The Joshua Tree Tour 2017

Jun 3 2017
Chicago, IL, US / Soldier Field
with The Lumineers

'The roots go deep...'

Joe Shanahan, a longtime fan and friend of the band, is founder and owner of legendary Chicago music clubs Metro and Smart Bar. Joe attended the first of U2's two-night stand at Soldier Field Saturday night with his wife Jennifer and their children, Tara (21) and Michael (19), and shared his reflections on the night with us. 

'The roots of the Joshua Tree go deep in Chicago and U2's return to Soldier Field Saturday night felt like a family reunion in the city that has embraced the quartet from Dublin's North Side as its own since they first performed here in April 1981. 

I was at their first Chicago show at the International House at University of Chicago, where the enthusiastic audience wouldn't let them leave the stage so they ended up playing songs more than once, and have attended each of the more than 30 shows they've played here since their debut. The next night they played the Park West — a 900-capacity room that was more of a sit-down venue with a maître d' and a two-drink minimum—and turned it into a big ol' sweaty rock club. The next show they played in Chicago was at the Aragon Ballroom and went from 1,000 people to 5,000 people. I remember thinking, These guys have big plans…

They say 'how long do I have to sing this song,' but they're not stopping. For most bands that have been together for decades, there is a tendency for things to become sort of automatic, to leave it in second or third gear and get through the race. But not U2. They have a kind of alchemy that transforms a concert into community. 

We live in a world that is just confused. It's so heavy on everyone's mind and heart. Bono came on stage and immediately addressed it. During the first song, Sunday Bloody Sunday, he spoke about violence—in Manchester, in London (news of the terrorist attacks broke as many of us were on the way to the show), and on "the streets of Chicago."

"Take me to church," he shouted. We have to feel that we're all there and we're there together. The communal musical experience is the strongest thing we have. It's undeniable.

To go from Bad to Pride to Streets—I was weak in the knees. Standing with 21-year-old daughter Tara, who flew in from New York for the show, singing every word to Pride together. It's something we do and have done as a family. At that moment, I looked around and saw people young and old with tears in their eyes. Then Adam hits that first bass note for Streets and it's a rumble that just rolls right through you. 

The fact that the band continues to create an intimate rock experience on a grand scale is an amazing thing to do and not many bands can do it. 

When the band transitioned from the opening set (Sunday Bloody Sunday, New Years Day, Bad, Pride) to the Joshua Tree album itself (Where The Streets Have No Name), I was struck by their four silhouettes against the road that stretched out behind them on the screen.  

It was so compelling: four guys with this big sound and big story, talking about the American dream—an idea that's as expansive as it is simple. I stood in awe of it. 
For anyone who wondered how the album would stand up 30 years later, the music did the talking. It wasn't nostalgic. I felt like someone was telling me a story. 

By the time they got to In God's Country—"Welcome to side two!"—there was a really beautiful shift into a few songs that many people really haven't heard. When you can dig into your catalog and find those nuggets and present them in such a beautiful way, all of a sudden we're hearing something new in a 30-year-old song. It's a great juxtaposition. 

Closing the show with I Will Follow, they had all of us jumping up and down together, bringing out the teenager in all of us. It was community, all of us coming together to experience the sound. 

It was a global experience. It was a homecoming.

And if you were at Soldier Field, tell us all about it. Add your own review and photos below



