U2 Rose Bowl Reflections


One week after attending both U2 Rose Bowl shows (or LA shows, or Pasadena shows…whatever you prefer) – when the band has already been to two other cities and done a major TV appearance – why am I just now doing a write-up? Truthfully, because it took a solid week to recuperate. From Friday afternoon to the early hours of Monday, I was knee-deep in GA joy and madness and then it was back to work until now. Since you’ve seen the show on the Scopes, there’s no need to recap it in detail. However, I will point out that Rose Bowl night one was the last time U2 played A Sort of Homecoming (I’m not bragging…I’m just as devastated as you!) Fortunately, there is a petition you can sign to plead for its return. I’m not kidding; here it is.

I was about to say that Rose Bowl night one was also the last time Larry turned around and looked at the camera during the Elevation bridge – however, I stand corrected. It appears he also did so in Houston (but not Dallas). That is a cool touch I hope he will do as often as possible!

Another big deal moment that occurred at the U2 Rose Bowl shows took place on night two, when Bono threw us a bone during WOWY. “Shine like stars on a summer night,” he said (here at the 4:21 mark). “Shine like stars…” (followed by improvised Bongolese). For those of us who go a bit nuts over the beloved Shine Like Stars coda (and I’m definitely one of them!), that was a big deal. Now, here’s my take on why it’s been absent from the tour thus far: It goes back to the I+E shows where he sang the coda while the crowd “OOOH-ed.” At some of those shows, I can imagine the band (or at the very least, Bono) may have felt it disrupted the flow to have the crowd singing something different than what he was singing. And at the end of the day, U2 still has to prioritize production. So it’s a bummer for those of us who love the coda, but it makes sense from a production angle. And hey, there’s always the One coda – not to mention the return of the “Still Running” coda in Running to Stand Still, another touch that is cannon to the original Joshua Tree tour.

All in all, I couldn’t be happier with the two shows I attended. I used to think Rose Bowl 360 in 2009 was my favorite U2 concert experience, and now that has been replaced by Rose Bowl night one for the Joshua Tree 2017. Whether you were in Vancouver, Seattle, LA, Houston, Dallas – or, you have yet to attend this tour – you just might find this time around being your new favorite, too.

Photo credit: @U2RadioBrook on Twitter (oh wait, that’s me)

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U2 community builder, actualist, sometimes full of anger and grieving. Contact: IG @brookwf, X @U2radiobrook.

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