(NOTE: updates have been added below on June 2, 7 & 30)
Just a quick post here gathering a few notes from an amazing new feature on U2’s Innocence + Experience tour. Tonight, the fourth night in Los Angeles at The Forum, the band added a graffiti wall (you like that highly technical term I came up with?). In place of the solid yellow wall that appears at the end of “Until The End Of The World,” which then morphs into a Johnny Cash presentation of “The Wanderer,” and finally anchors the first couple verses of “Invisible,” tonight we saw a yellow wall strewn with graphics, cartoon cherubs, drawings and quotes in multiple languages.
Here are three things I was able to decipher through photos above that have emerged (the show is still going as I type this).
- The phrase “Rock & Roll” appears in the upper left corner.
- The phrase “Tear down the wall and all the others will fall” appears in the upper right corner.
- A phrase in German is taken from the east side of the Berlin Wall. “VIELE KLIENE LEUTE DIE IN VIELEN KLEINEN ORTEN VIELE KLEINE DINGE TUN, KONNEN DAS DESICHT DER WELT VERANDERN,” which translated means, “MANY SMALL PEOPLE WHO IN MANY SMALL PLACES DO MANY SMALL THINGS THAT CAN ALTER THE FACE OF THE WORLD.”
The new graffiti wall has other images as well, but it clearly conveys the angst of an early ’90’s Berlin, the forgotten victims of oppression, the tour’s theme of unity in the face of division, and the power of aggressive rock music.
All perfect for this set of songs.
UPDATE, JUNE 2:
Thanks to the comments of Mona below, I have been able to identify a couple of other images on U2’s graffiti wall which are directly reproduced from the Berlin Wall’s East Side Gallery.
In the far upper-right corner of the graffiti wall is an image of Russia’s Leonid Brezhnev, from the painting, “My God, Help Me to Survive This Deadly Love,” in which he is giving a fraternal kiss to East Germany’s Erich Honecker. The painting is a depiction of a famous photograph from 1979, capturing an embrace of the two leaders as they celebrated the 30th anniversary of the Communist Party.
Another image, this one at the top and left of center on the graffiti wall, is also a part of the East Side Gallery.
The names Rauschebart, Olhagaray, Dahmen and Simon also appear on U2’s graffiti wall near the lower left corner. These are artists who helped paint the East Side Gallery in 1990.
On a related note, the Trabant, a bare-bones East German car which became emblematic during U2’s ZooTV tour and was used in Anton Corbijn’s video for “One,” can also be found in several places on the Berlin Wall.
UPDATE, JUNE 7:
This latest nugget came with the assistance of @Cloverground & @JT_isOnline (Twitter). We’ve tracked down the “yellow angel” on the graffiti wall. It, too, is from the Berlin Wall.
UPDATE, JUNE 30:
A U2 fan with an eye for detail (Glen) left a comment below, signaling that the “Yellow Angel” had been removed from the wall. Odd! It’s just blurred out at this point. The only reason I can imagine is that the original artist objected to its use. It’s a mystery.
Another addition. Doc Rings noticed this quote scribbled lower-left of center and posted it on our @u2 blog: “When the power of love is greater than the love of power, the world will know peace.” The quote has often been attributed to Jimi Hendrix, but also has other sources.