Bono and Edge took a break from pretending to like their Spider-Man musical to play a U2 show in Anaheim last night. (Setlist is here.) Bono explains (above) where all of the U2 band members would be without Paul McGuinness. Larry a Dublin highway patrolman. Adam a posh handbag designer. Edge a city planner. Der. And Bono a theater critic.
Lillywhite: I’ve heard the RedOne tracks and I’ve heard the Danger Mouse tracks.
Lillywhite: They aren’t finished songs yet. And it does take them some time. Like, I spent so long on “Every Breaking Wave” for the last album and then I was with Bono in the car and he played me yet another version of it! It will be a great song, but there’s not really a chorus. I suggested to them to go out and play songs live, but I think they’ve ended up dropping that! (Laughs.)
@U2: That stretch in Europe when they were playing new songs, that was your idea?
Lillywhite: Yeah, because they had never done that and because live, they eventually get them good. But the trouble with the 360 tour is that it’s too difficult to just get up and jam a song. It’s such a big production job.
But the new songs are all coming along.
@U2: Do you hear the makings of another great U2 album?
Lillywhite: Oh, I think there will be. But, you know, it could also go the way of Pop, because it could be style over substance — they’ll be excited by the sound of it rather than be excited by the content. Especially with the RedOne stuff, because it sounds really, really professional.
[read the rest on atu2]
Rolling Stone review of Spider-Man soundtrack, I think RS (of late) automatically adds a star to any U2-related review, but I enjoyed reading Rob Sheffield’s thoughts in general…
…that’s the thing about U2: “Why are they doing this?” is their favorite question. They love to try crazy moves nobody would expect, just to see if they can get away with it. Sometimes that means trying to boogie with a single called “Discotheque.” Sometimes it means letting the Edge rap. Sometimes it means emerging onstage from a 40-foot rotating lemon. That’s always been a key element to U2’s greatness: These lads have no fear of looking absurd on an epic scale.
Everything about the stage production of Spider-Man has been tinged with mythic disaster, from the $65 million budget to the way it poses the biggest health threat to arachnids since Raid. But if you’re hoping for train wrecks on the soundtrack, you’ll be disappointed, because Bono and the Edge know their songwriting, even as they tone it down for the ill-fitting medium of the Broadway show tune. For the most part, the songs come off as slightly vague sketches for U2 songs. The theater-trained singers sound stiff when they try Bono-worthy emoting. Reeve Carney, in the role of Peter Parker, has some passable growls in “Boy Falls From the Sky,” but he keeps reminding you of who he isn’t…
And: Bono and Edge extended version 16 minute interview with Brian Williams. In which Edge did most of the talking, even. Hmmm.