coming, so no dramas with an album being written off due to the tour, just delayed slightly, and for a band that has released material so sporadically in the last decade and a half, this period is positively buzzing in comparison, even if worse case scenario is early 2018 (which I doubt very much).

The band deserve their time in the sun, let's not lose sight of the fact that they themselves created this masterpiece and can do as they like with it.
If it attracts fans of the album that are not necessarily fans of the band then so what? What's the crime? Should this not happen just because it's U2?

There's a separate and very valid conversation to have with regards to at what point in their career they stopped pushing the envelope, but this tour is not the catalyst for it.

I quite agree with you, except for your last sentence. 

I think this tour is exactly the time to discuss whether they stopped pushing the envelope.  I love the new song, I think Bono sings it heart wrenchingly, but it feels like they chose it as a coded "goodbye" to touring.  After how incredibly inventive the storytelling and music was in I&E, stepping back 30 years into the past is jarring.
 

I went back and watched the Chicago Vertigo tour DVD last night.  Bono says something along the lines of them always looking forward and bringing only the best parts of the past with them.  This JT2017 tour feels like the opposite.  Holding on a bit to the hope of the future but looking backwards. 

Mind you I agree completely they are both entitled to do so and I'm not criticizing them for it!  Far from it.  I've already gotten at least two albums I never realistically thought we'd get and unlike a lot of folks, I think I like the last four albums more than their first four.  But no one remains the same creative force they were in their 20s into their 60s. 

I'm rambling a bit because I'm a little emotional right now and not in the mood to go back and edit.  In sum, I just keep praying for more new music but I think they've earned whatever timeline they want to follow.

Great post, thanks for sharing.

I respectfully disagree, the time to question the envelope pushing and backward glancing was from 1998 onwards. In that time they have delved into their back catalogue and regurgitated a B side and one of their all time classics in an attempt at respectful chart positions. Up until SOI, they had released as many compilation albums as they had studio albums.

The current tour is an effect of that nostalgic aspect, but not the cause of it. Again I wish the band no ill will at this stage of their career, my frustration has always been that they applied the brakes on their creativity when they had so much more to offer and explore.
« Last Edit: May 23, 2017, 05:00:03 AM by Blueyedboy »

Offline trevgreg

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Re: U2's Joshua Tree tour: stuck in the past, or a new sense of purpose?
« Reply #87 on: May 23, 2017, 12:31:50 PM »
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Up until SOI, they had released as many compilation albums as they had studio albums.

Well, at least they're not New Order or Aerosmith and releasing compilations every other year for the ten-billionth time.

Offline This Dave

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Re: U2's Joshua Tree tour: stuck in the past, or a new sense of purpose?
« Reply #88 on: May 23, 2017, 06:18:28 PM »
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Up until SOI, they had released as many compilation albums as they had studio albums.

Well, at least they're not New Order or Aerosmith and releasing compilations every other year for the ten-billionth time.

I'm always amazed at those bands which seemingly have more compilations than original albums.  Who is still buying those, and why?

Offline ian ryan

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Re: U2's Joshua Tree tour: stuck in the past, or a new sense of purpose?
« Reply #89 on: May 23, 2017, 08:40:58 PM »
It's a fiscal requirement, them making the best of a tight situation. That said, I think they did a hell of a lot with the tight spot they were put in.