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Axver's Tour Predictions: Songs of Innocence
Songs of Innocence has been out for less than a week and already discussion among fans has turned to which songs will be played live. Here, I am going to attempt to make some predictions of what we might see in concert. If I’m lucky these will make me look clever sometime next year but instead they will probably be wildly off-base. There are a couple of factors that make predictions particularly difficult:
1. Bono has alluded to a second album, Songs of Experience. If it actually comes out before the tour begins, that will complicate any predictions below as there will be even more new songs competing for very limited setlist space. U2 aren’t getting younger and their shows are unlikely to get any longer than the standard 22-24 song length. So if a new album appears, many of the predicted percentages below will be cut severely. (The fact Bono has mentioned Songs of Experience in an official U2.com announcement suggests he is quite serious and that maybe, just maybe, the rest of the band are cool with him blabbing about it, unlike past promises that have been downplayed by other members.)
2. Before the last three albums were released, U2 had played a number of songs live at promotional appearances, not just the lead single. That gave us some good insight into what other songs might become singles and/or live staples, even before we heard the whole album. This time? The situation is reversed – we have heard the whole album, but only one song has been played live.
So you are more than welcome to come back after the first show of the tour and say “hey Ax, you were soooo wrong”, but be nice and keep the above caveats in mind. I’m sure I will return to shake my head and wonder what I was thinking – or maybe to fistpump the air and proclaim myself a prophet.
A Crumb of Tour Info
When will U2 head out on tour to promote Songs of Innocence
? Where will they tour? What will it be called? What will they play? Will "Things to Make and Do
" make an entirely unexpected return to the stage?
All these questions and more to be answered in the coming months!
We do have one little crumb of news to report in response to the very first question. An article
from the Irish Times
provides some information via Bono.
He says that they "don’t have a firm start date for the next U2 tour, but it will be next year". So as expected, look out for the band being on the road in 2015. Bono emphasises that U2 "need good ideas to go back out there live". This won't be a rehash of 360. "Expect something new, something fresh.”
The whole Irish Times
article is worth reading. There are a number of choice quotes, but surely this passage is the best:In the new song "Cedarwood Road" Bono talks about the cherry blossom tree in the Rowens’ garden. “I was looking for a soul that’s real. Then I ran into you, and that cherry blossom tree was a gateway to the sun.” In the Dublin suburbs of the 1970s, Bono says, the cherry blossom tree “seemed to be the most luxurious thing”.
The Edge then pitches in, talking in some detail about Dublin City Council’s policy on cherry blossom trees. How he knows this I can’t imagine."
Posted by Axver on Saturday, September 13, 2014 @ 14:49:24 UTC | permalink
The Miracle (Of A Surprise Release)
As most U2 fans are already aware, U2 dropped a brand new album called Songs of Innocence
and it is available exclusively via iTunes. It was not enough for U2 to perform at Apple's official launch of the iPhone 6 and iWatch; they followed their appearance with a new album. If you haven't got it yet, you can acquire it for the princely sum of absolutely nothing as long as you get in before 13 October. (Ax's tip: check out how awesome "Cedarwood Road" is, with a passionate, urgent vocal performance by Bono at the end.)
Of course, we are a concert and setlist website, so we're particularly interested in any live news we can get. There have been rumours recently that U2 would like to return to the more intimate surrounds of arenas. Paul McGuinness has dropped a hint
of a tour beginning next year in the Northern Hemisphere's summer. He describes this as a "major tour". Does he mean major in its itinerary and geographic scope, major in its venues being stadiums rather than the rumoured arenas, or both? We don't know yet.
However, there has been one live performance recently. At the Apple launch, U2 performed the lead single and first track from Songs of Innocence, entitled "The Miracle (Of Joey Ramone)". Some videos of the performance have been taken down from YouTube already, including proshot footage, but here's one that's currently still up:
Our database listing for this concert is here
This represents a break with the past, of sorts. The first performances of songs from the last three albums have been for television shows rather than a live event such as the Apple launch. "Beautiful Day" was the first song to be performed from All That You Can't Leave Behind
, debuting at a taping for Top of the Pops
on 27 September 2000
. The first performances from How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb
were also for Top of the Pops
, occurring on 15 October 2004
. Three songs from No Line on the Horizon
debuted for a different programme, The Culture Show
, on 3 February 2009
(though were not broadcast until after a few other performances). Samples from these performances are below.
"Beautiful Day", back in 2000 on Top of the Pops
"City of Blinding Lights" in 2004:
The full episode of The Culture Show
, with "No Line on the Horizon" starting at 12:15 and "Get on Your Boots" at 25:25:
Posted by Axver on Thursday, September 11, 2014 @ 13:34:26 UTC | permalink
Ordinary Love at the Oscars
Today, U2 performed at the 86th annual Academy Awards. If you are waiting for a delayed broadcast in your part of the world, look away now to avoid spoilers.
The band performed Ordinary Love in acoustic fashion. This was the second live performance of the song, following its performance on the Tonight Show last month. If you live in the US, you can watch today's performance here
. If you do not, it is already on YouTube. Might not last long, so get in quick:
Unfortunately, Ordinary Love did not win the Oscar for Best Original Song. As predicted by many, including Bono, the award went to Let It Go from Frozen.
Our database entry for this performance is here
A Concert Unlike Any Other
A bitterly cold winter may have encased much of North America in ice and snow, but the U2 machine is heating up in anticipation of a new album and tour expected sometime this summer and fall or winter respectively. Hopefully, U2's two appearances
on the first episode of The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon is just the beginning.
Watching U2 perform on one of my favorite television programs, on a rooftop no less, was pretty special, it was even more incredible to see it in person. No, you (sadly) won't see me if you watch the performance of Invisible over again, as the footage that aired was shot on Monday, like the Ordinary Love performance was. I was in attendance for Sunday's
taping of the song.
Previous articles:· Live debuts of Invisible and Ordinary Love on the Tonight Show February 18th, 2014· U2 Perform, Continue Work on New Album in New York City June 7th, 2013· Bono Performs In New York City May 18th, 2013· News Regarding U2's Next Album and Tour April 23rd, 2013· The Road to Sarajevo: Part One – Bosnia and Bill Carter October 7th, 2012· Bono, Edge, and A Decade of Difference October 16th, 2011· U2Gigs podcast now available! October 7th, 2011· Bono sings in Cape Town October 6th, 2011· From The Sky Down documentary on BBC and Showtime October 6th, 2011· Pretend U2's Dublin setlist, 06/08 October 5th, 2011For older news, see our Archive.