U2 Brings ‘The Joshua Tree’ to Heinz Field; Birds of Chicago at Three Rivers Arts Festival (Wed., 6/7/17)

1) Sometimes it pays to go to a rock bar and see a lesser known or unknown act. If you went to the Oakland rock bar The Decade (now The Garage Door Saloon) on April, 21 1981, you would have seen U2 play a 13-song set. The band formed in Dublin, Ireland, in 1976 and is composed of Bono (Paul Hewson), vocals and rhythm guitar; The Edge (David Evans), lead guitar, keyboards, and backing vocals; Adam Clayton, bass guitar; and Larry Mullen Jr., drums and percussion. U2 is a tight rock unit that is guided by the positive humanity of Bono. The band got its first taste of success in the early 1980s with songs like “Sunday Bloody Sunday” and “Pride (In the Name of Love).” “Pride” is a song partially about the death of the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. It opens with The Edge’s electrifying high note, guitar riffs accompanied by Mullen’s pounding drum beats with occasional extra accent strikes, and machine gun fills. Clayton provides a slightly funky rock bottom, and Bono takes the song to another level with his vocals.

There would be many more fantastic songs to come, many from their Joshua Tree album, which was released in 1987. U2 is recognizing the 30th anniversary of the release by playing the album in its entirety during their current concert tour. Hits from the album include “Where the Streets Have No Name,” “With or Without You,” and “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For.” The band is playing some of its other hits on this tour as well. U2 has been one of the most popular and prolific rock bands of the past 30 years, and this promises to be one of the year’s top concerts.   

The Lumineers, a folk rock/Americana band based in Denver, Colorado, open. They are best known for their hits “Ho Hey,” “Stubborn Love,” “Ophelia,” and “Cleopatra.” Gates open 6:30 p.m. Heinz Field, 100 Art Rooney Ave., North Shore. (RH)

2) The Dollar Bank Three Rivers Arts Festival continues today and features 10 days of free art and music shows! There’s also theater and dance productions and hands-on arts activities for kids. Don’t forget the festival food including gyros, Italian sausage, grilled chicken kabobs, funnel cakes, plenty of deep-fried food items and some surprises!  The musical headliner for tonight is Birds of Chicago, a folk rock band whose sound is tinged with a little soul and gospel. 8:15 p.m. Dollar Bank Stage. Festival opens at noon daily and runs through June 11. Point State Park and Gateway Center, Downtown.

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Rick Handler

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