Will U2’s fans forgive them?

92788939...Bono, singer of the Irish rock band U2 performs on stage at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin during a free open-air concert on November 5, 2009 as part of celebrations to mark the fall of the Berlin Wall 20 years ago. The concert will be aired live during the MTV European Music Awards also held in the German capital. AFP PHOTO DDP / AXEL SCHMIDT GERMANY OUT (Photo credit should read AXEL SCHMIDT/AFP/Getty Images)

Following the backlash over their iTunes album release, Neil McCormick asks whether a stripped-down arena tour can win U2’s fans back

92788939...Bono, singer of the Irish rock band U2 performs on stage at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin during a free open-air concert on November 5, 2009 as part of celebrations to mark the fall of the Berlin Wall 20 years ago. The concert will be aired live during the MTV European Music Awards also held in the German capital. AFP PHOTO DDP / AXEL SCHMIDT GERMANY OUT (Photo credit should read AXEL SCHMIDT/AFP/Getty Images)
92788939…Bono, singer of the Irish rock band U2 performs on stage at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin during a free open-air concert on November 5, 2009 as part of celebrations to mark the fall of the Berlin Wall 20 years ago. The concert will be aired live during the MTV European Music Awards also held in the German capital. AFP PHOTO DDP / AXEL SCHMIDT GERMANY OUT (Photo credit should read AXEL SCHMIDT/AFP/Getty Images)

By Neil McCormick at The Telegraph:

When it finally rolled to a halt in July 2011, U2’s 360 Tour was a record breaking success, the highest grossing and most attended tour in rock history (7.2 million tickets sold; $726 million generated in sales).

Their two year stadium tour featured a giant 50-metre alien claw, which communicated by satellite with the orbiting International Space Station.

This time around, things might not be quite so grandiose. Moving indoors to arenas, the opening number will be illuminated by a single swinging light bulb, lead singer Bono has revealed. It’s a stripped-back concept that could be interpreted as a humble acknowledgement of U2’s recent set-backs.

Having spent three years making Songs of Innocence, an album they were extremely proud of, last year they struck a controversial deal with Apple. The deal ensured that the album was inserted into every iTunes collection, a move that grabbed all the wrong headlines.

There was something about this conglomeration of forces – an omnipresent technology company and a grandstanding band – that stuck in many people’s craws.

What somehow got lost in the brouhaha was that Songs Of Innocence was crammed with big, accessible, commercial songs welding U2’s rock power to modern pop aesthetics

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