Ever since I was born I’ve had U2 shoved down my throat, be it by music magazines proclaiming ‘The Joshua Tree’ as a cultural standpoint, or my Dad screaming the words to ‘Elevation’ while driving flat-out down the M3 in a bust-out old Fiesta.
At a young age I was skeptical. “Why is this guy called Bono? All my friends are called Dave and James and Liam. I don’t have any friends called Bono. And, Dad, why is he wearing sunglasses inside? It’s not even sunny.”
Even as I grew older, I felt weirdly compelled to loathe U2. I disliked that they were trying to preach to me, like a hypocritical teacher in school. Consequently, when U2 were first announced for Glastonbury 2011, I felt bummed out. Boo! Hiss! We wanted Radiohead or the Rolling Stones!
However, the more I think about it, the more I’m starting to relish the idea of U2 at Glastonbury. Sure, I’ve never been completely into the band, but after years of second-hand listening to them, I recognise the brilliance of their songs – the universal appeal of tracks like ‘Beautiful Day’. I reckon even committed U2-o-phobes will find themselves secretly impressed by their Glastonbury set. Here’s why…
1. Well, Bono for a start
Providing he can fit his ego into Worthy Farm, Bono will be the cement that solidifies the band’s performance. For those that love him, it’ll be great – they’ll have the chance to bow to their master. Meanwhile, the haters get the chance to throw bottles of piss at the anti-christ. Everyone’s a winner.
2. Incredible stage production
Everyone loves pyrotechnics. Why else would anyone pay £200 to sleep in a piss-stained tent for a weekend? You can do that at home, for free. Expect a production of epic proportions. Bassist Adam Clayton recently announced that the band are planning a “Glastonbury on steroids”-style set up. What does that mean? Christ knows, but it sounds impressive.
3. They’re Glastonbury newbies
You’d think the huge, tens of thousands-strong crowd would be the perfect stomping ground for Bono and his gang. However, surprisingly, U2 have never played Glastonbury. And that’s a good thing. Think of it as a first experience with a new lover – they’re gonna be working hard to please.
4. They’ve got form
Glastonbury is renowned for superb headline slots from iconic artists. Bowie in 00. Macca in 04. Jay-Z in 08 and Blur in 09. The cider-riddled crowd are always up for it and the bands (usually) rise to the occasion . Expect U2 to be the same. They’ve been gigging for 30 years now. They ought to have got the hang of it by now.
5. Back catalogue
U2 have got something for almost everyone. There’s ‘I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For’ for the communal singalong. ‘Pride (In The Name Of Love’, for all of the drunken 40-year-olds to mime, while trying to look cool, despite being bald. Then there’s tracks like ‘With Or Without You’ – perfect for pining, love-struck folk to cry their eyes out to.
Providing they don’t play ‘Get On Your Boots’ (that one’s shit), the band have the potential to play a brilliant, all-out, greatest hits set. Alternatively, they could throw in a couple of curveball B-sides. Regardless, the sheer magnitude of the band’s catalogue should be enough to guarantee an excellent performance.
Agree/disagree? Rather watch Rebecca Black performing ‘Friday’ thirty times than watch Bono preach? Let your thoughts loose…