Classic or Dud: U2

Message Bookmarked
Bookmark Removed
What are there, like, 500 threads on this page? And not a single one has mentioned U2! What is it with all you children of the 80s? I bet everyone on this list has owned a U2 album at some point, something you probably couldn't say for any other band. So what is it? Classic or Dud?

Mark Richardson, Wednesday, 28 March 2001 00:00 (twenty-three years ago) link

To me, this one is a no brainer. Classic, by far. From their punk-based art rock in the early 80s with memorable songs such as "I Will Follow" and "Sunday Bloody Sunday" to their electronica experimentation days with Achtung Baby, Zooropa, and Pop. Everyone criticizes them for their large tours during the 90s and the loss of their earnestness over that time. I admit, it was a change in their style, but I would rather see a band go on an experimentation and try music they have never heard before than make music that feels comfortable and the same. Besides, their latest album proves they still have all the old qualities that made them big. On the musical aspect, they have some real gems of albums with the largely passionate War to the masterpiece of The Joshua Tree. A few concept albums like Pop and Rattle and Hum give more variety to their repetoire. The thing I love about U2 most is the unique flow of Bono's voice with their wonderfully written songs. Very spiritualistic and in some cases Driven. Whew!!! Ok. There. U2? Classic.

Luptune Pitman, Wednesday, 28 March 2001 00:00 (twenty-three years ago) link

Classic. Of course they have produced a lot of crap. but history doesn't remember the crap that classics produce.

Rebel Yellow Bleach Blondie Boy, Thursday, 29 March 2001 00:00 (twenty-three years ago) link

instead of just saying dud because of luptune i'll give some reasons: 1-those stupid sunglasses. 2-bono's horrid voice 3-that new single "walk on" 4-sunday bloody sunday. 5- "walk on"...and luptune likes them. dud

Kevin Enas, Thursday, 29 March 2001 00:00 (twenty-three years ago) link

U2 have never been a large part of my life anyhow, but, what i have heard I hear like this. The songs sound fine, pleasant even, for maybe two, two and a half minutes tops, and then the whole bloody bombast *thing* bursts in and the songs are just ruined for me(see with or without you *par example*) Not to mention the fumbeld grasp on politics, pop, religion, irony, *soul* fer fucks sake , or the dumb messiah complex. But the music though, really now!Is it just me or in the "anthems" (ahem) does The Edge play that same bloody jangly, ehoey riff (see those first two songs on The Joshua Tree, Beautiful Day et al) So Dud then, quite obviously.

Stephen, Thursday, 29 March 2001 00:00 (twenty-three years ago) link

Dud, dud, dud. They're just so...leather trousers, if you see what I mean.

DG, Thursday, 29 March 2001 00:00 (twenty-three years ago) link

Maybe I'm wrong, but I've always seen U2 as being one of the flagship whipping boys for the indie community. Someone please explain. No fair bringing up Bono's ridiculous political posturing or the inherent smugness of all their recent tour gimmicks. For U2 fans, those are as tiresome as the "they don't write their own songs" or the "it's manufactured" cop-outs that pop fans have to listen to. All of their albums from The Unforgettable Fire to Zooropa are spankin' good, and songs like With Or Without You and Bad are undeniably fantastic. The new album and singles are crap, but still...overall, an easy CLASSIC.

Shane Knepshield, Thursday, 29 March 2001 00:00 (twenty-three years ago) link

Yeah, but the reason pop fans are bored of that kind of criticism is that we like it that way or at least dont mind it and we defend it or explain why it doesn't matter. Being bored of a criticism just because people repeat it a lot isn't that good a defense against that criticism.

I think they're a dud because of Bono's rather predictable vocal stylings and with a handful of exceptions I've not seen much in the songs to redeem that. But they were onto something production wise with the Eno/Lanois sound on the Joshua Tree, a kind of stadium artrock shimmer which was marred by Bono's OTT bellowing but made for some grand rock singles anyhow. Since they discovered 'irony' they've been utterly unbearable.

Tom, Thursday, 29 March 2001 00:00 (twenty-three years ago) link

I think this one is more accurately answered over time.

1984 -- "What's this 'Pride' song on the radio? Hm, sounds nice."

1987 -- "This _Joshua Tree_ album is pretty good."

1988 -- "This _Rattle and Hum_ album is pretty shit, one or two tracks aside."

Through to the present -- occasional good tune to the contrary, *snore*

At this point, seeing U2 would rank up there as a 'pleasure' for me in the same way that seeing the Rolling Stones or Bruce Springsteen would. I leave that kind of joy to the deadened, blinkered likes of Robert Hilburn. Never has the continuing mainstream critical consensus been ever so increasingly frustrating and obnoxious, but I suppose they make a great band for somebody who buys one album a year.

Ned Raggett, Thursday, 29 March 2001 00:00 (twenty-three years ago) link

Dud. Not particularly objectionably dud, just sort of fairly harmless *nuisance* - like the tap that always drips, or a creaky floorboard that you really *should* find time to fix. They're just sort of AROUND aren't they these days? Just making a sort of bleating noise about something or other.

