The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - THE TAKE - TONY CLAY­TON-LEA

In the past three years, U2 have played Ire­land seven times. By the end of next week, they will have brought the to­tal to 11. Each show has sold out, each has been (largely) ac­claimed. Of course, when U2 come to town, some peo­ple want to take a line or two out of one of their best songs – “I want to run, I want to hide” – in order to dis­play their in­dif­fer­ence or dis­plea­sure, but over­all it’s fair to say the band is wel­comed with open arms by fans fer­vent and fair­weather.

Things are chang­ing in the U2 camp, though: age may not wither them, but those huge video screens with their megapixel res­o­lu­tions tell the truth – they are now look­ing ev­ery inch of their years. Bono has had sev­eral health is­sues over the past four years, one of which has been deemed too se­ri­ous to even talk about. There’s also a firm sense that fol­low­ing the in­ti­mate, per­sonal sub­ject mat­ter of their two most re­cent al­bums – 2014’s Songs of In­no­cence, and last year’s Songs of Ex­pe­ri­ence – the U2 cir­cle has been well and truly squared.

For their next stu­dio al­bum, the band will surely have to delve into some­thing else for in­spi­ra­tion. Based on re­ports of the eX­PE­RI­ENCE + iN­NO­CENCE shows, it would seem that the cur­rent and fu­ture po­lit­i­cal land­scape is an area that U2 could ef­fec­tively, in­tel­li­gently mine for ma­te­rial. An­other area – at least in per­for­mance terms – is to do with their 1991 al­bum, Ach­tung Baby, what they did with their 1987 al­bum,

The Joshua Tree: take it on the road. Watch this space, as they say.

U 2 per­for mat Dublin’ s 3 Arena on Novem­ber 5th, 6th, 9th and 10th


The Edge and Bono on stage in Belfast last week.

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