5/21 – Los Angeles, CA – Rose Bowl - U2 Feedback

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Old 05-22-2017, 10:56 AM   #1
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5/21 – Los Angeles, CA – Rose Bowl

Post pics, experiences and reviews here.
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Old 05-22-2017, 12:32 PM   #2
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5/21 – Los Angeles, CA – Rose Bowl

01 - Sunday Bloody Sunday
02 - New Year's Day
03 - Pride (In the Name of Love)
04 - Where the Streets Have No Name / California (There is No End to Love) [snippet]
05 - I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For
06 - With or Without You
07 - Bullet the Blue Sky
08 - Running to Stand Still
09 - Red Hill Mining Town
10 - In God's Country
11 - Trip Through Your Wires
12 - One Tree Hill
13 - Exit / Wise Blood (snippet) / Eeny Meeny Miny Moe (snippet)
14 - Mothers of the Disappeared
encore
15 - Miss Sarajevo / The New Colossus (snippet)
16 - America (snippet) / Bad
encore
17 - Beautiful Day / City of Stars (snippet)
18 - Elevation
19 - Ultraviolet (Light My Way)
20 - One / Hear Us Coming (snippet)
21 - The Little Things That Give You Away

This was my 29th U2 show, having seen them every tour dating back to 1981. I had previously seen 3 shows on the original Joshua Tree tour (LA Sports Arena 4/18, 4/22 and LA Coliseum 11/18/87), the 4/22 show I still consider to be the best U2 show I've ever seen to date.

I left early late afternoon for the Rose Bowl knowing what a hassle it is getting into the lot once you're off the freeway. Still, it took me nearly 1 1/2 hours to get parked what seemed 1/2 mile from the stadium at the far North end of the golf course parking lot. The plus side, parking out in the sticks served me well as I was able to get out and back on the freeway in about 15 minutes after the show.

Add to that, due to a ticket snafu (my CC wouldn't scan and they had my ticket under my first name, not last), another hour plus just to get it sorted at both the ticket "resolution" booth and will call before I finally got my Red Zone ticket. Virtually everyone working the Rose Bowl was utterly clueless and made a messy situation far worse and more stressful. However, I finally got in and took a good position in the Red Zone only 15 minutes before U2 started.

The Red Zone imo, is worth the $360+ simply because it's not jammed tight, the sound is good, you have elbow room and you have a pretty good view of both the main and b-stages although the main stage is set pretty far back even if you're right up front. There's no chairs in the Red Zone however that metal baracades have little stoops you can sit on to give your legs a rest. There's no dedicated bathrooms, you still have to exit the Red Zone and walk out to wherever restrooms may be outside the stadium. I didn't notice a dedicated bar/drink/merch stand inside the Red Zone but to be honest, I didn't have time to look around.

U2 started around 8:45 with Larry on drums on the B-Stage followed by The Edge, Bono and Adam and slammed into a strong version of Sunday Bloody Sunday. This was followed by New Years Day and a somewhat lethargic performance of Pride before the band went up to the main stage for the Joshua Tree segment. I was really bummed they skipped A Sort Of Homecoming (even with the terrible canned sequencer arrangement this tour), probably *the* song outside the JT deep cuts I was most looking forward to hearing.

That said, I thought up through Bullet The Blue Sky, the show had a lot of energy and great pacing. Once they got into Running To Stand Still and the rather uninspired reworking of Red Hill Mining Town, the energy especially with the audience dropped. I was rather surprised how "thin" In Gods Country came off live - one of the few times Bono's guitar playing actually added to the original 80's live version. Trip Through Your Wires and One Tree Hill (dedicated to Chris Cornell and family) were both solid, faithful renditions that went over very well. One of the highlights of the show was how well Exit was played. Basically a straight, very tight performance like the original Joshua Tree tour that should make the band rethink why it shouldn't be included in future tours. Mothers Of The Disappeared capped the JT set and the band took a few minute break before coming back with the honestly lame version of Miss Sarajevo.

A strong performance of Bad was a welcome addition in the following slot and overall, I think rearranging the encore for this set works much better then previous shows. Ultraviolet wasn't quite as strong as the 360 tour version and certainly nowhere near as emotionally powerful as the ZooTV tour version. The new arrangement of Beautiful Day is not very good but Elevation still is a major crowd pleaser.

By "One," people were starting to stream out of the stadium in droves and as I've mentioned elseware, putting "The Little Things That Give You Away" as the final song in the set does it no favors, especially considering imo, it's not a very strong tune falling somewhere down with non-LP songs like Electrical Storm and Windows In The Sky.