I thought they might be onto something with 'Achtung Baby', which I don't mind, but then of course pomp and bluster took hold again, and it's back to business as usual.

Dr. C, Thursday, 29 March 2001 00:00 (twenty-three years ago) link

well, i suppose there's 3 stages to u2 isn't there?

the earnest stage, in, like the 80s, when they really meant it, and they rocked and all that stuff, and i don't even remember, just some ugly people on the tv. turn that over. boring. dud, of course they were dud. the 80s were grey and horrible, and they were grey and horrible for the simple reason that u2 were in them, dud dud dud.

the irony/postmodern thingy in the 90s, they didn't mean it anymore, they're only playing! "oh, we were pompous in the 80s, how silly we were' lets be as over the top as poss and subvert. irony, yeah!! no no no, dud again. is this phase more or less dud than the initial phase? can't decide.

now. they really mean it again. they're going to change the world with their big tuneful rock thats a bit pop too. and the pope likes them. and noel g too! dud, but not as dud as the other 2 phases. no wait, more dud.

aaargh, u2! the biggest dud of them all. but funny i guess.

so, dud then

gareth, Thursday, 29 March 2001 00:00 (twenty-three years ago) link

There may be a "mainstream critical consensus" somewhere, but I doubt U2 is part of it - too many people hate them.

Musically, I think they go from Dud to Classic and back a lot, but mainly I have a big U2 trauma, because they were by 10 miles the favorite band of all obnoxious rich kids at school - "Sunday Bloody Sunday" is their fucking "Stairway To Heaven" and it's ruined that song for me.

I seem to prefer Under A Blood Red Sky, Rattle & Hum and Zooropa over The Joshua Tree (too much bombast, "Where The Streets Have No Name" has no discernible tune) Achtung Baby (half of it is undistinctive atmospheric in-one-ear-out-the-other stuff) and the latest one (hits-plus-filler), but that might be just a personal thing.

I have no opinion about Bono's personality, but I remember once kids from my secondary school making some sort of amateur video, lipsynching to some song or other - this would be in the mid-80's - and halfway through it one of them starts brandishing a big white flag around, not as a statement or anything, but 'cause that's what rock bands do, right ? Bono does it !

They were a very pernicious influence at one point. They were one of the bands that made it almost impossible at one point for mainstream rock fans to enjoy music that isn't stadium-size. Plus almost every goddamn new Canadian rock band around 1987-89 sounded like U2 and Simple Minds.

Patrick, Thursday, 29 March 2001 00:00 (twenty-three years ago) link

No, I have never owned an album of theirs and they are dud dud dud. God, I just keep on wanting to type dud over and over and over and over again. If there's any group that represents what I can't bear in rock music it's U2. Worse than the Cure. I'm sorry I can't bring myself to articulate the reasons. With most bands I don't like (I don't know... Guns n' Roses) I can twist around my thoughts if I feel Iike it and decide that in fact they're great. But not U2. God I hate U2. I really do. Sorry.

Nick, Thursday, 29 March 2001 00:00 (twenty-three years ago) link

Classic. They had a shitload of great tunes in the early days and a pretty freakin' original sound. I think Bono can sing pretty well even if he is a bit overzealous at time. JOSHUA TREE is a top notch record. Got pretty sucky in the late 80s with that RATTLE AND HUM dung, but I think they've redeemed themselves pretty well of late. Not nearly as necessary today as they were in the early 80s but the best thing on the freakin' radio and they still occasionally surprise me with some original song ideas. Oh yes, and Thom Yorke, you still sound like "new" Bono.

Tim Baier, Thursday, 29 March 2001 00:00 (twenty-three years ago) link

I agree with Nick Dastoor, only more so. Horrible. I've never owned one of their albums either, I'm delighted to say.

Tim, Thursday, 29 March 2001 00:00 (twenty-three years ago) link

Another good band ruined by an extremely punchable lead singer (see also Radiohead). 'Rattle and hum' was so embarrasing, it ended up being funnier than 'Spinal tap'. Even when Bono's heart is in the right place (cancelling 3rd world debt) you know he's feeding his already elephantine ego by being seen with the Pope or the President. Hes just a coke-addled middle crisis merchant. Having said that, there has always been some interesting shit going on in U2's music. A lot of it down to Eno's production but The Edge has a fantastic guitar style. Simon Reynolds once called him 'the cinematographer of the guitar' which is spot-on. 'New years day' is the best example of that 80's rock thing you will hear. 'The unforgettable fire' is the best song Scott Walker never wrote. Steve Albini would kill to write a riff as tight as 'Wire'. The new album is complete shite however and I am sick to the sight of them. The Irish rock scene has been polluted by too many lame-o U2 copyists (Cactus World News, JJ72). I think I'll sit on the fence with this one.

