Live Reviews Music

U2’s Joshua Tree still thrills and challenges

U2 come out swinging. Having warmed up an already expectant crowd with The Waterboys’ guaranteed party starter ‘The Whole Of The Moon’ as their intro tape, the band launch into a chronological run of eight songs that have anchored their live performances for at least the past 30 years.

As Bono declares “there’s no place we’d rather be than here with you”, a thunderous ‘Sunday Bloody Sunday’ makes way for a jubilant ‘New Year’s Day’. ‘Bad’, the only bonafide stadium anthem to ever tackle heroin addiction, still manages to sound menacingly tragic and beautifully uplifting all at once, before the always rousing ‘Pride (In The Name Of Love)’ soars even higher thanks to 55,000 unprompted backing vocalists (and a subtle but incisive lyric change to reflect the refugee crisis).