February 13, 1997 |
"We're getting into Penn University, the first concert there ever," U2 front man Bono announced yesterday at a press conference heralding the start of the supergroup's PopMart Tour '97. In fact, he was talking about the band's Sunday, June 8, date at the University of Pennsylvania's Franklin Field - with tickets going on sale there, at Ticketmaster locations and by phone - 215-336-2000 - Saturday morning. But let's not quibble about Bono's mangling of the name. What's important is the conclusion.
November 6, 1988 |
So the Big Band has finally made it to the big screen. You can't blame U2 for wanting a home-movie souvenir of 1987, its year of pop-world conquest. The year it sold 13 million copies of The Joshua Tree. The year it was on the cover of Time, Rolling Stone and Musician simultaneously. The year it grossed $29 million, according to Forbes magazine. Prior to that, the Irish rock quartet was always on the margins of commercial success. It first became known as a purveyor of reverential rock and roll that made statements, was epic in scope and therefore was perfectly suited for performance in stadiums, yet had the feel of the "underground.
June 9, 1997 |
Bono (above) lead singer of U2, and the Edge, the four-piece Irish band's lead guitarist, whip up the crowd last night at Franklin Field. The appearance was part of the Popmart tour to plug U2's new album, "Pop," which reportedly is not doing as well as expected. Clogged roads were blamed on the concert, and tickets were going for $52.50, so the rockers must be doing something right.
June 9, 1997 |
Bono, frontman of the rock group U2, sings to the crowd during the Irish band's appearance last night at Franklin Field. The band is touring behind its new album, "Pop. "
April 25, 1997 |
U2: A YEAR IN POP, 10 p.m. tomorrow, Channel 6. It's hardly by accident that U2 has chosen to open its "Pop Mart" tour tonight in Las Vegas. Nor that "gambling" is a theme of their prime-time special, "U2: A Year in Pop," which airs at 10 tomorrow night on ABC. While most bands seem content to retrace their steps, occupying just "one tone or one note," U2 never makes the safe bet, says frontman Bono. His idea of a good time is "going out on the casino floor and putting your whole life on red. " Like the song goes, these Dublin blokes still haven't found what they're looking for. And they still delight in upsetting the apple cart with new sounds and visions, though they know it throws their audience off - as the group did with their glam-slamming, TV-parodying "Zoo TV" tour, and are doing anew with the techno-dance-beat frenzy of some "Pop" album tracks.
June 13, 2001 |
A stage encircled by a giant heart. A set saturated with rock-radio favorites, many unheard on recent stadium treks. A singer, almost on bended knee, confiding that his band has more to prove now than it did at its first U.S. performances 20 years ago. Maybe U2 should have called this the Atonement Tour. Monday at the First Union Center, at the first of two sold-out performances, U2 put its "experimental" phase in the rearview mirror, and returned to the thundering military drums, needlepoint guitars, and Bono's keening, indignant voice that galvanized rock and roll during its Joshua Tree heyday.
May 14, 2005 |
TODAY AND Sunday, May 22, will be Beautiful Days for Philly fans of the Irish rock group U2, which will play at the Wachovia Center as part of the Vertigo Tour. In March, U2 was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall Fame. Deservedly so. As far as rock bands go, U2 deserves to be on Mount Rushmore, along with the Beatles, the Who and the Rolling Stones. The Beatles were the musical equivalent of Baseball's Sandy Koufax - six or seven dominant years of musical genius. U2 is more like Steve Carlton or Warren Spahn - consistent excellence over 22 years.
September 11, 1987 |
Great art, it's said, is made in times of desperation. For U2, the young Irish superstars performing at the Spectrum tomorrow, the process of music making has always been imbued with a sense of struggle. Bass player Adam Clayton relates that when the group first gave music a crack as Dublin teenagers in the late 1970s, they attempted to mimic the Rolling Stones catalogue. "But we weren't good enough to get through even a single song. Since we couldn't play others' material, we had to make up our own. " The group's drummer Larry Mullen Jr. was the only qualified musician at the outset, so U2 built their material around the beat, often with a riveting marching cadence that drew listeners to attention and alluded to Ireland's civil unrest.
October 29, 2000 |
The U2 discography is filled with impulsive flings followed by acts of contrition. After the thundering The Joshua Tree brought its "righteous" rock into the global spotlight in 1987, U2 worked to modulate the fury and bring its songs back down to earth. That led to more compact, traditional compositions, such as "Angel of Harlem," written for the partly live Rattle and Hum, released the next year. Now, after the zany, zoned-out electronic explorations of 1993's Zooropa and 1997's Pop, considered by many loyalists to be a particularly bad creative patch, the Irish foursome returns with an odd assortment of mealymouthed equivocations and dim homilies it calls All That You Can't Leave Behind (Interscope . 1/2)
March 15, 2006 |
FOR A rock 'n' roll band as big as U2, the guys do seem shockingly normal. The London Sun reveals that the reason the band canceled 10 of its Australian concerts at the last moment (postponed until November) is that one of their children got sick. "I can't really go into details," Bono told the Sun from Sydney, "but a family member was very ill and there was a lot of distress and angst. "Our music does come from a very tight community, and if one of us is going through something then we all are going through it. " Bono wouldn't reveal which member of U2's family was ill. But he stressed that when they are ready to tour again, "he'll be on fire as opposed to a cloud hanging over his head.