In the final hours before U2 took the stage in Tempe, Arizona on April 2, 1987 to kick off their Joshua Tree tour, I bet the fusion of nerves and adrenaline and impatience was almost overwhelming.

Though the band had just finished recording their masterpiece and had already arrived at that level they’d probably dreamed of their whole lives, it was time to put it all on the line, to take those pieces they’d assembled, and perform. To take what they’d designed, and play.

On that spring day, 19 years ago today, U2 was out to prove, on stage, that the whole was indeed greater than the sum of its parts. To find out how justified they were in feeling so good about what they’d put together.

It’s exactly what Jon Daniels, who is about as old today as Bono and Edge and Larry and Adam were then, must feel like tonight.

Time to play.

You can read more from Jamey Newberg at

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