Swag from An Experience of Songs (New York)

Original Story by Aaron J. Sams (2017-12-06)

Bono has spoken a lot about the lyrics on this new album, Songs of Experience, and how they are letters. Back in September he told Rolling Stone, “I know U2 go into every album like it’s their last one but even more this time I wanted the people around me that I loved to know exactly how I felt. So a lot of the songs are kind of letters, letters to Ali, letters to my sons and daughters, actually our sons and daughters…There’s a song called “The Showman” which is a letter to our audience…There’s a letter to America called “American Soul.” And one that I didn’t realize until too late that I was writing to myself, “It’s the Little Things Give You Away.” In all of these advice type songs, you are of course preaching what you need to hear. In that sense, they’re all written to the singer.

Perhaps it is no surprise then that the promotional materials for the new album are picking up on the letters theme.

At the recent listening party in New York City, titled “An Experience of Songs,” attendees were given a swag bag at the end of the event. We are taking a look at some of the items included in the bag. If you would like more information about the event itself, Kelly McNamara has written about her experiences at the Experience.

IMAGE: The Swag Bag

The whole thing came in a black bag with a foil print embossed line of text in silver, “U2: An Experience of Songs”, with the now familiar silhouette logo of Eli and Sian on the bag. The bag contained a number of different items.

IMAGE: Writing Paper and Envelopes

The first item one notices is Songs of Experience stationary. The paper is white with a grey print of the silhouette logo of Eli and Sian. Accompanying the paper is a number of envelopes with the logo in black on the back flap of the envelope.

IMAGE: Notebook and Pencil

That’s the paper and a means to send a letter. But how do you write a letter? The next item in the bag is a journal. On the cover in the same font as used on the album is “U2: Experience of Songs”. And attached to the side is a black pencil. A notebook to compose your ideas, and a pencil to write your letters with.

IMAGE: Numbered Poster

The final item in the bag is a limited edition small poster in white, with a black silhouette of Eli and Sian, that is dated and reads, “U2: An Experience of Songs” across the top, with the name of the city and the date below the logo. These are numbered on the front by hand.

IMAGE: Wristband

Other items from the evening was a rubber wristband which reads “U2: Experience of Songs – New York”, this was given to attendees for entrance into the event.

As it was the last listening event in North America, attendees were told they could help themselves to the decorations for the evening which had included posters, books, and more. We present a couple of images of those items as well at the end of the article. Also handed out at the event were postcard-sized handouts that listed the song titles on one side, and featured the image of Sian and Eli on the other.

IMAGE: Song List Handouts

Swag bags were also given out at the event in Los Angeles. The items included in the bag were the same, although the numbered poster and the rubber bracelet both listed Los Angeles instead of New York.

IMAGE: Room Decorations including Book and Posters

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