Author Topic: An Open Letter to U2  (Read 5239 times)

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Offline briscoetheque

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Re: An Open Letter to U2
« Reply #30 on: October 31, 2009, 02:21:13 PM »
Yeah they play to the 98% of fans in the stadium that are seeing 1 show on tour. Not the 2% who are seeing 412 shows.

The problem can be though that the 2% are the ones who post on sites like this, who queue for hours to get up the front, get in the inner circle, and are then flat if U2 don't play Street Mission.

I was one of those fans until I saw the show for the first time. Then I realised it doesn't matter what the hell they play... I was there to enjoy myself. Even found myself singing along to Stuck in a Moment. Gahhhhh

Offline Nielsen

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Re: An Open Letter to U2
« Reply #31 on: October 31, 2009, 02:23:31 PM »
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Yeah they play to the 98% of fans in the stadium that are seeing 1 show on tour. Not the 2% who are seeing 412 shows.

The problem can be though that the 2% are the ones who post on sites like this, who queue for hours to get up the front, get in the inner circle, and are then flat if U2 don't play Street Mission.

I was one of those fans until I saw the show for the first time. Then I realised it doesn't matter what the hell they play... I was there to enjoy myself. Even found myself singing along to Stuck in a Moment. Gahhhhh

That must have been a really ironic twist of fate Brisco :D

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Re: An Open Letter to U2
« Reply #32 on: October 31, 2009, 02:33:38 PM »
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Yeah they play to the 98% of fans in the stadium that are seeing 1 show on tour. Not the 2% who are seeing 412 shows.

The problem can be though that the 2% are the ones who post on sites like this, who queue for hours to get up the front, get in the inner circle, and are then flat if U2 don't play Street Mission.

Pfff....screw Street Mission. I want Cartoon World.

Offline briscoetheque

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Re: An Open Letter to U2
« Reply #33 on: October 31, 2009, 02:48:20 PM »
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Yeah they play to the 98% of fans in the stadium that are seeing 1 show on tour. Not the 2% who are seeing 412 shows.

The problem can be though that the 2% are the ones who post on sites like this, who queue for hours to get up the front, get in the inner circle, and are then flat if U2 don't play Street Mission.

I was one of those fans until I saw the show for the first time. Then I realised it doesn't matter what the hell they play... I was there to enjoy myself. Even found myself singing along to Stuck in a Moment. Gahhhhh

That must have been a really ironic twist of fate Brisco :D

When redheads line up in the desert for 6 hours, strange things happen...

Briscoe  :P
« Last Edit: October 31, 2009, 03:20:21 PM by briscoetheque »

Offline Joe G (Love You Like Mad Magazine)

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Re: An Open Letter to U2
« Reply #34 on: October 31, 2009, 03:03:20 PM »
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Yeah they play to the 98% of fans in the stadium that are seeing 1 show on tour. Not the 2% who are seeing 412 shows.

The problem can be though that the 2% are the ones who post on sites like this, who queue for hours to get up the front, get in the inner circle, and are then flat if U2 don't play Street Mission.

Pfff....screw Street Mission. I want Cartoon World.

I want a snippet medley of Southern Man/Whole Lotta Love/Dancing Queen after Alex Descends into Hell for a Bottle of Milk.

Offline squiggles

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Re: An Open Letter to U2
« Reply #35 on: November 01, 2009, 01:45:14 AM »
Most of us on this forum are on the hardcore side of the spectrum, so I understand the desire to hear the band dig deeper into their catalogue. The problem here (if you actually feel it IS a problem), is that they have gotten so enormously popular and their catalogue has gotten SO large, you end up having many fans who are into only certain "eras" (as in pre-Joshua Tree, Post-Achtung, then the early 2000s and now the newer stuff) and couldn't care less about anything else. So I totally understand the pressure to please as many people who forked out dough to see the show as possible. And that unfortunately means, we won't be hearing more than a smattering of some of the lesser known (to much of the audience) than we'd like. This is the price of being a huge band, unfortunately, that needs to take care of its fanbase in its entirety.  U2 still pushes boundaries (as in the latest album) and challenges its fans, new and old alike. So I don't think these set lists are some kind of cop-out. To do what you're suggesting, they'd be catering to only the most hardcore of fans which, let's face it, certainly do not compromise most of the audience. They're trying to be smart. I'll think we'll get some surprises next leg.

As for Willie Williams, however immensely talented, he is not the wizard behind this curtain. It's U2. They are control freaks (not an insult) and even if he cooks up an idea, it's not going forward unless the band want it to. He's executing their vision.

