U2 - Twickenham - 8 July 2017


I was lucky enough to see U2 at Wembley in 1987 on the Joshua Tree tour, the album that made the band arguably the biggest band in the world. I was very interested in how U2 would approach this tour as I couldn’t imagine it just being a nostalgia show.

The crowd were brought to life by the rousing intro music of Whole of the Moon, by The Waterboys, The opening four songs, Sunday Bloody Sunday, New Year’s Day, Bad and Pride (in the Name of Love) were played on the small stage set out in the audience without the backdrop of the big screen. This forced the crowd the focus entirely on the band. Showing that these songs are still relevant today the lyrics to Pride were amended to reference the three year old Syrian child, Alan Kurdi, who as washed up on Turkish beach.


Performing The Joshu Tree in the order it was recorded did seem a bit risky to me, it opens with three classic anthems – Where the Streets Have No Names, I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For and With or Without You but does end with the more sombre Mothers of the Disappeared. I shouldn’t have worried because it all worked perfectly, by the now the band were on the main stage and supported by a super back drop broadcasting amazing vistas. Red Hill Mining Town, a song not often played live is delivered in a rearranged style with the support of a Salvation Army Brass Band , and again as if to reflect how contemporary these songs still are  Exit is opened by a clip from a 50s TV programme called Trackdown, which features a character called Trump who claims he build a wall to save a small town. 

After the Joshua Tree is finished the show is restarted with Miss Sarajevo, before the band throw in three lively songs in the shape of, Beautiful Day, Elevation and Vertigo. Ultraviolet (Light My Way) is dedicated to the late Jo Cox MP and featured a video backdrop of a host of inspirational women from across history, very thought provoking. The wonderful One and the Little Things That  Gave You Away, from the forth coming Songs of Experience bring the set to a close. There is just time for Noel Gallagher to join the band for a final encore with the Oasis song Don’t Look Back in Anger.

A truly wonderful show that highlighted the great songs from the Joshua Tree in a new light.

NH    

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