U2

U2 Rocks Mattopia

"Get out of your own way
I can sing it to you all night, all night
If I could, I'd make it all right, all right
Nothing's stopping you except what's inside
I can help you, but it's your fight, your fight
Fight back
Don't take it lying down
You've got to bite back"
Get Out of Your Own Way
from Songs of Experience by U2
Album released: 1 December U2017

Songs of Experience

What a great song! It's off U2's latest album, Songs of Experience, and it exemplifies why I've spent so much time, money and energy following this band all over the world. They constantly inspire me to push the envelope and crush the barriers.

And so it is Mattopia Jones has followed what Bono has described as the world's loudest folk band:

3 continents • 14 countries • 30 cities • 35 venues
7 tours • 49 shows • 3 special appearances
1 boy dreaming in high volume

Not a bad way to live for a kid who graduated in a high school class of nine. Granted, I was the class valedictorian. But when you're in a class of nine, everybody graduates in the top 10. And back then, in those days before I appreciated U2's work, I had no inkling of the awesome life awaiting me when I get out of my own way and push myself out there.

U2: Bono U2: Bono U2: Bono U2: Bono U2: Bono U2: Bono U2: Bono and Edge U2: Bono U2: Bono U2: Edge U2: Bono U2: Bono Stats on the 360 screen, including Denver's unemployment rate U2: Bono U2: Bono U2: Bono and Larry Mullen, Jr. U2: Bono U2: Bono with a pint of Guinness, celebrating Amnesty International in Winnipeg U2: Bono U2: Bono U2: Bono U2: Bono U2: Adam Clayton U2: Bono and Edge U2: Bono and Adam U2: Bono and Adam U2: Bono and Adam Screenshots of the Aung San Suu Kyi mask handed out at 360 shows while she was living under house arrest in Yangon (Rangoon), Myanmar (Burma); worn during Walk On U2: Bono and Edge U2: Bono and Edge U2: Bono and Edge U2 in Buenos Aires Mothers of the Disappeared in Buenos Aires Bono in Miami The band at Hard Rock Stadium, Miami Where the Streets Have No Name in Miami Bono, frontman in front Larry Mullen, Jr. Bono in Denver U2: Edge at the piano Bono Bono with heart Edge and Bono Adam Clayton Bono Edge and Bono Adam Clayton: preshow autographs in Denver Bono dials into the audience U2: Bono U2: Bono U2: Bono U2: Bono U2: Bono U2: Bono Ah. The joys of shooting on film with a consumer-grade camera U2: Bono U2: Bono and Edge U2: Larry Mullen, Jr. U2: The Edge U2: Adam Clayton U2: Bono U2: Edge and Bono U2: Bono at Slane Castle U2: Bono at Slane Castle U2: Bono at Slane Castle U2: The Edge, Bono and Adam Clayton U2: The Edge, Bono and Adam Clayton U2: Larry Mullen, Jr. U2: The Edge, Bono and Adam Clayton U2: The Edge and Bono Gratuitous photo of Gwen Stefani The Edge and Gwen Stefani One more gratuitous photo of Gwen Stefani Bono and The Edge U2 in San Sebastian U2 in San Sebastian Bono in San Sebastian U2 in San Sebastian U2 in San Sebastian U2 in San Sebastian Bono in Denver Bono in Denver U2: Induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame U2: Induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame U2: Induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame U2: Induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame U2: Induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
A few photo highlights from the tours and other events
Photos taken with various consumer-grade cameras; I had a different camera (or cameras) on each tour
Photos on the Elevation tour were shot on film - with limited ISO options (like 200, 400 or 800) and limited exposure control
A couple Elevation photos were taken with higher-grade gear

We Get to Carry Each Other

I like to say we've been through a lot together. Literally and figuratively. Even though I can't sing and I can't play any instruments (at least not very well), I've got soul. Lots and lots of soul — and that makes me qualified to be the "fifth member" of this Irish folk quartet. (C'mon on now. That's tongue-in-cheek craic — and I'm one of millions who share that sentiment.)

Tours

  1. ZOO-TV (2 shows)
  2. Popmart (3 shows)
  3. Elevation (12 shows)
  4. Vertigo (6 shows)
  5. 360° (13 shows)
  6. iNNOCENCE + eXPERIENCE (8 shows)
  7. The Joshua Tree 2017 (5 shows)
  8. eXPERIENCE + iNNOCENCE (U2018)

Special Appearances

  1. Total Request Live, MTV (2000)
  2. Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony (2004)
  3. Toronto International Film Festival (2011)

Cities

  1. Denver, Colorado, USA
  2. Dublin, Ireland
  3. East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA
  4. Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
  5. Montreal, Quebec, Canada
  6. New York City, New York, USA
  7. London, England
  8. Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
  9. Slane, Ireland
  10. Nice, France
  11. San Sebastian, Spain
  12. Charlotte, North Carolina, USA
  13. Portland, Oregon, USA
  14. Gothenburg, Sweden
  15. Gelsenkirchen, Germany

 

  1. Chorzow, Poland
  2. Zagreb, Croatia
  3. Landover, Maryland, USA
  4. Athens, Greece
  5. Istanbul, Turkey
  6. Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
  7. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA
  8. Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada
  9. Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  10. Amsterdam, Netherlands
  11. Stockholm, Sweden
  12. Miami, Florida, USA
  13. Tampa, Florida, USA
  14. San Diego, California, USA
  15. Buenos Aires, Argentina

Highlights

  • My first show — it was truly life altering
  • Getting Bono's autograph, i+e tour in Denver
  • Saying "hey" to Bono after Total Request Live, at the top of the Viacom building in Times Square
  • Shaking Bono's hand ahead of the premiere of From the Sky Down at TIFF
  • Bono posing for me — a pit photographer — in the Meadowlands on the Elevation tour
  • Attending U2's Hall of Fame induction ceremony as a member of the press
  • Performance of Electrical Storm during 360° in Gothenburg, Sweden

Favorite Shows

  1. Elevation, Slane - Night 2 (a stark contrast to Night 1)
  2. ZOO-TV, Denver
  3. Joshua Tree 2017, Buenos Aires - Night 2
  4. Elevation, East Rutherford - Night 1
  5. 360°, Gothenburg - Night 2
  6. 360°, Istanbul
  7. 360°, Denver
  8. i+e, Amsterdam - My Night 2
  9. i+e, Denver - Night 2

Opening Acts

It might be easier to list who hasn't opened for U2, but here's a partial list of the acts I've seen open for the biggest band in the land.

  • Noel Gallagher's Flying Birds
  • OneRepublic
  • Beck
  • Keane
  • The Zutons
  • Red Hot Chili Peppers
  • Moby
  • Coldplay
  • Nelly Furtado
  • No Doubt
  • Arcade Fire
  • Carney
  • The Fray
  • Snow Patrol
  • Public Enemy
  • Kanye West
  • Smash Mouth
  • PJ Harvey
  • Foo Fighters
  • Muse

But I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For

The above is an overview, a snapshot from outer space. There's much, much more to tell and it's (mostly) documented in the Mattsonian's U2 archives.