Michael Bourke, Thursday, 29 March 2001 00:00 (twenty-three years ago) link

'coke-addled midlife crisis merchant'...:)....sorry, I had to speed- type that response during my lunchbreak

Michael Bourke, Thursday, 29 March 2001 00:00 (twenty-three years ago) link

Following up Tom's response, I should clarify that I wasn't trying to dismiss the validity of criticisms focusing on the band's annoying public persona. As an ardent U2 supporter, even I can't help wanting to slap Bono on occasion (why won't he just shut up?). I was merely trying to steer the inevitable U2 bashing towards being more of an evaluation of their music rather than a celebration of what a tool Bono is. But hey, you all have done a pretty good job of hitting them hard from both angles, so I'm more than satisfied. Now that I've fullfilled my compulsive need to try to explain myself, I'll step aside and let the previously scheduled U2 slaughter continue.

Shane Knepshield, Thursday, 29 March 2001 00:00 (twenty-three years ago) link

DUD, with a few minor exceptions.

Robin Carmody, Thursday, 29 March 2001 00:00 (twenty-three years ago) link

I've said it once, but I will say it again....dud dud dud dud dud dud dud dud dud dud. You see? Their existence is only justified by an idiotic aquaintance of mine saying "Yeah, I like Indie know, like U2."

DG, Thursday, 29 March 2001 00:00 (twenty-three years ago) link

"Coke-addled midlife crisis merchant"??? Michael, admit it now: you are Nicky Wire ;)

ANYHOW, I apparently have to wave the flag nearly by myself but U2 are goddamned classics. Sure, Bono apparently has had sunglasses surgically attached to his face, and sure he's annoying, and sure Zooropa and Pop were piss, but no band who could put out something the level of Achtung Baby! should ever, ever, EVER be referred to as a dud. EVER. Their greatest hits album is just beautiful. I mean, yes, Bono is a twathead at times. I WILL GIVE ALL OF YOU THIS FACT. Mainly because it is a fact - I mean, he's like my dad's age and running around in those ridiculous colored sunglasses and sparkly shirts looking all the world like a glam-rock The Fly (thank god that phase is over), but come on - Bad, With or Without You, One - these are all fantastic songs.

You can't convince me you don't sing along with them in the pub. Not a one of you.

Ally, Thursday, 29 March 2001 00:00 (twenty-three years ago) link

never been in a pub

mark s, Thursday, 29 March 2001 00:00 (twenty-three years ago) link

unforgettable fire was truly otherworldly when i first heard it. i can't help but think that there is not any comparable contemporary band(creed ha!) working on a spiritual plain. i am not all that commited to anything but that record reeks of passion and faith and is remarkable. and u2 meant it didn't they? for a teen like me that was powerful stuff. i never thought joshua tree was as good as it was made out to be but UF is undeniably classic. that said they have not reached any place mildly interesting since the mid 80s. oh, but i did like that song 'acrobat'.

keith, Thursday, 29 March 2001 00:00 (twenty-three years ago) link

No, I'm sorry, _Achtung Baby_ deserves death, among other things because *that's the stupidest fucking album title*. There are other candidates, but geez. Lame. Figures that the music was equally pseudo-involving. I'll grant "Until the End of the World," though the fact that my first encounter with said song was a live clip showing Bono loving himself even put me off that.

Ned Raggett, Thursday, 29 March 2001 00:00 (twenty-three years ago) link

I REALLY hope you mean something different from "loving himself" than I was just picturing, Ned. *shivers*

Anyhow, how is Achtung Baby the stupidest album title? It's just there and bland, it's not like, say, Enter the Dragon. I still haven't figured out what that means.

Ally, Friday, 30 March 2001 00:00 (twenty-three years ago) link

heh heh, i thought it was funniest when Bozo was hanging out with Dylan & co and giving us solemn proclamations every now and then like "Roy Orbison had the best voice of a white man of his generation" - that was his hilarious "Custodian of Rock" phase, circa Rattle & Hum.

The music itself is a bunch of hammy guitar effects pedal tricks, overlaid with a straining, toilet seat voice trying hard to be epic and enigmatic but just ending up thoroughly, soddenly middlebrow.

However their first LP - although still ultimately crap - was a leaner, artier thing, when they were grooving to northern soul and joy division. Worth checking out, if only to confrim to yourself it's a blind alley.

BTW where the fuck is the kudos attached to "meaning it"? Hitler meant it!

I read a funny story about John Lydon sacking his manager circa 1989 because he told him he should "try to be more like Bono". I wish I'd been a fly on the wall when that conversation took place..

DS, Friday, 30 March 2001 00:00 (twenty-three years ago) link

You can always spot the 'custodians of rock' phase a couple of years before it comes. They wear leather waistcoats, hats and do photoshoots in the Arizona desert. Of course just out of shot is the helicopter waiting to whisk them back to air-conditioned comfort. Then before you know it the guitarist is trading 'licks' with Buddy Guy or someone.

