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Old 10-27-2003, 01:40 AM   #1
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Are U2 as popular as we think they are?

Lately I've been subjected to a lot of negativity towards U2. Friends are telling me that U2 is over-rated, and that Edge's guitar playing is boring, and Bono is the most pretentious asshole the world has ever seen. My own girlfriend hates Bono, because she thinks he's full of himself. If she would only see his good, humble side, she'd probably love him.

I went to the ROck'n'roll hall of fame on Saturday. The U2 exhibit is amazing. To those who haven't gone yet.....go. It is the current Mecca for all U2 fans...until the exhibit is over. I met a lot of big U2 fans. But there was a group of teenage boys who said "are the top 2 floors nothing but U2? Well, nevermind." And they preceded to walk downstairs towards the exit. Another kid was being drug around the U2 section with his mother, and he said "God, U2 is the worst band I've ever heard. Why would they even put anything of theirs in this building."

But the worst thing is that I have this friend who has been a U2 fan as long as I have. We practically grew up on them. Now, he's went off to college, and nobody in his dorm likes U2. Now suddenly, he is saying how they're not that great, and likes younger, trendier bands.

So are they as popular as we think they are? Lately I've just been getting a bad vibe. I don't know if it means anything or not. Sometimes I just think "man, am I the only one who gets this band?" I fear how their next tour will do in terms of attendance and ticket sales. I don't know if stadiums are the way to go anymore, at least in America. Not just for U2, but really for any artist. Somehow, I fear that a huge public backlash is in store for U2. Can anyone else comment on this matter?

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Old 10-27-2003, 02:16 AM   #2
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Yes they are still as popular as we hope them to be. there isnt many bands around that top U2 in the popularity department. They are one of the most recognizable bands that are still making records. A u2 song comes on the radio, people know instantly who it is. Sont fear, just wait toll the tour, they'll be lining up around the corner for tickets. People love U2 in statiums, thats where they are their best!

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Old 10-27-2003, 02:19 AM   #3
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Popular isn't the same as liked.
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Old 10-27-2003, 02:54 AM   #4
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First of all, I get annoyed when people talk trash about how Bono is full of himself... Because judging by the antics since the ZooTV days, I'd say Bono's a performance artist, even when he's off the concert stage... Flanagan writes that U2 formed a bubble within themselves, so that they could satirize and cash in on their bigger-than-life celebrity status, and at the same time, keep their personal affairs private.

People who think U2 is just another corporate monopoly in the music industry, probably doesn't get what U2 truly stands for and what they mean to their fans....

Lastly, I can't resist to comment that these are probably same people think that Linkin Park and the rest of nu-metal who are the ones most relevant in rock today... wtf does that say?
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Old 10-27-2003, 02:56 AM   #5
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u2 are not as big as they were in the 80's and eairly 90,s. face it thats the truth. i dont see them being big any more which suxs.(because i love this band)but its been a good ride. rock on!

they will still sell records and concerts but thats it(because ill buy them ). the music they are making right now is not that good and their are many(or some) bands out their that are doing the job.
i dont think edge is a boring guitarist.he is not very good at playing but he is the best rhythm guitarest ever. i never became a fan because of edge, because i never heard much guitar in their songs(well there is guitar but also shit load of other jungle sounds that just drown out all the guitar)
its all about bono , i think he is one of the best singers ever.

these days its uncool to be a u2 fan.
so go out and find a new rock band
i know i have

it all about this new album they are making(u2) if this album is realy realy good then they will make me happy
if its just some album with pop songs or any songs about america or how to save the forest or what ever well then what ever.
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Old 10-27-2003, 04:08 AM   #6
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Well, it's all relative you know. I mean, U2 are still hugely popular (and liked). I don't think there are more people now who hate the band as before. But you have to put it into perspective.
During ATYCLB and the Elevation tour U2 were still very succesful and popular. Although it hasn't been certified 4x platinum, more than 4 million copies of ATYCLB have been sold in the USA. However, around 250 (?) million people live in the USA, so 245 million people did not buy the record. Now, this does not mean that 245 million people don't like/hate the band, but still. You always have people who vehemently dislike a band. I think you're just unlucky that you know so many of them.

C ya!


P.S. Stadiums are still feasible in the USA, look at Bruce Springsteen. Maybe not a full tour in every area, but select areas still have enough demand for stadium shows.
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Old 10-27-2003, 04:18 AM   #7
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I don't care less about popularity. I just like the band.
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Old 10-27-2003, 04:49 AM   #8
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they're still big enough for people not to like them because it's just not cool to like a band that big

so they're still big enough

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Old 10-27-2003, 05:35 AM   #9
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Well, they obviously will never be at the late 80s - early 90s peak of popularity again and their fanbase has probably aged somewhat as well. But I think they're doing great for a rock band (I don't know about other places, but there isn't a lot of rock in the charts where I live), and -exceptionally- well for a rock band of their age. As for negativity... haven't they been a love-hate sort of a band all along anyway?
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Old 10-27-2003, 06:24 AM   #10
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some people do not like , that u2 are doing too many safe steps , they were rebels , right now it's more about bono's speeches in congress , tsk , tsk , tsk .
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Old 10-27-2003, 07:01 AM   #11
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I think they are, because they are well known and respected by people who don't even consider themselves fans. If you're a household word, even among country and rap fans, you're 'big.'
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Old 10-27-2003, 07:09 AM   #12
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Yes they are - the last album and tour were a big push in getting new younger fans aboard, making them "cool" to like. I don't think the next album or tour should have any major problems. For their genre and *age* and time of being around I think U2 is doing great.

