In my sad post lamenting the fact that Edmonton was not among the first North American cities for the U2360° Tour, I begged Bono and the Edge (sorry Larry and Adam, but I didn’t think you had the pull) to reconsider and make Edmonton one of the stops, and I am pleased to announce that they listened to me and U2 is coming to Edmonton 23 June 2010!
Presales start tomorrow and I can buy my tickets Wednesday at 10:00 am. Tickets are available to the public 2 November 2009.
If last night’s Rose Bowl show was any indication, it is going to be a great night on 23 June 2010! I can’t wait!
U2 just announced the dates and locations for their worldwide tour. The tour, called the U2360° Tour, is starting in Ireland and then stopping for one show in London before hitting Europe. The North American leg of the tour is next, with two Canadian dates: Toronto (16 September 2009) and Vancouver (28 October 2009).
Unfortunately, the tour is not making a stop in Edmonton, even though we have the largest permanent capacity outdoor stadium in Canada (it can hold over 62,000). The stadium, called Commonwealth Stadium in honour the the 1978 Commonwealth Games for which it was constructed, also has the largest and most advanced video screen JumboTron in the world. U2 has played Commonwealth Stadium on June 14, 1997 for the Popmart Tour (just before I moved back to Edmonton).There are actually a number of cool YouTube videos of this concert.
If Bono and the Edge are reading this (and I am sure they are), I am begging you to reconsider: Make Edmonton one of your stops!!! You won’t regret it!
If they don’t add an Edmonton date, I guess I will be heading to Toronto or Vancouver in the fall!
I decided to dub this “U2 Week” in honour of U2 releasing their new album, No Line On the Horizon, on Tuesday 3 March 2009. You probably also have heard that U2 was on Late Show with David Letterman all this week and that they even had a street in NY temporarily named “U2 Way.” They were also guests on Good Morning America this morning.
The “Top Ten” highlights from “U2 Week” for me were the following:
10. Larry Mullen, Jr’s brief interview at the NY Knicks Game (4 March 2009)
7. U2 on the Tom Snider Show from 1981. OK, I know this isn’t from this week, but I did watch it this week. It is quite a blast from the past with The Edge with almost a full head of hair. This is during U2′s first US tour for their first album, Boy.
5. Breaking news that U2 already has another album release planned. According to @U2, the band is planning on releasing “Songs of Ascent” in 2010. Here is an excerpt from the post on @U2:
Bono tells Rolling Stone magazine that U2′s next studio album will be called “Songs Of Ascent,” it’ll be released in 2010, and that “Every Breaking Wave” will be the first single — a “surging anthem.” And here’s a choice Bono quote about the next album: “Songs Of Ascent will be quieter than No Line in many ways, it’s that ghost album of hymns and Sufi singing. We’re making a kind of heartbreaker, a meditative, reflexive piece of work, but not indulgent.”
They [80s bands like U2] were all born out of the embers of punk and new wave and they’ve retained that restless, adventurous, questing spirit. Punk may have become a debased cultural currency now (and it was responsible for some terrible bands at the time) but its enduring ideals have been responsible for some of the finest music of the last 30 years. Bands from the most ridiculed of decades are still pushing on, unafraid of change and trying something new, making some of the best music of their creative lives. The Rolling who?
3. U2′s performance of “Magnificent” on the Late Show. I Really, REALLY, like this song.
I have had a chance to listen to U2′s new album, No Line on the Horizon, a number of times. I’m not sure if this will be my favourite U2 album, but I quite like it. Some songs remind me of All That You Can’t Leave Behind, while others could be off of U2′s more experimental albums like Pop or Zooropa. Here are some of my initial impressions on the individual tracks:
No Line on the Horizon (U2, Eno, and Lanois; 4:12). I really like sound and feel of the title track — especially Bono’s soulful raspy voice (although the refrain is a bit awkward).
Magnificent (U2, Eno, and Lanois; 5:24). This is perhaps my favourite song of the album. It is a faith-filled rock anthem that will no doubt become a U2 classic. “Only love / Only love can leave such a mark / But only love / Only love can heal such a scar.”