Dr. C, Friday, 30 March 2001 00:00 (twenty-three years ago) link

i don't sing along in the pub.

i don't care how much joy division they listen to (i mean, so does mogwai from all accounts). the overcooked grandiose "epic" vocals and cornball lyrics ("we eat and drink while tomorrow they die" *slap*) and totally nondescript rhythm section ruin very promising guitar parts and eno's production. i'd at least listen to an instrumental album by the edge.

search: "new year's day"

sundar subramanian, Friday, 30 March 2001 00:00 (twenty-three years ago) link

so u2 = hitler? i only wished to convey the thought that they were not contrived.

keith, Friday, 30 March 2001 00:00 (twenty-three years ago) link

I find Dr. C's analysis spot on. The alternate symptoms in the late eighties were wearing bad paisley clothing and getting produced by Jeff Lynne.

Ned Raggett, Saturday, 31 March 2001 00:00 (twenty-three years ago) link

u2 = total classic. it's music for anyone who remembers being young and stupid, but who still had dreams and a whole lot of passion -- that is, before cynicism gets the best of you and your idealism is shot to hell.

if one doesn't like bono's voice or even bono himself, then there's not much you can do. though if you can dislike the band just because of bono, you probably don't much like the music in the first place. for example, i hate thom yorke. truly and thoroughly. but when the music's fine, i can put that aside. (stunning revelation: i quite like "pyramid song.")

i'm arguably the most classic rock person on this board, so it should be no surprise that i'm a sucker for their grandiose arena rock. here's a question: how many of you that rate the rolling stones a classic, rate u2 a dud?

fred solinger, Sunday, 1 April 2001 00:00 (twenty-three years ago) link

I do at least rate "Have You Seen Your Mother Baby ..." as something closer to classic than I do any U2 song.

Robin Carmody, Sunday, 1 April 2001 00:00 (twenty-three years ago) link

Total shite. Only 'Under a Blood Red Sky' is okayish. The rest is well wank of the highest order. Of course it doesn't help when your singer is such a wanker and proud of it. And they're always at least 5 years behind the cool thing. At least Eno got some easy money producing their shit.

Omar, Tuesday, 3 April 2001 00:00 (twenty-three years ago) link

yeh but fred, rolling stones are a classic, and u2 are a dud, because rolling stones have got 'shine a light' and 'have you seen your mother...' and 'under my thumb' and 'lets spend the night together' and all of 'their satanic majesties request' (underrated album or what?), whereas u2 have got... um, er, um...

gareth, Tuesday, 3 April 2001 00:00 (twenty-three years ago) link

who are you guys kidding? u2 are classic! this thread is kind of pointless, i don't understand why so many people say dud. i can't stand the rockstar posing, especially after the 'returntoform' of the new record that personally i find boring as shite, but they're still u2, and they've been around for about 20 years and they still have hit singles that hold up over time and i can stand sitting through. classic, naturally. you try being as successful as consistently as they have!

michael dieter, Tuesday, 3 April 2001 00:00 (twenty-three years ago) link

Classic or Dud is no place for objectivity, Michael. I think cutting my fingernails is more consistently and aesthetically 'successful' than anything Bono's done for 14 years.

Tom, Tuesday, 3 April 2001 00:00 (twenty-three years ago) link

" you try being as successful as consistently as they have! "

Michael, I don't understand your argument. Is it of '50 000 000 Elvis Fans Can't Be Wrong!' variety? The majority is always right, huh? Not that it even is a majority.

Nick, Tuesday, 3 April 2001 00:00 (twenty-three years ago) link

two months pass...
This is not a question worth discussing, since obviously, whether you like to admit it or not, U2 is considered to be a classic group. In about 5 years or so, they will definitely be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, along with the other classic rock groups. I was surprised to see that so many of you reacted negatively to the group, calling them duds. I've never met someone who had such animosity to the group, usually at the worst people think U2 is ok music, but in no way are they a contraversial or disappointing group.

But I won't use the argument that U2 has millions of followers around the world, because so do NSYNC and Britney Spears, and we all know how talented (gag) they are. Instead, think about their 20+ year career history, and the number of hits they've produced. Whether someone likes U2's music or not should not be criteria in considering a group to be a classic. I'm not a Rolling Stones fan, but I have to admit, they are a classic, whether I like their music or not. U2 is in the same category- despite personal musical preference, they supercede personal taste because, in essence, THEY ARE A CLASSIC! You do not need to be a fan of U2's music to realize that they are a classic. Besides, how many are involved with Greenpeace, Amnesty International, etc etc and donate countless hours and money to causes, such as relieving 3rd world debt? Too many other rock groups are too high on coke and are too self-involved to partake.

Many of the previous arguments I've read are hardly convincing and seem petty, "U2 = dud, their music sucks and it's for old people and like, Bono's a twat and egomaniac...blah blah blah" So what if Bono's a drama queen? It's all part of the Rock act and makes it more interesting to the fans and followers (of which, you all know, they have millions). The group isn't just about Bono, come on, it's the entire package. U2 is without a doubt, a classic, and an undeniably great group.

V. MacManus, Monday, 11 June 2001 00:00 (twenty-two years ago) link

Classic if only for a)not even trying to hide the fact they have the worst bass player in history, and b)the line "Man melts the sand so he can see the world outside."

tarden, Monday, 11 June 2001 00:00 (twenty-two years ago) link

Whether someone likes U2's music or not should not be criteria in considering a group to be a classic.

