Go Metro to U2’s Joshua Tree shows at the Rose Bowl!

This particular patch of the Mojave Desert may look familiar to those who own the Joshua Tree album. Photo courtesy Steve Hymon.

On an excitement scale of 1 to 10, I’m currently at level 13 about this show. Then again, I’m an Older Goat and remember listening to the album (on vinyl) the night it was released in 1987. “The Joshua Tree” was — and still is — a masterpiece.

Driving to the show is an option, of course, but parking at the Rose Bowl is $40 per vehicle and Rose Bowl traffic can be an exercise in running to stand still. Another option: take the Gold Line to Memorial Park Station and either ride the shuttle for $5 roundtrip to the Rose Bowl or walk — it’s about 25 minutes with a little downhill going and a little uphill on the return.

•To reach the bus shuttle, turn right (west) when exiting Memorial Park Station and walk two blocks to Parsons, where the shuttle departs. To purchase shuttle tickets, click here for Saturday and here for Sunday. The shuttle begins running at 3:30 p.m. both days and runs for at least an hour after the show (as of this morning, the Rose Bowl shuttle was saying it was sold out for tonight and there were some serious gripes along long, long waits after the show on social media).

•If walking, it’s 1.9 miles to the Rose Bowl from Memorial Park Station and takes about 35 to 40 minutes via this route:

Credit: Google Maps.

There’s some downhill on the walk to the stadium and uphill on the way back. It’s not that steep and it’s a pleasant enough stroll with sidewalks the entire way.

For Metro newbies: Metro one-way fares are $1.75 and include two hours of free transfers. You will need a TAP card to ride — they can be purchased for $1 at the TAP vending machines at all Metro Rail stations. The smart play is to get a TAP card ahead of time and load it with two one-way fares or load the card with some cash, which Metro calls ‘stored value.’ Here’s the Metro Rail system map. And here is the map of Gold Line stations with parking:

See this list for which parking lots have fees; most are free. Union Station charges $8 and is a 22-minute train ride to Memorial Park Station. Sierra Madre Villa (149 N Halstead St, Pasadena 91107 ) has a large parking garage with more than 900 free spaces on the weekends and is an eight-minute ride to Memorial Park Station.

Gold Line service runs until past 1 a.m. both Saturday and Sunday nights although Metro Rail service shuts down mostly by 1 a.m. for those going to the Sunday night show (the Rose Bowl says both shows will be over by 11 p.m.). Below is the weekend timetable for the Gold Line– see the late night times at the bottom of each page.

Metro’s unofficial requests for the non-Joshua Tree songs on Sunday night, when I will happen to be in attendance: “Please,” “Raised by Wolves,” “The Wanderer,” “Walk On,” “Breathe,” “Discotheque,” “All I Want Is You,” “Every Breaking Wave,” “Who’s Going to Run Your Wild Horses,” “Some Days Are Better Than Others,” “MLK,” “A Sort of Homecoming,” “California,” “Gloria,” “Bad,” “Beautiful Day” and “Hawkmoon 269.”

Below is a little something for a Friday afternoon from the killer show at Red Rocks that aired on MTV and got the attention of my high school mates. And here’s a good read in Billboard about ‘Pop,” the 1997 album that critics slagged but I think is great (like all U2 albums).

Have a great time U2 fans! I’m in section 4 on Sunday night, row 8,000 or so. So cruel.


One thing to keep in mind: this will be a busy weekend in Pasadena and the surrounding area with many events. Among them is the Jet Propulsion Library’s open house on Saturday and Sunday. And the Amgen Tour of California bike race concludes in Pasadena on Saturday afternoon with some street closures in Old Pasadena — use the Gold Line’s Del Mar and Memorial Park stations for easy access to the course.

6 replies

  1. The Shuttle service was a disaster. Had to stand in line for over and hour and a half after the show missing the last train to Santa Monica. Got dumped off at Bundy off the Expo line at 3am and had to find transportation back to Santa Monica. Bad planning and treated the patrons like cattle. Lines should have been policed better and should have been alerted to how long it took. The parking lot was empty when we got on the shuttle. BAD BAD BAD.

    • Sorry for the shuttle was so bad, Trixie. Folks pay heed: you might be better off walking. That’s my plan this evening.

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source

  2. I’m trying to figure out a way to get there via North Orange County. I think there might be a connecting line from Long Beach’s Willow Station?

    • That’s a long haul, Ronnie. From Willow you can take the Blue Line to 7th/Metro, the Red/Purple Line to Union Station and the Gold Line to Memorial Park. Honestly, the easier route for this kind of show would be to drive to DTLA and park at Union Station for $8 or find parking at a Gold Line station and take the train to Memorial Park. Have fun! Should be a great show.

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source

  3. What was “infamous” about the Red Rocks show?

    P.S. If you can’t afford the U2 tickets, check out their 1988 film “Rattle and Hum” to get a feel of what the Joshua Tree tour was like.

    • Under-rated film and album. And, yes, the ticket prices have reached obnoxious levels although I’m willing to spring for band of this level.

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source