Moment of Surrender (U2, Eno, and Lanois; 7:24). The haunting lyrics and soulful sound of this song will make it grow on you, as it has me. “I was speeding on the subway / Through the stations of the cross / Every eye looking every other way / Counting down ’til the pain will stop.”
Unknown Caller (U2, Eno, and Lanois; 6:03). This song is kind of catchy, though the lyrics are a bit banal.
I’ll Go Crazy If I Don’t Go Crazy Tonight (U2; 4:14). A light-hearted song; kind of catchy.
Get on Your Boots (U2; 3:25). As I said in my previous post, this song is a fun romp with Bono taking a break from his political activism (”I don’t want to talk about wars between nations”) and calling us to live in the joy of the moment together (“here’s where we gotta be / love and community / laughter is eternity /if joy is real”).
Stand Up Comedy (U2; 3:50). This song starts out as if it could have been on Zooropa, but then quickly becomes something that would be at home on How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb.
Fez – Being Born (U2, Eno, and Lanois; 5:17). No quite sure what to think of this one yet.
White as Snow (traditional, arranged by U2, Eno and Lanois; 4:41). This quiet and intimate song stands out from the rest of the album. According to Bono it is supposed to elicit the feelings of a soldier dying from a roadside bomb in Afganistan. A very moving song.
Breathe (U2; 5:00). No sure what to think of this one.
Cedars of Lebanon (U2, Eno, and Lanois; 4:13). This Pop-eque ballad grows on you.
All in all there is much to like about this album. Like most U2 albums, some songs resonate with you right away, others grow on you as you ponder their lyrics and appreciate their sound. As I mentioned, the album is being released in a number of different packages:
Back in November I announced an academic conference focused on the music and message of the Irish rock band, U2. As it turns out, the conference, “U2: The Hype and the Feedback,” which was supposed to be held in NYC on 13-15 May 2009, has been postponed.The primary reason for the postponement is economic; the university hosting the conference pulled the plug due to projected participant numbers. You can read the full explanation here.
From my perspective this is good news; I couldn’t justify attending the conference considering the questions surrounding my employment situation. But if they re-schedule the conference in a less-expensive location, then I may be able to attend, and perhaps even finagle my way back onto the “U2, Faith, and Justice” panel discussion I was invited to take part in. I only hope that people didn’t already purchase flights for the conference… that could get costly.
As a U2 fan, I am looking forward to the release of U2′s new album, No Line on the Horizon. While the album is slated for release in North American on 3 March 2009, the first single from the album, “Get on your boots,” has been available since mid-January. I’m not sure what I think about “Get on your boots.” I like it, though I don’t think it will be one of my U2 favourties. The song is a fun romp with Bono taking a break from his political activism (“I don’t want to talk about wars between nations”) and calling us to live in the joy of the moment together (“”here’s where we gotta be / love and community / laughter is eternity /if joy is real”).
The official (and somewhat surreal) music video for “Get On Your Boots” can be viewed on YouTube:
The first full review of the album was just published over at Neil McCormick’s Telegraph.co.uk blog. McCormick comes right out and give us his assessment:
It is a great record, and greatness is what rock and roll and the world needs right now. From the grittily urgent yet ethereal title track all the way to the philosophically ruminative, spacey coda of ‘Cedars Of Lebanon’ it conjures an extraordinary journey through sound and ideas, a search for soul in a brutal, confusing world, all bound together in narcotic melody and space age pop songs.
What I found most interesting about McCormick’s review is his statement that “To me, it is probably the album ‘Zooropa’ was supposed to be, building on the sonic architecture of classic U2 and taking it into the pop stratosphere.” It seems like what we’re going to be treated to is another example of U2 departing from the easy route and giving us something that is a bit experimental yet retaining enough of the core sound that everyone expects from U2. As someone who loves pretty much all of U2′s albums, including the more experimental albums Zooropa and Pop, I know what I’ll be buying the morning of March 3rd!
