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by Chris Willman, Music Writer, Variety

"We feel at home," Bono told the crowd early into the first of two weekend shows at Pasadena's Rose Bowl, quickly amending that to make it clear he meant in L.A., U2's home away from Irish home. But before he clarified that, you might've momentarily leaped to the conclusion he meant the stadium setting itself, since the band slummed its way through mere arenas its last time around before settling on more massive gigs this time around as, well, a sort of homecoming.

The thing that's bringing them to the dance this summer is the same thing that introduced them to stadiums in 1987: "The Joshua Tree," one of the great rock albums of all time by many critical and popular measures. Playing a 30-year-old LP from start to finish may seem like a sop to conventional nostalgia for a group that's been reluctant to give in too readily to laurels-resting, at least musically. Maybe they sensed it was their last chance to reach nightly concert audiences this vast; maybe they're doing something this crowd-pleasing as a make-good for that whole iTunes kerfuffle. Whatever the rationale, U2 has actually found ways to make a "Joshua Tree" reprise feel more like opening a newspaper --albeit a print one -- than an old high school yearbook.

A clearly anti-Donald Trump message and long queues for some fans were among the talking points after the opening show in U2's tour, celebrating the 30th Anniversary of The Joshua Tree.

By Hot Press

The Joshua Tree tour got off to a powerful start in Vancouver, Canada on Friday night. But the show was not without its controversies.

There was the political dimension for a start, with Bono offering an anti-Donald Trump salvo to the Canadian audience - who clearly empathised.

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By Jim Harrington, [email protected], Bay Area News Group

The Joshua Tree" changed everything for U2.

Released in 1987, the album took the band to the top of the U.S. pop charts for the first time and brought Bono and the boys their first Grammy Awards. It soared to global sales of more than 25 million, making it one of the best selling albums of all time.

This fifth studio effort -- the follow-up to 1984's "The Unforgettable Fire" -- made U2 the biggest band in the world. And the group has been in pole position pretty much ever since.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame act is celebrating the 30th anniversary of "Joshua Tree" with a giant tour that touches down May 17 at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara. And the best news is that, for the first time, the group will be performing the album in its entirety at each stop on the tour.

In honor of the occasion, we are taking a long look back at this landmark rock album. Here are 30 things you should know about U2's signature album.

by Zach Schonfeld, Newsweek

During the 1980s, U2 became entranced by America. Especially Bono. Though born and raised in Ireland, the singer obsessively mined the United States for lyrical inspiration. His gaze fell frequently on lingering injustice: civil rights struggles, Martin Luther King, Jr.'s murder, greedy televangelists. On Rattle and Hum, the band's messy 1988 sorta-soundtrack, the obsession expanded to include gospel ("Angel of Harlem") and blues ("When Love Comes to Town") and high-profile guest appearances from an older, more settled generation of classic rockers: Bob Dylan, B.B. King, even Jimi Hendrix's ghost (in the form of a "Star Spangled Banner" excerpt).

During the 2010s, Kendrick Lamar chronicled the bruised and broken promises of life in White America on rap albums drenched in jazzy paranoia. On 2015's To Pimp a Butterfly, he set his ruthless critiques to sprawling, sputtering funk-inspired beats. On tracks like "Alright," Lamar nodded to the Black Lives Matter movement and the swell in public attention to police shootings of black men. Butterfly inspired everyone from David Bowie to Kanye West to Barack Obama, who publicly expressed admiration for "How Much a Dollar Cost."

Now it's 2017 and lyrics about racial injustice are still disturbingly relevant and U2 is among that settled generation of classic rockers making high-profile guest appearances. Here's proof: Kendrick Lamar--who was not yet born when The Joshua Tree first came out--has gone ahead and featured U2 on his anticipated and enigmatic new album, DAMN.

Why?

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By Jason Bracelin, Las Vegas Review-Journal

He sings of scaling the highest of mountains from the depths of downtown, his wardrobe as black as the shadowy alley down which he strolls. A flash of Las Vegas police motorcycle headlights illuminates Bono from behind as he ambles forward, his voice and arms rising in unison as a sudden burst of color swallows the darkness like neon jaws clamping shut.

The camera moves in circles and films at an exceptionally slow rate -- six frames per second as opposed to the standard 24 -- creating a swirl of light and sound that visually mimics what's taking place in front of this casino or that, where any boundaries between artist and audience are being similarly blurred.

