December 3, 2014
Despite Bono’s recent spill and untold recovery time, U2 have chosen to roll the dice and announced dates for the Innocence and Experience tour, set to begin May 14th in Vancouver. The first two legs of the tour will, unsurprisingly, cover 19 cities in North America and western Europe. It is unknown whether the tour will be extended beyond these two legs, or if the titular Songs of Experience will be released in conjunction with the tour.
It’s also unknown whether or not the plans to perform electric sets one night and acoustic sets the other throughout these lengthy residencies will be implemented. In fact, a lot of things are unknown. But you can purchase your tickets as early as December 4th via presale, or December 8th in the general sale.
The tour itinerary is as follows:
NORTH AMERICA 2015
May 14th Vancouver, BC, Rogers Arena
May 15th Vancouver, BC, Rogers Arena
May 18th San Jose, CA, SAP Center at San Jose
May 19th San Jose, CA, SAP Center at San Jose
May 22nd, Phoenix, AZ, US Airways Center
May 23rd, Phoenix, AZ, US Airways Center
May 26th, Los Angeles, CA, Forum
May 27th, Los Angeles, CA, Forum
May 30th, Los Angeles, CA, Forum
May 31st, Los Angeles, CA, Forum
June 12th, Montreal, QC, Bell Centre
June 13th, Montreal, QC, Bell Centre
June 24th, Chicago, IL, United Center
June 25th, Chicago, IL, United Center
July 6th, Toronto, ON, Air Canada Centre
July 7th, Toronto, ON, Air Canada Centre
July 10th, Boston, MA, TD Garden
July 11th, Boston, MA, TD Garden
July 18th, New York, NY, Madison Square Garden
July 19th, New York, NY, Madison Square Garden
July 22nd, New York, NY, Madison Square Garden
July 23rd, New York, NY Madison Square Garden
EUROPE / UK 2015
Sep 4th, Turin, Italy , Pala Alpitour
Sep 5th, Turin, Italy, Pala Alpitour
Sep 8th, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, Ziggo Dome
Sep 9th, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, Ziggo Dome
Sep 16th, Stockholm, Sweden, Globe
Sep 17th, Stockholm, Sweden, Globe
Sep 24th, Berlin, Germany, O2 World
Sep 25th, Berlin, Germany, O2 World
Oct 5th, Barcelona, Spain, Palau Sant Jordi
Oct 6th, Barcelona, Spain, Palau Sant Jordi
Oct 13th, Antwerp, Belgium, Sportpaleis
Oct 14th, Antwerp, Belgium, Sportpaleis
Oct 17th, Koln, Germany, Lanxess Arena
Oct 18th Koln, Germany, Lanxess Arena
Oct 25th, London, UK O2
Oct 26th, London, UK O2
Oct 29th, London, UK O2
Oct 30th, London, UK O2
Nov 6th, Glasgow, UK, The SSE Hydro
Nov 7th, Glasgow, UK, The SSE Hydro
Nov 10th, Paris, France, Bercy
Nov 11th, Paris, France, Bercy
September 9, 2014
Well, hey. Look at this!
Over the past several weeks, rumors have circulated across the internet about a possible connection between U2 and the Apple even in Cupertino, CA. Nothing was confirmed; in fact, publicists from both Apple and U2 themselves denied any connection whatsoever. Then, yesterday, The New York Times spilled the beans, making a bold claim that they would indeed “play a role” at the event.
They did. This afternoon, everyone with an iTunes account received a free copy of the new album Songs of Innocence. In a pre-release interview, Bono referred to the album as “the biggest album release of all time,” which is exactly what they were looking for. This is indeed a very big move.
Unfortunately, it still needs to be downloaded and there have been a number of complaints on Twitter regarding server issues. But that’s just fine with me; if I’ve waited five years, I can wait a few more minutes.
August 21, 2014
It has been an arduous year (decade?) for U2 fans desperate for new music. Earlier this year, U2 Interference published an article citing a Rolling Stone piece that claimed a 2014 release was unlikely and very little that followed in the first two quarters of the year called that into question. Indecision, producer changes and the occasional promising tweet – always immediately deleted – were all fans had to go on.
In the wake of recent vague reports from the Irish Independent about an imminent release, as well as short-lived tweets from Universal Music Venezuela and Universal Music Columbia, U2’s loyal fanbase has finally been blessed with something bordering on concrete news.
On the 19th, Rolling Stone retracted their previous claims that the album would be delayed until 2015, stating that “a spokesperson for the band has told Rolling Stone that that timing is inaccurate: ‘We’ve always said an album is expected this year.’” Later that day, John Janick, head of Interscope Records was cited by Ultimate Music as saying that an album would be released by the band in 2014.
In addition to the above, French newspaper Nice-Matin has recently stated that U2 wrapped up the shooting of a music video in Nice for a single that we can safely presume will be for the lead single that the Irish Times claimed would be out in September.
Are the pieces finally beginning to fit together? Is there a light at the end of the tunnel? Surely there must be. The band’s release methods have drawn ire from their fanbase for years, with no choice being as cooly greeted as their decision to release “Invisible” in February 2014 without an album attached to it.
