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Bill Smyth

Bill Smyth

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The best U2 songs of all time

The best U2 songs of all time

Where do we start with ranking the best U2 songs of all time? Let’s begin on Saturday, July 13, 1985. U2 took the stage at London's Wembley Stadium for Live Aid, the multi-city concert for famine relief in Africa that would feature the music industry’s greatest acts and biggest names. The band would play two songs in just under 20 minutes. Today Live Aid is mostly remembered for being one of Freddie Mercury’s last—and arguably most memorable—live performances with Queen before his death in 1991. But it was U2’s blistering, politically charged set—complete with Bono venturing into the crowd during the 12-minute rendition of “Bad”—that would catapult the band to international stardom and crown them the “world’s most important rock band.” In April, 1985, just a few months before that legendary Live Aid performance, U2 played its first show at NYC's Madison Square Garden. Three decades later, the band has racked up 30 concerts at the venue. In celebration of that milestone, we present the best U2 songs of all time: 33 in total, one for every year since the band first stepped onto the Garden stage. This playlist includes tracks that rock hard, open wounds, lift you up and bring you crashing to the ground—that place between pop songs and classic rock songs and just-plain-awesome ’80s songs. These tunes chart U2’s ever-changing, ever-evolving sound that mirrors the band's evolution from blue-collar dreamers to rock superstars.

Listings and reviews (10)

The Langham New York

The Langham New York

4 out of 5 stars

With its enormous overhanging canopy fitted with rows of exposed light bulbs and two stately flags bearing its name, the Langham New York Fifth Avenue is heavy on style and brings a touch of elegance to the concrete facades in the bustling nabe that is Midtown Manhattan. Going through the oversized revolving doors, you’re immediately hit with a few large Alex Katz oil paintings behind the front desk; a lithograph of Katz’s wife Ada resides by the coffee table. In fact, all of the art in the hotel is by Katz—a collection of 10 original paintings worth $2 million. The other artwork is in a third floor event space called the Gallery. But throughout the rest of the hotel you'll find reprints, some of which are solely supplied just for the Langham. The lobby’s seating area—right off the front desk and complete with a winding staircase to the second-floor eateries—is a mix of grays, whites and blacks with a clean and polished finish. Neutral colors of beige, ivory, taupe, black, gray and shades of white and blue offset the dark brown wood fixtures in each room; many of the rooms are framed by floor-to-ceiling glass windows. In-room amenities feature bath products from the hotel’s Chuan Body + Soul Spa, a full-service spa with three treatment rooms that includes a couples’ room. The spa also has men’s and women’s locker rooms with individual steam showers as well as saunas with pink Himalayan salt walls. Ai Fiori, the Michelin-starred restaurant from celebrated chef Michael White’s

MADE Hotel

MADE Hotel

4 out of 5 stars

Smack dab in the middle of the sliver on 29th Street between Broadway and Sixth Avenue sits the boutique hotel, MADE, one of the newer additions to Nomad’s ever-burgeoning hotel scene. From the outside it’s quite unassuming—a thin building with stained wood paneling on the facade; a smooth, gray exterior with wooden-framed windows stretching 18 stories into the sky. When you enter the hotel you’ll find Paper, the hotel’s coffee bar that also serves espresso drinks and pastries with a large communal table set in the front of the counter area. In the back of the lobby of woods and white walls, there’s a quaint full-service bar with a stairway that leads outside to a private guests-only patio which is perfect for a cocktail upon arrival. For a narrow hotel, the design of the street-level commonspace gives it an open feel for some serious relaxation. A hotel for just the business traveler or only the quick weekender it is not—MADE is high on charm and the stylish decor of the rooms speaks volumes of the hotel’s knack for thinking modernity with every touch. The 108 guest rooms offer floor-to-ceiling windows and are dressed in brown woods and whites with exposed concrete ceilings; beds are set on wood platforms and thin, entertainment centers made of metal bars are fastened on the walls. With Samsung flat screens, REVO Super Connect radios and Davines bath products in each bathroom rounding out the room amenities, their simplistic approach to design gives each room a bright finish

High Line Hotel

High Line Hotel

4 out of 5 stars

You might’ve walked down Tenth Avenue in Chelsea and passed a gated courtyard adorned with gas lamps and surrounding a 19th century building, a maroon brick structure reminiscent of a church or sanctuary. Well, you’re not wrong, as the building in question is an old seminary built in 1895 that just happens to be the home of the High Line Hotel, a five-year-old boutique hotel that mixes gothic architecture with modern technology while keeping its old-school charm. When you enter the hotel through the courtyard, you immediately feel like you’re sitting in someone’s living room, a brownstone somewhere in the West Village: brick walls, quirky paintings, leather stools, colorful couches. At the end of the lobby area lies a bar-coffee by day, cocktails and drinks by night-and we just happened to arrive during a high time in the afternoon in which the lobby was bustling with artsy folk, some with dogs, sipping coffee and chatting away the day. In short, a classic comfy New York scene. The rooms are equipped with touches like vintage furniture, decorative fireplaces, heirloom rugs, a 1922 rotary-dial telephone; a vintage custom embosser is fastened to every guestroom desk while C.O. Bigelow adds some bathroom pampering prods to the coziness of the oversized rooms. Outside in the front courtyard you’ll find a 1963 Citroen coffee truck serving Intelligentsia coffee as well as the 180 Tenth Garden seasonal restaurant (summer through fall). Amenities include a complimentary pass to an E

