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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    What an amazing night
    My wife and I have been U2 fans since the Joshua Tree album first came out. We saw the Vertigo Tour in Melbourne in 2006 but missed U2360° as my wife was recovering from the birth of our first child! We both were very excited when U2 brought the Joshua Tree Tour to Melbourne. We went and had a fantastic night. We got there early and lined up, so we were able to get right next to the barrier at the front. The guys were amazing, the big screen mindblowing and of course the fans were awesome as always.
    The Joshua Tree 1987, Sheaf O'Wheat Cool
    On January 18 1980 I began working at the Sheaf O’ Wheat in Coolock Village as an apprentice bartender. Fast forward through some of the best times of my life and I arrive in 1987. I strike up a friendship with Noel Flynn, whose brother is “going out” with “Caroline”, anyway, at some stage during 1987 he brings in a tape and asks me to listen to it. As I worked most every day I thought I would put it on the background system. Probably a month goes by and he arrives with Caroline and she’s carrying a briefcase, from which she produces an LP, The Joshua Tree, by U2. I should point out that I’d been listening to this tape for a month or so, and it’s very good, I like the songs. I bring the album home, put it on and the songs sound familiar to me, they were the ones I had been listening to for a month or so. Fast forward, U2 are due to play at Croke Park, Noel arrives with VIP Passes, I’m working and can’t go. I plead with Seamus, my manager but to no avail, and cant go. At that time o worked a full day from 10 am until around 1am. I would have a break for dinner around 5pm, on this particular night I remember it being warm, dry and clear. Unusual for Dublin at any time of year. Walking to work, knowing I had a pass to the show I could hear the show clearly in the night air as if I was there. The following day myself and Noel take the train to Cork and see U2 live at Páirc Uí Chaoimh, probably the most amazing experience I have ever had in my live concert going life. Again fast forward to 2019, I now live in Melbourne Australia, am married to Louise, the love of my life, whom I met while in London in the late 1980’s we shared and still do a love of U2. We have been to many U2 concerts in Melbourne through the years. We have 2 boys, Max who is 25 and Leo who turned 18 on November 15 2019, the irony is that this was the date U2 played the Joshua Tree Tour in Melbourne. I got the best seats in the house for the show to celebrate Leos birthday, and will forever be thankful to Noel Flynn for introducing me to U2 in 1987 and who would have thought that this far down the track I would have children who, like myself and my wife love the music as much as we do.
    Better the next time round . . .
    A life long fan, I have seen them each time Down Under since '92 and was going to give this one a miss for fear of indulging in nostalgia. Flying solo, I got a great spot early, 20 metres from the B stage. Noel Gallagher and the High Flying Birds were solid and Noel's coloured banter amusing. The opening of the main show was blistering with 'I Will Follow' being a fire starter and the sound on 'New Years Day' beautifully evocative of the original '83 release; having lost none of its poignancy and meaning in the intervening years. 'Bad' did not disappoint and the inclusion of Nick Cave's 'Into my arms', showed U2's intimate relationship with not only the audience, but Australia. The call of 'Oh, oho Oh' on 'Pride' from the crowd at the songs end turned the stadium into a cauldron of communion and signalled that we were in for a special night. The explosion of red signalling the beginning of 'Streets' and Bono's call to community drew a humbling clap and cheer and we were off and running. The visuals were stunning and from my vantage point, particularly on the deep slow pan of 'I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For', it felt as if the stadium were rotating around the stage - truly surreal. The show didn't really draw breath until 'Running to Stand Still'. The B Side took us into the heart of America, with Edge's screamin solo on 'In God's Country', being a clarion call to all that the land of the free stands for. A beautiful dedication to Greg Carroll and the whistful and haunted 'One Tree Hill' had the audience cooing in union. Stopping at Madness hotel ('Exit') and moving deeper south, looking back on liberty and egality while singing of the 'Mothers of the Disappeared' broug h t while new life to the album that can only be felt live. The encore was a mini show in itself; and the though the fatigue of the week and the day wore my dancing feet down, the rocking Vertigo had the audience in po-go-ing mode. 'Beautiful Day' was soaring and Edge's intro and Bono's tenor on 'Every Brraking Wave' showed the audience that new classics were still in the making. 'Love is Bigger . . .' Was fantastic and showed that while there were still some converts to be made, the audience still sang heartily with the refrain. 'One' was an expected but nonetheless heartful ending to an epic night. As I left I noted the 'typical' U2 crowd - the young, the old and the middle aged. A couple of 20 year olds expressed their admiration for U2 and hiw great the show was. I left knowing that U2 were not done and would be looking to the future. Nostalgia? Maybe. Great show? Always.
