Author Topic: U2 have become a 'show' rather than a band.  (Read 5929 times)

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Offline Monicalea

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Re: U2 have become a 'show' rather than a band.
« Reply #30 on: August 01, 2009, 10:03:19 PM »
Which, sadly, says more about their audience than it does about them.

Offline JoshuaTree94

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Re: U2 have become a 'show' rather than a band.
« Reply #31 on: August 01, 2009, 10:58:09 PM »
Look at it this way:

There are fans, even die-hards like me (trust me on this) who can only afford to see one show, and are lucky to even see that one show. I don't know if I would like it, even as a die hard fan, to get the show where you get Shadows and Tall Trees, Rejoice, Surrender, 4th of July, Mothers of the Disappeared, Van Diemen's Land, So Cruel, Babyface, Miami, Wild Honey, A Man and a Woman, and Cedars of Lebanon, to give one example from each album, at the expense of those great songs that are already played - Mysterious Ways, Beautiful Day, New Year's Day, One, With or Without You, etc. Why? Because I want to hear the band's absolute best: the stuff they rehearse, know well, know how to get a crowd jumping, and are comfortable with. Playing so many songs completely fresh and uneasily could only lead to a bad performance. If I ever go to see U2, I don't want a nervous and bumbling Bono, a shaky-handed Edge, an unsteady Adam, or a tense Larry. I want to see them loose in mood but tight in musical form, polished, and comfortable with themselves and their music.

People complain about the setlists, but does it really affect you, Mr. Bob from Boston, to generalize, what is being played in Gelsenkirchen, Germany? Not all that much, believe it or not. U2 doesn't tour to say "OK, we're going to surprise everybody 100% of the time with what we play." They're going to say "OK, when we come around to your town and you pay your hard-earned cash to get in, we want to give you the best night we can, with what we're comfortable with."

So there you go. :)

Offline musicmania

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Re: U2 have become a 'show' rather than a band.
« Reply #32 on: August 02, 2009, 06:40:18 AM »
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Wasn't 1993 the last time Leonard Cohen toured? I wouldn't be able to wait 15 years between U2 concerts. It's a given that Bruce is one of a kind as far as long shows but throwing Cohen into this doesn't fit (I think his tour is a lot shorter too but I could be wrong).  I think the only option to lengthen U2 shows is to eliminate the opening act and have a firm 7 or 8pm local start time. 

Well Leonard Cohen will has 94 dates confirmed for this year alone. He also toured extensively last year. What has the fact Leonards tour before that was so long ago before about? U2 have only played at home every 4 years of late. The point I was making was Leonard is almost 75! Bruce & Leonard were just examples of 3 hour shows. In regards having support acts I think it is irrelevant as Bon Jovi had support acts when they played Croke Park & still played for 3 hours. That did appear to be a once off though as their shows normally average 2.5 hours. I for one wouldn't mind getting rid of the support acts if that was the reason for shorter sets.

Offline Tumbling Dice

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Re: U2 have become a 'show' rather than a band.
« Reply #33 on: August 02, 2009, 12:35:42 PM »
ZOO TV/Zoorope and POP-Mart were both pre programmed productions in stadiums with only minor improvisations in the sets throughout those tours.  Where as there were more changes on the Elevation and Vertigo tours in arenas.  It seems you can't have it both ways with U2 - a large scale stadium production where the stage show is designed to WOW or more loose concerts in relatively smaller indoor arenas with the focus more on the music.  I would rather take an arena show every time but that's another debate, stadiums V arenas. 

Offline Tumbling Dice

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Re: U2 have become a 'show' rather than a band.
« Reply #34 on: August 02, 2009, 12:37:51 PM »
...and I wish people would stop comparing U2 with other artists.

Offline renno

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Re: U2 have become a 'show' rather than a band.
« Reply #35 on: August 02, 2009, 12:44:17 PM »
I aint read through the thread just the topic title

u2 have been a show since 1990 , if you want to go and see u2 you know your going to get one hell of a show.See  zoo tv , popmat ,vertigo and 360.
U2 putting on a show is nothing new.

