I try really, really, really hard to not do posts that are specifically about U2. Why? Because I know myself too well, and know that with my just normal posts of spitting out whatever happens to be in my head at the time, a good portion of the posts will inevitably mention U2. And by ‘mention’, I mean ‘idolize, adore, fantasize about, and otherwise frighten those who are less serious about tone and music.’ Because, of course, if you don’t like U2, you are obviously not serious about tone and music. ;) However, I’m not really in the proper mindset for a self-deprecating post, as I actually kind of maybe liked my sound this past week (which means me and my tone are in for a huge falling out this week…if you have any guitars you’ve been looking to move, get ‘em ready). And it was an incredibly busy weekend musically, so I haven’t recorded any new demos. There could possibly be a good post about how one of the churches I played at did a Lincoln Brewster song and……I……actually liked it a little bit? (Basically because he did all U2 riffs in it.) But even though that would make a grand post, I just can’t bring myself to admit that as ‘out loud’ as an entire post would be just yet. So I’ll bury it within this paragraph and hope no one finds it. And no gear broke, and nothing incredibly hilarious happened, and I didn’t see my tone bringing tears to people’s eyes. (Blast!) So the only other thing that I’ve been doing is watching superb video after superb video of U2 opening their tour in Barcelona.

And I really, really was not going to post on this. See, it’s widely known and conversated (that word got a red squiggly underline from wordpress…guess I made it up) about even amongst people who don’t like or are indifferent about U2, that Edge has very good tone and a very good sense of musicianship, and that there is something special about when these four guys get together to play live. It’s kind of the same way with me and American Idol; I can’t stand the show, but I can’t deny that there is some talent mixed in every once in a while there, and that there’s something special about a show that can create such a sense of community among the majority of the world, who wouldn’t normally talk to each other at all, were they not talking about American Idol. So, in that sense, talking about U2 is quite relevant to most of the discussions and articles on this site. (And if you disagree……haha……what am I saying? Disagreeing would be unthinkable. Nope. Quiet. Unthinkable.) But last night I had a dream that I was on the stage, underneath the claw, playing guitar next to Edge on the U2 360 tour. And we were all wearing these long African skirt type deals over our pants, to show support for some foreign crisis. And Bono complimented me on my great idea. (And by the way, if you’ve yet to have a dream about playing on stage with U2, I highly recommend it.) So, after dreaming about playing in African skirts which was obviously my idea in the dream, on stage with U2, it’s almost like I have no choice but to post this.

So, here are some clips from the recently-launched U2 360 tour that will change your life. And your tone. But, by ‘life’, I obviously meant ‘tone’. This first one is one of their older songs that they have brought back for the tour. Just to get you in the U2 mood. This one’s a soundscape, and just pure bliss for me:

This one is the title track from the newest album. And it just works live. Loved it on the album, but live, the minimalistic approach just works. Powerful:

Another older one, from Achtung Baby. I love hearing the work U2 still puts into things. On the last tour, Edge may have delved a little too far into the digital side of guitar rigs, and his tone got just slightly less warm and real than usual. And Bono’s getting older and his voice was fading a bit. But on this clip, you can tell that Edge has re-worked his rig, and Bono has re-learned how to sing with an older voice. Very cool to see how seriously they still take the music, and this is one of my all-time favorite U2 songs. I thought they would never play it live again. U2, if you’re reading this, and you’re not, please keep this in the set for Pasadena. If you do, hugs all around afterwards, on me:

This next one has been the concert opener for the first two nights; a beautiful anthem. And it’s one that I didn’t really identify with at first, on the newest album. And then I saw it live on Letterman and a couple other places, and I finally ‘got it.’ U2′s songs are meant for arenas. And then I saw this, and it just made absolute physical sense:

Alright, this one’s going to polarize people. It’s a remix of one of the singles from the newest album. But it’s just beyond words. To see the four band members just strolling all over the 360 degree stage is awesome! This one I hated for the first two minutes, and then by the end I was just knocked flat on my back:

And lastly, an old faithful. Just listen to Edge’s tone on the outro riff, and watch how the band gets to totally run around the whole stage, getting the audience into it. I promise, I’m done after this:

So again, I apologize. No……not really. It’s hard to apologize for showing videos that are literally making you a better musician just from watching them. Those of you who haven’t made the leap yet…that wondrous leap of ceasing to deny that U2 can’t be good because there’s no ‘technicality’ and then just opening your arms to the soundscaped beauty……you will. Oh yes. You will. (Sorry, Wayne’s World was just on tv.)

Splendid. Oh so splendid.
Karl.