At the end of the day, if we're not happy about knowing in advance what's gonna be played, let's keep our eyeballs OFF the set list spoilers and youtube! That's what I did and will continue to do.
« Last Edit: November 01, 2009, 01:47:32 AM by squiggles »

Offline Dream Out Loud

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Re: An Open Letter to U2
« Reply #36 on: November 03, 2009, 09:10:00 AM »
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Yeah they play to the 98% of fans in the stadium that are seeing 1 show on tour. Not the 2% who are seeing 412 shows.

The problem can be though that the 2% are the ones who post on sites like this, who queue for hours to get up the front, get in the inner circle, and are then flat if U2 don't play Street Mission.

I was one of those fans until I saw the show for the first time. Then I realised it doesn't matter what the hell they play... I was there to enjoy myself. Even found myself singing along to Stuck in a Moment. Gahhhhh

pshaw!  the same 98% who like the current setlist would be equally happy if instead of Stuck and In a Little While, they played Out of Control and Wire...or One Tree Hill and Van Diemen's Land...or I Fall Down and Summer Rain.  they care about the hits and maybe the new music.  they don't care about the other songs one way or the other.

by shaking it up like that, they aren't playing to 2% of the fans. they'd be playing to 100% of the fans.

Offline 1985

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Re: An Open Letter to U2
« Reply #37 on: November 03, 2009, 09:52:54 AM »
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Yeah they play to the 98% of fans in the stadium that are seeing 1 show on tour. Not the 2% who are seeing 412 shows.

The problem can be though that the 2% are the ones who post on sites like this, who queue for hours to get up the front, get in the inner circle, and are then flat if U2 don't play Street Mission.

I was one of those fans until I saw the show for the first time. Then I realised it doesn't matter what the hell they play... I was there to enjoy myself. Even found myself singing along to Stuck in a Moment. Gahhhhh

pshaw!  the same 98% who like the current setlist would be equally happy if instead of Stuck and In a Little While, they played Out of Control and Wire...or One Tree Hill and Van Diemen's Land...or I Fall Down and Summer Rain.  they care about the hits and maybe the new music.  they don't care about the other songs one way or the other.

by shaking it up like that, they aren't playing to 2% of the fans. they'd be playing to 100% of the fans.

I don't agree entirely with this -- although maybe half-way. My wife is a prototype of the 98%. I'm intending to get her to her first show next summer, which she wants to do. But she can only take so much U2 at a time. It goes down MUCH easier when it's a certain type of U2...the melodic U2 (One Tree Hill would fit that designation, by the way). When she got her hands on the iPod in the car this weekend, and the four year old was demanding U2, she put on All I Want Is You, Angel of Harlem, Stuck in a Moment, In a Little While, etc. Wire is not really going to do for her. And I Fall Down holds a lot of nostalgic value, but they do really write objectively better songs now, right?

I think you can please the 98% while rotating the familiar, accessible songs. But I think this is pretty much what they've been doing -- NYD, Angel of Harlem, Stuck, In a Little While, Desire, and a few others have mostly been on rotation. They're showing courage every night they run out Unknown Caller and Your Blue Room, because they know that they've lost a big chunk of audience in order to tell the story they want to tell. And some of the standards, like Walk On and WOWY are in there every night because they are telling the central story of these concerts...the one that's in the heart of every show. See this week's Off the Record for what I think is an accurate take on this.

I guess in sum, given the lack of impact made by No Line commercially, the new songs occupy much of the space (tolerance from the masses) that would otherwise be used for more deep cuts. A third of the concert is totally unfamiliar to most attendees. Would it really be in the band's best interest to go higher than that? Or do they have a better understanding of their broader audience than we do?



Offline theuntedge

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Re: An Open Letter to U2
« Reply #38 on: November 05, 2009, 06:06:16 PM »
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Bear in mind U2 are limited in spontaneity by the scope of their production. If Bono walks over to Larry halfway through the show and says, "c'mon start us up with I Threw A Brick, I'm feelin' it!" it's not really going to work.
The front of house engineer has a premixed preset for every song in the planned set, so it would throw him off balance
The click track the band listens to in their in-ears won't be set for the tempo of I Threw A Brick
The video screen won't be programmed for the song
Edge won't have his guitar of choice / effects for the song unless Mr. Schoo is really on the ball
Bono won't remember the lyrics

None of these would really stop them from playing it, but this is U2, and they are perfectionists to the extreme. I don't see them attempting a song without all their pre planned whizbangs to go along with it.

-Nick

Nlee made a great comment about the logistical challenges of just pulling a song out of a hat and going for it.  Of course all of us on here would love the hear anything more obscure, but it presents all these challenges to making it sound presentable live.  Now having a handful of prepared songs is another thing, but it all just depends on what feels right to the band.  It's simply impossible to please 70,000 equally each night.

