U2 faced a big decision when the Joshua Tree Tour 2017 wrapped up late last year. The stadium extravaganza – which featured a complete performance of their 1987 LP and grossed $316 million across just 51 shows – could have become a very lucrative, easy template for all future projects. Why toil in the studio for years on end to produce a new album when most people just want to hear the old songs and remember their youth? Why not submit to the same fate of nearly every other veteran rock group in history and simply give up on forward motion?
Editorial credit: / Shutterstock.comThe opening night of their Experience + Innocence Tour at Tulsa’s BOK Center was conclusive proof that they’ve decided to take a very different path, one that is much more difficult to maneuver but is a hell of a lot more interesting and far less predictable. The best example of that is a list of the songs they did not play at the show, which includes “New Year’s Day,” “Bad,” “Mysterious Ways,” “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For,” “Bullet the Blue Sky,” “With or Without You” and, astoundingly, “Where the Streets Have No Name” or anything else from The Joshua Tree.These songs have been the backbone of their live show for decades. Some of them haven’t been skipped a single time since they came out, and yet they dumped them all overboard and built an entirely new set out of what remained. MORE