Oh, that's a completely rubbish argument. Why is wrong for people to consider things on their own terms, and not accept pronouncements from Rolling Stone, Q et al at face value? I rather like the idea of people actually thinking for themselves instead of blindly accepting what they are told.

Nicole, Monday, 11 June 2001 00:00 (twenty-two years ago) link

U2 involved in Greenpeace & Amnesty International...leaving aside that Greenpeace denies the livelihoods of strip-miners and lumberjacks, and Amnesty meddles in the internal security of tin-pot dictatorships who do perfectly well on their own thanks, I think a band's musical achievements should be separated completely from the amount of grandstanding they indulge in.

tarden, Monday, 11 June 2001 00:00 (twenty-two years ago) link

Which cuts both ways of course, as I like U2's records a lot. I think Zooropa is better than Amnesiac. But Jubilee 2000? C'mon, it's not HIS money that he lent out 30 years ago and didn't get the interest back, was it?

tarden, Monday, 11 June 2001 00:00 (twenty-two years ago) link

Finally found a page on this thing where I disagree with EVERYONE!

I can't hardly stand early U2 (whiny, monotonous, overblown), but everything from Joshua Tree on I find to be real groovy. Even Rattle & Hum. Achtung Baby is a great classic. The first side of Joshua Tree is flawless. Am I crazy?

brah gruplee, Wednesday, 13 June 2001 00:00 (twenty-two years ago) link

First side of Joshua Tree IS flawless, second side irredeemable, especially the godawful harmonica.

tarden, Thursday, 14 June 2001 00:00 (twenty-two years ago) link

That _Joshua Tree_ analysis is so on the money that it's taken my breath away. And here I was thinking I was the only one who felt that way...

Early U2 is quite clearly the bomb. The first three albums are glorious in their entirety. After that, they tend to be a mixed affair (the sole exception being _Achtung, Baby_ which is pretty much brilliant except for one song which is so dull that I can no longer recall its name or tune).

Dan Perry, Thursday, 14 June 2001 00:00 (twenty-two years ago) link

Classic. Some people have been saying things like "boring" "dull" and the rolling stones are better. That is total BS!!! Listening to U2 is like listenening to something that has never been done or never will or should not be done again. This is solid gold. What isn't boring? Some wastoid band like limp bizkit or metallica that are trying so hard to be hardcore that they are just blabbing on and on without a purpose. And the Rolling Stones? One of the biggest sellouts in history. No band on earth bought more into the corperate rock of the seventys. Some of their later stuff sounds like disco CRAP!!! We need U2 not just for the euphoric music but for sincerity.

Luke, Thursday, 21 June 2001 00:00 (twenty-two years ago) link

"Listening to U2 is like listenening to something that...should not be done again"

Are you sure you mean this? Though I entirely agree.

Tom, Thursday, 21 June 2001 00:00 (twenty-two years ago) link

Disco crap, but GOOD Disco Crap, see the misunderstood 'Hot Stuff'.

Omar, Thursday, 21 June 2001 00:00 (twenty-two years ago) link

one month passes...
I can't help but agree with V. MacManus.

Look guys, U2 is a powerful band. They inspire extreme hatred in some people, but they inspire extreme love in far more. Regardless of how much Bono offends you (I'm still unclear as to how that can happen... he's quite harmless) the facts still stand: U2 is one of most artistically and commercially successful bands of all time.

Many of you mantain that they were good in the 80's but sold out in the 90's. I suggest looking up the word "irony" in the dictionary. During their ZooTV and PopMart stadium tours they flat out refused corporate sponsorship (unlike the Rolling $tones) and lost money as a result. Just as you wouldn't assume that a battered old book is of poor literary quality based on its cover, you shouldn't attribute shallowness to a band just because they have video screens and flashy lights.

And if U2 were a dud band, why would they go out of their way time after time after time to change their musical style, often against what is currently popular. 'War' was a big success, so why go do 'The Unforgettable'? If 'The Joshua Tree' made them the most popular thing to come out of Ireland since the potato, why do something like 'Rattle and Hum'? And if their earnest, save-the-whales style of the 80's worked so well, why in God's name would you go off with something like 'Achtung Baby' and ZooTV? And why then change into 'Pop'? Why?

Because they've got balls. U2 just keeps changing and growing, usually with success (UF, JT, Achtung) but sometimes getting burned (Rattle and Hum, Pop). Instead of choosing the quick and easy path by just repeating a familiar sound over and over, U2 never let the critics, the media, or any of you punks drag them down.

Because like the Beatles and the other established classic bands, U2's twenty-year career has been a continuous growth process. U2 just keeps evolving, so they ALWAYS HAVE SOMETHING NEW AND INTERESTING TO SAY.

And THAT is the critical component in seperating the wheat from the chaff. THAT is what makes U2 a classic, and THAT is what makes the Rolling $tones a dud.


