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szdaily -> Entertainment
U2 celebrate Jo Cox on Joshua Tree tour
    2017-July-11  08:53    Shenzhen Daily

ROCK band U2 paid an emotional tribute to murdered MP Jo Cox as they brought their Joshua Tree tour to the U.K.

Bono, who worked with the MP on the Make Poverty History campaign, dedicated “Ultraviolet” (“Light My Way”) to her memory.

“She lived her life championing the lives of others,” he told the audience at London’s Twickenham Stadium.

Mrs Cox, 41, was shot and stabbed in June last year during the EU referendum campaign.

The tribute was one of several moments when U2 paused to acknowledge global events, including the recent terror attacks in Manchester and London.

For their encore, the band asked Noel Gallagher on stage to sing “Don’t Look Back in Anger,” which became an unofficial anthem of resilience in Manchester after a suicide bomber killed 22 fans outside an Ariana Grande concert in May.

Gallagher also dedicated the song to the victims of the Grenfell Tower disaster.

A day earlier, U2 had invited 50 of the firefighters who tackled the blaze to watch their rehearsals and soundcheck.

And Bono echoed Jo Cox’s maiden speech to Parliament — “We have more in common than that which divides us” — as he made a plea for tolerance towards immigrants.

“Us Irish are immigrant people,” he said. “And of course we came here into this great, Great Britain and we thank you for giving us safety and sanctuary for all these years.

“We hope it won’t stop.”

It was a testament to U2’s experience and sincerity that these moments did not overshadow or unbalance the evening; which was, at heart, a celebration of their career-defining album “The Joshua Tree.”

Written against the backdrop of the Cold War, “The Joshua Tree” reflected the two sides of the American dream, with the Irish band seduced by its glamor but repelled by what bassist Adam Clayton called “the bleakness and greed” of the Reagan era.

Thirty years later, it remains an eerily relevant ode to a divided U.S.

“It seems like we have come full circle from when “The Joshua Tree” songs were originally written, with global upheaval, extreme right wing politics and some fundamental human rights at risk,” said guitarist The Edge earlier this year.

So while most bands revisit classic albums as an exercise in nostalgia (or luring back lost fans), U2 seemed energized, even hungry on this anniversary. The tour itself boasts technology that would have been unthinkable in 1987 — from the sampled instruments that bolstered their sound; to the 200-foot, 8K LED video wall that formed a backdrop to the set.

At the start of the show, however, U2 spurned both those luxuries.

The video screens were set to standby as Larry Mullen, Jr strode onto a small, tree-shaped satellite stage and launched into instantly-recognizable “Sunday Bloody Sunday”drum riff.

He was soon joined by his bandmates, who played a four song pre-history of “The Joshua Tree,” facing each other in a circle, like the Dubliners who put on their first London shows 38 years ago, using £3,000 they’d borrowed from their families.

Performing without spotlights or video screens in the broad daylight was a brave move in front of 80,000 fans — but it brought the best out of both sides.

The audience were forced to focus on U2, and U2 were forced to play their hardest, as “Sunday Bloody Sunday” led into “New Year’s Day,” followed by “Bad” and their breakthrough single “Pride” (“In the Name of Love”).

(SD-Agencies)

 

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