Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Arriving on stage at Camp Nou at just gone 10pm local time, the band played 22 songs over two hours and twenty minutes , eliciting an extraordinary reception from passionate Spanish fans. As well as seven songs from No Line on the Horizon, the band soared through the catalogue returning to many classic tracks that have been missing from the set on recent tours. The groundbreaking new stage production, designed by Willie Williams and Mark Fisher, was the first thing to hit the audience as they arrived at the venue - its four huge legs stretching across the hallowed home of Barcelona FC and suspending a giant spherical screen delivering crystal clear 360 vision throughout the huge stadium. 'This has been our neighbourhood for the last couple of weeks,' explained Bono, taking a breath after four opening songs from No Line. 'This is where we wanted to build our space station...' The space station soon made contact with another one, when, to general astonishment, Bono called up the astronauts orbiting planet earth on the International Space Station. They immediately appeared live on the gigantic screens. 'Very nice to hear you,' said one astronaut as the microphone floated around the cabin. 'Commander, can you see Barcelona?' asked Bono. 'Right now the most beautiful sight in our cosmos is the blue planet earth,' came the reply. Larry, Adam and Edge joined in the conversations with the space travellers, each of whom held out a sheet of paper, creating the phrase 'The Future Needs A Big Kiss' . Along with some serious chat about the fragile beauty of the earth seen from space, Larry wanted to know if the earth was really round. 'Actually, that's classified...' came the reply. 'Escape yourself and gravity' goes a line in Unknown Caller, and considering this was its live debut it immediately sounded like a classic set to stay in the set for years. Sounded pretty cool hearing an entire stadium rhythmically chanting, 'Restart and re-boot yourself.' If it was a surprise to hear Unforgettable Fire, title track of an album released in 1984, it sounded majestic - of the 22 tracks the band performed we counted selections from eight different albums. Another striking moment was when Bono dedicated 'Walk On' to Aung San Suu Kyi, democratically elected leader of Burma in 1990 but under house arrest for most of the years since. As the electronic screens weaved lower and elongated spectacularly over the stage, huge images of Aung San Suu Kyi appeared just as dozens of people began walking slowly along the external stage runway, each holding up her mask. 'Let her face be your face.' said Bono, as people all around the stadium began pulling out their own masks and wearing them. Apart from a stumble during One, the band sounded looked pretty happy to be back on stage and back amongst their audience. It feels as though the new production will do what it was commissioned to and turn a stadium into a club. 'U2 is most at home when we're playing live.' explains Larry in the Tour programme. 'This is the place where our songs live.'
U2Barcelona: has posted the real setlist of the first show:
No line on the horizon
Get on your boots
I still haven´t found what I´m looking for
Angel of Harlem + Man in the mirror (for Michael Jackson)
In a little while
Conexion with international space station
Unknown caller (Barcelona, I know your name)
The unforgettable fire
City of blinding ligths
I´ll go crazy if I don´t go crazy tonight (remix)
Sunday bloody Sunday
Walk on + You´ll never walk alone (forAung San Suu Kyi)
Desmon Tutu speech
Where the streets have no name
With or without you
Moment of surrender
www.noticierou2.blogspot.com has videos of some of the songs:
The show has been described as incredible!!! We´ll know much more about it in the following days.
Some more pictures
Thanks to all the fans and media that have posted comments, pics, videos so we, the ones that could not make it can have a glimpse of the best show in the rock world!!!
Do you want a pick of what it was like for some priviliged fans yesterday at Camp Nou? Follow the link...http://www.flixwagon.com/watch
2. No Line On The Horizon
3. Get On Your Boots
5. Beautiful Day / Blackbird
6. I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For
7. Angel Of Harlem / Man In The Mirror
8. In A Little While
9. Unknown Caller
10. The Unforgettable Fire
11. City Of Blinding Lights
13. Crazy Tonight
14. Sunday Bloody Sunday
15. Pride (In The Name Of Love)
17. Walk On / You’ll Never Walk Alone
18. Where The Streets Have No Name
20. Ultraviolet (Light My Way)
21. With Or Without You
22. Moment of Surrender
It seems that the stage explodes in lights with "City of Blinding Lights"...
