Sunday 25 February 2018

U2 must get back their roots and renew their bonds with Ireland

Worrying cracks are on the horizon as the world's biggest band resort to playing songs decades old, writes Brendan O'Connor

It may seem strange to talk about U2 as a band in crisis right now. They performed a reasonably successful headlining slot at the Glastonbury festival last weekend and after a difficult gestation Bono and The Edge's Spider-Man musical has finally opened properly, taking $1.7m (e1.2m) in its first week, making it the third biggest musical on Broadway right now.

The $75m (e52m) show apparently only needed to take $1.2m at the box office in its opening week to prove 'viable', so it is clearly more than viable. This month the band will finish up the $700m (e480m)-grossing 360 tour, the most successful rock 'n' roll tour in history. So indeed, one might ask, crisis, what crisis?

But it is important to remember that behind all the tours and the money and the success, U2 are fundamentally, still, an artistic endeavour, and it is also a popularity game, and on those two fronts there have been worrying cracks in the biggest band in the world over the past couple of years.

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