Sam Cunningham, Sunday, 29 July 2001 00:00 (twenty-two years ago) link


classic in the sense that they came out with a few good pop songs and records

dud in the fact that they are absolute crap now, are absoulute hypocrites and sellouts (the abc documentry sponsored by McDonalds, ticket prices only the rich can afford, bono dissing the "violence" by anti-capitolist protestors in Genoa whilst he was on a luxury yacht with tony blair without one mention of that protestor who was shot twice in the head, etc), were influenced by punk and yet at the same time sneered at the genre, along with the fact that bono's ego is larger than the size of the american continent and believes that the world revolves around him

i also think they ripped off depeche mode-badly-when they came out with achtung baby, only a few good songs on that record, and pop was much, much worse

i no longer buy u2 albums anymore, not even used

the walrus, Friday, 3 August 2001 00:00 (twenty-two years ago) link

imo the experience of seeing them in that setting outweighs all that shit for me

otherwise you’d never go anywhere!

werewolves of laudanum (VegemiteGrrl), Saturday, 30 September 2023 22:12 (six months ago) link

and almost every show i go to is a boomer show now #old

werewolves of laudanum (VegemiteGrrl), Saturday, 30 September 2023 22:12 (six months ago) link

Are “boomer+” fans really more annoying than other fans?

Chavez video on MTV, July 1995 (morrisp), Saturday, 30 September 2023 22:50 (six months ago) link

^ this

werewolves of laudanum (VegemiteGrrl), Saturday, 30 September 2023 22:55 (six months ago) link

Depends what you mean by annoying, but if you mean "more likely to just go to a show because they can afford it, and spend the time talking and going for beer," then in my experience, yeah, probably a little more likely to be annoying. Or at least annoying in a distracting way.

Josh in Chicago, Saturday, 30 September 2023 23:00 (six months ago) link

my U2 experiences have been almost all positive with the crowds except the Joshua Tree nostalgia trip. very much a "just play the songs we know" crowd, which usually doesn't happen at their gigs. i'd hope the visual experience would drown out the tourists in this case, though.

the Rose Bowl experience was A+ bc we got there early and bonded in line w/a bunch of superfans, and one of them (an Australian rugby dude) advised us all on where to go to get in the inner circle, and we did and all met up again with that same group of people (whom we never saw again after that.)

omar little, Saturday, 30 September 2023 23:11 (six months ago) link

Superfans at any show can sometimes be annoying, but in general fan communities are tons of fun and really friendly.

Josh in Chicago, Saturday, 30 September 2023 23:19 (six months ago) link

yeah true it can oscillate wildly from Drive by Truckers welcoming-party-crew-vibes one the cool end to Dave Matthews Band pyschofans shushing you for singing along at the other end (still have not fully gotten over that one)

werewolves of laudanum (VegemiteGrrl), Saturday, 30 September 2023 23:30 (six months ago) link

*on the cool end

werewolves of laudanum (VegemiteGrrl), Saturday, 30 September 2023 23:35 (six months ago) link

I didn't find the U2 crowd any different than any other big concert crowd, the vibe was fine

Blues Guitar Solo Heatmap (Free Download) (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Sunday, 1 October 2023 02:07 (six months ago) link

Experiences with superfans could be an amazing thread.

Position Position, Sunday, 1 October 2023 02:23 (six months ago) link

I had a full panic attack at the Rose Bowl U2 show and had to leave, but it had been decades since I had seen them last. I'd love to see Laser Floyd inside the sphere.

Elvis Telecom, Sunday, 1 October 2023 02:25 (six months ago) link

That would be the ultimate music experience

Blues Guitar Solo Heatmap (Free Download) (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Sunday, 1 October 2023 03:13 (six months ago) link

lol "U2 Presents: The Vegas Laser Floyd Experience."

Josh in Chicago, Sunday, 1 October 2023 04:46 (six months ago) link

I'm not saying that the band should go full-hologram, but honestly if they ditched the band and went full Laser Floyd with a good mix of Unforgettable Fire->Zooropa I'd definitely go check it out.

Elvis Telecom, Sunday, 1 October 2023 05:19 (six months ago) link

Ah, the old "just four holograms in a dome" routine...

Anyone ever see a Joshua Light Show gig?

earlnash, Sunday, 1 October 2023 15:35 (six months ago) link

So who's playing drums? That Guardian review just says Larry Mullen isn't...

read-only (unperson), Sunday, 1 October 2023 16:04 (six months ago) link

From the setlists link above:

Note: First U2 show without Larry Mullen, Jr., Bram van den Berg on drums

Kim Kimberly, Sunday, 1 October 2023 16:16 (six months ago) link

Someone just sent me what is probably the best fan video from the U2 x Las Vegas Sphere event: Snoop.

— Trung Phan (@TrungTPhan) October 1, 2023

Josh in Chicago, Sunday, 1 October 2023 17:08 (six months ago) link

Those sirens are a dead ringer the 1993 live intro to Lemon

I'm guessing it isn't Lemon

you can see me from westbury white horse, Sunday, 1 October 2023 17:11 (six months ago) link

I'm only just seeing the setlist now. Big lol at the "Rattle and Hum interlude" slitting a hole into Achtung.

you can see me from westbury white horse, Sunday, 1 October 2023 17:28 (six months ago) link

Anyway now to immediately see what Love Is Blindness sounds like live after 30 years. The Zoo TV version of that is maybe my favourite thing U2 have ever done.

you can see me from westbury white horse, Sunday, 1 October 2023 17:29 (six months ago) link

Okay Love Is Blindness sounds excellent from the videos on YouTube. It reintroduces the lalalas from the album version which weren't there originally.

