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Why The Stones Will Always Be Cooler Than U2


The Stones

There is an interesting article in the Guardian about two rock dinosaurs and their antagonistic attitude when they are both embarking for a summer tour. And I agree pretty much with what their thesis: The Rolling Stones and U2 are touring and their approach could not be more different, as the Stones have no shame at exploiting their past — they are touring ‘Sticky Fingers’, an album they recorded in the 70’s — while U2 is doing the iNNOCENCE + eXPERIENCE tour, in support of their new album ‘Songs of Innocence’, the one that everyone found one day on their iPhone, without asking for it. But at the top of this, as the Guardian notices, U2 is trying to be musically relevant in today’s musical landscape. When Mick Jagger sings ‘Brown Sugar’ as if it was 1971 again, Bono sings ‘The Miracle of Joey Ramone’, the song that everyone erased from his or her iPhone…

It’s a reality, people want to hear the big hits during a tour, and the Rolling Stones have always been generous about delivering their oldies, while U2 are going to tour an album that they were forced to apologize for, an album that received a 4.6 on Pitchfork, a C+ on Consequence of Sound and a score of 64 on Metacritic… not good!

I went to see the lucky people who lined up in front of the Fonda, waiting for the Stones’ intimate show in Los Angeles, and the large majority of them were in their 50’s-60’s of course. However these people are in big numbers, and these potential concert-goers are not going to attend the next Calvin Harris or Skrillex concert – well exception of Iman – so there is a large market for nostalgia and the Stones know it!

A year ago, Bono admitted to the press that U2 was not relevant anymore as this quote from NME demonstrates it: ‘We’re on the verge of irrelevance. You have to make stuff relevant to you and where you’re at, make an honest account of what you’re going through. If that’s relevant to other people, great. But we don’t know.’ So why do U2 now think they could be relevant with this new music? Looking at their recent setlists they play a lot of these innocent songs, while the Stones play ‘Sticky Fingers’!

But beside nostalgia, the Rolling Stones are sure beating U2 for many reasons:

First, they have the most recognizable lips logo ever, and I don’t even know U2’s logo!

Then, there is this undeniable charisma, I’m sorry but, even with his wrinkled face, I pick Jagger over Bono any time and this is called charisma… have you seen his silhouette of teenager? Jagger is a jogger, Bono is a cyclist who broke his arm! Enough said!

Then there is the taxes debacle that continues to pursue U2, the Africa-savior preaching-Jesus-complex forever attached to Bono. Let’s face it the Stones will always be a million times cooler than U2 for all these reasons.

1 Comment

  1. Jonny bongo on August 28, 2021 at 3:45 am

    Stones pour out a greatest hits tour every couple of years
    Little of it played live
    Huge band all hidden from view. Great , yes
    But clearly clearly clearly you have never seen u2 live
    Yes the theory is the stones cooler
    But it’s about music, and trotting out 60/70s 12 bar is not even in the same room, let alone stadium

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