The Joshua Tree Tour 2017

Jun 18 2017
Philadelphia, PA, US / Lincoln Financial Field
with The Lumineers

'Rock'n'Roll Town…'

Cyndy Drue gave U2 their first exposure on American television in March, 1981 and has been playing their music on rock radio in Philadelphia throughout their entire career. Cyndi was at Lincoln Financial Field for last night's show and it got her thinking about the long history of the band in the city. Here's her review.

'It's always exciting when U2 comes to town. We were one of the first cities to embrace this band. From way back, U2 knew that Philadelphia was a huge rock 'n roll town whose fans know a good thing when they hear it. 

After all, Philadelphia fans are credited with giving many acts their first support, most notably Bruce Springsteen, Billy Joel, Yes, Genesis, Pearl Jam - and U2. 

The earliest exposure came from the rock giant WMMR that's still playing them today with the station's 50th anniversary coming up next year. Bono has acknowledged that support from stage and in an interview with DJ Pierre Robert where he said, “I can't tell you what I had for breakfast yesterday, but I remember to this day, the people who supported us when we started out.” 

It was also Philadelphia where U2 made their American television debut in March of 1981. U2 appeared at a small club called the Bijou Café for about 50 people, and I named them “New Artist Pick of the Month” on my TV show that aired on KYW-TV. After an interview with Bono, I gave him a ride from the TV station at 5th & Market to his gig at 16th & Lombard Streets and met the band.  A snippet of that interview is on my website: (Bono had a mullet and I had a perm!)

Their rise was fast and steady, moving to The Ripley on South Street eight months after the Bijou for 500 early believers on November 18, 1981; the Tower Theater in Upper Darby for 3,000 during the War tour (May 13 + 14, 1983), and by the time of their fourth album, The Unforgettable Fire, they debuted at the Spectrum playing for 20,000 for two nights, April 22 + 24, 1985.

No matter when we became a fan and jumped in, we have held on and
maintained our allegiance and commitment. The love affair between U2 and Philadelphia continues today with the 30th anniversary celebration of The Joshua Tree at the biggest stadium in town, Lincoln Financial Field, where the Philadelphia Eagles play. 70,000 tickets sold out in less than an hour. 

The last time U2 played here was also at the football stadium on July 14, 2011 for the 360 tour. That stage production was much more elaborate than this one. Last night there was no claw and massive steel construction. In fact, nothing but spotlights and smoke accompanied the show's open as the four band members launched into Sunday Bloody Sunday and let the music do the talking. 

And did it speak! New Year's Day, Bad, Pride in the Name of Love followed as the audience sang along.  The Joshua Tree was played next, track to track, and that's when the video screens came into play. We had heard that the band's longtime photographer Anton Corbijn who shot the 1987 album cover had created some stunning films to show on a screen the size of the stage for each song on The Joshua Tree. These were a fantastic compliment to the music and helped bring the audience in closer. Eventually, the band members were shown on screen too, something we've all become accustomed to at a live show, seeing the players up close. 

Hearing the songs from that iconic album – Where the Streets Have No Name, With or Without you, I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For, etc - created a new, more intimate connection with the band because we were revisiting it together after so many years. It's like a really good family reunion where all the memories are welcome and great to relive.

A nice long encore wrapped up the show starting with Miss Sarajevo, then, Mysterious Ways during which they showed remarkable people on the screen like Sister Mary Scullion who has been working to end homelessness in Philadelphia for over 40 years through her group Project Home.

One followed, the song that lends its name to Bono's campaigning organization The One Campaign that he announced here in Philadelphia at a 2005 rally Independence Mall. (Yet another connection we have is we gave Bono the Liberty Medal in 2007. It's awarded annually by the National Constitution Center to recognize leadership in the pursuit of freedom.) 

Beautiful Day, Elevation and Vertigo whipped us up into a frenzy, closing the show. 

Just like the four guys in U2 have stayed together all this time, so has Philadelphia's connection with them….

U2 and Philadelphia – still goin' strong after all these years. '

Were you at the show in Philadelphia? Tell us what it was like. Add your own review and photos from the show below.


