U2 has a popularity matched by few other rock bands. Hailing from Dublin City, Ireland, and emerging from the post-punk era in the late 1970s, U2 has been awarded twenty-one Grammys, played the highest grossing concert tour in history, was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and has a lead singer, Bono, named by Time magazine as one of the 2005 Persons of the Year.
But what makes U2's music and message so great, and why are they worth study in the Christian community? It's their ability to connect with their audience and their commitment to the gospel. Their connection with their audience could be clearly seen in two of their most recent tours, Elevation (2001) and Vertigo (2005), where the stage encircled several hundred fans and protruded out into the arena, bringing fans right up to the band, almost like they were part of the band itself. "You too" (in other words, U2) are part of the music. In addition, their recent recordings, All You Can't Leave Behind (2000) and How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb (2005), have expressed the Christian faith in unambiguous, though not simplistic, terms.