Gansevoort Meatpacking District

Gansevoort Meatpacking District

4 out of 5 stars

The first thing you notice when approaching the Hotel Gansevoort Meatpacking District is the location: smack dab in the middle of the MePa. Having opened its doors in 2004 when the area started becoming the chic destination for city partygoers that it is today, the hotel is the centerpiece of the neighborhood, the timeless dame of an ever-changing and evolving nabe. The lobby has a sleek design (come to think of it everything about a Gansevoort property screams sleek), adorned with floor-to-ceiling leather ropes that create a canopy, red suede and black leather chairs and a pool table in the middle of the seating area—the perfect scene for a hotel you’d already assume would be bustling. And it is. Like the Park Avenue South locale, the minimal and modern dĂ©cor in the rooms are off-set by the colorful and vibrant photographs and paintings on the walls. The main focus of the hotel though—and by focus I mean the part of the hotel that is a must-see for any visitor—is the Plunge Rooftop Bar + Lounge, where you will find the 45-foot heated outdoor pool open year-round. The indoor loft has 20-foot ceilings with 360-degree views of the city, perfect for that nighttime drink and dip in the water. The ground level boasts Chester, an American eatery with al fresco dining to people watch all day and all night long (if need be and we highly recommend it). With a valet service, fully-equipped gym, pet program, even a Prieto Select hair studio and Exhale Spa situated right in the hotel, yo

MADE Hotel

MADE Hotel

Smack dab in the middle of the sliver on 29th Street between Broadway and Sixth Avenue sits the boutique hotel, MADE, one of the newer additions to Nomad’s ever-burgeoning hotel scene. From the outside it’s quite unassuming—a thin building with stained wood paneling on the facade; a smooth, gray exterior with wooden-framed windows stretching 18 stories into the sky. When you enter the hotel you’ll find Paper, the hotel’s coffee bar that also serves espresso drinks and pastries with a large communal table set in the front of the counter area. In the back of the lobby of woods and white walls, there’s a quaint full-service bar with a stairway that leads outside to a private guests-only patio which is perfect for a cocktail upon arrival. For a narrow hotel, the design of the street-level commonspace gives it an open feel for some serious relaxation. A hotel for just the business traveler or only the quick weekender it is not—MADE is high on charm and the stylish decor of the rooms speaks volumes of the hotel’s knack for thinking modernity with every touch. The 108 guest rooms offer floor-to-ceiling windows and are dressed in brown woods and whites with exposed concrete ceilings; beds are set on wood platforms and thin, entertainment centers made of metal bars are fastened on the walls. With Samsung flat screens, REVO Super Connect radios and Davines bath products in each bathroom rounding out the room amenities, their simplistic approach to design gives each room a bright finish

Gramercy Park Hotel

Gramercy Park Hotel

5 out of 5 stars

The location alone is worth the visit: Set on Lexington Avenue and 21st Street, overlooking the private, gated, “I’ve always wanted to go in there but it’s always so damn locked,” Gramercy Park. Built in 1925, the bohemian-style Gramercy Park Hotel was taken over by famed real estate tycoon and art collector Aby Rosen in 2004, who closed it for two years to renovate with celebrated artist Julian Schnabel heading the design efforts. The result? A visually stunning beaut that drips with style, exuberance, and one of the chillest vibes you’ll get from any hotel in the city. The concrete exterior welcomes you through custom bronze arched doors with clear beveled glass and cast bronze handles—just in case you miss the huge bronze revolving door. The lobby’s second floor was taken out to accommodate the 20-foot ceilings fitted with wood columns, while smack dab in the center sits a massive hand-blown glass chandelier. The space is adorned with a wood-burning, nine-foot high fireplace; black and white tiled floor; brown leather chairs and red velvet sofas; maroon curtains, and artwork from the likes of Schnabel, Damien Hirst and Botero (from Rosen’s personal collection). Across from the two lobby bars is the hotel restaurant, Maialino, the beloved Danny Meyers’ critically-acclaimed Italian trattoria that can be seen aglow outside from the street-level. The hotspot is always bustling with patrons dining on things like braised suckling pig, salt-baked sea bass, or squid ink pasta with

