Friday, July 31, 2009

Who´s there?

The Edge has just posted this pic in his Twitter... Resting before the big night???
BTW, great pics, Mr The Edge

Waiting for this evening´s concert

Sweden is ready for the push!!

Bell X1 Dot:The Other Band that played in Croke Park

Bell X1 Dot is an Irish band that played in the Croke Park gig opening the concerts for U2; an overloaded task that they performed very well. Here is what they said about the "U2 experience" in their My Space...

After a while gawping at The Edge’s guitar Emporium, ducking into the belly of the Claw, feeding at the catering trough, striding the hallowed turf of Croke Park, (where The Bomber Liston, Henry Shefflin and Neil Diamond did tread), watching the ‘2 run through “I Will Follow”, we got to play in the sunshine for half an hour at half past six.

Gremlins out in force – acoustic guitar dead for the first 2 tunes, interference in the ears wrecking Rory’s buzz, flatuulent bass guitar…but we settled into it with 10 minutes to go…

Spanning a bit of the half-back line, we looked out onto the magnificence that is Croke Park, and kinda forgot to enjoy it, I think. I think I’m enjoying the memory of it more than the actual gig. Very surreal. They have umbrellas that cost $400000 that pop up out of the stage if it starts raining. The have 200 trucks between the 3 Claw stages that are bunnyhopping around the world.

And yet. Bono’s guitar was dead for most of “One”. Watching that from the start of the stage, him roaring at his tech to fetch him another…made me smile. Sure it happens the best of us.

“Unforgettable Fire”, “Streets”, “Ultra Violet Light”….glorious. Truly magical, as the sun went down and Croker was a sea of stars.

Special mention to U2’s crew, who were very helpful and interested, courteous and receptive to courtesy…

The band sent us a very sweet note, Guinness and champagne. Lovely lads, they’ll go far

360° Tour: Environmently Friendly

Recently there have been criticism about the risk of pollution such a monumental tour may cause.

Live Nation, the producers of 360° Tour, announces in

Live Nation, the producers of the U2 U2 360° Tour, have confirmed their commitment to producing the largest concert tour in history in an environmentally responsible manner with a goal of balancing the Tour's direct carbon footprint through a comprehensive reduction and offset strategy.

Live Nation brought MusicMatters on board in March to be the tour's official Environmental Advisor. MusicMatters pioneered, and continues to be the world leader for, environmental impact reduction of music tours and festivals.

"We identified areas the tour could first and foremost REDUCE its environmental impact without compromising the quality of the fan experience. We are now in the process of implementing these recommendations with Live Nation. Next we will announce a customized U2 U2-360° Tour OFFSET strategy, reflecting the band's robust social change commitment, to offset the remaining tour emissions," said Michael Martin, MusicMatters' Founder and President.

More information will be released as the tour progresses around the world, sharing the global impact of the sustainability initiatives taken.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

On the Road with Willie Williams

Willie Williams, long termed associated with U2 tours designs, has been blogging about U2 360°:

Thirteen shows into the tour and the Dublin run just completed.

After our startlingly straightforward opening night, things have continued very well, perhaps even surprisingly well. The run of hurdles which begins any tour includes:

1) Building the thing for the first time

2) Making all the bits work

3) Getting through opening night and the first reviews

4) Getting through the first load out (19 hours)

5) Getting through the first move (four days)

6) Reducing load-out time (now 8 hours)

7) Reducing move time (recently achieved in one day)

Further challenges await, no doubt, but whatever lies ahead, it’s official that we got off to an astoundingly smooth start.

The greatest joy for me personally is to witness how well the basic idea works. As a configuration for U2 to play a stadium show, this feels like the one they were born to do. They have taken to it effortlessly and the audience completely gets it. I spent much of the second show in Paris wandering the Stade de France, spending a good amount of time round the back, up high, down low, then round to the sides and finally a brave half hour in the mosh pit. Much as it’s fair to say that given completely free choice there are obviously some vantage points you’d chose over others, it turns out that our press line about there being no bad seats in the house was based more in reality that artistic license.

The gear has held up remarkably well despite the killing schedule and the frequent inclement weather. Milan was our first move, punctuated by regular torrential downpours–proper rain, with thunder and lightning (we’ve had a lot of thunder and lightning now I come to think about it, which makes a man glad to be touring the world’s first lightning-conductor-mirror-ball). The rain caused some equipment casualties but not nearly as many as I’d expected. The LED element of the screen appears to be utterly robust so the nightmare of abseiling with hairdryers remains a PopMart memory. The PA has been fine and out of 200 PRG “Icon IIs” [that's Bad Boys to the rest of us--ed.] only two went down. The screen motors need a little love and attention but so far so good and the LED in the stage all fell out when the 92 sub-base cabinets under the runway kicked in, but really there’s been very little to complain about.

Speaking of which, I have also been amazed at the lack of crew whingeing. I had full expected, if not death threats, then certainly some terse comments in catering once the grueling schedule really kicked in. In Dublin on July 26, the crew had their first day off since load in at Nou Camp on June 7 so it has been a long haul thus far (we were due a day off in Barcelona on July 1, but somehow they managed to squeeze in a video shoot). Nonetheless, everybody (and I do mean everybody) involved, though clearly knackered on occasion, seems genuinely energized by the experience of being part of this extraordinary adventure.