    Sao Paulo - last show of The Joshua Tree Tour 2017. Video by
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    3 Generations of Fans
    One day after my daughter's 1st bday party, I was able to convince my dad and beat the heat to witness the greatest band alive. After 33 years of hearing me blasting U2 from my speakers, he came along and said "I ain't getting any younger and I want to see these guys before I croak".... Well thank God he came along because he died in my arms the following summer. What an absolute incredible day it was to spend Father's Day with my dad and children. I miss the hell out of you Pop, and I'm glad you were finally able to witness Bono and the boys before leaving us. I love you and miss you. Peace.
    My name and my feeling the moment my favorite band came on stage in my home city.
    The guys @ U2
    Matt Wund
    Great show in Philly!
    The only thing hotter than the weather was the music! I became a fan in my early teens soon after Rattle and Hum was released, and my first U2 show was Zoo TV. After seeing them on their 6 previous tours, it was great to finally hear the amazing songs from side 2 of the Joshua Tree played live. My wife Jill and I came 4 hours early and scored great real estate on the floor.
    U2 PHILLY A Platinum Night
    Sharing U2 and their incredibly perfect Joshua Tree with my niece was a beautiful day... #U2TheJoshuaTree2017 #Philadelphia
    Charlotte & Daddy
    Brilliant night out in Philly. Pretty awesome to have been there in 87 and now introducing a new generation to this great album.
    An evening of Musical Excell
    An evening of Musical excellence and unity in the city of brotherly love.
    Great show! From SDBD on, the energy never stopped. The screen and videos were amazing.
    The Joshua Tree was a life-changing album for me, so this show, 30 years ago, was a dream come true for a 17 year old girl who had already been a fan for 3 years. Fast forward 30 years, and the album's message, soul, and rock and roll changing melodies are still relevant. To watch them perform it front to back, live, was once again a life changing moment. To some, it may seem silly to invest so much in a band, but the memories that come with every lyric of these songs fill me with joy. Music touches the soul, and this band never disappoints. Thank you, Adam, Larry, Edge, and Bono for touching my soul!
    Photo in philly
    Great emotional show in Philly. Was very special with my 14-year-old son. It was his first show. He loves U2. He is a great drummer and can play many of their songs, and play them well!
    Awe-inspiring show by 4 humble legends!
    What an awesome show!! Nothing comes close to experiencing U2 live, up front next to the stage... positive vibes/energy all around, and definitely a moment that sticks with you always..
    Anyone lose any weddings bands
    Hello - as we were walking into the GA line at the Southgate, we picked up what appeared to be two wedding bands on a clip that had fallen off of someone's belt or out of someone's pockets. This was around 730-745. We gave the clip with the rings to security, so if anyone lost them and is looking for them, hopefully they are with the stadium's lost and found
    Awesome Show in Philly
    Words cannot explain how it feels to experience U2 live, especially this tour. Philly loves U2 and they clearly love us from their awesome performance last night. I have so many great pics and even more memories from the show, but here is my favorite - Bono looking down on Bono. Great live production crew! Very creative use of tech.
    Rare Moment In Life
    So .... they say you can never go home again, but last night for a brief few hours I felt like I did. For 30 years I've been telling anyone who would listen about how transformative and impactful U2's Joshua Tree shows were for me when I originally saw them way back in the oh-so-distant year of 1988. From the moment the opening chords of Streets crashed and the house lights came on to show an arena full of adoring fans until the last chorus of "I will sing ... sing a new song ... " came to an end it was a near religious experience for me. For 30 years I thought somewhat wistfully about how I would never be able to relive that experience and yet, for an all-too-brief moment last night here in the science fiction future that is 2017 I was able to do just that. Even more special for me was the fact that I was able to share it with my wife of 17 years and my 15 year old daughter who has heard me wax poetic about those shows far too many times for her tastes. Thank you, U2, for giving us aging hipsters a chance to go back to our youth, misspent though it may have been. It was magical in a way that only happens a handful of times in our lives. If I might make one small suggestion, though ... I think you missed a chance to REALLY connect with your fans by not closing with 40 again. Consider dusting that one off and letting the crowd sing themselves off into the night once again.
    A joy for the ears! :)
    ...and the eyes. For reasons beyond my control, this was the first time I've seen our lovely band since August 2009. Of course, tonight they didn't disappoint. :) I was a little a bit miffed that we got a "Bad"/"Vertigo" show, instead of "A Sort Of Homecoming"/"The Little Things That Give You Away" one (I've seen/heard the first pair plenty of times; I've not heard either of the second pair live ever); however, getting "Mysterious Ways" was a very pleasant surprise! :) Also, hearing all of the previously unplayed JT tracks was great too - they made the show, really... Great stage set-up as well! I can't wait to see them again! (Guys, for the first East Rutherford show on the 28th, could you PLEASE play the ASOH/TLTTGYA pair instead of Bad/Vertigo? I'd appreciate it! ;)