In my opinion they have always kept that connection with the music. They mix the show and the music very well. On the vertigo tour when they played sometimes you carnt make it on your own there wasnt a dry eye in the house. That my friend is nothing to do with the show its the power of the music
« Last Edit: August 02, 2009, 12:45:51 PM by renno »

Offline Trillian

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Re: U2 have become a 'show' rather than a band.
« Reply #36 on: August 02, 2009, 01:24:31 PM »
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I've heard exactly the same complaints and suggestions in all 10 years (and three tours) that I've followed U2 tours on the internet. If you're after spontaneity, U2 just aren't the band to go to.

Or, the internet's not the place to go to. For the past two tours (one show for each) I didn't look at set lists. For Vertigo I knew nothing at all of what they were going to play, and not only was I shocked at Bullet the Blue Sky being a part of the set list, but also, as a fan who still had a lot of their music to learn I was introduced to Out of Control and Party Girl through that gig. For this time around I knew all of the band's songs and had heard rumours of some of what was going to be played. I had very little idea of what order the songs would be played in, though. If you're expecting to be surprised at a U2 concert then stay away from the internet and you'll discover the 'set list' as you go along. Hasn't failed me yet!

It's not up to the fans to determine the show anyway; that's solely with the band and their tour organisers and I personally think that's the way it should stay. We're not the ones who rehearsed for months to see what works and what doesn't and so I don't think we should then tell them what to do. That's just my opinion, of course, and I know that some will disagree.


Offline Vervefloyd

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Re: U2 have become a 'show' rather than a band.
« Reply #37 on: August 03, 2009, 07:44:58 PM »
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ZOO TV/Zoorope and POP-Mart were both pre programmed productions in stadiums with only minor improvisations in the sets throughout those tours.  Where as there were more changes on the Elevation and Vertigo tours in arenas.  It seems you can't have it both ways with U2 - a large scale stadium production where the stage show is designed to WOW or more loose concerts in relatively smaller indoor arenas with the focus more on the music.  I would rather take an arena show every time but that's another debate, stadiums V arenas. 

well if we can land a man on the moon surely U2 can rotate the set during a stadium show.  however the problem lies in the type of musicians that U2 are.  they are just U2, nothing more.  they require lots of rehearsing just to play a U2 show.  springsteen practices 3 days with the band then they do 2 rehearsal gigs and hit the road and they can play 120+.  U2 are very limited musicians who require excessive repetition just to pull their own songs off.  while they sound great doing the U2 thing, they just can't pop on stage and join any band at any time and seemlessly join the set.  its probably too late in their career for it, but U2 just doesnt strive to make themselves better as a band.  playing only 30 songs for 12 months doesn't actually do anything.  imagine if U2 challenged themselves night in and night out like springsteen, they might spark some long lost creativity and try some new approaches for albums.  and maybe even rediscover that POP was brilliant instead of acting like it never happened and parading around like ATYCLB was some groundbreaking album, when in fact it was about the easiest route they have ever take for an album. 

so i often wondered if i posted this on a thread what the answer would be:

Would you rather see the same show U2 does every night to make sure you don't miss say a song like Unforgettable Fire or would you rather leave the stadium knowing that you and 60,000 others say a show no one else on the tour can say they saw?

U2 just confuse me.  They haven't been afraid to drop WOWY and SBS before but whats the deal now.  Do they fit that well thematically? I can;t imagine WOWY fitting anywhere with how horrible its been on this tour.

And so yes U2 is a traveling broadway show, problem is there is no brilliant plot, just 22 or 23 acts.  no reason why they can't be interchangeable.  it might require more work on U2's part and less travel to Nice after shows, but come on we are all working a little harder for our money these days.  the least U2 could do is the same.

Offline Mr. BonorFLYd

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Re: U2 have become a 'show' rather than a band.
« Reply #38 on: August 03, 2009, 09:13:04 PM »
guess you didn't hear about the Dublin shows. a little hard on U2 I think. They have to work and get used to a lot of technology...much more than a Bruce Springsteen show. And musically, there are what...8 people in his band? U2 have to figure out how to play all their songs as a four-piece...which much of the responsibility on the Edge. U2 are doing pretty well with all of this.

