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Old 05-15-2005, 06:44 AM   #1
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The sanctity of Where the Streets Have No Name

Hopefully this won't get moved (I am interested in what people who haven't seen Vertigo think:

Since they started playing Streets in 1987, they've done things a certain way in all of the tours that i've been to since I was made an instant fan at the age of eight with the long intro into Streets. While many changes have been instilled, the band has seemed to understand a few things:

1. The segue makes or breaks the song and Vertigo's Pride --> Streets just doesn't cut it - ANYTHING they've done in the past has worked better - i've heard RTSS, WOWY, Please, Bad, All I Want and they all have a fading ending conducive to beginning Streets which Pride plainly lacks - makes for a very weak beginning to my favorite song.

2. Lighting - You can take away the red lighting, that's fine. You can put up flags and interject politics, fine. But 5/14's Philly show demonstrated the KEY is to turn the house lights on at the climax of the intro - it's just SCREAMING to be done and as the moment was coming. . . nothing. They didn't use the house lights until the song was almost over. While I liked the lighting on the tour overall, this was embarassingly bad. It's almost like they want an excuse to remove Streets from the base setlist and this is their way of letting them do so (a la Larry David starring in the Producers for Mel Brooks in Curb Your Enthusiasm to allow him to end the show's run with his joke of a leading actor).

Streets is a religious experience to me and to quite a few others, I suspect and I can't believe they tampered with a winning formula that is very very basic. Red lights, good segue, house lights - very simple and that's worked for the last 18 years.

I am very confused.

Here's my question for everything you know is wrong peeps: What could be the motivating factor for this and have there been times where they've tampered excessively with Streets in the past?


Please bring back Streets. Please.
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Old 05-15-2005, 06:50 AM   #2
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All I can think of is, times change. Things change. Maybe they're tired of doing it that way and want to invoke some sort of change, somehow.
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Old 05-15-2005, 10:05 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally posted by BONO'ppetit
All I can think of is, times change. Things change. Maybe they're tired of doing it that way and want to invoke some sort of change, somehow.
Change simply for the sake of change is not a particularly good idea. . . especially with Streets
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Old 05-15-2005, 10:16 AM   #4
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Re: The sanctity of Where the Streets Have No Name

Quote:
Originally posted by GG_The_Fly
Here's my question for everything you know is wrong peeps: What could be the motivating factor for this and have there been times where they've tampered excessively with Streets in the past?
Maybe they are just tired of the whole thing since it's being done pretty much the same way for the last 18 years. God knows how many shows that must have been. Maybe the repetition of the act finally got boring for them. I think it's ballsy of U2 to take a winning formula, as you said, and put it on trash for this tour and try and do something diferent. Many bands don't do that because they are afraid, that kind of attitude is exactly what I love in U2, they are not afraid of trying something new. Who knows maybe they still are going to change things with Streets, we still have three more legs to go and they always come up with new things each leg. We have, in oficial releases, 5 versions of Streets that all have the same stuff in it. Why not have ONE version diferent? It doesn't pump you up but maybe it does work for others....
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Old 05-15-2005, 12:18 PM   #5
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All I know is that Streets was fucking amazing in Chicago, so I really have no complaints...yes I know the segue and lighting are a part of the whole experience, but the fact remains that Where the Streets Have No Name is one of the greatest songs ever written. If it were just four guys on stage with regular lights on them the whole time starting the song after, say, Vertigo, it would still be one of the greatest songs ever written. The lighting and such is secondary.

I was actually surprised that at my show anyway Pride-->Streets worked rather well... the audience was doing the "oh-oh-oh-oh's" for what seemed like longer than some of the other shows and it was kind of like "How long to sing this song?" was for Elevation tour...as for the house lights, I remember them going up at least once and just being amazed, maybe it was at the end of the song like you said but whenever it was it worked. The whole song was brilliant and at the climax of the intro everyone was jumping around like crazy (myself included) and full of energy, I don't think many people were thinking "Gee, they really needed to turn on the house lights there, since they didn't the whole song is ruined for me."

I don't know if you've seen the show or not, and if you have I'm sorry it didn't work for you, it sure as hell worked for me.

As for reasons to change it? U2 is trying desperatley to not seem like a greatest hits band. Perhaps changing their most tried-and-true formula was one way to do that. Maybe they wanted to inject some more energy into Streets by being less predictable and changing, they seem to be doing a lot of the old hits (New Year's Day, Pride) with more gusto this tour.
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Old 05-15-2005, 12:39 PM   #6
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I wasn't feeling the African flags and theme to Streets when I heard the bootlegs.

