Irish rock band U2 is bringing their Joshua Tree tour to New Zealand, but even after 30 years since the eponymous album's release, the songs continue to remain relevant, their lead guitarist and one of their founding members said.
David Howell Evans, better known as The Edge told TVNZ's John Campbell that love stories are a large part of their shows, such as a Kiwi couple who met and later married after meeting at one of their concerts.
“Love stories, it seems to start at U2 shows. Our shows are the celebration of the music, and it’s funny how, when we play our songs, we get this sense that, really, they don’t belong to us anymore,” he said.
“They have entered people’s lives and that they mean so much to people but often, we feel like the end of one of our more famous tunes, where people are applauding, they’re really applauding not just the song and the song, but really themselves and what the song might have meant to them over the years is such a privilege to us to be a small part – or a part of it all – of what U2’s music has become.”
He said the band feels a strong connection to their fans and their stories when they perform - and it "never gets old".
“I have to say, being on the road has a plus and a minus, but by far, my favourite part about being on the road is getting on stage, the experience of playing our songs to the U2 fans.
“It’s such an adrenaline rush, it’s such a thrill. Never gets old – never. Every tour, I make sure that I have a moment or two where I just take it all in and go, ‘You know, this could be the last one’ so just acknowledge it and enjoy it."
He called their Joshua Tree album, released 32 years ago, “one of those enduring albums” which “seemed so at odds with everything else that was out at the time.”
“This was the ‘80s, the period of music probably dominated by Madonna and Material Girl and that kind of material things.
“We were four Dublin lads who decided to use the desert as our metaphor and write songs that were, at times, kind of bleak, almost, but we were looking for a kind of positivity within a slightly bleak phase that we saw around us.”
The Edge added that the album “didn’t hold back” over politics, which remains relevant today.
“We launched into a lot of topics that most rock ‘n roll bands of that era would not have wanted to address, so it’s funny. Although it’s very, very much about that time and what was happening in the world.
"It all seems that the politics of the world have come full circle, so it’s more or as relevant now, almost, today as it was back then.”
The Edge said their songs continue to “lift us up as much as they lift the audience up.”
“There’s this mysterious spirit that occurs at each show that’s hard to define … it’s like a communal thing that comes out of a U2 show and we feel part of it, but we also don’t feel in control of it, that’s what’s interesting.”
U2 is set to perform two sold-out shows at Auckland's Mt Smart stadium tomorrow and Saturday.