THE JOSHUA TREE TOUR 2019 LIVE IN SINGAPORE 30 NOV 2019
I remember listening to these four Irish men on my television screen 9 years ago when I was 10 and at the time the song they were playing to was “City of Blinding Lights”. That was my first and one of my favourite U2 songs of all time to this date. My childhood dream of seeing the band live was finally realised. I guess I have finally found what I am looking for? I attended yesterday’s concert – U2’s first ever show in Singapore in “42 years” as remarked by Bono – with my aunt who years ago promised to go for a U2 concert together should they ever come Singapore. And they did and what’s more, it was for their (best) album The Joshua Tree 30th anniversary tour. How better could it go?
We got the VIP Silver Hot tickets at a whooping S$592 / ticket and this sky-high price gave us rather front row seats in CAT 1 (still the band’s main stage and B-stage was pretty far), a red The Joshua Tree Tour poster for fanatics to hang on the wall as well as a The Joshua Tree album vinyl record. Does not own one but might probably get one for it. Thanks U2.
THE OLD, THE NEW AND THE TIMELESS
The band kicked-off the night with classics like, as per usual, “Sunday Bloody Sunday”, “Pride (In the Name of Love) and “Bad” which sent the National Stadium to a roaring applause and sing-along. As per Bono’s personality to talk about social issues such as human rights in his concerts, one part of “Pride (In the Name of Love” was change to include the female pronouns “she” “woman” as his acknowledgement of equal rights for women.
The set list contained both old and new songs including “Every Breaking Wave” (2014) and Angels of Harlem (1988) and of course, the entire The Joshua Tree album including one of my personal tracks “Mothers of the Disappeared”. Bono’s stage presence and voice were still solid after years of touring; The Edge’s rhythmic and signature guitar delay effect still made fans hyped when the intro of “Where the Streets Have no Name” and “Beautiful Day” were played. Adam Clayton’s bass still held the songs together and Larry Mullen Jnr’s drums did not missed a beat in the performance. Saying it was a great performance is such an understatement; it is as described by Bono “a night of rock and roll”.
U2 also played homage to various Singapore women such as SMU Law student Venezia Wee, Singapore Women’s Everest Team and musician herself Margaret Leng Tan in “Ultraviolet (Light my Way”. And not forgetting Bono’s respect and admiration for Singapore as a city that not just reclaims land from sea but more importantly, one that accepts religious diversity.
THE SHOW MUST GO ON
The rock icon has been around for over 43 years and it has been one of the most successful and influential acts in rock and roll history having influenced many current bands such as Coldplay and Muse. And probably some reasons why it has been so strong for four decades are the values and beliefs the four Irish musicians have.
Am not sure when is the last time I will see another U2 concert in Singapore (or elsewhere) but my 19 year-old version of me will definitely remember this night for life. Maybe I will see them again when the stars fall from the skies, and the moon has turned red over One Tree Hill.