It's April 12, 1987, and U2 is about to become the biggest band in the world.

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Opinion: Paul McGuinness's insight into bots, touting and band fan clubs was fascinating

by Jim Carroll, Irish Times

Sometimes the answers you're after come from the most unlikely sources. Former U2 manager Paul McGuinness spoke with former Dire Straits manager Ed Bicknell at the International Live Music Conference in London earlier this month. Here were two former high-profile managers chewing the fat over their years in the music business with choice anecdotes for everyone in the audience.

Both McGuinness and Bicknell are astute, experienced players who operated for many years at the very top of the business. They also know that their comments will be circulated beyond the attendance of live music agents and promoters.

Certainly, many ears would have pricked up when the conversation moved to the issue of ticket sales and touting, as McGuinness' former charges U2 have seen sizeable quantities of tickets for their upcoming Joshua Tree tour end up on sites used by touts.

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U2 kept fiddling with their ninth LP long after it hit shelves in early 1997, so here's a new take from live recordings, remixes and re-recordings

by Andy Greene, Rolling Stone

U2 are going all out to celebrate the 30th anniversary of The Joshua Tree this year, complete with a new super-deluxe box set and a stadium tour where they'll play the 1987 LP straight through. Lost in all the hubbub is another major U2 milestone. The 20th anniversary of 1997's Pop came and went this month without a peep from the U2 camp, but that's not really surprising. The electronica-influenced disc polarized fans and critics when it came out. With the exception of the soundtrack to their 1988 film Rattle and Hum, it was their first album that was seen as a disappointment, and it forced them to retreat back to a more traditional U2 sound for 2000's All That You Can't Leave Behind.

Looking back years later, U2 said the album was marred by their foolish decision to book a stadium tour long before it was ready. "Deadlines were looming ominously," Bono said. "Pop never had the chance to be properly finished. It is really the most expensive demo session in the history of music." But during the course of the PopMart Tour they made heroic efforts to fix the thing, releasing new mixes of the songs as singles and fiddling with the live arrangements as the tour progressed. The work continued in 2002 when they released The Best of 1990-2000, which featured new mixes of some Pop songs. If you piece it all together, they practically made an entirely new version of the album. The band never did piece it all together, though, so - as promised on a recent Rolling Stone Music Now podcast - we did it for them. Here's a new version of Pop in the original sequence. It's not better - it's just different.

"I don't see a body of water wide enough, or a wall high enough, to keep these problems from our doors," singer says at Munich Security Conferenc

By Daniel Kreps, Rolling Stone

Bono argued that investments in development and education in third-world countries, and not border walls and executive orders, could prevent extremism during the U2 singer's speech at the Munich Security Conference Friday.

"I don't see a body of water wide enough, or a wall high enough, to keep these problems from our doors," Bono warned.

"The frontier of national interest is no longer the national border. You may not be interested in the trouble on a far-off street or across the Mediterranean on the other side of the globe, but let me assure you, that trouble is interested in you. Our fate is a shared fate. But which fate will it be?"

Longtime U2 fans have launched a campaign to make a film dedicated to U2's most dedicated followers.

by Hot Press

U2 fan and filmmaker David Barry - working with the #strongerthanfear campaign, the U2 Fans Tour Group and The Dream Out Loud team - has launched an ambitious campaign to make a film about the U2 fan base. Dream Out Loud will be a film made by U2 fans about U2 fans and their connection to the music, the band and each other.

To create a professional broadcast-worthy film, Mr. Barry has launched a crowd funding campaign to raise $40,000 to make this historic film. The funds will be spent on travel and crew expenses to film and interview fans in cities during U2's Joshua Tree 30th Anniversary tour this summer. The Dream Out Loud film will also speak with fans from Brazil, Australia, Mexico and many other countries.

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by Erin Hill, People.com

The Lumineers didn't think anything could shock them after their meteoric rise to fame following their 2012 breakout hit, "Ho Hey." But when they learned that they sold out not just one, but two shows at Madison Square Garden this month for their Cleopatra World Tour (following their sophomore album), they were floored.

"It blew my mind," lead vocalist and guitarist Wesley Schultz tells PEOPLE. "MSG is this right of passage -- this gauge of how well you're doing."

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