Any interactions between Pink Floyd & U2?

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The Fly
Feb 17, 2011
I've really discovered and gone deep into the music of Pink Floyd this summer and I've really come to love them, U2 being my favorite. I was wondering if there were any connections or interactions between the two bands?

A quick Google search for "U2 and David Gilmour" shows that David Gilmour went to a U2 show in the 90s and apparently didn't like it and searching for U2 and Roger Waters shows Roger railing against Bono for complaining about the size of Pink Floyd's Wall shows in the 80s. It's sad to read as I think David Gilmour and The Edge might be my two favorite guitarists at the moment. Plus, songs like Run Like Hell sound like the forerunners of The Edge's delay sound.

On a positive note, drummer Nick Mason praises U2 (but criticizes their Songs of Innocence release strategy) as he says: "Look, U2 are a great band, and Bono’s an extraordinary individual.." in this article:

From the U2 side.... there's several mentions of Pink Floyd in the U2 by U2 biography, notably where Bono tells Edge to buy a delay pedal based on the sounds he heard in Animals when it came out in 1977. Edge also on another page refers to Dark Side of the Moon as a "great album" when discussing producer Chris Thomas' work. There's another interview in which Bono says that U2 has a "Pink Floyd side":

So is that the extent of the connections between the two bands or is there perhaps more? One of the coolest things about being a U2 fan is realizing the place they hold in rock music history with how virtually all of the major bands from the 60s like the Beatles, The Who, The Rolling Stones, etc have positive connections or interactions with U2 and so I figure Pink Floyd's gotta be there somewhere.
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Pink Floyd was the antithesis to the punk/post-punk scene that inspired U2 in the early days, so I can't imagine there's much affection for the music.

Having said that, clearly U2's multimedia, "musical theatre" type stage shows have precedent in Pink Floyd's mammoth tours, where the spectacle becomes part of the message/theme.

Edge definitely was going in a Gilmour direction in his Moment of Surrender solo.
Yeah, the MOS solo was Gilmour-esque for sure.

My conceptualization of Roger Water's personality and character leads me to believe it would be difficult for him to feel a connection to U2. He is coming from a very different place musically, emotionally, values-wise. I assume Gilmour could be more open to U2's style and persona.

There are some bits where U2 seem to have drawn inspiration from Pink Floyd. I haven't followed Floyd after The Division Bell but up until that point I can't think of any examples where they might have been inspired by U2.

But there are a lot of folks who are fans of both bands, and I am one of them. Perhaps there is something they have in common, an overlap, but I'm not sure what it is.
Great comments from everyone - yeah I think there's a lot that's dissimilar between U2 and Pink Floyd but there are certainly like Ai said, a lot of fans of both. I can def see Roger Waters not liking U2's music but David Gilmour probably being more open to it.

I've always loved the atmospheric soundscapes that were guided by Brian Eno and Daniel Lanois in all of U2's work starting from The Unforgettable Fire, and Pink Floyd's songs (especially from Saucerful of Secrets to Dark Side Of the Moon) have incredible atmospheric soundscapes as well thanks to Richard Wright (who was a fan of Brian Eno.) Maybe they have that in common!

Also I've found Bono has snuck in "Comfortably Numb" onto parts of Vertigo during the Vertigo Tour: - kinda random but cool.
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Any interactions between Pink Floyd & U2?

Waters ran the screen lengthwise down the center of the arena during Act 2 of Us + Them.
That’s all I’ve got.

I've read several quotes from U2, I believe mostly Bono but maybe also The Edge, saying that they don't like progressive rock. I can't recall the specifics off the top of my head, but I think it was primarily from U2 by U2.
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