    Still ready for the laughing gas 28 yrs
    Happy 28th Anniversary Achtung Baby, ya’ll!! A man will rise A man will fall From the sheer face of love like a fly from a wall It's no secret at all I'm ready Ready for the laughing gas I'm ready Ready for what's next We're free to fly the crimson sky The sun won't melt our wings tonight. And I must be an acrobat To talk like this and act like that. And you can dream, so dream out loud And don't let the bastards grind you down. And that’s only the lyrics. A true masterpiece. Thank you U2
    Into my arms...
    I am only there in my heart and soul but into my arms and Bad broke me . I hope Joe O our alchemist recorded that one for future release. It was pure magic. Miss u all bitterly. All the best on the rest of the tour. Thank u my brothers for all of this sweet soul music.
    Amazing as always!
    Amazing show in my city Melbourne! The boys were hot from the get go till the end. Bono was at his brilliant best and the others didn't miss a beat either! One of the best nights of my life and meeting Adam Clayton a couple of days later was another highlight, he is a true gentleman! Thank you U2 for being a big part of my life! I really hope this is not the last time i will see you.
    You had me at hola!!!
    I first saw U2 in Adelaide in 1985. Went on my own because I couldn't get anyone to go with me!!! Nearly 35 years later, this is the greatest rock show on the planet. Hearing the Joshua Tree played in order was an amazing experience. It was like travelling through time. The giant LCD screen (thanks to the tech who fixed it after Noel Gallagher was finished) was a star attraction. The incredible backdrop added another dimension to the Joshua Tree experience. But the songs performed on the satellite stage showed that the music transcended any effects or technology requirement. U2's music always was and will be the star attraction. Bono was in incredible voice, exemplified by Running to Stand Still and Every Breaking Wave. The band did not miss a beat, no phoning it in here. These guys though are masters of their craft. From the additional snippet of Nick Cave, the celebration of our iconic women, Larry's Melbourne T-shirt shown on the big screen to the large Aussie flag at the end, this band now how to engage the locals. While the show finished officially with One, we loved walking out to the strains of Never Tear us Apart by INXS. Then we were surprised to hear a busker playing With or Without You which got the crowd singing again. The best concert experience of my life. I am still buzzing days later...
    Flew from Newcastle NSW to Melbourne to see U2 in the Red Zone and what a night!! It was an incredible show from start to finish, rain and all. U2 always go above and beyond with their shows and this tour was no exception. It was surreal seeing the band up close after being a fan since the age of 14, (over 25 years ago). I almost felt like a schoolgirl again! I still haven't come back down to earth. Loved Bono's rendition of Singing in the Rain. The tribute to inspirational women past and present in Ultraviolet, (my favourite song), was also superb. Can't wait for the Sydney show - hopefully the weather is kinder.
    U2 are true artists!
    I was so happy to get a great seat in the members pre-sale, it was the first time seeing them where I had a clear view of the stage & band. My heart was smiling from Sunday Bloody Sunday to One, but the performances of Bad, Exit & Ultra Violet were my own personal highlights ... i don't know if I have ever been happier in my life than those three moments on Friday night! The set design and design visuals were so special & so well done. It was by far the best concert I've ever seen. Thanks for looking after your members & thanks for the consistent quality of your performances & music! U2 are true artists!
    Joshua Tree has always been an intensely personal album for me. It resonates on so many levels, so while I was looking forward to seeing the boys again last night, I did approach with a bit of hesitation. Needn't have worried............ the concert was a stripped bare concern, reflective of the band when I first saw them on the Rattle and Hum tour. It was back to basics fu**ing fantastic music. I cried through Bad, then when they started the Joshua Tree album I was a mess............. The sequence of Where the streets have no names, With or without you and Running to stand still (probably not in the correct order) was something I will never forget. I was in my own world. Then One tree hill. During the encore I want a little crazy, with everybody else. Beautiful day is my alarm, and One is my fav song. Needless to say more tears were shed. I just say Thank you U2, if you had done another one in Melbourne I would have been there. Alone. On my own terms. Again, Thank you. You have brought a tired soul back to life.
    THANK YOU!!!!!
    So happy that I Will Follow was added to the set list. On the way to the concert I actually said to my family I wish they would plat it, and U2 did, love the synchronicity!! Hearing BAD live is always a joy. Getting to hear ALL of the Joshua Tree live was dream come true. My young adult children have heard about U2 concerts all their lives and it was so special for us to see them together. Now they really understand what I have been raving about!! PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE don't leave it sooooo long to come back to Australia!!!
    First ever concert - History repeats
    My wife and I are taking our daughter (15) and son (13) to their first ever concert on Friday night. It will be the sixth time I have seen U2; all in my home town of Melbourne, starting with my first ever, concert, in The Unforgettable Fire tour (1984). I am so looking forward to sharing the experience with the kids. I have been playing the Joshua Tree and U22 live album at home and in the car over the past fortnight to educate/indoctrinate them! “And when I go there, I go there with you”.