    Sao Paulo - last show of The Joshua Tree Tour 2017. Video by
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    Baby, baby, baby ... light my way.
    I would love to be stuck in the moment that I was in while taking this picture.
    Chicago Saturday June 3rd , 2017
    Was on the rail by stage 37 years and over 101 shows, this ranked number 2 audience participation only to Amnesty International 1986...the crowd was absolutely magnificent and the band were spot on, show was amazing.....
    I've seen U2 maybe a dozen times and the band never fails to enthrall, entertain, inspire and deliver 150 percent. We were in the third deck and all I had was a point and shoot camera, should have brought my 35mm Nikon DSL like the woman in front of me - even though the stadium policy said no cameras with detachable lenses. I did fairly well with photos considering... Love that they are celebrating the Joshua Tree's 30th, it still is relevant today. And will always be so. This is a band with heart and soul. Going to see them tonight in Cleveland, with better seats. So looking forward to more U2!
    MAK6 sensors mediocre reviews
    I posted an honest but mediocre review for the Saturday show at Soldier Field. Essentially, after seeing the band over a dozen times, I felt the show ranked about 7th on the list of those performances, mostly due to the acoustics of the venue and some cinematic use of the screen instead of showing the guys for much of the show...For some reason, my post does not appear in the comments section. Hmmm. Does the official site for a band that stands up for different points of view around the world sensor those different views on it's own site?
    First Song from First Album, I Will Foll
    Great song to end the show in Chicago!
    A dream come true
    Simply The great gays I have listened since I was 15. We loved The show.
    30 years ago this friendship began
    Amazing show and even better to see it close friends who share the same passion for U2. We have seen them collectively, separately and all over the world. This was special night for all of us.
    Soldier Field June 3, 2017: the GOOD 'OL
    It was so fantastically GREAT to hear all those old absolute favorite songs from U2 are from the 1st 4 albums!! I've been a fan since 1984, & Boy, October, War & Unforgettable Fire have stood the test of time! So glad to see so many fans feel the same way: a tour of their old music sold out just as fast as any tour of their's would. The stage & set was a great design, as always bringing them closer to more fans. Very clever usage of the Joshua Tree. The video displays were mesmerizing & the live video of the band was so incredibly HD--best I've ever seen. The band may be aging a bit (I'm just a bit younger than Bono), but they've still got it. And I hope they keep touring for years to come: I will always scrimp & save to buy tickets!
    Family Nite
    A wonderful evening shared. My daughter is wearing my shirt from over 30 years ago.
    Family Nite
    A wonderful evening shared. My daughter is wearing my shirt from over 30 years ago.
    U2 show #19, 3rd on this tour
    Saw my 19th U2 show Saturday IN Chicago and both shows at the Rose Bowl 2 weeks ago! They were incredible as always! The other thing I love about traveling to the shows is meeting new friends like Jonathan and Kristen in the photo! Amazing experiences in every city! Pittsburgh is next, then Louisville, Washington, Boston, New York, Cleveland, and then Dublin!!
    Wish I could take the magic with me
    I experienced my third U2 concert over the weekend with my wife and our seven-year-old son (his second show!). Although I had The Joshua Tree on tape when I was a student at Notre Dame, I didn't get to the shows when U2 came through Chicago on the original tour. Now I feel like waiting was the wise move since I got to hear the entire album live. I only wish it was possible to take some of the magic home after the show. Being back at work with fond memories of the show is good, but there's still that little bit of an ache in the heart. Thank you, U2, and everyone on the tour and at Soldier Field for a terrific evening. Thank you as well to the Lumineers for their performance (and their crew as well!). I've downloaded both of their albums to my iPhone and made a playlist of their setlist. I look forward to more releases from them in the future. Of course, I more than look forward to U2's next release and hopefully a digital release from this tour.
    I've been a fan for over 30 years. I've seen them over 10 times. My 7 kids have grown up on them. The best is holding one of your children as a baby to "With or without you"....then taking them to their first concert of U2 in Chicago. I've been blessed in my life with my kids, The Love of my Love Kathy & friends. Seeing them Saturday night in Chicago...and hearing the Joshua Tree through out...was a blessing. Life is truly great. Thanks Boys!
    Have seen U2 many times, got to take my family this time - we all loved loved the show. Opening with Sunday Bloody Sunday, New Years day, Bad, Pride then into Joshua Tree - I was hoarse 6 songs in! Loved it!
    Even better than the Real Thing...
    "Let's have Human Rights correct Human Wrongs!!" - Bono ONE TREE HILL brought tears to my eyes...thinking of my Mom in Heaven!!
    Never gets old
    From the first Joshua Tree tours dates at the Rosemont Horizon and all the ones in between, nothing gets your heart pounding like U2. To see them again, reliving and remaking a 30 year masterpiece was fantastic.
    Joshua Tree is one of my all time favorite albums. The concert last night was unbelievable! This album... the everything! Ty for an unforgettable experience!
    We were so lucky to be a few rows back center stage for general admission. To be so close to see the smiles on there faces and Bono getting choked up a few times was so special. I'll never forget it!
    The Apostle Paul
    Bono was feeling it last night. "Put your hand against the screen"
    30 Years after the first time....
    The show was the continuation of a love affair with a band that meant everything to me back then, and remains so to this day. Thank you to the band, and everyone involved in producing such a amazingly creative, and honest show. It
    Awesome show as always!!
    I have been a fan fo over 30 years. Loved the show..I was concerned with security I love these guys and us fans.
    Great show guys
    We were again moved by your performance, main floor and great sound for playing in a clam shell. My best friend and myself loved your opening on the smaller stark stage, it was very moving when you went to the main stage, also she could finally see you then. But thanks great show hoping you'll drop your new album, maybe tour behind Achtung Baby - Zooropa my two favorite albums of ALL TIME!!!! One Irish immigrant proud of the fact your the best act in the world!!!!!
    Exit live was everything I've spent the better part of the past 20+ years hoping it would be. AMAZING night.
    The Bigger Picture PAYS OFF
    Section 209 tonight was better than Second row at the tree stage. For real. It cracked me up! No lining up for GA tomorrow after all! Details to come if you follow my toir blog: 5 shows in 40 days from Vancouver to DC
    Dream Come True
    I always wished I could've seen the Joshua Tree Tour in 1987 back when I was in high school. Now, I get my chance 30 years later to see them. A dream come true! Can't wait for tonight at Soldier Field!
    Super Excited
    First time around I was in Middle School and didn't get to go. Finally get to see U2 with my best friend and have a great time. Coming in from Atlanta. Can't wait!!!
    5th Concert Tomorrow for Wife and I
    Amy and I are heading to Chi-Town for our 5th U2 concert and 3rd in Soldier Field. Promises to be as awesome as all the others. U2-IE however got me the closest to the band however. 30 feet from the greatest band in the world - now for 30 years.
    On Our Way
    We are going to both Saturday & Sunday nights show. This will be our 8th & 9th time seeing U2!! We have never been disappointed, not even the time our seats were behind a port-a- potty.
    Can't wait for June 3rd in Chicago!
    Tomorrow will be my fifth time seeing U2. I had tickets to see them in 1987 (Las Cruces, NM) on the original Joshua Tree Tour but could not go as I had hurt my knee (I was in High School). Now I get to see The Joshua Tree 2017 Tour and bring my 16 yr old High school son and my 10 yr old son!! So excited as we will be driving down from Minnesota!
    One more Day!
    Love to Hear Bad, Homecoming, 40, and Sweetest Thing! Today Cubs and Cards and then 2 Nights of U2!
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