But after seeing it live in Chicago, I have no complaints. It was great and the crowd was into it. And the house lights do come up at the end.

Would I like the red background back? Yes. But this is amazing as well.
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Old 05-15-2005, 02:16 PM   #7
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Re: The sanctity of Where the Streets Have No Name

Quote:
Originally posted by GG_The_Fly
Hopefully this won't get moved (I am interested in what people who haven't seen Vertigo think:

Since they started playing Streets in 1987, they've done things a certain way in all of the tours that i've been to since I was made an instant fan at the age of eight with the long intro into Streets. While many changes have been instilled, the band has seemed to understand a few things:

1. The segue makes or breaks the song and Vertigo's Pride --> Streets just doesn't cut it - ANYTHING they've done in the past has worked better - i've heard RTSS, WOWY, Please, Bad, All I Want and they all have a fading ending conducive to beginning Streets which Pride plainly lacks - makes for a very weak beginning to my favorite song.

2. Lighting - You can take away the red lighting, that's fine. You can put up flags and interject politics, fine. But 5/14's Philly show demonstrated the KEY is to turn the house lights on at the climax of the intro - it's just SCREAMING to be done and as the moment was coming. . . nothing. They didn't use the house lights until the song was almost over. While I liked the lighting on the tour overall, this was embarassingly bad. It's almost like they want an excuse to remove Streets from the base setlist and this is their way of letting them do so (a la Larry David starring in the Producers for Mel Brooks in Curb Your Enthusiasm to allow him to end the show's run with his joke of a leading actor).

Streets is a religious experience to me and to quite a few others, I suspect and I can't believe they tampered with a winning formula that is very very basic. Red lights, good segue, house lights - very simple and that's worked for the last 18 years.

I am very confused.

Here's my question for everything you know is wrong peeps: What could be the motivating factor for this and have there been times where they've tampered excessively with Streets in the past?


Please bring back Streets. Please.
atleast at the early shows of this tour, they seem to be playing it too slow. i havent heard many recent shows.
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Old 05-15-2005, 02:21 PM   #8
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As I recall, during the show on 5/7, the curtain of lights did turn red, before the flags came up. So they haven't completely changed it.

As for why they made the changes.... who can say? Just be glad they're still playing the song. After all, if they hadn't changed it, people would be complaining that the band was stuck in the past and repeating themselves. There's always something to gripe about.
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Old 05-15-2005, 03:00 PM   #9
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uh, pride works perfectly into streets....

with the crowd going
"oh oh oh oh...oh oh oh oh..."

and then edge's guitar kicks in? and the crowds collectivly pissing their pants in giddiness?
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Old 05-15-2005, 04:36 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by RademR
I wasn't feeling the African flags and theme to Streets when I heard the bootlegs.
But Streets is about Africa to a great extent, or Ethiopia at least. I'm suprised the idea didn't seem exactly right to you before you saw it.

But I'll let you off cause you said it was great once you saw it
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Old 05-15-2005, 04:39 PM   #11
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i didnt really like it at first

when iw as at the opener i was expecting the bright lights at the beginning, and then when it doesnt happen it is a let down

but it has grown on me a bit

still doesnt even compare to the running to stand still or please segues though
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Old 05-15-2005, 09:04 PM   #12
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I think the next show will be different for me - I have these insanely pathological expectations for Streets - I think watching the R&H DVD and the Slane make it even worse because they're so absolutely kickass and in conjunction with the flags and the no house lights/red lights, it just was not what I expected.

5/21 will be different because U2 cares a lot more about NYC than Philly, it's the only NYC show this leg and I know where to set my expectations. I have high hopes for this weekend.

5/21:

Yankees @ Mets at 1pm
U2 @ MSG @ 7:30pm



But an expensive day. . .
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Old 05-15-2005, 09:31 PM   #13
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Although the Pride-Streets segue and lighting is different. The overall feel of the song is exactly the same as the last tour, even the synthesizer intro sounds exactly the same.

Every tour has had a good change to streets, from the Joshua tree to Elevation. On the last tour the crowed went ecstatic when Bono did his roar and the lights went on - that was orgasmic. The latest version of Streets gives nothing of that level.
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Old 05-15-2005, 09:39 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by mtoreilly


But Streets is about Africa to a great extent, or Ethiopia at least. I'm suprised the idea didn't seem exactly right to you before you saw it.

