U2 – ‘THE JOSHUA TREE’ Anniversary Concert In Brussels – Monumental Magic In The Name Of Love…

U2 – Koning Boudewijn Stadion – Brussels – 1 August 2017

Sonic intro to a memorable night…

After their – to my ears – last great album ‘All That You Can’t Leave Behind‘ (from 2000) I
lost track of U2. I thought they didn’t have a clue where to go after that third masterpiece longplayer (The Joshua Three & Achtung Baby being the two other milestones in my book). Bono was losing himself in too much preaching while their company made a money greedy move to a friendly tax country. To me, that was a terrible act of hypocrisy. On the one hand U2 was profiling themselves as a band with a big heart for the poor, the weak and the oppressed (which is absolutely great of course!) but on the other hand were doing anything that was needed to make as much money as possible (afterwards Bono stated that ‘it was the wrong thing do‘. Too late, mate!) Anyway, several members of my family convinced me months ago to buy a ticket (I agreed after learning that Noel Gallagaher would open the festivities) and join them to go to Brussels for the Irish mega stars’ show
for the THE JOSHUA TREE 30TH ANNIVERSARY yesterday (1 August). Guess what? It was MAGICAL! It was STUNNING! It was the GREATEST LIVE POP & ROCK EXTRAVAGANZA
I witnessed in years. To my surprise the sound in our gigantic national football stadium was nothing less than sensational. Bono‘s voice & energy was truly outstanding. The Edge played as a possessed psychedelic virtuoso and pounding rhythm section tandem Larry and Adam grooved it all up. The setlist was successfully smart. They started with four of their countless classics on a small podium in the middle of an euphoric crowd, turned afterward to the big stage for THE JOSHUA TREE in full and ended the spectacle with a string of triumphant grand slams. Stellar! In sound and in vision (with striking images
and film on the massive screen behind them, thanks mostly to the genial work of Dutch photographer and video/movie director Anton Corbijn). Wow! Double Wow! Triple Wow! Here are my visual impressions…


Starting amidst the massive crowd…


Tuesday, Bloody Tuesday…


A ‘only girls’ fan club…


‘The Joshua Tree’ in full…


Legends on the giant screen…


Impressive visuals…


Christmas in August…


Psychedelic ecstasy from start to finish…


“Thank you Belgium, as you all know our career exploded first in your country…”


50.000 looking for a way out. Tired but dreamily happy and still singing…

THE JOSHUA TREE in full…

.
SETLIST

FOR STARTERS
Sunday Bloody Sunday
New Year’s Day
Bad (with “Heroes” and “Where Are We Now?” snippets)
Pride (In the Name of Love)

MAIN COURSE: The Joshua Tree
Where the Streets Have No Name
(with “California (There Is No… more )
I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For
With or Without You
Bullet the Blue Sky (with ‘America’ – from West Side Story – snippet)
Running to Stand Still
Red Hill Mining Town
In God’s Country
Trip Through Your Wires
One Tree Hill
Exit (with ‘Wise Blood’ excerpt)
Mothers of the Disappeared

DESSERTS
Miss Sarajevo (Passengers cover)
Beautiful Day (with ‘Starman’ snippet)
Elevation
Vertigo (with ‘It’s Only Rock ‘N’ Roll’ snippet)
Ultraviolet (Light My Way)
One (with ‘Ghost Dance’ snippet)
I Will Follow

U2: Website – Facebook – Twitter

(all concert photos by JL/Turn Up The Volume!)


Great souvenir – my ticket from the first time I saw the Irish legends playing, as a teenager, in 1982, in a 3000 cap venue in Belgium – but, honestly, 2017 will be the concert I’ll never forget…

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