It´s impossible NOT to be excited!!!!
Monday, June 29, 2009
Sunday, June 28, 2009
There's only a couple of days to go now and last night the band arrived on stage late and went through the whole of the new show until... very late. Our lips are sealed on what tracks they played - if you want to find out, it's not difficult, but if you don't want to we're not about to spoil the surprise. But here's a few clues. Seems like the band are intent on really mixing things up on this tour. Following all those weeks of rehearsals in Dublin, they're sounding very tight musically and at Camp Nou they're focussed on the production - how to make themselves at home on a breathtaking new stage, how to be 360 for two and a half hours. They've rehearsed thirty-plus tracks and last night ran through more than two thirds - as well as a cracking selection from No Line, we counted songs from EIGHT different albums. Also noticed one or two familiar songs have been... reimagined...
The team shows the 360° stage and the people involved
Spanish press in the house last night, first chance for the media to check out the new production. Some of the key players in the production were on hand to explain how it's all come together, including the band's manager Paul McGuinness and Mark Fisher, the co-designer of the new stage production. 1. 'It's a perfect stadium for us to open the tour,' said Paul McGuinness. 'There's no running track around the pitch, the seats are close to the stage and Barcelona have just won the Champions League so everyone's in a great mood!' 2. The band have rehearsed more than thirty songs but the set list is changing at every rehearsal - nothing is set in stone for Tuesday. 3. Ever since he was a fresh-faced architecture student, Mark Fisher has loved the Catalan visionary Antoni Gaudi. 'So when people here in Barcelona say to me that the new production reminds them in some way of Gaudi... that means a lot to me!' 4. Three stages will leapfrog each other across Europe and North America between shows. Sound, lights and screens will be loaded out after each show and head straight to the next city. 5.'It would be crazy if they weren't a bit nervous about the opening of a new show,' explained Paul McGuinness. ' It's a very complicated production but that's why we've been here for a while now, rehearsing the production, as much as the music.' 6. Mark Fisher: 'The inspiration was to create something that would sit in the middle of the stadium and make everyone feel like they were really close to the band and make the band feel like they are really close to the audience.'
Saturday, June 27, 2009
Friday, June 26, 2009
In the first referendum last year Ireland rejected the treaty -- designed to streamline government of the EU -- and that meant it had to be put on hold since ratification requires the approval of all member states of the EU.
Thursday, June 25, 2009
May his soul rest in peace.
Long Live The King OF Pop! He will always be remembered as a great artist!
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Bono confirms he was inspired by the Catalan artist Gaudi and his "Sagrada Familia" for the building of the stage.He also mentions surrealism,Dali and Miró,all very influential Spanish artists.
He also talks about the world economy crisis, highlighting the fact that Spain has had a rise on unemplyement that reaches 18%.
They also talked about the music that touched their hearts and remembered "The Clash" at the end of the 70´s or Bruce Sprinsteen.
Adam explains how he and "his pal over there"(Larry) contributes to the sensuality of U2 music!
Monday, June 22, 2009
"It's now midnight in a beautiful duplex suite in the Hotel Arts with a stunning view over Barcelona. Adam Clayton is radiating calm and content. "Actually, I quite like being here. In this world again. Doing shows and being in hotels again. You can be home looking after yourself and being normal and thinking you don't want it but then it comes around again and you go, 'maybe, you know'." It's nice to know that Clayton appreciates his life. And he does.
Once perhaps the most troubled member of the band, and perhaps the least appreciative of their success, Adam Clayton seems to have found extraordinary stillness and peace as he's got older. It is actually calming to be in the same room as him, being lulled by his deliciously timbered cut-glass speaking voice.
Clayton enjoys the rhythm of life on the road: days spent trying to declutter his head before the gig, gym, shower, travel to gig, playing the gig and then coming back to his room to maybe watch a box set of The Sopranos or Curb Your Enthusiasm (that's the last tour; this time it's likely to be Mistresses, which Clayton is getting into. He's also a big fan of Shameless). Clayton doesn't find the fact that he doesn't drink is any problem on tour. But then, he says, after 11 years he is "very easy" about his sobriety now. He does, however avoid late-night drunkenness. Done that.
