On Friday (March 6), [artist id=”1022″]U2[/artist] rocked a crowd of college kids on the campus of New York’s Fordham University — which is exactly the demographic that the iconic rockers want to expose to their new album, No Line on the Horizon.
The band tore through three songs from the album on the college’s picturesque campus in the New York City borough of the Bronx.
“Every album is like our first album. And we want to do the thing we did with our first album and go out and play the colleges,” Bono told MTV News on Friday after the show. “Play to the people who are living closest to the music.”
Bono said that for the most part, young people can best appreciate new sounds. “They’re often students,” he said. “They’re often not people in their 30s. Bob Dylan has this line, ’He not busy being born is busy dying’ [from ’It’s Alright Ma, I’m Only Bleeding’]. I love that line. I often think it applies to music. People, as they get older, they stop listening to the music. We want to go to where people are still passionate for music.”
“You can feel that out in Fordham today,” he continued. “There’s people probably watching MTV going, ’Who are those guys … what are they doing here?’ Well we’re ready to make our case.”
Bassist Adam Clayton said that despite being in the industry for over 30 years, playing new songs to a crowd of college kids felt right. “When we came out with our first record, Boy, we couldn’t get played on commercial radio,” he recalled. “And it was the colleges that kept that record alive, and we would go to every college and do interviews.”
“It was very cool to have a real crowd there and to be playing the new songs,” guitarist the Edge agreed. “Always, for us, you learn almost instantly what’s right and what’s wrong as soon as we play. That’s where we grew up as a band: in front of a live audience. As you’re hearing it through all of the people, you’re playing to sense their reaction.”
For drummer Larry Mullen Jr., those reactions make all the difference in the world for future performances. “When you play live you get to understand the nuances, the things that make a difference,” he said. “When we were playing it today I felt like, ’I get this.’ ”
Earlier this week, the band had a street in New York named after them .
MTV News will have lots more from our exclusive interview with U2 in the coming days!