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Axver's Tour Predictions: Rattle and Hum

I have already made tour predictions for Songs of Innocence, Boy, October, War, The Unforgettable Fire, and The Joshua Tree. Today I turn my attention to the studio tracks from U2's somewhat muddled 1988 album.


I am not concerned with the pros and cons of mingling studio tracks with live performances, the album's somewhat lukewarm reception, or the disappointing failure to include either "Wild Irish Rose" (here's an edited version without the interview) or "She's a Mystery to Me". Rather, what concerns me today is how Rattle and Hum will fare on stage next tour.

Its studio material has not done too badly for live representation over the years. It has three big hits that have all rotated in and out of U2’s setlist over the years, and three more have appeared on at least one post-Lovetown tour. Rattle and Hum is U2’s best-selling album in Australia and the band have always made an effort to represent it in setlists there. The likelihood percentages should perhaps be considered a bit stronger for Australian audiences than for fans anywhere else.


 Posted by Axver on Sunday, September 28, 2014 @ 03:47:14 UTC | permalink | Comments

Axver's Tour Predictions: The Joshua Tree

After the flurry of interviews late last week and early this week, things have gone a little quiet again. I thought I would take this opportunity to continue my series of tour predictions. I began with Songs of Innocence, then looked back to Boy, October, War, and The Unforgettable Fire. Today I turn my attention to U2's best-selling album.


This album has remarkably lopsided live representation. Songs from the first side of The Joshua Tree have been performed a combined total of 3,029 times; the songs from the second side can only claim 372 performances. The only song from the first side that has not been played more times than the entirety of the second side is "Running To Stand Still", but it's only 27 performances shy of the mark. Will this imbalance continue on the next tour?


 Posted by Axver on Friday, September 26, 2014 @ 13:38:41 UTC | permalink | Comments

Around the interview grounds

After a brief lull, members of U2 have been interviewed on more radio stations across the planet. The most high profile interview was with Dave Fanning on Sunday on Ireland's RTE 2fm. This is a more in-depth interview than any yet conducted after Songs of Innocence dropped, and Dave gets beyond some of the cliches and repetitive questions of standard interviews. However, there is no tour news to report. Perhaps most interesting is Bono's statement at the 24 minute mark that "Invisible" will be "on [Songs of Innocence's] physical package in some which way".

Some tour news emerged when Edge was interviewed by Radio FFN in Hannover, Germany. FFN have conveniently presented the interview broken into separate audio files for each question. In response to a question about tour plans (the second-last one), Edge was not as explicit as Bono was to a different German station last week. He emphasised that "we are talking about [touring] and have no announcement to make but we are definitely making some serious plans", adding that "I would not be surprised if I have to buy some new luggage in the early part of next year". Also note his response to the third question, that U2 "actually had an album that we could've released almost a year ago ... [but in taking more time] we've come up with an album I'm really proud of now". What about Songs of Experience? The answers to the second and fourth questions are enlightening: he explains they still need to write a couple of songs and there is a long way to go, but they have a lot of material and hopefully its release won't take as long as Songs of Innocence. The two albums are companion pieces, "part of an overall creative project".

Bono gave a few more interviews, and the one with the most interesting answer tour-wise was his Absolute Radio interview with Christian O'Connell. At the 10:10 mark, he said that when U2 tour next year they will "try and play at the O2 [Arena, London] and places like that, more indoors than outdoors this time, but we'll see where it takes us". Is Bono looking forward to playing Songs of Innocence material live? "These songs are songs that I think will play themselves." At 6:50 he explains that he doesn't know yet which songs will become singles.

The smaller venues theme also emerged in an interview with Brazil's Rádio Cidade 102.9 (another one handily broken into question-by-question segments). Bono gave away little regarding a South American tour, but emphasised that "we've just got to get those venues right ... get some good venues to play; I'd love to play some small venues if we could as well. If it wasn't too elitist I would like that." Later in this interview, Bono again alludes to "Invisible" appearing on the physical edition of Songs of Innocence.

In an interview on Portland, Oregon's KINK FM, Bono spoke (at the 43 minute mark) of the band's ambitions when performing live. "We try to spend a lot of the ticket price on the show ... if we keep looking after our audience, they will keep looking after us." This is part of a broader discussion in which Bono looks back on ZooTV and Popmart (the Eugene show referenced by one of the interviewers is this one on Popmart). Finally, in an interview on San Francisco's KFOG 104.5, Bono didn't give away any new tour information, but at the start you can hear him sing the title line of The Left Banke's "Walk Away Renée" - and then jokingly claim it as his own song!

