Column: off the record . . . vol. 11-465

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off the record, from @U2

As the band nears the finish line of the 360 tour, they show no signs of wear. Just over two weeks into the U.S. portion of the final leg, from the opening notes in Denver on May 12 to Seattle on Saturday night, the guys are in fine form. You would think that after two years on the road, Bono and company might be getting tired. But it seems as though the opposite is true.

I'm constantly amazed at how good the band sounds when they start a new tour leg. Bono's vocals were spot on in Denver, clear as a bell. Of course, having Edge to beef up the vocals is a huge plus, as a recent @U2 article by Todd Shimizu pointed out. And Adam and Larry, as always, provide the strong and steady foundation for the band's sound. Hopefully, they will continue to add new songs to the set list because they boost the energy level of the band and the audience.

Although the band has the luxury of taking time off between shows, they have been busy with Glastonbury Festival rehearsals, Spider-Man business and the Achtung Baby documentary. They have the ability to pace their schedule between cities and tour legs so they can spend more time with family and on their various ongoing projects while on the road. With the luxury of ThreeSixtyAir, their own charter jet for the tour, traveling quickly to any destination of their choice is not an issue.

This is much different from the old days when the band would go on the road for months at a time without going home. Ali used to make Bono decompress for several weeks in a local hotel before letting him come home to join the family. How times have changed!


 

If you're not following the shows on Twitter, you're missing out. Follow these Twitter streams: @atu2, #U2360 and #U2360Tour, among others. There also is a stream for each city -- see U2.com for the specific city extension. Although it's been difficult to transmit video or audio streams from the shows, you might get lucky if a fan is successfully using Twitcast, Ustream or other services to air the concert. As others on the @atu2 team previously have suggested, I hope U2 will decide to stream another show live before the tour ends


As the band wraps up its mammoth two-year tour, we have to look elsewhere for our musical fix. That's also a great opportunity to discover new music. One place to find that music is at the numerous summer festivals on tap this year. Many fans are anticipating seeing U2 -- and many other acts -- at the Glastonbury Festival. U2 headlines the five-day event, which also features more than 100 other bands. If you can't make it to Glastonbury, then consider these festivals:

 

CNN’s recommended festivals include events in Japan, Serbia, Chicago, England and Australia. These festivals in the U.S. are recommended by the Chicago Tribune.


Rolling Stone magazine added 25 new songs to its list of 500 greatest songs of all time, and two U2 songs were added to that list. U2 now has eight songs in the top 500.

The magazine added "Moment Of Surrender," coming in at 160, and "Beautiful Day," at 345. Other songs on the list:

1. "One" (36)
2. "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For" (93)
3. "With Or Without You" (132)
4. "Moment Of Surrender" (160)
5. "Sunday Bloody Sunday" (272)
6. "Beautiful Day" (342)
7. "Pride (In The Name Of Love)" (388)
8. "New Year's Day" (435)

 U2 is No. 22 on Rolling Stone's list of 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.


The six-city Conspiracy of Hope tour kicked off 25 years ago Saturday in recognition of Amnesty International's 25th anniversary. U2, along with Sting, the Police, Peter Gabriel and others, helped raise awareness of Amnesty International in the U.S. U2 paid special tribute to Amnesty International’s 50th anniversary last week in Winnipeg.


Finally, my favorite version of "Bad" is from the Conspiracy of Hope tour, back when Bono sang all the lyrics to the song and he had a great mane of hair. Make it a great week! 

 

© @U2/Myers, 2011.

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