Bono Explained To U2 Openers The Lumineers What Makes A Stadium Show So Special

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Bono is better at giving advice than he is at taking it. Just a few days after the U2 frontman blatantly defied some advice that he was given by Bruce Springsteen to give an awesome performance on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, Wesley Schultz of The Lumineers shared a colorful metaphor that the singer laid on him before his band opened for the legendary act. U2 have been playing stadium shows for a minute, so Bono explained the only way to get through an opening set with a crowd that massive.

“It’s been a while since we’ve opened for somebody,” Schultz said in an interview with Rolling Stone. “Before the show Bono said, ‘It’s very appropriate that it’s a stadium, because going into it is like a gladiatorial combat situation where you have to win the crowd or you get killed.'”

And U2 of all people should know. They famously opened for themselves in Los Angeles in 1987, playing to an unenthusiastic crowd in costume as a country-western band. But to hear The Lumineers frontman tell it, that wasn’t their experience opening on U2’s just-launched The Joshua Tree tour.

“That audience last night, what I sensed was, ‘Oh, I know this song,’ and then it was, ‘Oh, I think know that one’ or ‘Oh, they did that one?'” he said. There’s a body of work there that I think they begin to trust you… I thought [last night’s show] went really well because of the songs, it wasn’t because of some gimmick.”

For more on U2’s ongoing tour, check out our live review of that very same tour stop.