Arms Around the World seems on fine form too after the same amount of time.

you can see me from westbury white horse, Sunday, 1 October 2023 17:39 (six months ago) link

weren't there originally live I mean

you can see me from westbury white horse, Sunday, 1 October 2023 17:40 (six months ago) link

Holograms are not lasers!
We must maintain the purity of the Laser Floyd experience.

Blues Guitar Solo Heatmap (Free Download) (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Sunday, 1 October 2023 17:45 (six months ago) link

Bono truly missing the opportunity to reprise his Sinatra duet, which would have been fitting for a few different reasons.

Josh in Chicago, Sunday, 1 October 2023 17:47 (six months ago) link

That was the most arresting thing about the original Xoo TV production for me, falling through these idk star maps in slow motion for Love is Blindness, it was absolutely perfect, I wonder if they've replicated that.

MaresNest, Sunday, 1 October 2023 17:49 (six months ago) link

You'd think it would be perfect - it's already planetarium shaped in there - but they've gone for silhouettes of butterflies and insects, increasing in quantity until they've blacked out almost the whole screen.

you can see me from westbury white horse, Sunday, 1 October 2023 17:57 (six months ago) link

Eugene Robinson of Oxbow has made U2 the subject of his latest newsletter:

He was quiet. Unusually quiet. Or at least unusual for an Irish cat from New York. It could have been the drink, or the night, but it was significant enough to warrant an intervention, or at least a query. In this case, what the hell was wrong?

“I just got back from Reno,” Shaughnessy said of “the biggest little city in the world”. This, in and of itself, may or may not have been a cause for sorrow. But I waited.

“I saw Steppenwolf.” Steppenwolf of the heavy leathers, fringed vests and overall bad-ass biker beards and suggestion of the same in the shape of their hit song “Born to Be Wild.”

“Did they play ‘Born to Be Wild’?”

“They were playing it as I walked in,” he said, his brows knit. “They were wearing rented tuxes. And did it lounge style.” He paused in a way that indicated that this was not at all for comedic effect.

“To be funny?”

“There was nothing funny about this at all.”

And so the last and enduring image is of the young turks having metastasized into old men just doing what old men do: looking for a warm place out of the rain where they might make a little scratch for having been any/everything but.

A distinctly mixed bag of circumstances because on the one hand like the Chinese proverb seems to imply — “Don’t laugh at the prostitute. Laugh at the poor person.” — there’s nothing wrong with getting that money. On the other hand like Joseph Welch once asked of Senator Joseph McCarthy, “have you no decency, sir?”

I’m unsure of what price is attached to decency but waking up this morning to news that the band U2 started their 25-night residency at Las Vegas’ MSG Sphere, complete with Paul McCartney, Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre in the house, I had started to wonder. Specifically, when did it happen that there was no social sanction at all for doing the lamest shit ever?

Or, more specifically, when did we outgrow shame?

And don’t hit me with the “get it? card”, as if this was some meta ploy to mine irony for all it’s worth and I just don’t…get it, that is. If you had unlimited funds and means and were limited only by your imagination is this where it carries you? Keep in mind this is also not a critique of U2’s music, music I haven’t listened to after they sang about boys meeting men in the shadows. I mean I guess their music is fine.

In reality I really have a soft spot in my heart for U2 as it was through their good graces that my group OXBOW actually managed to have a place to record, Windmill Lane in Dublin, when we recorded music for our Serenade in Red record, with vocals by Marianne Faithfull. Picking through the remnants of their equipment on the weekend that they were choosing not to work I got misty eyed about their graciousness, whether or not it was done specifically to help us.

Moreover, I remember when in some sort of turmoil my friend Bruce Lamont from the great band Yakuza admitted to me in a quiet moment that he had a side project. The side project in question? A Led Zeppelin cover band. And a Led Zeppelin cover band that not only seemed to be sanctioned by Robert Plant but also had just got a booking for a national tour of the House of Blues.

I was ecstatic, and said so. In the same way that you’d be if you had a friend who fought the law but instead of the law winning, it was your friend who had done so. It felt like a win for the little guy, like the house had taken one on the chin, and so how is it that the U2 deal is different?

And more importantly is it better or worse after the Apple iPod stunt?

For those with shorter memories, this was when Apple and U2, back in 2014, force fed the entire installed base of Apple users with the new U2 record, whether or not they had requested it. It felt like a muscle move, and for those of us who despair at how casually muscle moves are made, it was a casus belli.

Bono went on to apologize for said stunt. Which was probably the right PR move. Though it should also be noted that he has not backed away from the latest Jann Wenner imbroglio, which seems very much the wrong PR move, but you know what? I’m not big on apologizing. Especially after having a boss who would routinely require these as some form of ritual humiliation, I find them to be an extension of muscle, and lacking in authenticity.