Overall, I think it was a good show, not great, certainly not a patch on any original JT shows I saw back in the day. The band still seems strong, I really didn't hear any issues with Bono's voice although using the canned Pavarotti vox on MS when Bono used to impressively sing the part himself live really saps that song of any drama it used to have on the Vertigo tour. I know a number of people have complained about Bono's "preaching" but honestly, aside from the speech preceding Ultraviolet and the frankly obnoxious, distracting video (really, politically correct equating someone like Ellen D or Hillary Clinton with real pioneering, courageous woman from the past?) for the song, it wasn't anything more or less then usual "preaching" for post Y2K U2.

The sound was very good, not quite as powerful and sharp as the 360 tour and certainly not as painfully loud as the IE tour. Solid, deep bass when it was needed. The huge video screen that makes up the main stage backdrop featured crystal clear video. Often, especially during the first half of the JT set, short films like travelogues of the desert and montages of people doing things like putting on helmets or (Edge's wife dressed like a cowgirl) painting a shack with the American flag dominated the tiny figures of the band. It wasn't until later in the set that the screen was used more for traditional close-up images of the band members performing.

I will say being my 3rd unpleasant Rose Bowl experience (Rolling Stones 1995, U2 2009, last night) I will never see anyone at this stadium again. The place is just a traffic and logistics nightmare and the staff is uniformly the most clueless of any venue I've been to. I'll take the LA Coliseum or Anaheim Stadium any day of the week.
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Old 05-22-2017, 12:33 PM   #3
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Oops, I guess the mods need to merge these two threads. Sorry.
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Old 05-22-2017, 04:30 PM   #4
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I was about 50 feet from the B stage. I had planned to be there a few hours early but traffic was horrendous and we ended up arriving just in time for The Lumineers to put everyone to sleep with C, G, and F chords and half-note beats.

The venue itself was a nightmare. The streets are tiny, traffic is horrible, and the staff were incompetent.

But the sound was very good where I was located, especially compared to the ice-pick fest of the 360 Tour in SLC. Volume was loud but not too loud, highs were mostly clear and Adam's sub frequencies shook the earth.

Edge's tone has changed a bit since he started using his new Signature Strat and his AxeFX units, and not in a good way. Streets especially suffers from the lack of quack/chime and tube compression now that his stack of AC30's are missing. Hopefully next tour he reverts to his old setup. However he still sounded great, even if the classics have a slightly different vibe now.

New Year's day sounded like it was played down-tuned two steps. Not a fan, but I assume it's to save Bono's vocals.

Larry was a metronome as always and played with great intensity. Hopefully his back is doing better now. Bono's vocals were strong but not as strong as the Innocence tour. For his age he is doing phenomenally well.

Altogether the band performed incredibly well and this show is easily one of the best I have seen.

Exit was the highlight of the night for me. Edge was on fire!

Here are a few clips and couple full songs:

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...rw_Knr3dT_kPQc

Photo album:

U2 Joshua Tree Tour Rose Bowl 2017-05-22 - Album on Imgur

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Old 05-23-2017, 10:51 AM   #5
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I am surprised that no one has mentioned the massive down -tuning of New Year's Day yet.
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Old 05-23-2017, 10:37 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drumu2 View Post
Edge's tone has changed a bit since he started using his new Signature Strat and his AxeFX units, and not in a good way. Streets especially suffers from the lack of quack/chime and tube compression now that his stack of AC30's are missing. Hopefully next tour he reverts to his old setup. However he still sounded great, even if the classics have a slightly different vibe now.

New Year's day sounded like it was played down-tuned two steps. Not a fan, but I assume it's to save Bono's vocals.
Yeah, I think they are playing it tuned down at least a full step and a half this tour. Pride is also noticeably played at a lower tuning and a slower tempo as well. Although I think Bono sounded pretty good, he's clearly lost a bit of range compared to the IE tour.

Also, good observation about The Edge's sound this tour. I noticed what you mention about his strat tone most on Ultraviolet. I think this is the first tour I can recall I don't believe he used a telecaster live on any songs.
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Old 05-23-2017, 11:53 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Partyslammer View Post
Also, good observation about The Edge's sound this tour. I noticed what you mention about his strat tone most on Ultraviolet. I think this is the first tour I can recall I don't believe he used a telecaster live on any songs.
Ultraviolet is a little different situation because it's his Fernandes sustainer Strat, which has single-sized humbuckers. In general they will sound quite different from a single coil pickup, more compression and output. He uses the sustainer feature on that song, and yes it does sound very different from his other Strats.

I was referring to his new Signature Strat, black with mint pickguard. It has a pickup configuration that just doesn't sound as good as his vintage Strats. I know because I owned one and I play in a U2 Tribute. I've compared it with many other Strats and pickups and came to the conclusion it wasn't as faithful of a recreation of his early tones. Although it is a great guitar nonetheless.

Edge tones sound best with pickups that are closer in output. I think I got pretty close at this early gig with my Eric Johnson Strat, although I forgot my beanie:

https://youtu.be/v-fti27P4p0
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