Wednesday, May 17, 2017

U2 Perform With Eddie Vedder, Mumford & Sons in Seattle

U2's Joshua Tree 2017 Tour continued to deliver surprises Sunday night in Seattle as Eddie Vedder and Mumford & Sons joined the band on "Mothers of the Disappeared."

Following the first verse on The Joshua Tree closing track, Bono asked the Centurylink Field crowd, "Where's Eddie Vedder? Spirit of Seattle, spirit of Chicago, spirit of America. Where's Eddie?" The Pearl Jam singer emerged to take lead vocals on "Mothers of the Disappeared." Bono brought out Mumford & Sons, U2's opening act, to provide harmony to the track's closing coda.

The Seattle show featured both new and old cuts. U2 performed their new Songs of Experience track, "The Little Things That Give You Away" as well as deeps cuts like "Trip Through Your Wires" and "Exit," for the first time in nearly 30 years. And, best of all, they performed Joshua Tree's "Red Hill Mining Town" for the first time ever onstage. The band's trek in celebration of their 1987 album continues Wednesday in Santa Clara, California.

U2 Resurrect "The Joshua Tree"

It's very easy to dismiss U2's Joshua Tree Tour 2017 as a cash grab by a band that's more comfortable these days looking into the past than into the future, especially considering the blowback that greeted their 2014 LP Songs of Innocence, a public-relations fiasco of such devastating proportions that Saturday Night Live's Weekend Update is still mocking it three years after the fact. It would also be easy to think the move means that they have officially joined the ranks of the Rolling Stones and the Who, giants of rock that long ago contented themselves with playing their old hits at stadium shows that create tremendous amounts of excitement, nostalgia and money, but little forward motion.

But U2 haves pent their entire career proving doubters wrong, fiercely resisting the easy lure of nostalgia and rising above any move that hints at cynicism. Time and time again throughout the new tour's U.S. opener at Seattle's CenturyLink Field (the band's North American run officially began in Vancouver two nights earlier), U2 proved how a 30-year-old album can speak to the issues of today – whether they be immigration, U.S. foreign policy or the dwindling power of labor unions – while reminding the audience that they are a live act simply without peer. The band has always done their best work under trying circumstances, and in the words of Bono back around the time they came back with "Beautiful Day," it really felt like they were reapplying for the job of the best band in the world by showing how they earned the title in the first place.

The show began with Larry Mullen Jr. casually walking onto the B stage (which is shaped like a tree) and kicking into the thunderous intro of "Sunday Bloody Sunday." He was totally by himself, mirroring (intentionally or not) how he founded the band back in 1976. One by one, the others joined in, though they stayed on the tiny satellite stage and left the enormous screen on the main stage dark. It stayed that way for the entire pre–Joshua Tree portion of the evening, a bold move when you're playing to about 60,000 people, most of whom can barely see you, but it worked.

"Sunday Bloody Sunday" led right into "New Year's Day," also from 1983's War. They've done this song more than 700 times, but this was the first time Bono has ever sang "And so we're told this is the golden age/And gold is the reason for the wars we age" from the final verse. It was the first sign that this show was about presenting the songs as they appeared on the albums, minus the extended codas, false endings, snippets of cover songs and mini-speeches that have seeped in over the decades. It was also the first indication that the show (at least until the encores) was going to present their music in strict chronological order.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Larry Mullen to appear in Alice Cooper's album

The album Paranormal will be released July 28

Alice Cooper will release his 27th studio album, "Paranormal", in July. The follow-up to 2011's "Welcome 2 My Nightmare" will feature guest appearances by ZZ TOP's Billy Gibbons, three members of the original ALICE COOPER band and U2 drummer Larry Mullen Jr.

During an appearance on last Friday's (May 5) episode of the SiriusXM radio show "Trunk Nation", Cooper said producer Bob Ezrin was responsible for getting Mullen Jr. involved in the sessions.

"Bob Ezrin and I sat there, and Bob says, 'What do you think about Larry Mullen on drums?' And I went, 'That's a great idea. It'll change things up so much on just the basic tracks.'"

Cooper also talked about the U2 drummer's somewhat unusual approach to recording. Alice recalled: "Larry [said], 'I wanna see the lyrics.' I said, 'Really?' He [said], 'Yeah, I play to the lyrics. I don't play to the bass.' And I said, 'That is so cool — just the idea that you're interpreting the lyrics on the drums.' So that totally makes the album another album."

