U2, with its 1980s piety and epic arpeggios, often seems to transcend this earthly plane; its music is imbued with a universal spirituality akin to organized religion. And like Catholicism, U2 tends to place a certain amount of distance between itself and its worshipers.
It’s been proposed that two distinct types of music fans came of age in the 1980s: the separate but equal followers of U2 and R.E.M. The argument can be entertaining, and it’s also ultimately pointless. But there’s good reason why one might perceive that a distinction still exists between the two audiences.