This is not a lets knock U2 piece – just a genuine curiosity at their announcement of the stadium tour playing the whole of their classic Joshua Tree album throws up so many questions. Many bands have revisited their classic albums – very often successfully and it’s a thrill for the fans to immerse themselves in a classic moment band’s career – recent Adam Ant gigs doing Kings Of The Wild Frontier or the Stooges are examples of this.
But you have to wonder about a band the size of U2 – a brand more than a band that has to actually go out and play a key album in their career. Is this the first time that a band of this sheer size and scale has had to go out and play an album classic tour?
On a business level it’s a brilliant – it will send U2 back into the sold out stadium circuit and maybe once a band gets into it’s late fifties that’s not the worst thing to hang onto – that Rolling Stones world of being the biggest show in town and never having to write new songs. Maybe it’s the natural curve of any creative band – you have your hits and then you become travelling musical, a theatrical piece, a curator of its own museum presenting it streets moments in a wam bam thank you mam stage show.
We are not knocking U2 for this – as we celebrate other bands who have done the same but we do wonder that a solid gold A-list band that still talked the talk of being in fast forward motion and trying to break new ground whilst still dabbling with the mainstream has had to do this. Can U2 still be of the moment- a future rock band and a heritage band at the same time or have they capitulated to the heritage celebration circuit albeit on a huge scale? is there a a limit to how far any band can go before its history drags it back again? even when a band is as big as U2 is trapped by its past? or will this just be a great tour celebrating a great album?