The Joshua Tree Tour 2019

Nov 15 2019
Melbourne, AU / Marvel Stadium
with Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds

'Into My Arms' in Melbourne.

'Our prayer is for an epic night of rock'n'roll… where  we let go of some things and hold on tighter to others.'

And that's what we got with the second show in Australia this evening, an epic night all the way from Sunday Bloody Sunday to One. 'Bad'  once again a tribute to those fighting the country's fires and including a beautiful cameo of Nick Cave's 'Into My Arms'.

'I don't believe in an interventionist God
But I know, darling, that you do
Into my arms, oh Lord
Into my arms, oh Lord...'

Tour debut tonight for I Will Follow, the band's first ever single release on these shores and last played almost a year ago to the day at the #u2eiTour finale in Berlin. As fan site @U2Start noted on Social Media :'I WILL FOLLOW makes its first appearance of #TheJoshuaTreeTour2019 … continues a historic trend of being performed on EVERY U2 tour since 1980. What a landmark!'

An extended snippet of Nick Cave's 'Into My Arms' during Bad helped set the scene for what came next.

Karl Quinn for The Sydney Morning Herald

'Returning to Melbourne after a nine-year absence, U2 showed they have lost none of their remarkable ability to woo and wow an audience, even one of 60,000 forced to endure a smattering of rain before the roof of Marvel Stadium was belatedly closed. "Our drug of choice tonight isn't alcohol," frontman Bono said at one point. "It isn't chemicals, though it has been, it isn't the Holy Spirit, though the same. It's you." If the crowd could have spoken back, they'd have said it's you too, U2. This tour began in 2017 to mark the 30th anniversary of the Irish band's biggest album, the 26 million-selling The Joshua Tree, but was put on ice in October of that year. A week ago, they played the first show of the belated final leg in Auckland, and on Friday it was finally Melbourne's turn. It was worth the wait. It is a massive show, built around two pillars: the album played in its entirety and original order, and a massive ultra-high-resolution LED screen measuring 61 by 14 metres. It was just the four of them on stage but they long ago mastered the art of filling a stadium with sound. Behind them, as they worked their way through the album, the screen filled with a series of short films made by Anton Corbijn, the Dutch photographer who shot the album pictures 32 years ago, before going on to make the superb Joy Division feature Control and the intriguing James Dean film Life.
When they first came onstage, though, they ignored the screen entirely, walking one by one out to a smaller stage 30 metres or so in front of the main one, to play a short set of songs – Sunday Bloody Sunday, I Will Follow, New Year's Day, Bad, Pride – under simple spotlights. It was so simple and unadorned it was almost as if we were back in 1984, when the band first toured here. But then the screen came to life, a vivid red with the silhouette of a Joshua tree picked out in black, and the band took their places on the main stage. Where the Streets Have No Name unfolded to a black-and-white Corbijn movie of an endless road dotted with refugees, With or Without You to a gorgeous time-lapse sequence of desert ranges, possibly the high point of a night filled with astonishing imagery. As they played Red Hill Mining Town, a Salvation Army brass band filled every pixel of the screen, their horns providing musical accompaniment. As they ripped through Bullet the Blue Sky, a series of ordinary Americans – of various ages and ethnicities – stands in front of a shed painted with the stars and stripes, donning the helmet of a GI. Throughout, Bono's voice soared, The Edge's guitar swept and fuzzed and looped, and Adam Clayton on bass and Larry Mullen Jr on drums powered this machine along on its familiar path. There was absolutely no hint of them phoning it in, but by the same token nothing has been left to chance, right down to the nods to Australia (images of Magda Szubanski and Cathy Freeman, references to the bushfires, snippets of INXS's Devil Inside and Nick Cave's Into Your Arms). This was polished stadium rock at its finest.They finished the 25-song set – eight of those in the encore – playing the masterful One, a song built for the stadium singalong, in the dark. As the crowd wandered off into the night, the words still hung in the air. "We're one, but we're not the same. We get to carry each other, carry each other."For four decades, U2 have been one of the most successful touring acts in the world precisely because of their unique ability to unify a crowd through the act of live performance. It's a gift, and they still have it. Long may they share it.

@mich40u2 from Alabama, USA (one of our outstanding, dedicated Moderation team in over in Zootopia), is on a musical journey herself. She found a destination this evening :
'In 1988, my best friend and I became friends bc of Rattle and Hum. In 1989, we made dreams of seeing U2 in Australia bc of the LoveTown Tour videos we saw. Tonight, 30 years later, we are dreaming out loud.'.