Like the others, Clayton seems to have found a new lease of life in making No Line On The Horizon. "It's funny with this record and where we're at as a band," he says, "I think the spirit that we made this record in was such a spirit of 'we're only doing it because we want to'. Somewhere in it we've got to find something that we believe in. And, in the course of making it, we found our truths, we found some values that don't exist in regular life. The fact that four guys have been together for 30 years and they dreamed it up and they went after it. There's a point where I'm proud of it and I'm proud of the integrity behind what we do. If you have created any catalogue of material you're entitled to go out and play it if people want to hear it. There are people who want to hear it; we are relevant. And we still get on and we're not fighting. There are so many bad things that happen to musicians and businesses that have been going on this long. So much infighting, and we don't come with that baggage. You know, it's amazing."
Bono had mentioned to me that Adam Clayton is a joy to be around these days. It seems with the new album, Clayton has managed to finally and fully put to bed his issues with U2's success.
"I wrestled a lot with U2", Clayton says, "and I wrestled with the success of it and what I thought it meant and what I thought it had done. And, in the end, a lot of it was kind of nonsense. Suffice to say, I thought having to manage and deal with the difficulties of being successful got in the way of creating. And, in reality, I realised with maturity that it's what you make it. You choose. It's not making you do anything."
Clayton's disillusionment began, not surprisingly, when the incredible success of The Joshua Tree turned the lives of everyone involved in it upside down.
"I think it knocked the wind out of everyone", he says, "I think it took everybody a good 10 years to adjust to it and to make changes. It was sort of after 10 years that I'd gone a little bit too far down a road of rejecting it and feeling disenfranchised by it and feeling I couldn't walk down the road and I couldn't go to gigs and feeling I couldn't do the things that I enjoyed doing and I couldn't go to a club to hear some music without someone in my ear. Bono was able to adjust to it very quickly. He was able to take the good stuff and ignore the s*** that went with it. It took me a bit longer. Maybe I was more arrogant. And now I'm able to accept the good stuff and the bad stuff."
Clayton also thinks that not having a family to come home to, the way the others did, perhaps threw him a bit as well. Coming back from tours, he would find he couldn't remember what he had done before in Dublin, whom he had hung out with or where he had gone. He was also very insecure about his own abilities and his place within the band -- "It's hard to find your place with three strong characters."
But on this album he truly learnt, he says, to get out of his own way, "and when someone tries to give you a hand, thank them, don't say, 'No I can do this, leave me alone.'"
Clayton takes pop music seriously. Ask him about being nearly 50 and single and he will say that while this isn't how he saw things panning out for him, while he thought his life would work out more like the others, and while he still wouldn't rule out settling down and having kids, being on his own does give him the time to pursue his interests -- pop music being chief among them, along with art, the growing passion in his life.
But then Clayton owes pop music. He has said that music saved him when he was a troubled youngster. "I think what happened," he says of his childhood, "was we travelled quite a lot." Born in England, Clayton moved as a young child to Kenya and then to Ireland (his father was an airline pilot). Shortly after arriving in Ireland he was sent to boarding school, which didn't suit him. He is keen to stress that he doesn't want to "Do A Sinead O'Connor" and that his parents thought they were doing the right thing. Unsporty, uncompetitive, chubby and with glasses, Clayton says he wasn't bullied but if anyone was going to get bullied it would have been him. And then along came that one cool teacher who can save someone's life and played Adam Jesus Christ Superstar and Godspell on an old top loader tape-recorder and began the relationship that would ultimately bring Adam Clayton to the happy place he is today.
So maybe the devil doesn't have the best tunes. Maybe Adam Clayton and his band mates are proof that you don't need to keep your demons in order to be a great band. Maybe, in fact, it's not the demons that give you the tunes, but the angels."
"What Has 4 Legs, in the Round?"asks The New York Times about the stage of U2 360 ° Tour set up at Camp Nou, Barcelona. Willie Williams,U2´s stage designer, answers:
“Everyone who sees it says that it looks like something different.Tintin’s rocket. The War of the Worlds. Cactus. Octopus. Claw. Whenever it started to look like something, Mark and I would push it in another direction. But it does look as though it has escaped from a giant space aquarium.”
