That Was 2005 That Was...
2005 was a year in which.....
* U2 played 110 shows.
* Travelled for nine months on two continents.
* Performed to 3.4m people.
* Won Three Grammy Awards (for Vertigo).
* Were nominated for five more for the 2006 awards.
* Were inducted into the 'Rock'n'Roll Hall of Fame'
* Played with 23 support acts (that's our calculation anyway)
* Launched Music Rising (Edge) to help replace instruments lost by musicians in New Orleans.
* Were joined on stage by everyone from Daniel Lanois to Patti Smith, from Bruce Springsteen to Brandon Flowers of The Killers.
* Shot two live shows, one in the US and one in Europe. Released the first one as the DVD, 'Vertigo 2005//U2 Live from Chicago'.
* Met Presidents and Prime Ministers (Bono) in the campaign against global poverty.
* Released four singles: City of Blinding Lights, Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own, All Because of You and Original of the Species.
* Announced more dates on three continents for 2006 - and sold out the first twelve stadium shows in New Zealand, Australia, Mexico and Argentina in record breaking time.
This is how Larry looked back on the year and he drew us a very cool self-portrait too (check lower down the page to see how Adam saw the year).
What was the best show of 2005?
There hasn't been one best show - I'd have to say that it's probably the best tour we've ever done ... Best tour we've ever been on... I 'd say hands down that this is it.
How is the show different than when you started the show in San Diego?
We're in a different gear now. San Diego was definitely the best opening of a tour we've ever had. When we started the first leg we were changing the set list around and then when we got to Europe - we changed the set again and put in older songs. By the time we came back to North America it felt like we could do whatever we wanted - it became easier to just throw songs in; covers and songs we never play.
What has been the highlight of your tour thus far?
I think, if I'm to be honest, it's having done 100-plus shows and I feel like we played every show like it might be our last and every time the audience responded like it might be their last U2 show. There's a sense of real achievement when you come to the end of a tour and you feel like you've won the World Cup.
A recent review in a British Magazine described you as having a face of someone swallowing piss... How do you feel about that?
It made me laugh out loud. And the thought crossed my mind that if I see another one of those signs with SMILE LARRY I might have to use some of my drum sticks for more than drumming. Sadly for me I'm not a multi-tasker. I can only concentrate on one thing at a time. And for 25 years it's been hitting things. And when I master that I promise I'll smile and wave and set up my own charity.
So, Adam Clayton, the man who played bass guitar in front of more people than any other bass player in 2005 ....
How is the show different than when it opened in San Diego?
It's very different now... I mean it's moved incrementally. It doesn't feel completely different, the main elements are still the same, but as the tour has gone on, everything has been refined.
The initial concept of this tour was to connect How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb, right back to our first record Boy. So we dusted off some of those tunes... and set about playing them with songs from our latest record.
Then we went to Europe, and Vertigo became the first song and we opened the show up a bit more... the feel of it changed. And then finally we came back to North America and the end section that had always been a taste of Zoo TV came back. We added back in Until the End of the World and Mysterious Ways ... and the circle was complete.
What has been the highlight of your tour?
I think the run of shows in New York at Madison Square Garden were some of the best shows we've ever performed. And with Patti Smith for two of those... that was just amazing to be performing with her. She has meant so much to us - I mean there would be no U2 without Patti Smith's 'Horses'.
I'm sure there were others but that has been a highlight.
Has there been a best show?
The one that I remember the most, as being the most, kind of, metaphysical, was I think the Paris show. That's the one that sticks in my brain - the first Paris show.
Support bands: was there a highlight?
Well obviously Patti Smith. I think Arcade Fire were one of the highlights - they're a band that really reminded me of where we'd come from. But I think every opening act that we've had has brought something to the table, from the Kings of Leon through to Damian Marley.
Bands you enjoyed in 2005...
Hard Fi who I know nothing about; Clap Your Hands Say Yeah a great band out of New York; Arctic Monkeys....
Been browsing any magazines?
The NB Review