Offline BeneathTheNoise

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Re: U2 have become a 'show' rather than a band.
« Reply #39 on: August 04, 2009, 01:05:20 AM »
You guys would go NUTS if they mixed things up. I can just see them doing Gloria in Los Angeles, but doing Miracle Drug instead in Houston, haha.. I'm guessing they're just playing it safe? If you know what to expect, they're aren't any surprises.. But HEY, that'd work for me though, I think it'd be a good idea for them to mix things up. Got to admit though, I'd be jealous if I was at the Houston show instead of the LA one.. ;D

Offline brendan,belfast

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Re: U2 have become a 'show' rather than a band.
« Reply #40 on: August 04, 2009, 02:44:24 AM »
Maybe Vervefloyd puts it a lot better than I did in the OP, but I concur absolutely. Do I even have to check the set list thread from last night to see what was played? ANY chance they switched up the encore??

Offline jick

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Re: U2 have become a 'show' rather than a band.
« Reply #41 on: August 04, 2009, 09:42:20 AM »
U2 are a band that puts on a show.  Can't show and band co-exist?

Cheers,

J

Offline Darkstar

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Re: U2 have become a 'show' rather than a band.
« Reply #42 on: August 04, 2009, 10:58:45 AM »
Many bands simply can't have a setlist that wildly varies from night-to-night, they simply don't have the musical chops to pull it off. I'm not saying U2 is guilty of this, but I've been seeing the band live for over 20 years and there is a reason why for this tour I only bought tickets to one show. I was willing to buy more tickets, but when I saw that the setlist wasn't changing I was glad I didn't buy tickets for multiple shows.

I think some of the reason why bands don't do this anymore is that it's much, much safer to have the canned, pre-programmed setlist. Things have a far less chance to go wrong, bands are so image conscious they are terrified of looking bad on stage. But sometimes seeing the warts humanizes them, makes them more interesting. And geez, U2 isn't really a rock and roll band anymore if we are being completely honest; they are a corporation with hundreds, thousands or maybe, tens of thousands of mouths to feed, paychecks to cover. Especially now when bands have less of a chance to make serious money off of album sales than they ever did before, concert tours are THE money-maker. Experimentation happens on album now, not on tour.

Back in the day, this wasn't the way it was done. There were many bands that changed the setlist every night and I mean changed it completely. The most famous example is The Grateful Dead. I saw the Dead many, many times and with them no two shows were the same...ever. You'd go to a show and it would be days, weeks, years, maybe decades before that song made an appearance at another Dead show, which is why people toured with the dead. My friends and I would plan vacations from work, school, etc and follow the Dead for 10-12 shows when the dead hit the west coast, and you'd pray that your favorite song made an appearance during those 10-12 shows.

Having lived through that magic with the dead, I would love to hear U2 do this. The problem is that you have to live through nights when the band is 'off' but when they are on, wow, pure magic. U2 can't take risks like that, so we get these shows where really the music is not the forefront anymore, the performance is.

The reality is, these big bands just don't do stuff like that anymore. There will always be exceptions of course, but my belief is that for the most part, the days of the changing setlist is vanishing like the dodo. It's just easier to play it safe.
« Last Edit: August 04, 2009, 11:06:06 AM by Darkstar »

Offline theocean

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Re: U2 have become a 'show' rather than a band.
« Reply #43 on: August 04, 2009, 11:21:15 AM »
They just have such a giant following now, I saw them in a small bar in 1980, I still cant believe how far they have come, I am proud of them, I wish they could do small, but they cant. Maybe someday if they get as old as the Dubliners were.

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Re: U2 have become a 'show' rather than a band.
« Reply #44 on: August 04, 2009, 12:22:29 PM »
Love it or hate it, this is nothing new.

But I'm just glad that Europe got the dress rehearsals this time.  ;D