Tag Archives: u2

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.

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.

Improv/Go + Daughter/MLK, Rome 1993

This is from one of the shows when they opened for U2. People, just think about that for a moment. Pearl Jam opened for U2, on the Zooropa tour. You can see the crazy ass set behind them, under wraps. Can you imagine? If I hadn’t been, like, 13, at that point, I would have busted my ass to Europe and followed the whole thing around for the duration. And yeah, that’s U2’s “MLK” as the “Daughter” tag (@3:26 in the second video below). Sweet.

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

At the Make Poverty History show in 2006, Pearl Jam was the “surprise” and then they played this with Bono and the Edge. I used to be a huge (HUGE) U2 fan but have tuned out the last few records. Sad, because they were my absolute favorite for years. Bono is such a total rockstar here it is a little cringey, but it kind of makes me smile. And he’s nowhere near as cringey as this getting billed as “UJam”. Ugh. Vomit.

Speaking of U2, have you seen PJ do “A Sort of Homecoming”?

Ol’ Man River, Ed with U2, Toronto 2005

I was looking for something else, and stumbled across this. I had no idea this happened, and while the video isn’t super great (or complete), still. It’s Ed. With U2. Singing a song from Show Boat. How has it only been viewed 120 times?!? Anyone have any better links?

A Sort of Homecoming, Sydney 2006

What better than PJ covering a U2 song for Saint Patrick’s Day? If you’ve got a better video, or audio – this is pretty buzzy – send me a link!