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Dispatch: U2’s Bono Preaches at the Rose Bowl

Aaron McHugh

I heard Bono preach a gospel message at the Rose Bowl. I thought I was coming to a concert. One song into the U2’s Joshua Tree Thirtieth Anniversary Tour, I realized that in fact this is not a concert but this a deeply spiritual experience about the goodness of humanity.

Joshua Tree tour big screen 45 ft x 200 ft wide projected goose bumps invoking invitations to action. Rose Bowl, CA

Bono and band were professional entertainers, but ultimately the music was the melody for their sermon to rest upon. U2 advocating and implicated every person to become apart of the global elimination of poverty, equal rights for women and political change in the US.

“I wanna run, I want to hide
I want to tear down the walls that hold me inside
I want to reach out and touch the flame
Where the streets have no name”.
Watch U2, Where the streets have not name

Iconic Joshua Tree outline

The infamous Irishmen boldly projected endless Joshua Tree desert scape on the largest video screen ever used in a concert tour-four stories tall by two hundred feet wide. Here is their full set list here.

“I believe in the kingdom come
Then all the colors will bleed into one
Bleed into one
But yes I’m still running”.
Watch U2, I still haven’t found what I’m looking for

The first chord launched the gospel experience with the war cry anthem, “Sunday Bloody Sunday.” Every disciple chanted the chorus in unison “Sunday, Bloody Sunday How long…How long must we sing this song?” Seeing U2 live gave me a deep appreciation for the entire band. The Edge was so powerful to watch as he ushered in shifts in mood and invocation.

“And so she woke up
Woke up from where she was lying still
Said I gotta do something
About where we’re going”.
Watch U2, Running to Stand Still 

My favorite U2 song of all time is “Bad” which preceded the Joshua Tree album appearing on The Unforgettable Fire. “Bad” was offered up as part of the encore and it was a holy experience for me.

The nostalgia of seeing U2 in person affirmed my thirty-year love for their preaching, advocacy, and music. U2’s tour returns to the US cities again in September and South America through late October.

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