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The New York Times Previews U2’s Innocence + Experience Tour

From Sunday’s Arts&Entertainment section wherein U2 discusses the upcoming tour, the stage setup, a different sound system and Bono’s injuries:

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA — It was definitive arena rock, loud and clear, filling Pacific Coliseum here with surging sound. The Edge blared a distorted two-chord guitar riff, Larry Mullen Jr.’s tom-toms and cymbals landed hard on the backbeat, Adam Clayton’s bass throbbed down below, and Bono was unleashing “woo-oohs” in exultant falsetto. U2 has taken over the coliseum for a month of full-scale rehearsal to assemble its “Innocence and Experience” tour, which starts at Rogers Arena here on May 14, and the band was charging through “Elevation.” The stage was an austere geometry of fluorescent tubes; the song was triumphant. “Wow, that’s four years since we played that?” Bono said as the last chord faded. “Not bad!”

U2, the Irish band that released its debut album in 1980, is about to test its place in the present. Because Apple gave away millions of copies of U2’s 2014 album, “Songs of Innocence” — its 13th studio album and its first since “No Line on the Horizon” in 2009 — the band has no way to gauge the album’s impact through conventional measures of sales. The album also faced a furious online backlash from nonfans who resented it showing up in their music libraries or iCloud as “purchased,” even though it was free. Until it performs the songs on tour, U2 won’t know for sure whether anyone paid close attention to their work. “The idea that there may be a whole swath of audience out there that don’t yet know they like the band is really turning us on,” Bono said. “It makes us want to go out and find them if they’re there.” He paused. “They may not be there.”

More here.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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