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Three shows in now, counting the first night in Amsterdam, and I'm hearing things I didn't hear before--whether or not I missed them in the North American shows, or whether they're new things, I'm not certain.

From the Amsterdam feed alone, I heard two very Biblical things--one of which has been there since nearly the beginning of the tour. Psalm 23 really started to stand out (just before UTEOTW) with the "Comfort Me!" refrain after Dennis Sheehan's death in late May. But tonight I heard an extra word that adds a completely different context to the passage. Maybe I'm wrong, but for the life of me it sounded as if Bono said, "Thy rod and thy staff, they *should* comfort me." Is this Bono's angst over the inability to find solace where he knows it should be in the face of such a horrible human tragedy? Is he channeling the author of Psalm 73? ("As for me, my feet had almost slipped...") Is there a way out of the current crisis that doesn't destroy the soul in the process?

Perhaps he answered that seemingly unanswerable question as "Streets" wrapped up, paraphrasing Matthew 25: "I was naked and you clothed me, I was a stranger and you took me in [a line co-opted for Miracle Drug], I was a prisoner and you visited me." (Just after 7:35 in this clip: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XYxLhrzYc5I) The appropriate response, as you mentioned in your post, is a call to action. It doesn't matter who the people are, where they come from, or what they've been in the past. Jesus called them "the least of my brothers and sisters," and warned that our treatment of them says equally as much about us as individuals and as societies as does our treatment of the greatest.

In some senses, the wheel has been reinvented, the gauntlet thrown. And yet, the answer to the question of how to handle this crisis--and any crisis, really--is still the same. I Will Follow: "a song about unconditional love." Two Hearts: the only "love song" on the War album. Streets: building and burning down love. One love.

How punk rock is that?


Hi Tim,

Not only might it be a nod to Germany.
Ode to joy ("Alle menschen werden brüder") is actually also used as the European anthem...

And in this instance it is hummed pretty sarcastic, adding to the gut wrenching effect. Confronting people with the fact we (the EU, european people) actually don't do as much as we can at the moment, except arguing amongst each other...



Geoff, an excellent connection to Psalm 73 and Matthew 25. I think you're right on! Thank you so much. -Tim


U2Roeli, I've now heard that from a few Europeans, and I've been persuaded. Thanks for adding this viewpoint here. As is always the case with U2, there's always more to be said. I'm grateful for readers like you who say it! -Tim
PS. I've always thought it interesting the love that Bono has for this melody from the 9th/Ode/Alle Menschen. Especially when he used it for the intro to "Get On Your Boots"!


Unbelievable/unthinkable, isn't it, that some people still listen to U2 as 'just' music?

The images of the floating bodies as the EU flag and the reqorking of Zooropa ... dear Lord.


I'm with you, U2Trish. But, fortunately, I know the band appreciates fans at all levels of understanding! -Tim


Just discovered your blog while working on a post for Facebook about the "October/Bullet the Blue Sky/Zooropa/Where the Streets Have No Name" sequence from the 2015-11-11 HBO show.

I did not have the opportunity to see U2 live this tour, but when I saw that sequence, I was moved to tears. So powerful. So hopeful. So much more than mere music, as U2Trish points out.

Thanks for your insights.


Hi, Scott. Thanks for leaving such a thoughtful comment. And I think you're right about the sequence--it's one of the most powerful U2 have ever done. Thanks again.-Tim

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