If you want a full list of interviews with links to audio, U2Wanderer is maintaining a handy list. We will continue to report on tour news in interviews, but we will generally not cover interviews that lack tour-related content.

 Posted by Axver on Tuesday, September 23, 2014 @ 03:05:40 UTC | permalink | Comments

Axver's Tour Predictions: War and The Unforgettable Fire

We've had a lot of interviews to report the last couple of days, but today has been quiet, so it is time for more tour predictions. I began with predictions for Songs of Innocence and then went all the way back to Boy and October. Today I move onto U2's breakthrough album War and my personal favourite The Unforgettable Fire.


 Posted by Axver on Saturday, September 20, 2014 @ 13:40:06 UTC | permalink | Comments

Bono and Edge interviews - U2 to play Germany in May 2015?

The interviews have been happening thick and fast. Two of the highest profile were with KROQ and with Jo Whiley, which we reported earlier, and Adam Clayton gave a very interesting interview on Argentinian radio. This article covers one with Edge and two more interviews with Bono.

The biggest news comes from Bono's interview with German radio station SWR3, which you can stream here. At the 7:10 mark, the interviewers asked Bono when U2 would return to Germany. He finally gets around to answering at 8:03: "we'll be back with you next May". After Adam was vague on Argentinian radio, this is remarkably specific. So by the sounds of that, U2 will be touring Europe in May 2015. Bono was also asked about Songs of Experience; he emphasised that "I am the least reliable member of U2" but "about sixty percent [of Experience] is there".

Bono also spoke to Marty Lennartz of Chicago's 93XRT; you can listen here. This interview had no real tour tidbits. Bono did, however, emphasise that U2 are ready to tour: "we've got the tunes and we can play 'em. We can play 'em in a stadium, we can play 'em in a pub, we can play them in a bus station - we've got the tunes." He also dropped some information about the bonus tracks on the deluxe version of Songs of Innocence. "Lucifer's Hands" and "The Crystal Ballroom" are, in Bono's words, a couple of "important songs". He then went on to describe three of the acoustic versions: "Every Breaking Waves" will "really kill ya"; "California" has a "big brass, big soul section like a Van Morrison song"; and there is a version of "Raised By Wolves" that "sounds like African music, Fela Kuti or something".

Meanwhile, The Edge spoke with The Edge. No, he hasn't been admitted to an asylum; he was interviewed by Alan Cross for Toronto station 102.1 The Edge and you can listen here. At the 10:41 mark, Cross asked when U2 would next be on the road. Edge was not as specific as Bono was to the Germans. "We don't have dates that we can announce today" but "next year for sure you will hear about U2 shows" including in Toronto. This led into a discussion with Cross about how U2 would follow a tour as massive as the 360 Tour. Edge expressed distaste for the idea of needing to "top" what had previously been done. Rather, he felt that "when it comes to music, it's really about what's right for that moment". What U2 did on 360 is "no longer fresh, no longer a new thing", and when they go on the road next year the presentation needs to be "something fresh and different and inspiring to us and hopefully to the people that come along and see the show". What could that be? "We're not sure exactly, but we want to do something different."

There was also some additional information about Songs of Experience slightly earlier in the interview, in response to a question at 10:13. Like Bono, Edge did not want to build unreasonable expectations. He emphasised that "it's too early to say for sure" but the band's intention is to get Experience out "in fairly short order".

 Posted by Axver on Friday, September 19, 2014 @ 15:55:47 UTC | permalink | Comments

Previous articles:

· Adam Clayton to South America: ''We miss you!'' September 19th, 2014
· More tour hints September 19th, 2014
· Axver's Tour Predictions: Boy and October September 17th, 2014
· U2 to tour South America in 2015? September 16th, 2014
· Axver's Tour Predictions: Songs of Innocence September 15th, 2014
· A Crumb of Tour Info September 13th, 2014
· The Miracle (Of A Surprise Release) September 11th, 2014
· Ordinary Love at the Oscars March 3rd, 2014
· A Concert Unlike Any Other February 18th, 2014
· Live debuts of Invisible and Ordinary Love on the Tonight Show February 18th, 2014

For older news, see our Archive.
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