    30 years later
    2nd wife, better life , seeing the Tree fully 30 years later!! Taking my 22 year old step daughter to her 1st U2 show. A gift for her college graduation ( with high honors ) Should be great show !!!
    30 years later and still rocking!!
    My sister and I were in Philly to see U2 30 years ago and WE'RE BACK!!!! Original concert tee!!!!
    Global relevance...and pure fun!
    After experiencing the recent Joshua Tree concert (thirty years after first seeing it live), I remember why U2 is not only one of my all time favorite bands but also why they are so important and still very relevant. In this age of performers with mindless, vulgar lyrics and political figures with questionable morals and motivations, U2 remains compelled (and unafraid) to unapologetically and openly espouse (plead for) the importance of equality, diversity, the environment, political harmony, and of course freedom. They deftly manage to challenge toxic thinking and biases while striving to open the listener's eyes (and ears) to important global issues, but do so with humility and respect for others. "I'm wide awake, I'm not sleeping". An important lesson for us all. They are the ambassadors of rock. Adults and children alike would be well served to follow their example, open their eyes, ears and hearts, and of course, listen to their timeless music. Start with Joshua Tree.
    Flashback 1987...encore "40". Lads Philly needs a great closing tune! Our neighborhood filled an entire subway car to the concert at JFK. How great would it be to close with the same song. We can not wait until tonight...rock on U2!
    Love Rescue me
    Why oh why is this song not performed during the tour?
    Explain All These Controls
    Two years ago, I saw U2 at MSG and wrote this long blog post, which seems worth sharing again if they'll me. But, if not, here is the end of it from my blog False Climax: Evolution is tough. If I look back over the past 40 years of my life I see more than a few missteps, awkward moments and stuff I’d rather forget. However, like the band, I also have an interest in not standing still. Part of me wants to defy that demographic study and, to that end, I have discovered plenty of new music since I turned 20. Of course, I am acutely aware of not being 15 in 2015 and I have little interest in pretending to be. I know U2 is struggling to remain relevant. They are one of the few bands out there that has lasted this long with their original line-up intact. As I transition into the second half of my life, I still wonder what I mean to anyone. It’s way too late to be the hot, new youngster on the scene so I can only hope to become the wise old man who still has some gas in the tank. People who went to see a teenage Sinatra also went to see an 80-year-old Sinatra. Relevance is relative. U2 is relevant to me. Tonight is my treat.
    Encore ideas
    davidmoore1968 - Love your encore list. I hope they keep Vertigo in the encore, also. Good thing we don't have curfews at our stadiums like on the west coast. 'Cause here in Philly, we can handle 4 hour concerts (nod to stevezepp's post!) Sunday can't come soon enough!
    Walk Up / Intro
    Please, Please, Please use the Pogues as the walk up in Philly. Why did you change this and the encore right before Philly?
    Stand by me!
    Remember Sept 25, 1987 at JFK stadium? Bono's arm in a sling as he stated before the encore "do you thing Bruce Springsteen can play my guitar?" And out strolls Bruce as the band launches into "Stand by Me"!!!! Someone get Bruce on the phone by this weekend!!!!!
    From Brasil to Philly
    I´m going from Brasil to Philly only to see U2, but I keep waiting for The Joshua Tree Tour in Brasil.
    It's like going back in time, Sept 25th 1987 JFK Stadium. The Joshua Tree 2017 Tour set list looks outstanding, until the encore. I would love to see the encore be - I will Follow, Gloria, One, All I want Is You, Party Girl and 40. Then it would be a grand slam. I hope we see a change to the encore if Philly. It was a special date on the tour 30 years ago. Can't wait for this edition. Counting the days.
    Bringing my friend who grew up overseas listening to U2, but has never been to a rock concert - ever! I guess we just take it for granted here in the States. And Philly is such a music town... She chose U2 for her first rock concert because her brother introduced the music to her when she was young. I'm so glad I can share my tickets with her. We have a very large population of Irish-Americans in Philly. She will be so lucky to see how we rock U2 in Philadelphia. So excited, just a few weeks away! Love, from County Mayo!
    U2- by the numbers
    This will be my 18th U2 show -- the second one in Philly, the third one that week (Miami & Tampa), the fourth one I'm taking my wife to and the second one my daughter is attending (her first was in Montreal two years ago). Oh. And all this is a part of my 50th birthday celebration. Needless to say, I'm pretty flipping excited.
    My first U2 show was also JT. I saw them in 87 at JFK in Philly, and numerous times since. Wow what a memory. Delaware County here!
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