Playing in the round appealed. It is the best way of creating an illusion of intimacy in a crowd of up to 90,000 people, and will release some 20,000 extra seats in the space usually occupied by the stage. But it hadn’t seemed feasible for U2 before. The audience will also see live footage of the show on the conical screen. From ZooTV onward, screens have been the phallic symbols of rock tours. U2’s new screen consists of 500,000 pixels mounted on interlocking panels. It will sit still for most of the show, then stretch downward, distorting the images as the panels fragment.
It will take a day to install the screen, stage and kit at each stadium. As the steel structure requires four days, three versions have been commissioned. While one is in use, another will be under construction at the next venue and the third in transit, to squeeze as many shows as possible into the tour.
Spanish journalist Manuel Fuentes was escorted yesterday by Bono and Adam to visit the stage.
Bono confessed that when the dream of the stage for the new tour started, two years ago, he envisioned the "Sacred Family" by Gaudi. "The result is amazing," says the reporter. "Looking at the Claw from a close up makes the football stadium, Camp Nou, look small."
"If by the end of the gig, the people are still looking at the stage, something has gone wrong," confessed Bono and told the interviewer that they will play songs that they have never played live before.
The front man assured that every single detail has been cared for, especially the sound: "every tower has four times the habitual power."
"Why have you chosen Barcelona?" was the one million dollar question.
Adam Clayton answers:"Barcelona is a sea city, and we like that!" When he was asked about football, he says that " he´s not interested in any sport that has guys in shorts ". "and if there are girls?" Bono asked him. Adam´s face was self telling.
But while Bono, Edge and Adam have chosen to stay in their respective homes in the South of France during the first leg of the tour, Larry Mullen who is the member of U2 that has most minded his private life stays in Howth,Dublin and will commute.
"It is more stressed from a job point of view but it is less arduous from a family point of view," he explains. "There won't be as much pressure on the kids, which is a huge consideration."
Mullen has never encouraged his children to engage with the world of U2. "It's hard enough to come from Artane and see my children grow up in Howth -- it is a privileged and charmed life they lead," he says. "The idea that you would have them engaged with what goes on around the band, I just don't think it would be good for them. I like to keep it separate for them. I am interested in music, I like making music. But I want to be able to get on and have a relatively normal existence, not for myself, but for my kids. I am not normal, of course I am not. I live in this bubble. And I accept that about myself and I accept the idea that I may have to get photographed or get written about. But kids don't deserve that, they need to be protected.
Mullen says that for him, the music is the main element in the relationship between the four band members now. "I mean, when you bring children into the equation and when people are moving around, you know, we don't all live here all the time now because of the way the touring schedule is. You know, Edge is married to an American lady so he spends time in America with her family so it's not like the gang that it used to be."
Mullen, like the others, is nervous about the new tour. The 360 tour employs a revolutionary stage concept never before seen in stadia. It basically means that U2 will play on a round stage, in the middle of the stadium, with fans all around them. There is, as Bono will say more than once, "jeopardy". Or, as Mullen puts it: "The first night can be amazing, but it can be a washout ... that's the way the shit goes."
Sunday, June 21, 2009
Times reporter Chrissy Iley spent 6 months shadowing the most influential rocker of the last decades and the results are amazing!!
"Egomaniac. Relentless do-gooder. Family man. We spend six months getting close to the world’s most influential rock star.
Bono can hold the undivided attention of a sold-out stadium. When he works a much smaller space, say in the White House, Downing Street or the Vatican, he rules that room with those who rule the world. When he put his sunglasses on the Pope, that picture became iconic because of his glasses, not because of the pontiff. How? Why? His father told him never to have dreams because he didn’t want him to be disappointed, which encouraged him to dream even bigger. But that’s only part of the long answer..."
Article by Chrissy Iley
To read the whole article click here
Saturday, June 20, 2009
Well, the countdown is shorter now and U2 are already in Barcelona rehearsing for the first concert of their monumental 360° tour 2009-2010. The band is lodging at Hotel Arts and they could be seen hanging around the city.
They have been rehearsing in Camp Nou where there´s a special room designed so the band could have some privacy.