@_Bigwave_ (another member of the mod team, on a musical karaoke journey of his own making), following online :
'Spirit of late, great (Aussie preacher) John Smith got invoked earlier by singer at #U2Melbourne show during gospel song 'for people who may not be sure about such things'. I always wanted to be in Smithy's band. I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For. #TheJoshuaTreeTour2019 #GodSquad

@u2gigs also embedded deep in the crowd here in the Marvel Stadium tweeted post-show :
'The tour debut of I Will Follow was FUCKING EXCITING. That is all'.

'Thank you Melbourne, thank you Australia… for letting us back into your lives… just that you exist at all is a constant wonder to the rest of the World. We love you Australia!'

'Our prayer is for an epic night of rock'n'roll… where  we let go of some things and hold on tighter to others.'

'Let me tell you why I am here tonight… I am here to surrender, to you, to music, to love, to my bandmates… anything could happen!

'Here this evening… community… are we out there? Spirit in the house… oh yeah!'  

Edge : Eleven Pounds and some free drink, that's means a lot when you're 16! Eric Stone, the singer told me on the way home one night… 'If you put together a Country Act, you could work seven nights a week on the bookings I have to turn down - FACT!'

Larry: 'I developed another skill… that was to SLEEP while playing the Foxtrot!'

Adam 'I didn't pass the audition'

Bono 'Neither did I!… & I would't pass the audition for this instrument either (picking up his Trip Through Your Wires harmonica) : 'Larry… your next dance please!…

Was this the first ever outdoor-that-became-indoor U2 show? (they closed the roof halfway through the show, not long after a few lines from 'Singing In The rain')

Here's the complete set list and if you were at the Marvel Stadium tonight, tell us all about it. 

Add your own reviews and photos here. 

    Bad in Mumbai - Give Peace A Chance...
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    This Gig defines your life.
    You transcend time, and go back fondly in your life 30 years! All the things you did and the people you were with, the smells, the memories, the experiences........... You know where you were when this album came out, and started playing on the radio. You know who you were with during these halcyon days! You begin to feel the, spine tingling, hair raising, tear jerking emotions of that era, so vividly, and lucidly. You feel a nostalgia that this music invokes. You proudly reminisce the by gone days. You will never again draw on these memories so warmly, and clearly, as you will, during this awe inspiring, breath taking, epic concert. I was in Southern California for this show a few years back, and it blew me away speechless, and I am going again- When the lights dim down, and you've had a few rounds, prepare for a date with the past- It will be a blast!
    Darren Glen
    this is like time travel to see this tour again its just beyond incredible. imagine winding Back the clock 2 tours after the Zoo tv tour to see Lovetown again. Its kinda like the same thing, this stuff just never happens...ever. Except in dreams. And this is a windback of a tour that is a windback of a tour!!! what a total clusterf&*k. so excited beyond words!!
    Number 1 Fan
    I've been to 2 concerts in Mexico and I moved to Australia in January 2015 thinking that I would get to see them sooner here. They haven't come until now but they have already been in Mexico during these years. I stood outside the Aztec Stadium in Mexico city during the 360 tour for ONE WEEK and I already had my tickets so I was at the very front. Im a little worried because I am in the process of getting my permanent residence in Australia (or being kicked out of the country) so I hope I have the chance to see them because I'm buying them tomorrow tuesday and putting all my faith on that. THE BEST BAND AND SHOW IN THE WORLD
    Yes - Oh Yes - Long Wait
    Bloody long wait - but worth it - Got my pre-sale ready to go Will pump up Joshua Tree over the next couple of months
    Nine long years waiting
    So excited!! Would go to every show if I could but last time did Melbourne twice and that was not enough so went to Perth for two more. Amazing shows just before Christmas 2010! Hoping the band includes some of my all time favourites Bad, Running to Stand Still and Mysterious Ways. Just 160 sleeps to go!! See all you awesome U2 fans at the show!
    first time
    we going to try for Melbourne and Adelaide
    Whoooo Hoooo At Last
    Been promising my now 14 year old son i will take him to the next U2 Tour in Australia since 2010..He was 5 back then and has grown up listening to U2 with me. Cant wait to share the ultimate live concert experience with my son!!!
    U2 + Peter?
    Well, I still haven’t found the tickets I’m looking for... The last time I did was PopMart in ‘98, Sydney Football Stadium. Knew we had good tickets because Peter Garrett, of the ‘Oils was just in front of us—fortunately, we were two rows back—he’s a tall bastard! All time show resplendent with Sydney’s thunder and lightning for effect... then there was Garrett’s dance moves to ‘I Will Follow’... un-followable! So welcome back (sans lightning) Bono and the band...U2 Peter Garrett? I’m excited! Casho.
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