The Joshua Tree Tour 2017

May 20 2017
Los Angeles, CA, US / Rose Bowl
with The Lumineers

'Insist, persist, resist…’

Claudia Espinosa (@U2Baja) is a familiar name to many in the U2 fan community, especially on the boards of Zootopia. She filed this review from the band’s opening night in LA.

Rebel songs, joyful songs, protests songs, hopeful songs. This is what U2’s music has been since my introduction to the band during the War album. Their music has filled spaces in my life making them not only memorable, but unforgettable.

For longtime fans going to a U2 show is filled with anticipation, not only of music and spectacle but of getting to a moment that transports you past the now into a space filled with joy. Last night’s show at the Rose Bowl was a sinusoidal wave that carried us through many of the memories that we’ve formed with the band and their music.

During the pre-show music, the crowd sang-a-long to Soundgarden’s Black Hole Sun turning the stadium into a star filled night, as people raised lighters and phones in honor of Chris Cornell who passed away three days earlier. As The Pogues’ A Rainy Day in Soho came over the PA Larry Mullen walked down to the drum-kit set up on the Joshua Tree shaped B-stage. It took me back to the War album (and the first U2 song I ever heard), the drums of Sunday Bloody Sunday filling the air as Bono, The Edge and Adam Clayton joined him to open the show.

Reminiscent of their earliest gigs, the band stood on the smaller stage under simple spotlights as the end of Sunday Bloody Sunday introduced the most recognisable bass line in U2’s catalog - New Years Day - before a slower tempo A Sort of Homecoming led us into Pride (in the Name of Love).

With the opening chords of ‘Streets’ the band walked up to the mainstage, now illuminated in red, The Joshua Tree emblem outlined behind and a sense of palpable excitement in the air. As they performed the album in sequence, The Joshua Tree revealed itself as an album of songs that could be seen as about the search for meaning in today’s America. Bullet the Blue Sky reminds us, to quote Bono that “America is not just a place, it is an idea”. Running to Stand Still was dedicated “…to the lion that was Chris Cornell” and his family. Red Hill Mining Town was an ode to the labor movement, while the striking visuals of In God’s Country and Trip Through your Wires were a reminder of the beauty and grandeur a young Irish band saw when first visiting this country.

A hauntingly beautiful One Tree Hill, written in memory of Bono’s friend Greg Carrol, has always felt to me like you are floating in the sea, a moment where you are one with yourself. Mothers of the Disappeared reminded me that no matter what happens, even in the most profound moments of sadness, a mothers love will persevere. And ultimately …el pueblo vencera - the people will triumph.

If The Joshua Tree songs are about the state of our world, those that followed were about making a difference - that love, hope and joy are all around us. Beautiful Day was joyful and uplifting while Ultraviolet (Light My Way) went out to women in the stadium and around the world: those who Insist, Persist and Resist. A giant banner with the image of Omaima, the young Syrian refugee featured on screen, was carried through the crowd during Miss Syria (Sarajevo) before a rocking version of I Will Follow brought the night to a close.

This was a night that broke through the anger and frustration that many feel during these uncertain times. And as I always find with U2, it was a night that filled us with hope that we can make a better future.

And if you were at the Rose Bowl, tell us all about it. Add your own review and photos on our tour pages here.