    I have been reflecting on my own life through the songs and experiencing of U2 during the last week. I have been listening to October through too Joshua. These songs are part of so many people's lives. So excited to be seeing them with my family for the first time, I actually feel like a little kid in a candy store. My eldest daughter and I both play guitar and Edge has been a big part of my life. Seeing U2 this time around in Melbourne, Adelaide and Singapore. What a band and today I reflecting is Bono bigger than Lennon, Elvis?? Maybe! Something to ponder on. Lastly the coolest rhythm section in the world Adam and Larry. Cant want to see all four guys. Mike
    Around the world....
    35 Days, 19 Hours, 52 Minutes... I can not wait until the flight starts in Hamburg to see two Shows in Australia! A friend and I will be in Melbourne and Adelaide. Absolutely crazy, like us... We are looking forward to have a great Party with you...and U2 ! See you...
    David Welsh
    My birthday is on the 15th, so looking forward to spending time seeing the lads, last time was New York 2015.
    Saw them at Madison Sq Garden last year for I&E tour and hoping they can perform a few of the tracks of the Innocence and Experience albums as wouldn't want to see us miss out on tracks like the Blackout, Lights of Home, American Soul, Red Flag Day, Raised by Wolves included in the set either side of Joshua tree. Think U2 not coming back to Melbourne/Australia for so long has cost us a second show. First time they have only performed one show in Melbourne I think
    U2 my first love
    So here I sit waiting for November for my first love to come back to Melbourne - I had flowers for you last time at Vertigo tour, I slept out for front row, I was even at the Love Comes to Town way back when - we are even going to a U2 tribute show in two weeks for my birthday --- many have done this, but now on my 45th birthday my beautiful husband has outdone himself with VIP tickets --- so Bono and my boys, look for me or even better than the real thing, let me win the tickets to backstage to see maybe meet the boys that shook my world for so many years. I love that you love! Cheers Sam
    Second Melbourne Show Please! Please! Pl
    The title says it all! The demand is here, just wishing for the band to stay one more night in Melbourne!
    LAX to MEL
    I'm so excited to be going to the Melbourne and to both Sydney shows!!!! This will be my first time seeing them outside of the U.S. and my billionth time seeing them live. I'm sooooooo excited!
    Adding to the calls for a second Melbour
    There's still a lot of demand from people who missed out on Nov 15 - you won't have any trouble filling Marvel for a second night!! Please Please Please :) xx
    Still Waiting on a Second Melbourne show
    So far I am going to the Brisbane show, Melbourne and both Sydney shows, as well as Perth and first Singapore show. Oh, I'm coming all the way from San Francisco, California to see the lads, I really hope there will be a second Melbourne show. Waiting patiently.....
    Thank you
    Thank you! Finally got my ticket to see them again, after Croke Park #U2TheJoshuaTreeTour2017!! Melbourne, here I come!!
    After all these years!!
    I went to a U2 concert in 1989 in The Netherlands when Bono had to stop the concert when he lost his voice. In 2006 I managed to get tickets for a U2 concert in Tokyo, but this concert was canceled a few days in advance. Now I just secured tickets for Melbourne. Finally, 3rd time's a charm! A lifetime dream come true. Can't wait!
    Oz Bound
    From Oz (Kansas) to Oz, let's do this! Haven't missed a tour since '87!
    Coming from San Francisco, California
    After going to 11 shows in the Experience tour in 2018 in the US, excited to head to Melbourne and Sydney for the November shows. Nothing beats a U2 show!
    Norway - Melbourne = Love is bigger
    I cannot believe I am lucky enough to be able to see this show again! I saw it in Amsterdam, and fell head over heels in love with the music and the lyrics in totally different way than having listened to you digitally. Saw you in Paris last fall and I still find it hard to believe that I am actually flying across the world to see you guys again. Three tours in three years, it is almost to good to be true. Cannot wait to hear Streets again, it really is the best livesong ever! And I also keep my fingers crossed that you will play Bad, that song means the world to me. See you soon!
    U2 again??
    i will going everywhere, behind of this band, into other side of this planet. since PORTUGAL. U2 FOREVER
    JT 2019 In Melbourne!!!!!!
    Loyalty does pay off. Thanks guys, I've scored awesome tickets for JT 2019 for my family and we're all blowing bubbles!!!!!!!! Now that we're on a roll, when's NLOTH2 coming????
    This Texan is going. :)
    And the wait is over.......
    Got my tickets for Melbourne Oh yeah! Fist time i saw U2 was on the Joshua Tree Tour at Cardiff Arms Park in Wales in 1987. I think a little bit of pee just came out...........
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