June 2018 Archives
By Dave McKenna, Washington Post
Recent U2 roadshows had the feel of overbudgeted Broadway musicals, where tunes were subservient to pyrotechnics and it was clear that singer, frontman and resident speechifier Bono had to hit the same stage mark at the same point in the same song in every city because the props compelled him to.
The legendary Irish rockers are taking a different tack these days. For its Sunday appearance at Capital One Arena, U2's main stage had only microphones, instruments, band members and enough stomp boxes to make the Edge's guitars as reverb-y and echo-y as expected. There wasn't a confetti cannon or balloon drop anywhere on the premises. Yet from beginning to end of a joyous, two-hour-plus set, less sure seemed like more.
The band ranged far and wide when picking the set list. The only thing off limits this time around was material from "The Joshua Tree," the 1987 multiplatinum monster LP that band members decided has provided too much material to U2 shows for too long. (Plus it got its due just last year on a tour devoted to the album's 30th anniversary.) That pronouncement meant more time for tunes from the band's 14th and latest studio album, 2017's "Songs of Experience," as the set opened with a trio of newish numbers: The somber if overly Coldplayish dirge, "Love Is All We Have Left," the rocky funk of "The Blackout" and fuzzfest "Lights of Home."
By Jem Aswad, Variety
When a stadium-sized artist does a "club show," they usually play an acoustic-ish set or a scaled-down (i.e. intimate but incomplete) version of their usual headlining concert. Sometimes, they do something special.
For their concert at Harlem's legendary Apollo Theater on Monday night -- presented by and broadcast on SiriusXM -- U2 truly did something special, delivering a unique, carefully curated show, mixing classics and new songs with several deep cuts, including an encore set with the 13-piece Sun Ra Arkestra that featured three rarely played, Harlem-centric songs from their 1988 album "Rattle and Hum." There were none of the dazzling special effects that have become a hallmark of their big-room shows; just lights, a stage, and one of the greatest live rock bands in history at full throttle, roaring through 20 songs from their nearly 40-year catalog.
Last Sunday, May 27, U2 recorded a couple of tunes at Jack White's Third Man Records studio in Nashville, TN.
The songs U2 performed were recorded directly to acetate vinyl for a special forthcoming limited edition single.
Here's their live, stripped-down acoustic take of "Love Is Bigger Than Anything in Its Way" (this was recorded via Facebook Live).
Also, they performed an acoustic version of "Red Flag Day" and here is a snippet below: