IRISH rock band U2 is coming to the Philippines for the first time for a concert that is part of the band’s ongoing Joshua Tree World Tour. The concert will be held a Dec. 11 at the Philippine Arena in Bulacan.
The tour, named after the 1987 album which skyrocketed them to fame and included songs like “With or Without You” and “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For,” started in 2017 with stops in Europe and the Americas (North and South). This year, the tour resumes with concerts in Australia and Asia including Singapore, Tokyo, and Seoul starting November.
“It’s only taken me 30 years to learn how to sing these songs [from Joshua Tree] and it’s great to be able to say that I’ve finally caught up with the band. Our audience has given [the album] a whole new life on this tour,” Paul David Hewson, best known by his mononym Bono, was quoted as saying in a press release.
“Doing these shows have been very special for us [there’s been] a lot of emotion… from the despair of how relevant some of the dark songs still are, to the joy, pure fun of the staging… it’s quite a ride. Manila is a first… and that has everyone on their toes… this has to be one of the great ones!” he added.
U2 consists of lead vocalist Mr. Hewson, David Howell “The Edge” Evans on lead guitar, Adam Clayton on bass guitar, and Larry Mullen, Jr. on drums and percussion.
The band was formed in Dublin, Ireland in 1976 and focused on post-punk music, evolving to encompass rock and alternative rock throughout their career.
Their lyrics are often known for having spiritual imagery with a focus on personal and sociopolitical themes.
The band’s debut album, Boy, was released in 1980 under Island Records, but it was the 1983 album War, which reached the top of the UK charts and spawned the singles “Sunday Bloody Sunday” (about the 1972 “Bloody Sunday” where British troops shot unarmed Irish civilians) and “Pride (In the Name of Love)” (about Martin Luther King, Jr.) that cemented their identity as a politically and socially conscious group.
By the mid-1980s, the band gained renown for its live performances, including 1985’s Live Aid. The Guardian in 2016 called the band’s performance in that fundraising concert as the event that made them stars.
The Joshua Tree, released in 1987, is arguably their biggest and most critically acclaimed album and made them international superstars by topping the charts in over 20 countries.
The album, at its core, presents the bands fascination with the “mythical America” while disdaining “real America.” The album was inspired by their tours in the US.
It won two Grammy Awards: Album of the Year and Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group in 1988. The album sold over 25 million copies and was remastered and released in 2007 for its 20th anniversary. For its 30th anniversary, the album is again reissued and the band held the Joshua Tree tour in 2017. The tour was the first time the band held a series of concerts for a back catalog.
In 2014, the album was selected for preservation in the National Recording Registry and deemed “culturally, historically or aesthetically significant” by the US Library of Congress.
Joshua Tree was followed by 11 studio albums with the most recent being Songs from Experience in 2017.
The band has a total of 22 Grammy Awards and were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2005. Rolling Stone magazine ranked the band at number 22 on its “100 Greatest Artists of All Time” list.
Tickets will go on exclusive sale beginning Sept. 1, 10 a.m., for U2.com subscribers. Smart subscribers will also have exclusive access to tickets starting Sept. 4, 10 a.m. The general public can start buying tickets on Sept. 5, 10 a.m. There will be a four-ticket limit for subscribers and an eight-ticket limit for public sales. Ticket prices range from P2,499 to P20,499. Tickets will be available on www.smtickets.com.