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    Sao Paulo - last show of The Joshua Tree Tour 2017. Video by
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    Beautiful Day
    what a night, to hear every single song off that amazing album was a treat
    The memories
    Thanks for the memories.
    What Did I Misunderstand?
    Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana But All Irish Tonight & Friends Forever "In Gods Country"
    went with family members = first concert was June 2015 - was able to talk to Bono and bless him for all he and the band have been able to do over the years
    5th Time Is A Charm
    Beautiful night with a beautiful woman and a beautiful band! Best night ever!!
    I've had the time of my life.
    Best. Band. Possibly ever. Thanks for giving me some great memories and great music.
    Poetry List?
    We loved the poetry that was scrolled on the screen before the show. Recognized some, never heard of others, all were intriguing. Where can we get a listing?
    Always Perfect
    The show in Pasadena was perfect. This was my fifth U2 concert, and it's just as exciting as seeing them for the first time. The graphics and videos beautiful. The sound system was crisp and clear. We had so much fun hearing all the Joshua Tree songs and the rest of them-superb! When the group added "Bad" at the end, my night was complete-couldn't ask for more!
    One more thing
    Please play The Joshua Tree in Phoenix, Arizona. It is dismaying that these beautiful desert songs aren't being played in the desert.
    Thoroughly enjoyed the first Rose Bowl concert. Getting to hear The Joshua Tree live was an experience I won't forget. Bono's voice kicked into another gear halfway through the show, it was glorious. Thrilled to hear "In God's Country". "Exit" is a showstopper. Loved "One Tree Hill" and "Mothers of the Disappeared". The band's use of the giant screen is phenomenal. Corbijn's films are stunning. Loved the feeling of catharsis the encore set brought. Wished I could have heard the new song.
    a dream come true
    Glad to be able to attend Saturday's concert at Rose Bowl - the atmosphere was just right. From Sunday Bloody Sunday to Exit, Miss Sarajevo's powerful message, Ultraviolet- loved it. Especially hearing A sort of homecoming and I will follow made me extra happy. Thank you Bono, the Edge, Adam and Larry Jr. for making us feel , breathe, uplift, carry....your magic- music and impact. Love, always.
    A perfect day!
    And when I go there.. I go there with you... It's all I can do... #U2TheJoshuaTreeTour
    Rose Bowl
    Loved taking my daughter to her 1st U2 concert!
    Great Concert
    2nd time see U2 at the Rose Bowl and not disappointed at all. great time thank you
    The plane ride back to Tucson at 8am was painful but the concert glorious. Bono found his vox at midway through Bullet and Running and then it was off to the vocal acrobatic races. A tour deforce... I saw the first show of the Joshua Tree Tour in 1987 at Wells Fargo Arena in Tempe. At that show, Bono had no Vox. So, we sang for him. I also saw the last show of the tour at Sun Devil Stadium where parts of Rattle and Hum were filmed. I have to say, quite frankly, I think it's absolutely criminal that The Joshua Tree Tour 2017 is not returning to Sun Devil Stadium. Why? Without a return trip to the Desert Sky to dream beneath with new dreams, it simply isn't the Joshua Tree Tour.
    The dream
    I was 14 and living in Argentina when The Joshua Tree came out, and I fell in love with U2 with all the fierce love of a teenager that needed to find a voice in this world. It would take 11 more years to be finally able to see U2 live in Buenos Aires, and I never thought in a million years that I was going to be able to experience TJT tour ever in my life... the sheer joy that only the raw power of music can give is what I experienced in the Rose Bowl, a night when dreams came true and the impossible was there. There are very few things in life that can make you forget about time and space and just feel. Thank you, U2, for that. I was just a dot in a see of faces, high up in the stadium, but you gave me an awesome gift I will never forget. :) The Dream is definitely still on.
    Oh Bono
    It was an ultra-violet experience for me.
    Guus van Hove
    It was a great gesture that Bono dedicated the concert to Guus van Hove and his girlfriend. Guus van Hove was the director of pop-podium 013 in Tilburg in The Netherlands and died in august 2011 while searching for the site where the cover of the album The Joshua Tree was photographed. It would be fantastic if the band should play the complete album in Tilburg, my home town on july 31 in 013 in front of 3000 fans. U2 is in Holland that day after 2 concerts in the Arena in Amsterdam
    Rose bowl
    Great show but once again only 22 songs. With their catalog they should be playing for 3-4 hours. Give us our monies worth. Like Springsteen or Mc cartney very common for them to play 3 plus hours for same price I paid for U2 tickets. Hopefully when they get to philly and meadowlands they will give us a longer show. Thought I was getting something special by traveling to LA. Really disapointed
    Was it me or was the Edge on fire?
    This was my 51st U2 show and I have honestly never heard Edge sound so good!!! Bono, Adam and Larry weren't bad either.... A big shout out to security by Section 19 first row. He made our night, one because he was so into the music and two, because he had such a hard job but kept a smile on his face all night.
    Found the Joshua Tree Show both enjoyabl
    I began my connection to U2's music after War came out...and have enjoyed every work they've done...and their many tours. Last night at the Rose Bowl... on one level... it was good to be back at a big live show...and hearing music that has meant so much to me. But I was surprised... how the feeling grew that this was U2 with no real sense of purpose or inspiration...apart from just creating a tour. Bono randomly trying to get everyone to raise their arms...but for no clear reason...and I could feel the audience wanting to comply...but not really knowing why. Then the Joshua Tree songs... sounding less inspired... with video that at times defied the very heart of the songs. I couldn't stop feeling that more was being lost from what these songs represented...and that there was no effort to try to gain anything fresh or relevant. I know that he crowd was enjoying itself...but I wanted as the excitement wore down... less anticipation of anything special here. It became hard to remain inspired... standing amidst a crown of many babyboomer era lives... having paid really high prices for a stadium "show"... that for the first time...felt like it was more about trying to connect to the past...that the present. I know that most people may relate more to having just enjoyed a good "show"... but I imagine some may share the sense that U2 has represented something more thoughtful than just a showing.
    First night at the Rose Bowl
    Great show, great music, loved it all! I remember seeing them 30 years ago n LA on the first Joshua Tree tour. And I agree with Bono...the Edge is a sexy, sexy man! #U2TheJoshuaTreeTour
    Happy Camper
    My BOY 1st U2 gig
    Amazing night
    Such a great night ! THANK YOU for making the floor general admission!!! So boring to watch people in their seats. And you can't dance! Chris Cornell, Jordan pics, we need to cherish each other and show more love. Set list hit the mark and the bare bones opening made WHERE THE STREETS HAVE NO NAME explode. KUSF!!!
    God's Country
    My 5th U2 show: Went into it jaded and came out exilarated. Major props to Willie Williams and his tech expertise. Loved the mushroom-enhanced tree image on In God's Country. And major thanks to the band for finally including I Will Follow in the setlist. Made my night.
    Great Show
    As the top event from our trip in California the concert was amazing. All the memories connected to these songs .... 2047! Looking forward to it :-)))
    Bono was absolutely amazing in his performance of Exit. The crowd was stunned, and didn't hardly know how to respond! What an amazing artist!
    U2 Rose Bowl
    Driving to Rose Bowl!!! O5-21-2017 Exiting
    The band was amazing as always. The Edge wandering through the stands taking selfies was fun. I thought the video board was the surprise star of the night. Some very powerful and moving work.
    The most spiritually powerful two hours of my life!
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