Category Archives: collaboration

Mothers of the Disappeared, Ed with U2, Seattle 2017 (last night)

Ooooooooooooooo this was a special one. [Also, hi. It’s been a while. Life, you know?] I was a monster U2 fan in middle and high school and right through college. Back then, I’d easily identify the Joshua Tree as my favorite album of all time, and it still ranks awfully high on my list. I saw them on the Pop tour, and then a bunch of times on the Elevation tour, and they are great live (though personally I didn’t love seeing them a bunch of times on the same tour, even as a superfan, because the set (and banter) doesn’t change much night to night). I admit I stopped paying much attention the last few albums, but they still have a real spot in my heart. When I heard they were doing a Joshua Tree revival tour, I fell into a U2 revival of sorts, and couldn’t wait. We had great seats, with an unobstructed view (victory for short me!). It felt a bit like a greatest hits show (no complaints on that front!), opening with an impressive string of Sunday Bloody Sunday, New Year’s Day, A Sort of Homecoming, Bad, Pride. Impressive, and everyone was screaming along.

And that wasn’t even the main event. When they started into the Joshua Tree, I got all the chills, and they unfurled this huge *amazing* landscape behind the main stage, with really remarkable videography of American landscapes and people. Honestly, I don’t know if it’s possible for an album to have so many consistently great songs. Where the Streets Have No Name, I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For, With or Without You, Bullet the Blue Sky, Running to Stand Still….the list goes on. I’m partial to the less well-known songs as well (I mean, relatively. Everyone who owns that album knows all the songs, not just the hits), especially One Tree Hill and……Mothers of the Disappeared.

Bono’s mic wasn’t great (the sound generally wasn’t amazing, I didn’t think, but it’s a humongous football stadium so what did I expect), so when he said “where’s Eddie Vedder?” I wasn’t 100% sure that’s what he said, but then he said “the spirit of Seattle….spirit of Chicago…spirit of America” and out popped our man EV, midway through the song. This isn’t the first time he’s joined them, but oh man. On this song? Ed killed it, it was beautiful. They didn’t put the video up on the main screen, as there was instead a moving portrait of a line of women holding candles (presumably for the Disappeared), but Ed sounded SO good, I was alight with Pride. That line “Night hangs like a prisoner /stretched over black and blue,” is probably my favorite lyric on the whole album, maybe in the whole U2 catalog, and to hear my favorite singer sing it, with U2, in Seattle, whoa. So. Lucky. This is a decent video, but I’ll update with a better one when I find it.

The rest of the show was great, and they played my actual favorite U2 song, Ultraviolet (Light my Way), off Achtung Baby in front of a lovely tribute to a whole slew of awfully kickass women. It was perfect, and the rest of the set was just gravy.

In Hiding & The Real Me, New Orleans Jazz Fest 2016

Jazz Fest got a fun setlist! Lots of unexpected inclusions for a festival, lucky dogs. Also: they played during the day! So weird. Who knows the last time that happened? And also: if you look at the word “Jazz” too long it starts to look made up and super weird.

Have they played this one yet this tour? Such a great song, and I often sort of forget about it, until I hear it again and say OH YEAH THIS SONG IS AMAZING.

Also, they played a pretty great The Real Me with a whole host of special guests. It seemed like a collaborative kind of show.

Rockin’ in the Free World, with U2, Honolulu 2006

I swear, Bono is the only person on the planet who makes EV look normal height. In my youth, U2 was in my absolute top tier. My adoration has since waned, but I have a soft spot for their goofball over-the-top, overly-earnest ways, I won’t lie. Here they’re rocking out together and it’s pretty fun, though EV doesn’t seem all that convinced with Bono’s rewrite. Heh heh. It starts at around 4:30, before that U2 is playing with Green Day, if you’re up for that sort of thing.

Throw Your Arms Around Me, Neil Finn with EV, Max Music Sessions 2014

No show today. Sadness, but keep your chins up, would-be PJ Raleigh-ers. Solidarity!

Presumably, when this happened, I was all over it, but I might not have been paying too close attention. So what a bonus to find this (and thanks to @PearlJamOnline for the upload!). Beauty.

Highway to Hell, Springsteen with EV, Brisbane 2014

I’ll pick the sticker winners tomorrow, I reckon, so you’ve still got time to get a video rec on here!

In the meantime, instead of watching the Oscars (because, really), you can watch this awesome video with synced perfect audio (thanks AGAIN MFSYNC172) from when Ed popped up in Brisbane the other night with Bruce. So fun.

A PJ/Ed + Finn family collection

I’m all aflutter with the news that Ed and Neil Finn are combining forces for a contribution to a new Hunters and Collectors tribute album (thanks, @demetriosns for the link!). I love Neil Finn. I love his brother and I love his son, too. I pretty much love anything to do with the Finn family. This is evidenced in this blog, where I put up videos of their collaborations and/or covers pretty much every chance I get. So I thought, why not build a little compilation (á la the REM + PJ/EV collection) for your (and my) enjoyment? Got more? Send ’em!

Better Be Home Soon, with Neil and Liam, Christchurch 2009

History Never Repeats, Ed with Split Enz, Auckland 1995 (This is almost too great to be endured. You’ve been warned.)

Habit, with Liam, PJ20 2011

Plus, Who You Are, with Liam helping out, also PJ20 2011 (it’s there, scroll down)

Betterman, Ed with Neil and friends, Auckland 2001

I See Red, Ed with Betchadupa (and Tim, too!), Auckland 2001, plus Ed (on the drums!) with Liam at the Tractor Tavern in Seattle, rocking out on Habit + I See Red

I Got You, Melbourne 1995 and again, epically great, from Verona in 2000