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REVIEW: U2 – THE JOSHUA TREE TOUR [2017]

THIS IS NOT RETRO SAYS...

TWICKENHAM STADIUM, 9/7/17

Marking thirty years since the release of their classic album 'The Joshua Tree' U2 have hit Twickenham to celebrate that album and to pull out some choice moments from their long and illustrious history.

Supported by hoards of adoring fans from the very start of their career it's striking on entering the stadium for tonight's show just how many vintage U2 t-shirts are on display, as well as the span of ages of those in attendance, all of whom are taking their places in front of the impressive 200 feet wide stage set, replete with the huge silver Joshua Tree which forms the visual centrepiece of the show. Echoing the shape of the tree is a walkway from the stage into the audience, a perfect shadow of the tree towering over the stage.

After a rapturously received support set from Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds, mixing new material with old favourites and a generous smattering of Oasis classics, U2 take the stage: four men who clearly mean business but who casually walk onstage, one by one, to kick off the show with 'Sunday Bloody Sunday' and 'New Year's Day', notable for Larry Mullen Jr's powerful playing on his hydraulic drum riser, and for The Edge's keyboard work to provide the necessary piano riffs.

Then it's down to the business of performing 'The Joshua Tree' album in its entirety, during which the tree and the stage come to life as a massive LED backdrop where video footage, devised for the tour by long-term collaborator Anton Corbjin, turn the screens white and silver and finally turning blood red in time for the band to reconvene in a perfect silhouette as the familiar strains of Where the Streets Have No Name elicit a rapturous reception from the enthusiastic crowd. Our highlights during this part of the show include the chance to hear live versions of Red Hill Mining Town, with mournful brass accompaniment, and One Tree Hill, complete with hauntingly beautiful moon visuals across the screens.

Touching on their trademark political comment throughout the show Miss Sarajevo, retitled Miss Syria, is another highlight and is accompanied by special film footage shot at the Zaatari Refugee Camp in Jordon, home to some 80,000 Syrians forced to flee their country. Equally 'Ultra Violet (Light My Way)', a fan favourite from the 'Achtung Baby' album, was dedicated to Jo Cox, the murdered MP and then featured a rollcall of images f pioneering women in support of the ONE Organisation's' ongoing campaigns.

Finishing in fine style with 'One' and flanked with key Anton Corbijn visuals from the track's original video, U2 shone bright tonight but not as bright as the stadium full of mobile phone lights reflecting back at them that they left behind, or the thousands of memories created tonight.

WE'LL GIVE IT...

SETLIST

TWICKENHAM STADIUM, 9/7/17
Sunday Bloody Sunday / New Year's Day / Bad / Pride / Where the Streets Have No Name / Still Haven't Found / With or Without You / Bullet the Blue Sky / Running to Stand Still / Red Hill Mining Town / In God's Country / Trip Through Your Wires / One Tree Hill / Exit / Mothers of the Disappeared / Miss Syria / Beautiful Day / Elevation / Vertigo / Mysterious Ways / Ultraviolet / One

CREDITS

Review & Photographs: Andy Sturmey.

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CONTENT ADDED: Jul 19th, 2017

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