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Re: An Open Letter to U2
« Reply #39 on: November 05, 2009, 06:19:06 PM »
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Offline ptrocku2

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Re: An Open Letter to U2
« Reply #40 on: November 05, 2009, 07:15:32 PM »
This is probably the best thread on here i have seen in a long time.  I agree with so many posters here..that I'm not going to sit and quote everyone.  With that being said..here i go!!

I agree that us hardcore fans would like to see the band shake it up a bit.  But on the other hand, we are maybe 3% of the audience that goes to see this band more than 1 time on a tour.  A good friend of mine got tickets unexpectedly for the Rose Bowl show.  She was in the Red Zone.  She was not a huge U2 fan..but always liked their music.  After seeing the show, she said that U2 is now her favorite band.  She said she has never in her life seen such a dynamic show..the boys..the lights..the stage..everything.

That is how U2 keeps the reign as the greatest band in the world.  They appeal to us older fans by putting in older songs--yes--i agree--they could switch it up a bit.  but again..the majority of the people seeing the show are seeing it 1 time..they have not been on youtube watching bits and pieces of the show..they have not been following set lists.

For this tour..it really would be hard to switch up songs every night due to the technical aspects of the stage and lighting.  However, during the Elevation tour and Vertigo tour I believe they could have switched it up a bit and played different songs.

The best idea I have heard here..and I apologize if i am not quoting directly..is the idea that they play their new stuff..keep in the old die-hard songs ( wowoy, streets, bd) and THEN switch up 5 or 6 songs a night--GREAT IDEA.

And for those fans who are forgetting---we have seen some old tour songs retired for this tour: IWF, BULLET, Pride in the name of love...and I didn't miss these songs at all.  Being a fan since day 1 and seeing them about 1 dozen times..I can say I love each and concert.  I agree I would love to see a set list change..and not to stir up this forum..but i would REALLY love to see them do an album in it's entirety..1 album each night.  I KNOW..it will never happen..just a wish of mine.

Offline Vervefloyd

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Re: An Open Letter to U2
« Reply #41 on: November 05, 2009, 09:19:53 PM »
so here is a list of songs that would keep 98% of the fans happy every night:

I Will Follow
Gloria
SBS
NYD
40
Pride
Bad
Streets
ISHFWILF
WOWY
Angel of Harlem
Desire
All I Want Is You
One
Even Better Than The Real Thing
Mysterious Ways
Stay
Beautiful Day
Elevation
Vertigo

So that's a list of 20 songs.  My issue is U2 continues to parade out with essentially the same ones instead of rotating the whole lot and keeping every single person happy and themselves fresh.  9 of the 11 are locks.  and 6 of the others have appeared at some point but disappeared once U2 got done playing multiple gigs in one city.  but realistically, they are only playing 9 each night.  so why can't they rotate all 20 night in and night out.  why now is mysterious ways and ISHFWILF standards when for the past 2 tours they were rotated.

So you have the 7 new, the 9 classics and then depending on the length of the show, you have 7-9 more songs.  so let's take this further.  here are the other songs played essentially every night - COBL, TUF, MLK Walk On, Ultraviolet, Stuck in a Moment.

Now add these songs that they have played on this tour and last:

Out of Control
Electric Co.
An Cat Dubh/Into the Heart
The Ocean
Party Girl
One Tree Hill
BTBS
Running to Stand Still
Zoo Station
The Fly
Wild Horses
UTEOTW
The First Time
Discotheque
In a Little While
Kite
All Because of You
Yahweh
Love and Peace or Else
Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own
Original of the Species
Miracle Drug
Window In The Skies
Electrical Storm
Your Blue Room

And the rumored soundcheck songs:

If God Will Send His Angels
Mofo
Drowning Man

I think that brings it to 62 songs give or take the few i forgot that were played on this tour or the last tour or soundchecked on this tour.

That would not be hard to do.  Cause any one who believes the nature of the production is limiting the set list changes has to remember that the lack of set list changes are self imposed by the 4 members of U2 alone.  Someone creating that stage and NASA landing a man on the moon is far more difficult than U2 taking 60 songs on the road and expecting their light crew to do a good job.

I am not someone saying hey U2 dump all the hits and just play rare songs.  I'm just stating facts here.  U2 has a lot of hits, but they tend to play only the same ones each night on a tour.  They can rotate all 20 with ease and the casual fan could care less.  The casual fan seems very happy with the 9 so called hits they get each night and Pride has not been one of them lately.  So that disproves a theory that a song has to be played.  Sorry streets fans, but it would still be a U2 show without streets.  its just hard to imagine.

Of course the only hole in my theory is U2 itself.  Would they be willing to work on all those songs and could they actually pull off that kind of rotation without an absolute train wreck musically not visually.  thats for another thread and another day.