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Entertainment InSeitz

Norwalk Reflector Staff • Oct 28, 2015 at 3:51 PM

Every so often I go back in time and today is that day.

A couple times I've reviewed concerts from the past, but today I'm looking at U2's 1997 album "Pop."

I remember buying "Pop" at On Cue in Norwalk back on March 4, 1997 the day it was released.

This CD was supposed to be a change in direction for the band and it certainly was.

From the opening track, "Discotheque," listeners knew this was a different U2.

Other songs included "Do You Feel Loved," which is one of my favorite U2 songs, "If God Would Send His Angels," "Gone," "Staring at the Sun" and "Last Night on Earth."

The album had an almost techno feel.

Critics did not like it and many fans had a hard time stomaching it.

I attended the "Pop" tour at Ohio Stadium in Columbus on May 24, 1997 and must admit the fans gave a lukewarm reception to that evening's show and the entire "PopMart" tour in general. None of the fans knew the new songs and many classics such as "New Year's Day" and "Sunday Bloody Sunday" were not played that night.

Honestly, I didn't fully appreciate that "Pop" album and tour at the time.

But nowadays, it's my favorite U2 disc. In fact, "Pop" live shows are my favorite to track down.

The album really is U2 at its dirtiest. The music is sometimes harsh and the lyrics deal with 1997 reality. The songs sounded more difficult to perform live and some concert versions of "Pop" tracks are rough. In fact, the song "Do You Feel Loved" was dropped from the set permanently after just a few performances.

"Staring at the Sun," which was a popular tune, started the 1997 tour in its full electric version, but soon ended up being an acoustic number by tour's end.

Not too many songs from "Pop" were included in U2's 2005-06 tour. I can think of only a couple acoustic versions of "Staring at the Sun" and "Discotheque" that were played. Too bad, really.

In other news, the mighty Rush have announced summer tour dates and it looks like it's going to be a busy one for me starting with Atlanta on June 13.

Rush plays Blossom Music Center in Cuyahoga Falls Aug. 30 and the Germain Amphitheater in Columbus Sept. 2.

For those who like to travel, Rush also plays the DTE Energy Music Theatre north of Detroit in Clarkston, Mich. on Aug. 26 and the Riverbend Music Center in Cincinnati on Sept. 1.

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