On the Virtual Road with U2
HOLY BANANAS! ALERT U2 FAM!
Before you read any of this, watch this if you haven’t already. Or rewatch it because seriously it’s just so good.
I was telling you not long ago how bored we were starting to feel. Well. As always, those damn irish guys sure love the element of surprise and just dropped a MASSIVE bundle of joy on our heads last night – on the form of a wee Bono climbing the highest mountains at Red Rocks just to be with you, a frigging Pop plane soaring over our heads like a rocketship to mars, and a lightbulb flying high above the storm, shining its light on our whole U2 world.
And they dared name that thing the Virtual Road. Well, I don’t know what kind of footwear you’re using guys but they sure aren’t click clacking down some dead end street, and I’d rather bring a frigging security belt because that looks a lot more like one hell of a rollercoaster than a nice stroll on Killiney hill. Only messing, I actually love this title so much. it’s bloody perfect. It’s their road. Our road. It’s a journey we’re about to embark in… a musical one now and forever.
I completely lost my mind at this announcement as some of you might have witnessed. It had been a long time since I had invoked the holy mother of all bananas and broke my caps lock button like that. Because, U2 Fam, this road… this road is going to be nothing short of epic. And obviously, I’m going to write a long ass post about it.
It’s no secret that I am a sucker for those online events, and this one couldn’t be more on point. We needed that. We SO needed that. It’s a real gift guys, and I’ll tell you exactly why.
But first, before anything else, I’ll try to answer all those questions I see online every time there is a streaming event – some are genuine, some are…. Incessant whining to my ears. In any case they do deserve answers, because it’s about time to help you see the truth, people. So here goes :
“Haven’t you seen those shows before? (and you call yourself a fan jeez.)”
Yes I have. But…
“Surely you have all those on DVD already?”
Yes I do. Dvds, VHS, Blu-ray, Dematerialized. But…
“So why are you excited?!”
BECAUSE IT’S NOT THE POINT – I’ll come back to that in a minute
“Meh. I wish they would just announce a new tour.”
Can they go on tour right now? No.
Can you go on tour right now? No.
“They could at least release new music”
They could… but would you be willing to get new music and not hear it live? Considering that 90% of U2 catalogue comes ALIVE during live and sounds prob at least 42% better. Are you really willing to miss that? Damn…
“But they could release it and play it later when it’s safe”
Right…. And give Edge all the time he needs to change EVERYTHING back again.
“They could have chosen unreleased material”
Go back to that trailer and tell me where you’ve ever seen those shows in that quality – unless you were there #FACT. If you want unreleased material, stop being a brat and go pay your U2com subscription, you’ll get the Apollo show.
“They could have done a live stream gig”
And go through the hassle of tracking down wherever Larry is hiding?! And even worse, convince him to do it?! Guys…. They preferred to remaster Popmart, and that’s prob dozens and dozens of hours of work, that says it all.
“What about the Joshua tree tour movie everyone has been talking about for years now?”
Guys. Their material. Their choice. Shush. And when they finally decide to release that one, you know all too well that you’d never have wanted it to be any other way.
“Bono could have just invite us all in his back garden and have a gig there”
I’m sure he’d love that, also very sure, the scolding he’d get from Ali because millions of fans would step on her flowers. Yeah, not too sure he’d love that after all.
Also, can you go to Bono’s now? No – or ever but you get the point.
“Can’t they just come and play in my living room?”
Guess what guys, that’s exactly what’s happening!
I’ve been advocating for years that the next best thing after a U2 show, is an online U2 show, and apparently none of you have been listening to the crap I say – can’t blame you – so I’ll try to explain it all again.
Follow me on the virtual road with U2 guys, and i’ll prove to you that this announcement is the best thing that could have happened this year.
In a perfect world, we would all be on tour with U2, all 20 years younger (except me because I’d have to ask my mom to follow that band around again, and been there, didn’t end well) and Larry would be doing Facebook lives every saturday afternoon. Ha. Guess what? Perfect doesn’t exist.
We’re still very much in the middle of a pandemic, all stuck in a moment in our own corner of the Earth and with limited social interactions. But thankfully, we have that little something that made it all much more bearable called the internet. And you know why? Because it connects people. And that’s the whole point of this blog post, connection.