While Bono greets fans , a possible setlist has been leaked.
Surprisingly we can see oldies like "Drowning man", "Ultraviolet" or "The Unforgettable Fire" and some "musts" as "With or Without You","Pride" or "Elevation". I really thought they were going to start with "Magnificent" but apparently this would be the third song after "Beautiful Day" and "Vertigo". And of course the best songs of their last album, "No Line on the Horizon".
Bono and his Spanish fans:
Thursday, June 18, 2009
New single from NLOTH: "I'll Go Crazy If I Don't Go Crazy Tonight" which will be released on August 17th by Mercury.
The video will be made by Irish animation film-maker David O'Reilly who won the 2009 Golden Bear at Berlinale for his animated short film "Please Say Something".
The band are currently gearing up (as we can see in the almost daily posted videos in U2.com) for their much anticipated the 360 Tour which is set to start in Barcelona later this month.
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Neil Mc Cormick , Daily Telegraph music critic and all-times friend of Bono´s replied...
"Of course, it is no such thing. An investigation would suggest a genuine issue and a serious journalistic attempt to get to the bottom of it. It is just an attention grabbing headline yolking together some skimpy reminiscences of encounters with the rock star by Word magazine regulars, some axe grinding by familiar Bono bashers and a bit of ranting diatribe by a couple of obscure freelancers who presumably glad of the soap box...
Laura Barton concludes this 9 page feature with a kind of vague concern that Bono’s politicking may be driven more by narcissism than philanthropy. She’s not sure, mind you. It’s just a bit of a nagging notion. Now, I really like Laura’s writing about music because she approaches her subjects in an original, poetic, emotional, almost touchy-feely fashion, but as a witness for the prosecution she’s about as damning as Mr Magoo at an identity parade. And that’s about it. If only all trials were conducted in such a random, anecdotal and highly opinionated fashion, with so little recourse to the facts, and no opportunity to answer back.
Now I like Word magazine, and I like the people who make it, but they should be embarrassed about this. It reeks of something cobbled together at the last minute because they didn’t have a suitably heavyweight cover star. The fact that they thought it was a good idea is indicative of the place Bono now occupies in popular culture.
At the height of Live8’s ‘Make Poverty History’ campaign, some wags made a bit of money on the side with a ‘Make Bono History’ t-shirt. For some, Bono is the greatest rock star of our times, to be celebrated as much for his idealism as his music. For others he is an insufferable bore, preaching about how we should live our lives. Perhaps more than any other rock star, he has become a divisive, love him or hate him figure. It is something of which he is well aware. “I’m sick of Bono,” is his standard line. “And I am him.”
The roots of Bono’s activism lie in his Christian faith, the sense that he has to give something back in order to justify the privileges of his success. He is accused of asking people to dip into their own pockets when he lives a millionaire lifestyle but, in fact, his principal approach is to lobby for political change rather than call for charity. Behind the spotlights, his personal charitable commitments are significant, and critics might be surprised at the relatively modest scale of his family lifestyle. Indeed, his real engagement with Africa started when Bono and his wife did voluntary work at an Ethiopian orphanage during the 1985 famine, where he witnessed despair and heroism that left an indelible impression upon him. Bono acts because he is compelled to.
I have seen what he puts into this, how it possesses him, what it means to him, and the accusations of dilettantism or narcissism are so far wide of the mark as to be laughable. Is there ego involved? Of course, it would be absurd to pretend otherwise. Ego is part of the job description, it’s a necessary force to get someone on stage in front of a rock band in the first place. But it takes more than ego to put in the office hours that Bono does (at least two days a week, even when his full time job in U2 is in full swing). And the ego is reigned in by a palpable humility, a sense of being in service to others, his strong feeling that this is the price his God (not mine, by the way) asks of him in return for all the good things that have happened in his life. You can ask questions, as Dave Marsh regularly does, of the point of celebrity politicking, but the answers lie not in fatuous opinion about motivation, they lie in the math of investment and policy change. There are plenty of figures publicly available, particularly with regard to third world countries who have had billion dollar debts cancelled and have been able to put that money to work in health and education.
