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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    Special Guests?
    Would it be awesome if Barack and Michelle Obama happened to be in the neighborhood?
    Fingers Crossed
    Hoping for great weather but bringing my rain gear here's my green card I'm a proud immigrant from Ireland
    Please play, "Bad!"
    Please play both "A Sort of Homecoming"
    Not trying to be greedy but I will be bringing both of my children to their first U2 shows...they love both songs.Please play "A sort of Homecoming" and "Bad"
    I am following - from Houston!
    I have followed U2 whenever possible and a fan for 34 years. SO looking forward to the show in Chicago AND in Louisville, KY! Still dream of meeting y'all and getting a hug! :-)
    U2 on My Birthday!
    It's Out of Control I remember seeing the band on the J-Tree Tour in Murphrysboro, TN. It was a great show in a still not EEEEEnormous stadium. Now 30 years later (how is that possible), the boys decided to play for my birthday! The signature of the original tour was the 'surprise' guest each night...wonder if there will be a this time around.
    30 Years
    This summer my husband and I celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary. Had these t-shirts made up for the concert, but heard it will be raining that night! :( We listened to The Joshua Tree continuously during our engagement and long car rides back & forth visiting each other in Wisconsin and Ohio. The JT was the first CD we ever bought. My gift to my husband on our first Christmas was a CD player on which to play our first CD. My, how things have changed!
    A Sort Of Homecoming
    Even though it looks like this song won't make the setlist :(, The Joshua Tree in its entirety will. Soooooo BRING IT ON!
    U2 + Chicago / Birthday Weekend = BUCKET
    This will be my 3rd time seeing the BEST BAND IN THE WORLD.....3rd Time is definitely the Charm!!! Let's do this, Boys.....
    All Alone.
    I cannot wait to see U2 on this 30th Aniv Tour at this first show at Solder Field!! Unfortuntaly I could only get One Ticket so my Gf cannot go with me. Oh well, I will still be with the fans and U2!! See You All There!! Bob Hubbell Aka U2 user name BonosDream!
    Can't wait
    Really looking forward to a great show with great friends and a great band
    U2 in Chi-town
    Can't wait for June 3rd! I'm so excited, I have goosebumps already!
    U2 gives everything they have at every concert. Perfection at its finest! Joshua Tree rocks, but has a mix of great tunes that bring me peace! Cannot wait for this concert! Hope G.A. has enough room as last time at Solider Field it was over ticketed and very tight and way too hot.
    i am coming from italy!!!i can't wait anymoreeeeeeeeeeeee
    We're gonna rock this town!
    So awesome to our BOYS coming to town. Can't wait. June third. Here we go..... .
    Yes! them! :)
    fxxcking AWESOME!!!
    Omg!!! I'm as excited as ever! This is my all time number ONE U2 album! Can't wait to see my fave band playing all the greats! See you in summer #U2!!!
    Wake up Chicago
    u2 are coming back.
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