The fate of “Invisible” and “Ordinary Love” remains to be seen, especially after the as-yet-untitled album’s revolving door of producers (Paul Epworth, Danger Mouse, will.i.am, Ryan Tedder, etc.) is finished having their say, but a timely release announcement would do a great deal to provide an exciting finish to what has been an otherwise uneventful year for U2 fans.
January 7, 2014
From Bono to Bono: this past weekend, U2 was honored with the Sonny Bono Visionary Award at the Palm Springs International Film Festival. This award is not typically awarded to bands, but their track “Ordinary Love” for Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom made them unique exceptions.
Festival chairman Harold Matzner spoke highly of the band’s humanitarian work: ”We normally present the Sonny Bono Visionary Award to a director, but for our 25th anniversary we wanted to take the occasion to celebrate U2, a visionary group and the world’s premier rock band, for their unparalleled humanitarian work against extreme poverty, disease, and social injustice.”
Bono and Edge were present at the festival to accept the award. Bono spoke reflectively about his position as an artist with political ambitions. “I do understand that people find it insufferable when artists stray from their box, but for a lot of us in this room that is the definition of being an artist. It is worth mentioning that more people live off of their imaginations than anywhere in the world.”
Edge was merely surprised by the scope and beauty of the gala itself. “It was amazing…we’ve been kind of what we describe as ‘being on the oil rig’ for the last while. We’ve been in a recording studio working very closely with a very small group of mostly males, so to come out to such a glamorous event — the red carpet and all these beautiful ladies and their amazing dresses and the photographers and everything — it was kind of overwhelming…we were suddenly — ‘Oh, I remember this now.’”
“We don’t get out much,” Bono agreed.
August 25, 2013
Nashville’s the Exit/In, a classic yet almost easy to miss venue, recently played host to Los Angeles band Nico Vega, an up-and-coming powerhouse of a band known for their mix of musical elegance and gritty energy. The opening band, Oh No Fiasco, with whom Nico Vega share a label, combine alternative rock roots with a sometimes cutesy punk flair.
Oh No Fiasco opens, immediately setting the bar for showmanship. The band’s lead singer, Lindsey Stamey, is a complete fireball on stage, melting faces right off the crowd as the band plows full force through the first song of their set. The stage is completely electric as the five members of the band bounce, dance, and enjoy what they obviously love to do. Theatrics are integral to the band’s performance, exemplified in moments where the band’s drummer spits water onto the drums while playing, showering himself and the stage, or when the keyboardist places a small keyboard on another member’s feet and plays through the remainder of the song.
Oh No Fiasco ends their unfortunately short set with Stamey singing from the balcony seating of the venue. The group is an obvious crowd-pleaser as fans on the floor show their affection and admiration as she swaggers on through.
Following Oh No Fiasco, Nico Vega takes the stage. Lead singer Aja Volkman approaches the mic, looping vocals in harmony as the band forms onstage. The performance is very personal, humble even. For a band that’s known for exemplifying a rebel spirit, they’re all terribly mild-mannered.
Not to say they can’t kick out a jam like no other.
Volkman’s vocals are high-flying, soulful, and smooth as silk one minute, then growling and full of all the raw passion you’d expect from someone who stands on a steel barrel and sings while beating the sides like a drum. Her showmanship onstage is energetic, swaying and dancing from side to side, hands raised or slapping cymbals of the band’s drum set. Her passion and feeling for the music itself is soul-touching on a real level.
Not surprising coming from a band that considers itself more a way of life than just an expression of musical talent.
The set features songs from the band’s self-titled album of 2009 and their recently released EP, Fury Oh Fury. The band opens with “Lead To Light,” leading into “Fury Oh Fury” and “Lightning,” all songs from their current EP.
In the midst of the fury and passion comes the song “Wooden Dolls,” a slow, expressive tune about the unity of people and also the barriers we create, all sung from atop the aforementioned steel barrel onstage. Volkman’s sincerity is clearly visible in her presentation of the lyrics. It’s pleading, hopeful, and beautiful in every way.
One of the band’s more easily recognizable songs, “Gravity” begins slow with floating guitar and ethereal vocalization, but suddenly exploding into life as the song picks up pace, delivering hammering drum beats alongside Volkman’s vocal power as she sings about the oppression of conformity.
The set closes with the band’s powerhouse anthem: “Beast.” Featured in the trailer for the video game Bioshock Infinite and also a trailer for film Pacific Rim, this song alone is at least partly responsible for the band’s recent success, and it’s very clear why.
The song begins with a pounding, militant drum and heavily distorted guitar. The guys and girls of Nico Vega know what this song means for listeners, fan or otherwise, and they deliver on every level. It’s everything the band is about, rejection of oppression and a demand for unity amongst all people against the “beast of America.” That passion is palpable, almost a lusting passion for defiance against whatever it is that holds us down and forces its will on us.
It’s the perfect note to end on for a band with their level of conviction and proof that Nico Vega is everything that’s still right with rock and roll today. –Jordan D. Frye, Contributing Editor