Rock and Roll Band. Artists. Entertainers. Creators. Advocates. This is U2. The genre-defying band electrified Singapore at the National Stadium with some of their greatest songs. Though the concert is part of the Joshua Tree 2019 tour, the setlist was not limited to songs from the Joshua Tree album. Beginning with a call to revolution with the song, ‘SundayBloody Sunday’, the band ended the night with a call to unity with ‘One’.
During the concert, U2 showed us why their music cannot be classified under one genre, but instead clearly showed the audience why they have broken the boundaries of music labels and have established themselves simply as U2. The setlist was pretty apt in creating social awareness in our current times. Not only is this seen in the songs themselves, but also in the personalities flashed on the background screen.
The call for revolution focused on tolerance, woman empowerment, and action against war. The call to action was strong, timely and progressive as is the signature effect that U2 has been doing since they started performing in front of multitudes of audiences. The concert in Singapore was no exception. With Bono as the voice and The Edge as the engine, U2 delivered a strong statement to what the world should be like through their musical performance.
There was a surprise revelation made during the performance, too. Bono shared that one of their bandmates, Adam Clayton, was actually a native of Singapore when he was 14 years old. This brought cheers of delight from the crowd which were composed of individuals of different personalities to partake in the performance of this epic rock band. Personally, I met with friends from Luxembourg, Morocco and Bulgaria. Together, we braved the standing crowd to partake the music for the soul that only U2 can provide. And there were a lot of different people in the crowd. This just showed that U2’s music is truly cross-cultural and multi-national in relevance and effect. U2’s rare breed of music has clearly webbed far and away form their native Ireland. They have truly become an iconic global advocate for awareness and peace.
Though the band is led by Bono and The Edge, their messages would not be properly delivered without both Adam Clayton and Larry Muller, Jr. following suit. Combined, U2’s melodies, lyrics and rifts delivers performances that hit the emotional sweet spot. The songs make you think about events happening around the world. Are they acceptable? Are they fair? Should they be changed? This call to awareness is one of the primary reasons why U2 has lasted this long. Their mix of cerebral and emotional tugs make their songs so memorable that they continue to reverberate through different generations.
As they continue to spread their call to unity and awareness, U2 continues to gather followers to its cause. We are all ‘One’ in this world, and we should act like it. As the lyrics go, “We’re one but we’re not the same, we get to carry each other.” How much more of a call to unity and peace is there that is not reflected in those lines?
Though their concert ended, U2’s influence remained as the crowd continued to murmur or sing out loud songs performed during the queuing out of the concert grounds. It was a truly epic performance from an undoubtedly epic rock band.
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