Wednesday, May 24, 2017
Wednesday, May 17, 2017
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.
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
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
Wednesday, May 10, 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?