The feelings you get during a gig are so very special, unique really. There you are having the time of your life, completely immersing yourself in the sound and wonder, filled by utter joy, and then, you turn around and you realise that all the people next to you are in that same elated state. And your eyes meet. And you share a smile. No words needed, just this magic communion. Well, from my perspective, online gigs can get very close to that.
The only difference is that you’re not sharing smiles, but words. You can actually put words on what you’re experiencing, you can name those emotions, and most importantly, you get to share them with as many friends as you want, even if they’re living on the other side of this little blue planet.
As many of you know, my favorite U2 playground is twitter, and what pushed me to live tweet during shows from the beginning was never just those three chords… But always about the truth. Our truth. Our Fam. The connection we have with this band and how they bring us closer. And that’s what we need, especially these days. All separated, we’re craving unity, we’re craving that incredible communion, we’re craving humanity.
On the other hand, what makes it all the more special is precisely the fact that it’s shows we’ve already seen or been to.
I stepped back for a few last night right after the announcement – well first to jump around like crazy out of sheer happiness, because that’s what your favorite band brings you, instant joy – but also to be the witness of all the conversations popping up left and right.
What makes us U2 fans is not just the music, or those 4 lads, but what we all share about them – our own memories, our own stories. And just with that trailer yesterday, that’s what happened. We shared. We talked. We laughed. We lost our shite completely for what’s next and what has been. If you’re reading this – and came this far – you’re probably not just the casual fan, so you’ll understand what I’m saying better than anyone else when I say that this is one of the reasons why U2 is the band of our lives. And that’s why those online events are so good and make so much sense.
That announcement guys, that’s not just four shows streaming on Youtube – that’s a gift. A gift to us all. It’s an opportunity to spend a great moment with other fans, go down memory lane and just get out of the real world for a couple of hours. It’s an opportunity to meet as a community and finally satisfy that craving of unity. All of a sudden, we’re all just a hashtag away from each other. And I think i’ve shouted it on the rooftops for long enough now, what I miss just as much as this band is my U2 fam. You all. And I’m a pretty happy fan right now.
I know some of you still aren’t convinced but there’s more.
We’re not only getting shows streaming – in such high quality I’m already weeping at the beauty of it. No seriously, have you seen Bono’s bubbles? They never looked so round and shiny. Pants. Bubble pants. Ahem. – but we’re getting a PROPER freaking party !
We’ve all been whining about how much we miss live music and now we get four complete shows with guests and all. How insane is that?! Very excited that they chose to include those other bands for this event. No one is able to tour at the moment, so that visibility boost is quite a nice move from our guys. I am SO hyped to spend the evening with U2 and Fontaines DC, which is most definitely my dream gig at the moment, and almost glad it’s virtual because I’m not sure my wee tachycardic heart could have survived so much awesomeness in one place.
I’ll also add, for those who need yet another reason to embrace the beauty of this thing, that U2 basically saved St Patrick’s day y’all. We can’t hit the pub again this year, but still get to choose our favorite seat in the house, pour a few cold pints and just crash the most epic U2 show of all time. You might not get to your designated waterhole, but eh, you’ve got a rail with your name on it at Slane Castle. I say that’s not too shabby. Just you, a few internet friends, and THE BEST BAND IN THE WORLD. All you need is …. Maybe love, but that comes close second.
So yes guys. We’ve got four streaming parties to go through together. And that many hours of live music to enjoy. And it’s going to be the best thing that happened for the last year or so.
I took a long deep breath for the first time in a long time when I saw that the last show streaming will be the IE tour in Paris – that’s a very special one for me, here’s the full story if you want to read it. That show also happened during dark times, and it dawned on me that with this Virtual road, just like in Paris that day, they’re giving us light. They’re giving us community. They’re giving unity. They’re giving us joy.
And more than everything else, they’re giving us hope.
And this is why it’s the best gift we could ask for.
I’m more than ready to attend a show and experience live music from the damn ground, but until someone sticks a needle in my arm and tells me that I won’t be bringing any harm to another, I won’t go for it. So yes. In the meantime, I’ll take that second best option gladly, and so should you.
As for you U2, from the bottom of my heart, I thank you. For all that. For those nights ahead. And for the much necessary break from the world it will bring. For giving us the opportunity to be just fans. To be just friends. To just, be.
Stay faraway for now guys, because as long as there’s music, we’ll always be so close.