Not really; I don't know how that myth got created. Maybe Bono recently tried to put some revisionist logic to into it, but I take his 1987 story of what Steets is about as the definitive version. Bono explains in "the best of propaganda" exactly how he began writing of Streets and it doesn't have anything to do with Africa. It has to do with a part of Ireland where you can tell what kind of job someone has, what religion they are...ect by which road they live on. So he imagined a place "where the streets have no name." The rest is history.
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Old 05-15-2005, 09:44 PM   #15
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1. The segue isn't that bad. I thought it worked quite well in Chicago as the crowd kept up with the "oh oh oh oh's" from Pride for a long time. Now as good as Please>Streets or Bad>Steets, but it works pretty good

2. I agree with the lighting. The african flags aren't that bad, but no "blinding lights" at the beginning of the song really hurts the presentation a lot IMO. If it ain't broke, don't fix it. For some reason those lights have always made the crowd go wild---without them the energy seems a lot lower until they actually kick in later in the song.

Overall, I have mixed feelings about Streets on this tour. Chicago 2 was aweful--the band seemed uninspired as well as the crowd, but at Chicago 3 everything clicked and it worked awesome.
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Old 05-16-2005, 02:56 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally posted by ImOuttaControl


Not really; I don't know how that myth got created. Maybe Bono recently tried to put some revisionist logic to into it, but I take his 1987 story of what Steets is about as the definitive version. Bono explains in "the best of propaganda" exactly how he began writing of Streets and it doesn't have anything to do with Africa. It has to do with a part of Ireland where you can tell what kind of job someone has, what religion they are...ect by which road they live on. So he imagined a place "where the streets have no name." The rest is history.
I've heard that version before, but the Ethiopian idea always seemed much stronger to me. That Bono was inspired after visiting Ethiopia with Ali, when there was the great famine (I think it was 85, sorry if that's wrong). The idea of the streets with no name came from the endless rows and rows of makeshift tents that were put to up to shelter all the starving people.

A lot of the lyrics fit in with this idea too. The lyrics in the first verse seem to suggest that he is frustrated and sick of all the dying and that there is so little that can be done. He wants to "run and hide" from it all. These thoughts are possibly mirrored in those of the famine victims themselves. The idea of "tearing down the walls that hold me inside" seems to suggest he desperately wants to do all the things he can't do to try and save these people.

In the second verse the real thing that stands out for me is "I wanna take shelter from the poison rain". To me this suggests the metaphor that the poison rain is the lack of rain which is killing thousands of people, as poison would.

In the chorus we have "And when I go there, I go there with you. It's all I can do." This seems to show the idea that Bono went there with Ali and that it was quite literally all they could do - despite wanting to do more, they couldn't. Given that it seems it was initially Ali's idea to go, the words make sense.

In the third verse, "the city's a flood" gives me the impression of a flood of humans, making the makeshift city swell. "And our love turns to rust" is perhaps that despite all their hard work and caring, people are still dying and "turning to rust". The idea of death seems to be picked up a lot with the persistent use of the word 'dust' in the song. Finally, "High on a desert plain" could well be Ethiopia given that the country is a desert and is quite high above sea level.

As I say, this is just my interpretation of the song from things I've read and how I see the lyrics. U2's songs are very often ambiguous and about more than one sole thing, so it is entirely possible the Belfast idea fits in too, but for me the Ethiopian theme sits better.
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Old 05-16-2005, 10:24 AM   #17
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I LOVE this song. One of my favorites. I saw it at the Phoenix 2 show, and no complaints. This is such a breathtakingly beautiful song that it doesn't need red lights or any other special effects to make it good, IMO.
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Old 05-16-2005, 10:51 AM   #18
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Streets is my second favourite U2 song One, Streets and Bad, and I want to hear them all i can.
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Old 05-16-2005, 10:58 AM   #19
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You are all right, and wrong.

Bono described Streets as a 'sketch'. Basically the song is just one big metaphor. And he has applied it to both the African theme and the Irish 'wellbeing' theme.

The song is about nothing, and it is about everything. And everything you know is wrong.
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Old 05-16-2005, 11:51 AM   #20
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It's just a song. It isn't sacred. Anyone who's ever heard the Pet Shop Boys cover knows this all too well.
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