In fact I dream of a malefactor standing at a podium to deliver a speech that I lust after with some sort of sexual intensity: “SO….you GOT me!” And then goes on to non-apologize in the most Christian of ways: “YOU who are sin-free step RIGHT UP!”

Even Trump, the most massive of line steppers, has pulled shy of doing this instead just opting for the systematic denial of the reality of experience.

But U2, replete with more money than G-d, critical accolades for the better part of their careers, and some small scintilla of integrity, pulls a Celine Dion and goes to the heart of a place that’s as steeped in corporate capital as any bank for…their fans? Their wallets? Their legacy? Even an exceedingly high Hunter S. Thompson dug on the soullessness of the Vegas endeavor and yet here they are.

And apologies to those Dion fans. HER being here makes total sense and seems to stem from a deep understanding of her place in space. So hats off to her.

But U2? Cui bono here?

Well, it seems we have 25 days to figure this out. As a touring musician I sort of understand it from a mountain going to Muhammad perspective: if OXBOW could do 16 shows in a row, like we just did, without driving to 16 different places, wouldn’t that be cool?

It would be. However if you think U2 is piling into a Mercedes Sprinter cargo van to scoot between shows you’re out of your mind. No, these climate conscious rockers are private jetting to gigs leaving me just where I was: why?

I guess if I could figure this out I’d be where they are instead of where I am, but where I am is just fine since it’s absent all of the nettlesome questions regarding, what the FUCK was I thinking? when I look in the mirror.

read-only (unperson), Sunday, 1 October 2023 21:50 (six months ago) link

a dullard ponders

mark s, Monday, 2 October 2023 08:42 (six months ago) link


papal hotwife (milo z), Monday, 2 October 2023 09:01 (six months ago) link

Been looking through the various clips on YT, almost feel like polling the backgrounds, Streets is amazing.

MaresNest, Monday, 2 October 2023 23:53 (six months ago) link

We should have a dedicated SPHERE thread

kirsten gilla band (Whiney G. Weingarten), Tuesday, 3 October 2023 04:37 (six months ago) link

I like how the sphere looks from the outside.

Josh in Chicago, Tuesday, 3 October 2023 13:35 (six months ago) link

Wait, is no one going to invoke the Saudi Orb?

The Royal House of Hangover (Ye Mad Puffin), Tuesday, 3 October 2023 14:26 (six months ago) link

one month passes...

Feel like this is my most listened to bootleg ever

It's not even the best PopMart boot - it sadly omits the Lemon Perfecto mix and obv a lot is missed out by not having the visuals - but it just sounds so great.

you can see me from westbury white horse, Thursday, 16 November 2023 16:18 (five months ago) link

I heard what must be a new (to me) U2 song on the radio today, something called "Atomic City." It's fine, and sounds a bit like "Big Neon Glitter" by the Cult. I think it was maybe released to promote the Vegas thing. I'd paste the video but ... nah, it's basically a commercial, and the band seems bored.

Josh in Chicago, Monday, 27 November 2023 19:05 (four months ago) link

That single was depressing. By far the most memorable thing about it was the hook they borrowed from Blondie's "Call Me." I get it's an homage, but with little of value to add, the record suggested they were out of ideas.

birdistheword, Monday, 27 November 2023 23:04 (four months ago) link

(For new records that is - they still put on a good spectacle.)

birdistheword, Monday, 27 November 2023 23:04 (four months ago) link

one month passes...

MaresNest, Monday, 15 January 2024 10:31 (three months ago) link

Cool. They look so strange stuck on that little stage after so many vast sets. I bet Bono is relieved not to have to run around the whole time.

Josh in Chicago, Monday, 15 January 2024 14:25 (three months ago) link

one month passes...

I saw the band pop up in the news again, was it just because the Vegas residency ended?

Apparently Larry was there but is still recovering from his surgery. And I guess Bono hasn't been seen playing guitar since his bike accident, too. Age or injury eventually gets everybody.

Josh in Chicago, Wednesday, 6 March 2024 17:47 (one month ago) link

Well, Bono has never been particularly good at playing the guitar, so not much is lost. That may be harsh but it's the case. Even when he played, it was mixed low and made little difference.

alpaca lips now (Ye Mad Puffin), Wednesday, 6 March 2024 18:28 (one month ago) link

i think the Vegas stuff has worked out really well for them, kind of the opposite of the iPhone shit. using this venue as a way to get back into the conversation after several albums which didn't do the trick was pretty sharp.

omar little, Wednesday, 6 March 2024 18:34 (one month ago) link

I was surprised to learn a few years ago that Bono's playing the only electric guitar on Roy Orbison's "She's a Mystery to Me" besides Orbison himself.

poppers fueled buttsex crescendo (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 6 March 2024 18:38 (one month ago) link

the footage looked rad as hell tbh

Blues Guitar Solo Heatmap (Free Download) (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Wednesday, 6 March 2024 18:56 (one month ago) link

You must be logged in to post. Please either login here, or if you are not registered, you may register here.