There was something familiar about the sleeve of U2’s new album (Not a picture of any sea or ocean, but actually Lake Constance (Bodensee) as seen from Uttwil, in Switzerland, taken in 1993.) A few Google searches later, I realised that the photographer, Hiroshi Sugimoto, also took a photo of Tadao Ando’s Church of Light:
And it so happens that Bono visited that church, when he was in Osaka, Japan with Guggi and Gavin Friday back in 2006:
Bono and Gavin Friday, Church of Light. Photographer unknown.
And here’s a picture of Bono and Tadao Ando together when the architect came to visit Dublin.
So there you have it. A fun little insight into how U2’s choice for their new sleeve may have come about.
U2’s final Vertigo show in Japan on Monday (Dec. 4) focused on paying respect to the country and its people. Early in the show, Bono expressed the band’s genuine love for the country, noting they had a wonderful stay in Tokyo. Bono spoke of his visit to Kyoto, where he toured the Church of Light, designed by Tadao Ando.
Bono was so charmed by Kyoto that he brought back three of its residents to Tokyo with him for the final show. During “Mysterious Ways,” Bono invited the three to dance with him on stage. Mouths dropped open when they saw Bono’s guests were geishas (perhaps actually maikos [geishas in training]) in full traditional wardrobe and makeup. Morleigh Steinberg ran alongside the women in the pit, directing them to dance with their fans, to the delight of the audience and Bono, who grinned from ear to ear. At the song’s conclusion, he bowed to them sweetly.
Another highlight of the show was a particularly moving performance of “Sometimes You Can’t Make It on Your Own,” which Bono dedicated to his father and the fathers of his friends Gavin and Guggi, who watched the show from the mix desk.
City of Blinding Lights
Vertigo – She Loves You (snippet)
Out of Control
I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For – In a Little While (snippet)
Angel of Harlem
The First Time
Sometimes You Can’t Make It on Your Own
Bad – Ruby Tuesday (snippet)
Sunday Bloody Sunday
Bullet the Blue Sky – When Johnny Comes Marching Home & Hands That Built America (snippets)
Pride (In the Name of Love)
Where the Streets Have No Name
With or Without You
The Saints Are Coming
Window in the Skies
Vertigo (“For us!”)