Bono chats to Jo Whiley on the BBC about U2’s tour
Bono called up Jo Whiley last night while the BBC presenter was live on air to discuss U2’s current tour and upcoming European shows.
The tour is getting rave reviews from all sides ever since it launched earlier this year in the US. “These are the best reviews we ever had.” triumphs the not-very-shy Paul Hewson, better known as Bono.
“These are the best reviews we ever had.” – Bono (2015)
That’s not very punk rock
U2 shows have always been more than just a Greatest Hits set but follow an underlying narrative and elaborate stage production. From the early days of the War Tour (1983) to Zoo TV (1992), Pop Mart (1997) and the gargantuan 360 Tour (2009), iNNOCENCE + eXPERIENCE continues this tradition but from a new angle. “(It’s) very personal, very intimate and the show tells of how we got to be in a band,” explains Bono to Jo Whiley, “and why we’re still in a band. We’re formed by first experiences.”
“There’s a lovely tribute to your mum, as well,” remarks Jo Whiley, “that song, Iris.“, to which Bono quips, “That’s not very punk rock, is it?”
The Holy Trinity Of Songwriters
Previous U2 concerts on this tour have seen the band bringing excited fans and musician friends on stage. Lady Gaga, Bruce Spingsteen and Paul Simon amongst some others have joined Bono, The Edge, Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen Jr. on stage.
Bono talks about the night legendary songwriter Paul Simon joined U2 to perform his song Mother and Child Reunion. The U2 singer holds Simon in high esteem and tells of the Holy Trinity of Songwriters that to him includes Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen and Paul Simon.
This is our moment
The Irish lads are known for their massive outdoor stadium shows. When asked if there’s a difference for the stadium rockers to have scaled back after the 360 stadium tour to now perform indoors at arenas, Bono is keen to point out to explain what makes or breaks a great show in his view.
“Club gigs, they’re brilliant. (But) you can be in a club and feel a million miles from the singer. It’s not the physical proximity,” elaborates Bono, “it’s about how raw the songs are and how true the singer has been when he sings the song, and the band playing those songs.”
Following the short online backlash about U2’s release strategy for their last collection of songs, Songs of Innocence, the band released through Apple, the band seem to have regained the popular vote with this tour.
And Bono is keen to point this out. “This is our moment.” he says,”We’ve taken 30 years to get here. This is the band we always wanted to be in. This is our heyday.”
If you haven’t secured your U2 tickets to what reviewers have branded The Greatest Show On Earth, you better hurry. The band is in Holland this week before visiting Sweden, Germany, Belgium and Spain with UK dates starting from 25 October in London and Glasgow. Shows are largely sold out but you can still find U2 tickets on Seatwave’s marketplace.
U2 UK tour dates
- The O2, London (25, 26, 29, 30)
- The O2, London (2, 3)
- The SSE Hydro, Glasgow (6, 7)
A sort of Homecoming
Bono has promised Irish U2 fans that the band will be coming home and playing Irish dates in November. U2’s homecoming shows are legendary with fans travelling from all corners of the world to Ireland to see the world-conquering boys on their home turf.
The band is expected to announce the new dates and locations tomorrow, Wednesday 9 September.
Watch U2 perform the single Invisible live on the iNNOCENCE + eXPERIENCE tour