U2 perform "Desire" in Las Vegas at the iHeartRadio Music Festival (9/23/16)


Top U2 News Stories

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Opinion: Paul McGuinness's insight into bots, touting and band fan clubs was fascinating

by Jim Carroll, Irish Times

Sometimes the answers you're after come from the most unlikely sources. Former U2 manager Paul McGuinness spoke with former Dire Straits manager Ed Bicknell at the International Live Music Conference in London earlier this month. Here were two former high-profile managers chewing the fat over their years in the music business with choice anecdotes for everyone in the audience.

Both McGuinness and Bicknell are astute, experienced players who operated for many years at the very top of the business. They also know that their comments will be circulated beyond the attendance of live music agents and promoters.

Certainly, many ears would have pricked up when the conversation moved to the issue of ticket sales and touting, as McGuinness' former charges U2 have seen sizeable quantities of tickets for their upcoming Joshua Tree tour end up on sites used by touts.

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U2 kept fiddling with their ninth LP long after it hit shelves in early 1997, so here's a new take from live recordings, remixes and re-recordings

by Andy Greene, Rolling Stone

U2 are going all out to celebrate the 30th anniversary of The Joshua Tree this year, complete with a new super-deluxe box set and a stadium tour where they'll play the 1987 LP straight through. Lost in all the hubbub is another major U2 milestone. The 20th anniversary of 1997's Pop came and went this month without a peep from the U2 camp, but that's not really surprising. The electronica-influenced disc polarized fans and critics when it came out. With the exception of the soundtrack to their 1988 film Rattle and Hum, it was their first album that was seen as a disappointment, and it forced them to retreat back to a more traditional U2 sound for 2000's All That You Can't Leave Behind.

Looking back years later, U2 said the album was marred by their foolish decision to book a stadium tour long before it was ready. "Deadlines were looming ominously," Bono said. "Pop never had the chance to be properly finished. It is really the most expensive demo session in the history of music." But during the course of the PopMart Tour they made heroic efforts to fix the thing, releasing new mixes of the songs as singles and fiddling with the live arrangements as the tour progressed. The work continued in 2002 when they released The Best of 1990-2000, which featured new mixes of some Pop songs. If you piece it all together, they practically made an entirely new version of the album. The band never did piece it all together, though, so - as promised on a recent Rolling Stone Music Now podcast - we did it for them. Here's a new version of Pop in the original sequence. It's not better - it's just different.

"I don't see a body of water wide enough, or a wall high enough, to keep these problems from our doors," singer says at Munich Security Conferenc

By Daniel Kreps, Rolling Stone

Bono argued that investments in development and education in third-world countries, and not border walls and executive orders, could prevent extremism during the U2 singer's speech at the Munich Security Conference Friday.

"I don't see a body of water wide enough, or a wall high enough, to keep these problems from our doors," Bono warned.

"The frontier of national interest is no longer the national border. You may not be interested in the trouble on a far-off street or across the Mediterranean on the other side of the globe, but let me assure you, that trouble is interested in you. Our fate is a shared fate. But which fate will it be?"

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Latest U2 Concert

Opening Act(s): None

Setlist:

  1. Vertigo - She Loves You
  2. Elevation
  3. I Will Follow
  4. Beautiful Day - Zooropa - Blackbird
  5. California Dreamin' - California (There Is No End to Love)
  6. Angel of Harlem
  7. Stuck in a Moment You Can't Get Out Of
  8. Every Breaking Wave
  9. Bullet the Blue Sky - The Star-Spangled Banner
  10. The Hands That Built America - Pride (In the Name of Love)
  11. One - My Sweet Lord
  12. Mother and Child Reunion - Where the Streets Have No Name
  13. With or Without You
  14. I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For
  15. Encore(s):
  16. "40"

Remarks:

U2 perform at the Dreamfest conference right outside San Francisco (part of Salesforce's annual charity benefit for UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital). The performance is held outdoors and uses U2's old stage setup from 2006's Vertigo stadium legs (only used once in the U.S. at the final show in Honolulu, Hawaii on December 9, 2006). The band rehearsed twice prior to the show, including the night before. A rare full band version of "California (There Is No End to Love)" is performed for only the 7th time in its entirety. U2 played a portion of "Zooropa" right after "Beautiful Day" and dedicated "Every Breaking Wave" to Apple Computer founder Steve Jobs, who died 5 years ago to the day. The biggest moment came when U2 went after GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump in a searing version of "Bullet the Blue Sky". In specially looped videos of Donald Trump, Bono attacks him for trying to hijack the American Dream as a self-serving and destructive business man. This mockery by Bono resembles his "conversation" with George H. W. Bush as "MacPhisto" on U2's ZooTV Tour. Right after "One", U2's scheduled encore was nixed because Bono spoke about charity involving the Red campaign. Much like the Innocence + Experience Tour, U2 performed a similar encore of songs until the final encore of "40". That song ("40") was played in celebration of U2's recent 40th anniversary of being together as a band. Bono said: "It feels kind of like a 40th birthday song".

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