U2 announce dates for Paris shows

U2 I+E 2015

The band announced the dates for their final Paris shows.  Originally scheduled for November 14th and 15th, the band was forced to cancel their shows due to the terror attacks in Paris on Friday, November 13th.  Many venues were also cancelled as the officials took all necessary security measures to keep the public safe.  Even though they pledged to return, they could not provide a date due to the fact much of the situation was out of their control.

Bono expressed his dismay and anger on the radio saying it was the first direct hit on music that we’ve had on this so-called was on terror.

With the circumstances changing daily, it was nearly impossible for them to know when they could return.  However, they are back and ready to rock.

This is very welcome news as the band has proven again their commitment to its fans, Paris and music itself that they stand with all of us who truly believe that love is stronger than hate.  As fans, I know we can all agree that they have always put the emphasis on the music and us.

U2, Live Nations and HBO all deserve hearty congratulations for rescheduling such a large event so quickly, in what I am sure must be a very complicated and very difficult situation.  So set you DVRs for December 6th and 7th because our favorite lads from Ireland are going to elevate the City of Light.  These shows will takes on special meaning, as they will prove that nothing creates solidarity like music.

Hats off to Paris as well.  I hope these are two more giant steps towards normalcy.

#strongerthanfear

U2 pays its respect to terror victims

U2 in Paris 2015

U2 laid flowers and a memorial for the slain victims of Friday’s terror attacks.  They looked somber as the gazed at the collection of flowers, candles and signs set out near the site of tragic events.

There is still no word on when the tour will resume or when the Paris shows will be rescheduled.  A state of emergency has been declared by President Francois Hollande and many events in around Paris have been cancelled.

The band has promised that they will return but did not offer a time due to the ongoing situation.  Bono expressed their determination to return for their music fans during a radio interview with Dave Fanning of RTE 2fm.  However, their return was not up to him or the band but with French officials.

I am hoping to provide more developments as they occur.

Paris shows cancelled (11-14 & 11-15)

Pray for Paris

The band announced that their shows in Paris tonight and tomorrow night are cancelled due to the terror attacks yesterday.  There is no word yet if the shows will be postponed or cancelled altogether.  In addition, due to the heightened security status around Europe, there is a possibility that this may affect other venues around the region.

Here on this side of the Atlantic we are no strangers to these types of events.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families during this very difficult time.

Hopefully, in the coming days there will be more information from the band.  Obviously there are greater concerns right now and I will try to keep up with the latest announcements.

U2 on HBO (Saturday, 11-14-15)

U2 i+e on HBO

Hey folks,

Just a friendly reminder (as if you don’t already know) that our U2 will be performing live from Paris for their Innocence + Experience Tour 2015.  For those who have not seen it, this will be a night of great television.  Understandably, tickets for their shows were out of reach for many as their shows sold out so quickly.

This will be your chance to see a show in its entirety and will be airing this Saturday on HBO.  I for one will be both watching and recording the show because I plan on watching it many times.  I just wish I had a bigger television (40″ seemed so back in ’09).  Hopefully, Santa will be good to this little U2 fan and give him the gift the keeps on giving– a 55″ television.  Anything bigger might not fit in my place.

 

Throwback Thursday (part III)

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As great as the first show was—and it was excellent—there was a little something missing. The crowd seemed a little subdued throughout the night and Bono even noted it during the second show. He attributed it to June Gloom, a weather pattern in Southern California marked by cool temperatures and overcast skies that may have affected their moods.

But the second show was totally different night. From the beginning the audience was rowdy but well behaved. The weather was warmer and perhaps that might have raised their spirits. I say might because I have been to shows where it was raining that didn’t dampen the feeling at all. Whatever the reason, there was an elevation (and you see what I just did there) in the energy of masses.

We also got a prime spot on the rail at about the four o’clock position. I’ve chosen this position a few times during Vertigo and found that Bono tended to linger in this area.   My always friends let me decide where to stand (I’m the show veteran) and I’ve always taken that responsibility seriously. Fortunately, I’ve made the right choices over the years and we’ve never been to a bad show.

Here’s a shot of the cameramen getting into their rigs before the main event.

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By the time the band took the stage my little Canon was working overtime.  As I mentioned in the previous post, I wished I had spent more money on a better camera.  What I quickly realized was with the camera set of Automatic, the flashing lights, the smoke, even Bono and company moving around on stage was a little too much for it.  I took hundreds of shots but far less than that were salvageable.  That was a very important lesson to learn.  Don’t be so freakin’ cheap.

Here’s the band a few songs into to the show.

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I did manage to get a few good shots.  Here’s one of Bono singing to the International Space Station.

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He was right in front of us and I was snapping away like sports photographer.  You can even see Adam and Larry in the background.

This was a great night and I was lucky enough to catch the B-man doing his thing.

I hope you like these images and I welcome your comments.

