- 04 Jul 17
Before the sold-out Seattle date on their Joshua Tree tour, U2 sat down with Hot Press to reflect on the creation of their iconic masterwork, the current political climate in the US, their upcoming Croke Park date, and their hotly awaited new album. Plus we report on the spectacular show itself and dip into the album’s mouthwatering deluxe reissue.
“It’s the Presbyterians! The fucking Presbyterians!” May 14th , 2017: Four o’clock on a chilly Seattle afternoon and, onstage in the modernistic, state of the art CenturyLink Field stadium, Bono is totally slagging off Edge. The U2 guitarist is apparently being a tad tardy coming in with the distinctive intro of ‘Bad’ – linking on from ‘A Sort of Homecoming’ – and the black-clad singer isn’t letting him away with it.
Indeed, obviously in fine slagging form, he’s not letting anybody away with anything today. Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen Jnr. join them, strolling down the walkway that links the main stage with the smaller, tree-shaped, satellite one, and the drummer sits under a plastic roof sheltering his kit from the elements. “Larry has a house!” Bono laughingly mocks, his voice echoing around the near empty stadium. “Those in plastic houses shouldn’t throw stones!”
The stadium may be practically empty, but there’s almost 70,000 people on the way, a good number of them already gathered outside cheering the soundcheck on in the far distance. In just a few hours time U2 will be playing the second show of their much-hyped The Joshua Tree Tour (which will ultimately play to 1.7 million fans over 33 dates in North America and Europe), but there’s no obvious sense of nervous tension coming from the band as they prepare. They opened the tour in Vancouver two nights ago, and the reviews were particularly strong. After 40 years of gigging and globetrotting, the four Dubliners are by now pretty comfortable in their stage skins. Hot Press is standing beside Gavin Friday by the massive sound desk in the centre of the stadium. A friend of Bono’s since early childhood, he’s their ‘Artistic Advisor’ on this tour (as he has been for many years). Busy with his own creative projects, he won’t be on hand throughout the whole thing though. “I usually just do the first few dates,” he explains. “Just to sort out any snags and get the whole thing up and running. But I’ll pop over to see it every now and then.”