I encourage you to read McCormick’s full review (btw, McCormick is a childhood friend of Bono and U2 and author of Killing Bono: I Was Bono’s Doppelganger [Buy from Amazon.ca | Amazon.com] and contributor to U2 By U2 [Buy from Amazon.ca | Amazon.com]).
The album, No Line on the Horizon, is being released in a number of different packages:
Limited Box Set including CD, Film, Hardcover Book, Poster ([Order from Amazon.ca | Amazon.com)
Limited Deluxe Digipak with 32-Page Booklet, Poster and Link to U2 Film ([Order from Amazon.ca | Amazon.com)
I imagine that many if not all U2 fans have heard about an academic conference devoted to the music and message of the best rock band in the world, i.e., U2. The conference, “U2: The Hype and the Feedback,” is being held in NYC on 13-15 May 2009. I would absolutely LOVE to attend the conference and was actually invited by a friend to be on a panel discussion entitled, “U2, Faith and Justice: Theological Education and Spiritual Formation.” But, alas, it is unlikely that I will be able to attend due primarily to financial reasons (please send money!).
That being said, the conference looks like it will be fantastic. The blurb from the Conference website describes the event as follows:
Achtung! Scholars, teachers, students, journalists, clergy, musicians and intellectually curious U2 fans: for more than 30 years, U2 has asked us to look at the world, wrestle with ourselves and then dream out loud. From “I Will Follow” and “Running to Stand Still,” to “The Wanderer,” “Walk On,” and “One Step Closer,” U2 has charted the human heart and the ways of the world, calling out some of their more dynamic points of intersection. While doing so, they have created what Bruce Springsteen described as “some of the most beautiful sonic architecture in rock and roll.”
A band of paradoxes, ironies, ambition and sincerity, their influence in the worlds of music, entertainment, popular culture, humanitarian relief and the global politics of peace and social justice should be the stuff of spirited conversation. Hype? Feedback? Or the real thing? Come join the conversation as we see what U2 has done.
My opinion: U2 is the real thing (sorry Coca-Cola). I have been a big fan of U2 virtually since their inception. And I have also read much of the popular and scholarly literature about U2, have lectured on U2 in my religion and popular culture course (as well as used their songs as modern-day examples of lament in my Psalms and Hebrew Bible courses), and have managed to incorporate them in a number of my sermons. And, in case you are wondering, I also just sit back and listen to them!
While I may not be able to attend, you can! Registration is now open. To register, just go the the the Conference website.
OK, instead of marking tests tonight I went to go see U2 3D (Catherine Owens and Mark Pellington, 2007; IMDb). I know I lamented that U2 3D wasn’t going to show in Edmonton — and it wasn’t. In part because of the backlash surrounding the fact U2 3D wasn’t going to show (and some local radio stations making some noise), a couple of the larger theater complexes in Edmonton added the necessary 3D projection equipment.
I thought the film was excellent. No narrative, interviews, or other distractions — just U2. It was almost like being there (though I think they could have cranked the volume a bit more at the theater).
Now I have to get back to marking… and guess what music I will be blasting as I do?
I am sadly disappointed that it doesn’t look like U2 3D (Catherine Owens and Mark Pellington, 2007; IMDb) is coming to Edmonton. I guess the fact that Edmonton only has around a million residents makes it too small! Oh, that can’t be the reason, because even Halifax managed to get it. Actually, it appears that the reason it is very unlikely U2 3D will not be showing in Edmonton is because the brain trusts at the IMAX theater capable of 3D IMAX films in Edmonton have the it booked solid until December. Do I sound bitter?
I emailed my sister in Vancouver and asked her (tongue in cheek) to fly me out so I can see it there (my brother-in-law works for an airline) — I’m not expecting it will work.
Feel free to click on my Paypal link to the right if you want to donate to my “Road Trip to U2 3D” fund.
U2 frontman Bono is being awarded an honorary knighthood by the Queen, according to the British Embassy in Dublin. The BBC News article noted, however, that because Paul Hewson (aka Bono) is not a British national, he will not be able to use the title “Sir.”