Throwback Thursday (part II)

The second show of U2 360° in Anaheim was probably one of the best shows that I have ever seen. I saw four shows during 360: one in Dallas (’09), one in Oakland (’11) and two in Anaheim (‘11). All of them were great, but the 2nd show in Anaheim was awesome.

I had general admission tickets and we got there around nine-thirty in the morning on both days to make sure we would get a good spot on the field.

The first night we were inside the runway and it was crowded. I’m pretty sure they had a limit but had I known how crowded it would get, I would have secured a place on the rail instead.

But I did get a few good pictures that night. Here’s one of screen.

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One of the most memorable parts of the show was during “Beautiful Day” when NASA astronaut Mark Kelly aboard the International Space Station recited the bridge to song. His image was displayed on the giant oval screen and he was tossing out little paper words that read, “It was a Beautiful Day” that literally floated right in front of him. You cold tell he was speaking into a video camera but the as he looked down on the crowd. It was amazing. I was so mesmerized that I forgot to take any pictures. But it is something I will never forget.

Only a band like U2 could pull off something like that maybe, only they could pull it off.

Once I snapped out of my stupor I was able to get a few good shots of Adam bring a little soul to the show.

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I like this shot of the screen, especially with Bono mugging while the others a looking quite serious.

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I like this shot of the screen, especially with Bono mugging while the others a looking quite serious.  It’s cool and gonzo at the same time.

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And finally our favorite front-man being himself.

Although it was cramped, I managed to take a few good pictures with my $79 Canon Powershot.  I realized that night that I should have spent more money and bought a more powerful point-and-shoot camera, even though I was on a very limited budget.

It was still a good night and quite memorable.

Throwback Thursday

There’s a term that’s probably been around for a while but I’ve only learned about it recently. I’ve seen it on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. From what I understand, it’s a term that is used to hark back to another period in time.

For my first Throwback Thursday post, I would like to ask if anyone remembers this bad boy?
The Claw in Anaheim

Known by many as The Claw during the band’s last tour, this structure, along with the nearly 360-degree stage was an ostentatious and architectural marvel. This structure was brash, rococo and most of loud. I was fortunate enough to see four shows during their nearly three-year run and smart enough to bring a small digital camera.

The Claw

The Claw

With our favorite Irish quartet charging across Europe like a rock ‘n’ roll stampede for Innocence + Experience, one could see the influences that the 360 Tour had on the current tour. I’m not going take anything away from i+e because it is an awesome show and that was because 360 set the bar so high.

In the upcoming Thursdays, I’d like to post more images that I took from the second show at Angels Stadium in Anaheim, California in 2011.

I hope you enjoy them.

Best songs of i+e?

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Now that fans in the U.S. and Canada have seen the show, it’s a good time to ask about what are the best songs from their new album? With every tour, the band plays all of their new songs and sometimes it takes a little while to figure out which ones can compete for the title. In my humble opinion the best songs usually stand the test of time—the songs they perform at every tour.

A cursory review of their set lists shows that there are a several songs that they perform at nearly every event.

The Miracle (Of Joey Ramone)

Cedarwood Road

Iris (Hold Me Close)

Song For Someone

Raised by Wolves

Every Breaking Wave

When I first entered the SAP Center, I noticed the enormous video screen and immediately knew that they were going to do something special with it. Obviously, they would have images displayed throughout the show, but I also sensed they were going to do something else. It did have more than one purpose; it was also an elevated stage.

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After a few songs Bono walks towards a ladder below the screen and says, “Come with me. Come with me to Cedarwood Road. A street I was supposed to grow up on.” As Bono ascends a ladder into it, images began to slide across the screen of a stylized block in Dublin. He is actually in the screen simulating walking down the block. Then Edge smashes into the song with his guitar and the street suddenly becomes more threatening as a violent wind and rain begins to blow (I recorded the whole song with my iPhone 5S and filed it in the Media section).

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I imagine that when they originally conceived the stage design, a performance like Cedarwood Road was what they had in mind.

The very first song that hit me from the new album was Song For Someone. There was something so melancholic about it but yet it was also very hopeful. I just love the way that Bono belts out the chorus like he’s yearning for something that he might never get, but he still has hope. I knew this song would sound great live and in the rare instance where my music instincts were right, it was amazing. It’s a very beautiful piece and I could tell that Bono loved singing it. It’s my favorite song on the album.

Technically, Invisible is not from their new album but it is the first time they’ve taken it on the road. There times when video enhancement can take a performance to a new level. This was one of those times. With the entire video screen emitting yellow with jagged black lines simulating and oscilloscope, the band launched into the song into the song.

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During the chorus the black lines with thicken to expose each band member alternately facing a side of the arena. As the song progressed the holes would close and then open again at the chorus to reveal that each had pivoted around to face the opposite side. Absolutely brilliant.

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It’s so amazing how they can continue to set the bar on a rock show. It can’t just be a band on stage anymore. There has to be spectacle. It has to be an attack on the senses. If they do their job, you leave the arena with ears ringing, energy spent and both intoxicated and restless.

That’s a U2 show.