U2's Message of Time For Action and Change Spreads at The Rose Bowl

U2 ‘s Message of Time For Action and Change Spreads at The Rose Bowl
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U2 in concert at Rose Bowl.

U2 in concert at Rose Bowl.

Photo by Catherine Bauknight

A strong message to raise awareness and encourage a turning point for action was interlaced with nostalgic songs from members of U2 during their Rose Bowl concert, The Joshua Tree Tour 2017 Saturday May 20th in Pasadena, CA. This world tour is celebratory of the 30th anniversary of ”The Joshua Tree “ 1987 album that brought them global recognition. The 1988 Grammy Award winning album was performed in full during the concert along with selections of other U2 songs.

Today, 30 years later there is more of a sense of urgency in the messages revealed by lead singer, Bono spoken between the reminiscent songs of the 80’s from the original album and how they relate to issues today about the environment, immigration and war. This tour will be playing to 1.7 million fans in 33 shows in North America and Europe this summer.

“Here we still are,” Bono addressed to the full house of 92,500 at the Rose Bowl, as an old friend returning to continue a conversation with some who have grown up listening to their music and others who are from a generation hearing U2 in concert for the first time. An unusual sense of reflective silence was the response from the audience.

Although the songs performed like “Where the Streets Have No Name”, were clearly times to dance and enjoy the music, simultaneously the message rang true on the gigantic video screen revealing the natural beauty of the wilderness of the Joshua Tree National Park and raising awareness of the importance of saving these environmental treasures now. The band was purposefully morphed on the stage in front of the screens, as the video images took the audience for a live drive through the beauty of the Joshua Tree National Park. “The concert was a definite message of action for change to better our society and politics”, Ryan McPhee from Pasadena said after watching the concert.

U2 in concert at Rose Bowl during Joshua Tree tour 2017.

U2 in concert at Rose Bowl during Joshua Tree tour 2017.

Photo by Catherine Bauknight

Bono revealed the bands love for America and praised the country for leadership in finding a cure for aids. The appreciation of American culture was represented on the screen with images of Native Americans standing boldly in vast terrains, a roping cowgirl, and spacious environmental scenes.

“If we organize we don’t agonize”, Bono said to the audience encouraging them to organize to create change. He said that is what the government fears the most because of the power that it holds.

As an encore beginning with “Beautiful Day” Bono paid tribute to “great women in our lives” personally and those who have contributed to society. Photographs flashed on the screen of Mother Theresa, Rosa Parks, Michelle Obama, Patti Smith, Hillary Clinton and more while moving into the song “Light My Way”.

“It was a message with a point because they can do what they want to empower through music at this time in their career,” Bradley Keys from Santa Monica reflected on the concert.

At the end of the concert Bono told the audience that this is the time. “We love you, “ he said. He continued with a pause, “In 2047 we’ll do it again.” A sobering statement to reinforce, the time for change is now.

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