There will always be people who will dislike them - either because they're popular (or, as they say, "overrated") or because they have a problem with Bono. (and most of the time not even that is related to the music but his outside work)

*edit* I think if nothing else bands that have been around long deserve credit for standing the test of time, especially when the music industry is so fast and produces new names every year.
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Old 10-27-2003, 07:36 AM   #13
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Here's a bit of a personal observation ...

At school, there's a group of people who enjoy going against everything I say and putting down what I like. One day in English, I happened to make a comment about how I thought U2 was a fantastic band and incredibly talented, and the strangest thing happened: these guys, who are mainly into metal and rap, and who would take any opportunity to put down something I like, didn't say a bad word about U2. Remember here that they're all 16 or 17. There is still a tremendous deal of respect out there in all age groups for U2.

Many of U2's older songs are still regularly played on the radio: With Or Without You, Still Haven't Found, New Year's Day, Sunday Bloody Sunday, One, and Mysterious Ways are some good examples. In amongst bubblegum pop and crude, talentless rap, they still play U2. At school, I'll hear people singing U2 songs to themselves - Mysterious Ways, The Sweetest Thing, and Beautiful Day are the most notable three - and one of my local radio stations plays at least two of Beautiful Day, Elevation, and One nearly every day. When I tell people that there's going to be a new album and a tour soon, 9 times out of 10 the response is "Hey, that's really cool" or "That'll be good, what date's it out on?" People from all sides of the spectrum and of all ages like U2, and I hardly think they have a problem with popularity. My Nana who doesn't like much at all in the way of modern music will crank up With Or Without You, and thirteen year olds I know will find immense enjoyment in Fire and Gloria.

I suspect the future will hold good things for U2, and I really hope I'm right. I get this feeling that sooner or later, people are going to get sick of all this bland pop that sounds the same, are going to get sick of 15-second, flash-in-the-pan popstars and rappers, and will find U2's music a breath of fresh air. That's the vibe I'm getting here ... there's a lot of people saying that most current music is crap and they can't wait for something of quality, and I'm confident that they believe U2 are quality musicians, one of the few bands that can still be relevant over twenty years after their first release.
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Old 10-27-2003, 08:05 AM   #14
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it always was like this , " current music is crap , can't wait for something with quality " , all we need is to search , there's always beautiful stuff out there .
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Old 10-27-2003, 08:11 AM   #15
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Another thing to keep in mind is that the music industry has fragmented unbelievable since U2's last peak early in the 90's. No rock band will ver have that fan base again, simply because there's too many different kinds fo music. That's the reason stadiuk rock is dead. The only bands who can still fill stadiums are those who were big when that was still a trend. The only artists (and I use that term very lightly) who will be able to sell over 10 million record a pop are manufactured acts intended to burn bright for a couple albums and then gets swept up inno the dust bin.
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Old 10-27-2003, 08:30 AM   #16
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...and The Rolling Stones
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Old 10-27-2003, 09:45 AM   #17
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Less popular= easier tickets this Spring

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Old 10-27-2003, 09:52 AM   #18
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If they were less popular, which they aren't, it's easier for the hardcore fans to get tickets, like myself
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Old 10-27-2003, 10:43 AM   #19
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Originally posted by Strato Edge
If they were less popular, which they aren't, it's easier for the hardcore fans to get tickets, like myself

Great point. Nothing is going to prevent me from having front row seats at least at one U2 show next year. I'm tired of not being down there on the floor. If they have a stadium tour, I kinda worry about where they'll play close to me. Maybe the reason I feel U2 is unpopular is because I live in Ohio. Not a really big U2 market. It's funny, because the areas that U2 are still biggest in actually happen to be the areas that they toured extensively since the club days. Which Ohio was not really one of those. Until 1997, the only Ohio city they would play is Cleveland. But I hope that Ohio would get at least one stadium show. Columbus would be great because it's central, and the Ohio Stadium is the coolest building. But maybe Cleveland would be better cause it's just a big rock'n'roll city and you can cut the atmosphere with a knife. We'll see. I always think I'm the only U2 fan I know (I'm exaggerating....I know quite a few), but U2 fans just always seem to come out of the walls come concert time. Can't wait till next summer!
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Old 10-27-2003, 11:31 AM   #20
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PLEASE, no Ohio Stadium again!! If you are on the floor there it is possibly the worst outdoor venue on the planet for a stadium show. Not to mention the constant pushing that occured (and it was reserved seating in 1997!!!). I can only imagine what a crumby GA floor atmosphere it would be there. If they play their again I will be in the bleachers this time. I was 10th row floor in 97 and had one of the worst U2 concert experiences due to the pushy fans that night. NO THANKS Cleveland would be cool though, lets hope for that instead!

Regarding the popularity thing, it is all relative. Having been a fan since the so called "Glory days" that started during Joshua Tree. I can tell you that there were alot of people that could not stand U2 then. Also, alot of U2 diehards couldnt stand them when they went with the Zoo TV direction. Then when they went back to more of a simplistic approach on the album and tour they lost some of the Zoo crowd. You cant please everyone and they never will. Whenever something or someone becomes popular there are people out there that will hate it just because of that. Happens all the time in the music world. Musical facism really. U2 has a huge fan base and as long as they continue to make good records I doubdt that will diminish. They will always have the core fans (which is probebly alot of us here) then get the add ons and drop offs each album and tour depending on what they are doing. It has always been that way.

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