U2

'Here we still are': What worked and what didn't at U2's 'The Joshua Tree' revival at the Rose Bowl

'Here we still are': What worked and what didn't at U2's 'The Joshua Tree' revival at the Rose Bowl

The members of U2 had much more than nostalgia on their minds when they performed their landmark 1987 album, “The Joshua Tree,” from beginning to end Saturday night at the Rose Bowl.

Part of a world tour timed to commemorate the album’s 30th anniversary, the concert was explicitly looking back at songs inspired by the beauty — and the ugliness — of America in the 1980s. But the Dublin band didn’t present “The Joshua Tree” as a museum piece; it wanted to connect the music to right now — to global anxieties about labor and immigration and the environment.

“Thanks for allowing us Irish into the country,” Bono said after “In God’s Country,” and it was clear the lead singer was...

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