The same spirit that drives Bono onstage drives U2 in the studio. And ultimately, politics is secondary, because without the music no one would be paying attention. While many of their contemporaries have either retired or retreated to a comfort zone of nostalgic hits, U2 constantly strive to create new work to rival their best, and in the process have had a run of sustained creativity and popularity that sets the bar for everyone in rock and roll (as to recent reports that their new album has been a flop, it currently stands at over three and a half million sales worldwide, not bad going in a peer 2 peer download era. And the tour hasn’t even started yet). Love them or hate them, Bono and U2 will be history when they no longer make music that engages our attention.
I am not suggesting Word are wrong to ask questions of Bono. But what, really, is the question? How about what kind of rock stars do we want? Idealists driven by passionate belief, who stand up to be counted, who try to make a difference, and who espouse the same ideals in their life as in their music? Colourful characters whose imaginative participation in the hurly burly of the world makes pop culture more interesting? Compassionate human beings who feel beholden to give something back for the immense privileges they receive? Or shallow self-interested showbusiness celebrities who never stick their heads above the political parapets for fear that it will get shot off? There are plenty of the latter, you can see them on magazine covers every day. There is only one Bono. And I’ve got a question for Word and all the other Bono critics who seem to be so offended by his existence. What does it say about them, that the rock star they would put on trial is the one who is making the most effort to do some good in the world?
Bono and Neil,circa 1999
To read the complete post:http://www.neilmccormick.co.uk/
Sunday, June 14, 2009
Saturday, June 13, 2009
Thursday, June 11, 2009
These have been posted in U2.com
U2.com > News > Countdown to 360
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
New Year's Day' is the soundtrack to a new TV spot from The European Commission, celebrating the 20th anniversary of free elections in Poland this month.
The video takes place on the birthday of a Polish girl Marta who was born on the 4th of June 1989 - the date of the first elections in Poland after the fall of Communism. It documents key events for Poland, such as the Solidarnosc movement with its leader Lech Walesa, Polish Round Table Talks, integration with NATO and the EU.
New Year's Day, the band's first debut ten hit in the UK back in 1983, was inspired by Solidarnosc, the first non-communist trade union in then communist Poland.
Monday, June 8, 2009
annual injection of vision, skill development, and inspiration for the sake of the local church.It will meet on 6-7th August.
“We can be the generation that no longer accepts that an accident of latitude determines whether a child lives or dies. But will we be that generation?” said Bono.
Bono,interviewed for the Summit in 2006, challenged church leaders to mobilize against the ravages of global AIDS and poverty. Be a part of the continuing story, as Bono talks in an exclusive video about the church's inspiring response and about his continuing life journey as a "single issue protagonist."
Watch videos and interviews
Thursday, June 4, 2009
On Monday 1st June she abseiled down Ireland´s tallest building to raise money for the fundation she is patron of: Chernobyl Children’s Project International (CCPI).
"It was much scarier than I thought it would be," the elated mother-of-four confessed to the Irish Examiner. Given her only dress rehearsal for the dizzying challenge was down the quarry in Dalkey, Co Dublin, she did remarkably well.
For 10 minutes, she hung precariously over the top of the 17-storey building, to facilitate photographers and a camera crew, before beginning her descent. Women watching from the ground below strained necks and eyes against the sun to see how the challenge was going.
"Look at her figure, look at those skinny legs," one remarked enviously as Ali held on for dear life.
At last, she got going, only to lose her footing, and for a few seconds she swung helplessly against the tower. Then composure regained, and without further ado, she lowered herself safely to the
"Oh my God, it was so slippy, I lost the power of my legs," she said, relieved to be back on solid ground.
"You’re the craziest mum in the world," said her nine-year-old son John, who, together with seven-year-old Elijah, hugged her tightly, glad to have her back in one piece. Ali’s brother Ian also did the abseil, in a spur-of-the-moment show of support.
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
Anti-poverty campaigner and ONE supporter Bob Geldof wants to answer your questions. He has recorded a short video to explain. So go ahead and check out the video and send us your question:
Work started during the last weekend: the "Claw" is under construction in Camp Nou in Barcelona for the first concert of the world tour, U2 360°.The final countdown is starting for our Spanish friends!!!
Tuesday, June 2, 2009