U2101 – October

Well, the big news this past week was the tour debut, Saturday night, of “October”. I’ve got to be honest, I’m a little surprised that U2 chose to dust this one off, but I think it’s really cool that they did.

To put this into perspective a little bit, this performance of “October” was the first in over nine thousand days – over 25 years. In the decades since it was played last, “Beautiful Day” has been played over 400 times, and “One” has garnered more than 650 performances. This performance, along with the recent performances of “Gloria” also means that this is the first tour since the Lovetown Tour, 25 years ago, with performances of multiple songs from the album October. It feels like anything is possible on this tour. Can “Mofo” or “Acrobat” be far behind?

 

“October”, is a slightly gloomy song, as befits a song named after the tenth month, a time period typically known for its autumnal weather. The only music comes from a somber piano, played by Edge, and a ticking metronome that begins halfway through the song. The lyrics fit the mood set by the instrumentation “October – the trees are stripped bare…what do I care?” The song goes on to talk about how everything on Earth eventually ends, but the singer’s belief is that God goes on forever. On the album of its origin, “October” is probably the most fully developed song, with none of the feeling of being hastily cobbled together that permeates the rest of the record. It feels like a fully thought out piece of music that stands exactly as it was intended to.

 

I don’t know whether or not “October” will get another airing on this tour, but at this point, really, all bets are off. Nothing the band does or plays at this point would surprise me.

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broadsword

Ever since I realized as a kid, while poring over the liner notes of the Bob Marley - Songs of Freedom boxed set, that writing about music was a viable career choice, one of my greatest desires has been to write about U2. The band has been a major part of my life for as long as I can remember, and I'm thrilled to have this opportunity to contribute a little something to the fantastic online community that's been built around the band.