Crosby Street Hotel

Crosby Street Hotel

4 out of 5 stars

Visiting the Crosby Street Hotel can be a grueling endeavor: stumble into the sleek glass-and-brick structure off the picturesque cobblestone streets of Soho, and into a warm front desk area, decked white walls and woods, and adorned with modern art, sculptures and photographs. Mosey on over to the Drawing Room, guests-only, lounge for cocktails and small bites, equipped with fireplaces, plush couches and chairs with access to a private garden. Throw in a friendly and completely attentive staff and, well, you have the makings of an exceptional stay. We think you can survive. The Crosby is not short on detail. The lobby level pops with color—reds, oranges, blues, greens and pinks to name a few. The design is orderly and neat, but with exceptional style. There’s an air of sophistication when you enter the hotel and it carries through to each area. Right off the lobby lies the Crosby Bar, the hotel’s resident restaurant, and it is as cozy as one can imagine: dimly lit with striped bench seating; colorful round chandeliers hang throughout and off-set a heavy dose of oranges and browns, colors that pattern and continuously complement one another at every turn. Running a seasonal menu, we were fortunate enough to try the milk chocolate brĂ»lĂ©e, with toasted house-made mallow and gingerbread men, which was nothing short of spectacular. The restaurant also leads to an outdoor garden. That’s the thing about the Crosby—a plethora of outdoor seating for those warm days. Between the sculp

NoMo SoHo Hotel

NoMo SoHo Hotel

4 out of 5 stars

Hotel? Or enchanted forest sandwiched between two buildings? When you first encounter the NoMo SoHo hotel on Crosby Street near Grand, you’re going to wonder. Its entrance is marked by high-arching steel columns wrapped in vines and adorned with giant lanterns; beyond which lies a heavily “wooded” outdoor seating area with small trees that serves as al fresco dining for the hotel’s eatery, NoMo Kitchen. Walk a long walkway, covered overhead in vines and beautiful white lights, and you’ll get the feeling you’re not in Kans, er, New York City anymore. But once you’re actually inside, it’s New York all the way.   The lobby buzzes with clichĂ© New York hotel moments, that I’m all in favor of: a young fashionista sitting next to packages while texting, racks of clothing gliding by on the way to a possible photo shoot, a person reading the complimentary Wall Street Journal with coffee in hand, stylish professionals criss-crossing paths—not a bad scene for a Monday morning. The lobby is spacious with a clean look with large white columns, black leather chairs, oversized ottomans and iconic ‘80s-era photos adorn the walls—one of which is Madonna and Beat writer William Burroughs—an ode to the downtown art and music scene and an era so ingrained in the neighborhood. The NoMo keeps true to the grit of the city with infectious energy that welcomes you in. The color scheme of the rooms and halls are white with different shades of blue: royals, lights, periwinkles. Oversized windows drench

Gansevoort Park Avenue

Gansevoort Park Avenue

4 out of 5 stars

If you’re looking for the epitome of Manhattan chic, boutique, and beautiful, there can only be one: the Gansevoort Park Avenue—the six-year-old sister hotel to the other Gansevoort located in the Meatpacking District. Found at the southwest corner of 29th Street off Park Avenue South, the modern lobby greets you in a bevy of blacks, maroons and browns: tall columns, high ceilings, two massive purple crystal chandeliers and a black-and-white zig-zag pattern on the floor. A horizontal gas-lit fireplace sits at the back end of the sitting area, which is decked out in plush couches and chairs. Immediately you feel like you’re in good hands. With a plethora of doormen and attentive staff behind the front desk, there’s no shortage of personal attention paid to every guest that walks through the revolving doors. The rooms are perfect for that weekend staycation or quick business trip; clean touches abound. Muted grays off-set the photography on the walls, giving the minimal dĂ©cor a splash of vibrant color. The main draws of the hotel—and there are many—are the three levels of fun on top: six event spaces and terraces, lounges with fireplaces, and a heated indoor-outdoor pool with unobstructed views of the Empire State Building. It might have been winter when I visited, but I could only imagine how these top floors look in the warmer weather. Other hotel perks include a Lacoste store, a Flywheels Sports to get your gym on, an Exhale Spa for, well, getting your spa on, and Asellina,

Greenwich Hotel

Greenwich Hotel

4 out of 5 stars

If there were one word to sum up the vibe at the Greenwich Hotel it would have to be “cozy.” Located on Greenwich Street between N Moore and Franklin Streets in Tribeca, the Greenwich Hotel is not known for its skyline views, but that’s definitely not a problem. Once inside, its dimly lit atmosphere and warm wood surroundings, far remove you from the frenetic NYC chaos right outside its door. The guest rooms are impeccably sharp, from the furnishings to the overall design: high ceilings, floors planked with thick slabs of what looks like refined barn wood, plush leather chairs, beautiful paintings and sculptures; the bedroom area was fitted with a king-size bed and fully-stocked bookshelves—the perfect getaway for the traveling reader.   The hotel boasts a pool and spa on the lower level. After weaving in and out of the Tribeca cobblestone streets burning holes through your shoes, it’s nice to come back and take a dip in a serene atmosphere. Upon entering the area, past the glass-encased gym, and through the locker room, meet the floor’s focal point: a tranquil lantern-lit pool, surrounded by a 250-year-old wood and bamboo Japanese farmhouse that was actually imported from Japan and reconstructed for the hotel.   Down in the tucked away guests-only Drawing Room bar and courtyard on the street-level—yes there’s an outdoor courtyard nestled in the middle of the hotel—sip potent cocktails while listening to the crackle from the fireplace. Head over to the hotel’s restaurant, Loc

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