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U2 May Play New Songs on ‘The Joshua Tree’ 30th Anniversary Tour

Kevin Winter, Getty Images
Kevin Winter, Getty Images

U2 may have stopped work on Songs of Experience to concentrate on their upcoming tour honoring the 30th anniversary of The Joshua Tree. But, if bassist Adam Clayton gets his way, they’ll be incorporating some of their unknown new songs into the set.

But before they can decide on that, as Clayton admitted to Rolling Stone, they have to decide how they’re going to work all of the songs from The Joshua Tree into the set. “We haven’t really sat down and worked out the dynamics of it yet, but I suspect it would sit as the crown in the show,” he said. “I think we would definitely want to open with perhaps something that is not dissimilar to the Songs of Innocence run and get people in the mood for this thing that’s coming and you give some sense of history of where it came from. … We will either start with [album opener ‘Where the Streets Have No Name’] or end with it, I might think, but there will be a scene change. Whether or not we go completely in sequence, we’ve yet to work out.”

Once they’ve figured that out, then they can decide whether or not to incorporate new material. “It would be very much my wish that we could play something from Experience as part of the show, maybe one or two songs,” he continued. “Again, I caution that by saying we really have to see the arc of this show and we have to figure out whether those Experience songs would work well in a stadium in this context, but I’d love to see some of that material out there and people being familiar with it before the album comes out.”

That desire to play new songs is likely why Clayton groaned at the idea of this being a nostalgia tour, suggesting that “it’s probably much more important to use that as a starting point of what the last 30 years have done to us all. Who are we now? How can we continue to act as members of the community and society and make changes and choices for the future?”

As for the status of Songs of Experience, Clayton said, “We all very much feel like it needs to be the end of this year. It’s not on any schedule anywhere, anything like that. We’re going to get back to that later this year and polish it off and finish it off a bit more. But we think we’re there with it. … We can still work on it throughout this year, all the little nips and tucks that we want to do.”

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