Upcoming and Recent U2 Appearances

Original Story by Aaron J. Sams (2022-12-26)

Updated: December 27, 2022

In Ireland, on RTÉ One, a special called How Ireland Rocked the ’80s is set to air. It’s a look at the Irish in the 1980s, and includes much footage of U2 in the ads for the show, as well as footage from Self-Aid where U2 performed. The footage seen for U2 includes a performance of “I Will Follow” from Croke Park. The show features commentary by Bob Gedolf, Dave Fanning, Rocky O’Riordan, Paul Brady, Mike Scott, Liam Ó Maonlaí and others. The show airs at 6:30 (Dublin time.)

The documentary looks at the festival circuit in Ireland, and large performances such as the Slane Festival, Self Aid, and the opening of Croke Park to host rock concerts.

The documentary is produced by Dearg Films, and was directed by Brian Reddin. The film follows How Ireland Rocked The 70’s by the same director, which aired last year.

The Kennedy Center Honors, which honored U2 with awards earlier in the month will be aired on December 28th. The show premieres on CBS Television at 8pm, and is said to be airing on the Paramount Plus subscription service at the same time. This will be the first time the full awards ceremony airs. Although U2 are not performing, they are all present at the awards, and are honored by other artists.

This years Honorees include George Clooney, U2, Gladys Knight, Amy Grant, and Tania León.

U2 were originally due to be honored by Mary J. Blige, but when she was unable to make the event, long time friend Eddie Vedder stepped in to perform “Elevation” and “One”. He was followed by Brandi Carlile, Jamala and Hozier who closed the evening with “Walk On”. U2 were introduced by Sean Penn, and Sascha Baron Cohen also made an appearance as part of the U2 presentation. A video presentation put together by Beyonce, Harry Styles, Finneas and Billie Eilish, saw each of the acts reading various lyrics from U2 songs while video footage included performance footage of U2, and a look at U2’s activism through the years.

Our coverage of the Kennedy Center Honors can be found here.

Also happening on December 28? Live Aid is celebrating 1 million subscribers by streaming the complete Live Aid performances on YouTube, which will include footage not released on video.

The event starts at 12pm GMT / 1pm CET / 7am ET and will be available for one week only.

More information about the whole event is available here.

And if that’s not enough for December 28, Valerie sent in a tip that Bono is part of a film celebrating the poet Paul Muldoon that will air that day on TG4. It was Muldoon who Bono sat with in Finnegan’s earlier this year, when giving his first public reading from Surrender. The film is described as “A feature length documentary on the poet Paul Muldoon in which key moments in his creative life, which began with him writing poems in Irish, are explored by many of the musicians he has worked with in words specially written by him including Paul Simon, Liam Neeson, PJ Harvey, Bono, Ruth Negga, Paul Brady, and Iarla O’Lionáird. His work from being a young radio producer in Belfast to Professor of Poetry in Princeton University, New Jersey is reflected in the range of friends and acquaintances who participate in the telling of Muldoon’s life and his playful and allusive poetry.” The film made its debut at various film festivals last month, and had a run time of 75 minutes and is directed by Alan Gilsenan. Paul Muldoon: Laoithe’s Liricí airs on TG4 on Wednesday 28th January at 9:20pm. We’ve included the trailer below. (Thanks Valerie!)

For those who haven’t seen it on social media, the 2022 fan club gift via U2.Com has finally started to arrive at subscriber’s homes, just getting in under the wire. The gift this year was produced in Europe (CDs were pressed in Germany) and European gifts were shipped direct from Europe this year. As such, the fans in Europe are the first to report the CDs arriving.

Don’t worry, shipments to those in North America will start soon. And while you are waiting, half of the tracks are available to download from your U2.com account if you were a paid subscriber for the 2022 year. Our discography entry for the release is available here but we will warn you it contains a spoiler for the track listing of the release.

No word yet on next year’s gift, due out before the end of 2023, but they usually get announced early in the year.

Record Collector magazine has put out a special issue dedicated to U2 this month. And the team here at U2Songs were a part of putting the issue together. Aaron Sams and Harry Kantas worked with Michael Lamuth to put together their own top 100 collectibles, and then combined them into a single list. Assistance with the article was provided by Don Morgan and Brad Hood from the team here, as well as long time contributors Vaggelis Chamakiotis and Alan Ivory.

Aaron also put together a UK discography, focused on the UK releases and international releases sold in the UK over the year, complete with photos from the U2Songs archive. Aaron also put together a look at the non-musical memorabilia from pins and stickers, to jewellry, wrapping paper, and alarm clocks. Aaron also provided images and scans throughout the issue, and is one of the U2 collectors profiled in the issue.

Other articles look at U2’s relationship with America, there is a feature on U2 tribute bands, U2’s best remixes, reviews of each album, a look at U2 on film, an excerpt from Bono’s memoir and more. The issue also features a special article by longtime friend of the band, Neil McCormick, looking at why U2 are still very much needed in the world today.

The issue came out just before Christmas in the UK at select shops, but is starting to see wider distribution now that Christmas has passed. Those who pre-ordered the magazine are also reporting seeing copies arrive in mailboxes. Those in North America may have to wait a little bit, the last Record Collector special on The Cure is still on newsstands here. More details on the magazine and information to order is available here.

Do you like very different takes on U2 songs? An artist called Magic Pills has released a new cover of “Ordinary Love” taking the track deep into the path of electronica. The track was released on December 21, 2022. You can listen on your favourite service here, or check out our embed below.

For those who have been watching, U2 have been slowly updating their YouTube Account with new videos lately, focusing on live material. It looks like they are slowly building towards a live playlist of songs featured in Surrender.

So far?

Not only are they available on YouTube, but the videos are also appearing on other store fronts where they can be purchased such as iTunes, Mora in Japan, Tidal, etc. All of these videos are taken from previously released home video releases.

They also recently released a video for “Every Breaking Wave” to these services. Many have asked about it. It’s not a new video, but is part of a full length film that the band released in 2015 called Films of Innocence where each song from the album Songs of Innocence was given to a different “urban artist” who interpreted the song in video. The videos were then shared across various media websites over 24 hours in advance of the release, where it remained for 24 hours. After that time, the videos were removed, and the collection Films of Innocence was released on December 9, 2014 via iTunes. This upload of “Every Breaking Wave” is the first time the release has been available outside of iTunes since 2014. We’ve included it below for you to watch. More information on the full film is available here.

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