Cooper added that he doesn't have unrealistic expectations for his new album, explaining that he is making records for his longtime fans, full aware that the days of multi-platinum LPs and million-dollar profits are long gone. "Those days are over," he said. "The golden age is over. I have a world of fans out there, all over the world, and it took forty-five years to build that fanbase. So when I make records now, I make 'em for those people. I'm not trying to break a new audience. I am playing an album for an audience that's already there, and I think AEROSMITH is too, and I think anybody that's established is making records for their fanbase."

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Five things about U2's return to Vancouver for 30th anniversary 'Joshua Tree' tour


TORONTO -- Legendary rockers U2 have clearly found what they're looking for in Vancouver.
The famed Irish band is drawing plenty of local attention with a return to the city for the launch of the 30th anniversary "Joshua Tree" tour on Friday.
It's the second time they've picked Vancity as the starting mark for a tour -- it was almost exactly two years ago that they kicked off support for the album "Songs of Innocence" in the B.C. city. They also chose Vancouver as a base for rehearsals in 2005 before embarking on the "Vertigo" tour.
Unlike past shows, the band is performing its 1987 album "The Joshua Tree" in its entirety each night. That includes running through favourites like "With or Without You" and "Where the Streets Have No Name," as well as performing "Red Hill Mining Town" for the first time live.
Social media has been flooded with Vancouverites revelling in the band's arrival to the city where they've been rehearsing since earlier this month. Some fans have posted clips from outside the BC Place stadium where echoes of the songs could be heard through the walls.
After playing Vancouver, the band heads south for a batch of U.S. tour dates before hitting Toronto on June 23.
Here's five things about the tour and the band's Canadian connections:
HUGE DEMAND: While U2 packs stadiums on every tour, it's shocking to consider they originally planned to mark the highly anticipated "Joshua Tree" anniversary with a very short run of dates. Bono recently told BBC Radio 2 that he intended to perform "three, four or five" shows to honour the occasion. Instead, the tour ballooned to 33 shows covering North America and Europe.
TIMELY COMMENTARY: Rarely has U2 shied away from a political statement and this tour will be no exception. The band has licensed two poems by Canadian parliamentary poet laureate George Elliott Clarke to appear as projections before every show. "Kaddish for Leonard Cohen" was written as a tribute to the late Montreal songwriter, while "Ain't You Scared of the Sacred" addresses the Quebec City mosque shooting in January that left six people dead.
LOVE FOR CANADA: The band's return to Vancouver coincides with Canada's year-long sesquicentennial celebration. Bono famously honoured the country during a 2003 Liberal convention for incoming prime minister Paul Martin by saying, "I believe the world needs more Canada." Since then, variations of the rocker's tribute have been repeated by other famous admirers, including former U.S. president Barack Obama.
WHY VANCOUVER?: Finding reasons to extend their visits to the city are easy for Bono and his crew. In 2015, the singer told Vancouver radio station Rock 101 that Vancouver offered a welcoming vibe that helped the band overcome its pre-tour insecurities.
"We always had a thing with Canada in general, but Vancouver has been very, very welcoming of us at a time when we we're very fragile," he said.
"Because you get quite vulnerable when you are preparing to launch a tour. And I know that sounds odd, but there is a level of nausea, and sort of, you feel ill in the pit in your stomach. It's a really anxious time.... Here in this city we feel very free. And I like to get out of the city and I go wandering, I go cycling, I get lost around here, and I like getting lost in B.C."
PUBLIC SIGHTINGS: Several fans spotted Bono on his numerous outings throughout the city. He was seen taking a ferry ride on False Creek and winding down at comfy Gastown cocktail bar the Diamond. Larry Mullen, the band's drummer, was seen clearing his head with a walk down the seawall.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

African well fund: build a well for Bono's Birthday-2017

From May 5th to May 31st the African Well Fund invites U2 fans and others who are inspired by Bono’s tireless activism on behalf of Africa to donate to the 15th Annual Build a Well for Bono’s Birthday fundraiser in honor of Bono’s 57th birthday.

The 14 previous campaigns have raised over $255,000 in Bono’s honor to fund the construction of clean water and sanitation projects implemented by AWF partner Africare that are benefiting more than 73,000 people in Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Liberia, Mali, Uganda and Zimbabwe.

This year we hope to raise $15,000 to celebrate 15 years of fundraising. Can you help get us there?

Happy Birthday, Bono!!!

Bono. Rock star. Activist. Father. Husband. Friend.
Wishing Bono, our favourite frontman an awesome birthday today! God bless you. May you grace world stages for years to come!!!!!
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