Reflecting on October: 35 years of hope and faith

Five years ago, I wrote a piece for www.atu2.com about the 30th anniversary of U2’s album October. Upon its release, the record wasn’t received well by critics, but it has been meaningful and enduring for many fans. It’s spiritual themes, reflecting the Christian commune that Bono, Edge and Larry were a part of, convey a hopeful, optimistic message, demonstrating the “anti-cynic” …

U2 vs Trump: five things to consider

U2 have certainly been making news the last couple of weeks. Check out just a few of the headlines: U2’s Bono says Trump threat to ‘American Dream’ –Washington Examiner U2 Blast Donald Trump During San Francisco Show –RollingStone.com Bono conducts angry ‘face-off’ with Donald Trump during U2 show –Irish Examiner Bono: Trump ‘hijacked’ the Republican Party, could ‘destroy’ America – …

Happy Anniversary to Bono and Ali! (With a New Song)

It’s infectious. The joy. The celebration. I tried to sleep last night, but the new lyric only got louder in my tired brain. Evidently, the crowd in Bergen, Norway, felt the same on August 20 when DJ Kygo premiered the new song, introducing it as a collaboration between him and U2, and calling it “You’re the Best Thing About Me.” …

Bono’s Message To Willow Creek

In a brief recorded message, Bono made an appearance at Willow Creek Community Church near the end of the 5:30 p.m. worship service on Saturday. The church, located in the south suburbs of Chicago, was wrapping up its “Celebration of Hope,” an annual series challenging members to think theologically and practically about social justice issues. Earlier in the service, filmmaker Richard …

The Cross in Prince and U2

March 1987. That was the month two pop records were released—albums that eventually gained iconic 1980s status. It might have been a well-timed conspiracy, or it was more likely a reaction to the era, but both reflected an unsettled view of America. Prince’s Sign ☮ the Times (intended to read “Sign ‘O The Times” using a peace sign) came out …

U2 and Social Justice: a non-traditional witness

On June 5, 2015, I delivered the closing address for a gathering of the North American Association of Christians in Social Work (California chapter) at Fresno Pacific University. In my talk, “Social Justice and Pop Culture: U2 as a non-traditional Christian voice,” I suggest the thesis that “U2 models a non-traditional Christian witness by engaging the world — especially in …

The Spirit of “Bad”: surrender

Credit: @tspracklin I posted this on the @U2 site a while back, but never linked it here… Excerpt: What followed was one of the most beautiful moments I’ve experienced at a U2 concert. With one spotlight on Edge, and another on Bono, he began to sing quietly and sympathetically, “If you, twist and, turn away ….” And as the music …

New Graffiti Wall: not invisible

(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 …

Prayers for U2 in their loss: We’re “One”

I started this post as a Facebook status update, but that simply didn’t seem adequate considering the tragic news out of the U2 camp today. Below is video I shot last night of U2’s final song for the evening, “One.” I left the intro intentionally long because of Bono’s very thoughtful and reflective state in this stripped down version of …

U2’s Innocence + Experience: a tribe gathers in Vancouver

I never would have thought to call on the memory of a punk rocker as an invocation for worship, but that’s what happened in Vancouver two nights in a row for the opening of U2’s Innocence + Experience tour. As Bono stepped into the sold out crowd at Rogers Arena, he played the part of choir director, leading a chorus …