I have completely lost track of how many crew we have now, or even how many trucks. I saw someone with the bag tag number 399 this week, so we must have hit 400 tour staff by now. More than half of these are drivers, of course, but the universal crew itself is now comfortably into three figures. I do know that we’re into a second bus of caterers, so you can work backwards from there to figure out the rest. The food is fabulous, by the way, which is doubtlessly another contributing factor to the tour’s morale.

And the shows? Well, they’re just stellar–especially when we’re in a good stadium, the look of the show being so heavily tied up with the architecture of the venue itself. Paris was the most beautiful, but the Berlin Olympic stadium would give it a run for its money. The volume of the audience is pretty startling too, being surrounded by them and having increased venue capacities to near 100,000 in the larger places. The band clearly thrives on all of the above and having shown up so well rehearsed are able to make the most of it. We’re up to a pool of about thirty-something songs ready to go now, so it’s fun to play with the set-list from night to night.

Next up is Sweden, then no sleep til Gelsenkirchen….

From Fan to Playwright has posted an interview with Barri Tsavaris, playwright ,performer but above all U2 fan.
She has written "I Will Follow" a full-length play about how her love for U2 has woven itself into her life. Next month that play, I Will Follow, will debut in Manhattan at FringeNYC, which is the largest multi-arts festival in North America and features performers from around the world. Ten percent of all ticket proceeds will go to the ONE Campaign.
She says of her play:

"I Will Follow is a semi-autobiographical story about the pleasures and pitfalls of a young woman’s fanatical obsession with U2 -- one of the few constants in an otherwise (hilariously) tumultuous life. It's my story, but dramatized. Through a series of flashbacks, I introduce the audience to the colorful characters I've met along the way (my charmingly overbearing mother, other U2 fans, and the Bono who watches over me, who I call "Bono-God"). My love of U2 guides me through some tough times and provides many amazing experiences, but my character is often challenged to find a healthy balance between being a devoted fan and living a realistic life. Ultimately it's about my search for truth, love and religion through the music of U2, and the challenge of finding yourself when you're already committed to following something else."

To read the whole interview,click here.

For more info about the play, click here.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The Night I Fell in Love with the Greatest Band in the World

The title of the article by Kevin Myers for the Independent resumes what every fan of U2 around the world feels for the band: love and the joy of falling in love with it all over again every time they are on stage.

One night in 1979 I bumped into a chap I vaguely knew. A young band he was managing was playing a one-night stand in McGonigal's club that evening: would I care to pop in? I wasn't interested in rock music -- but he had a certain plaintive look about him, so I said yes.

I went to the club alone. The band was awful: uncoordinated, slovenly, tuneless, raucous. I slipped out early, with the homeward urgency caused by both the fact that my departure was not entirely unaccompanied, and a desperate desire that my doomed friend should not spot me leaving.

Poor fellow! He was clearly not cut out for the music business, and as for the musicians, they had the talent of a quartet of winos after someone had doctored their rot-gut booze with laxative. Why, if he stayed in the music business, he'd soon be sipping gruel in a Simon Community hostel, or sitting on O'Connell Bridge, an inverted cloth-cap between his unclad feet, as he expelled and re-inhaled ancient phlegm from within a borrowed harmonica.

Well, it didn't quite work out like that. Because, for the first time since 1979, last Friday night I saw that band again, but now in Croke Park. Yes, it was U2, and yes, it was Paul McGuinness: I don't know what happened to the rest of the cast from that night, but I do know what happened to U2's one-night stand. It was a way-station to being the greatest rock band in the world. I know nothing about these things -- NOTHING, DO YOU HEAR ME? NOTHING -- but to judge from their performance at Croke Park, they still are.

It's often said that Paul McGuinness is the fifth member of U2. No he's not. He's the first member. Without him, U2 would have been playing a dreary circuit of mediocrity and failure in bingo-hall gigs in Crumlin and Drimnagh, their latent talents still latent, their small audiences growing ever-smaller. Soon, they would have ended up doing what all failed would-be rock stars do in Ireland, becoming journalists, or producers in RTE, or boozy, pot-bellied, balding, T-shirted roadies for other bands, themselves sliding towards failure.

So, firstly Paul McGuinness spotted what no-one else did -- that these were potentially world-class musicians. He then guided them up the ladder of success: and he has kept them at the very top, for a quarter of a century, by shrewd and brilliant management, by hard work, by unrelenting professionalism, by meticulous rehearsal and by clear, unyielding focus. If Elvis Presley had had such a manager, instead of sinking into the calamitous obesity of Las Vegas, with his vast belly and blocked rectum, his useful recording career would have lasted as long as U2's has. He'd have still been having hits, even as U2 arrived on the scene. What a rock continuum that would have been.

Now, I was unique in Croke Park on Friday, for the songs were new to me. Which was fine. They sounded great, despite their novelty. And in my woeful ignorance, I'd never realised that Larry Mullen was such a brilliant drummer: I mean, really, really brilliant. As a teenager, I endlessly played the old recordings of the great drummers of the big band era -- Gene Krupa, Louie Bellson and Buddy Rich most of all. Well, for the very first time since those distant teenage days, on Saturday evening I was captivated, enthralled, exhilarated by some truly magic syncopation. Steptoe and Son, with Kim Jong-il on vocals, would succeed as a rock band with a drummer like Larry Mullen.

Finally, I now understood why Bono has such a vast following. He is the consummate showman-musician, with unstoppable energy and boundless stage charisma.

Personally, I'd prefer if he lost the politics, but that's just me: most of the audience seemed to love it (this time with a few approving words for the 1916 Rising, which I could certainly have done without). But as a performer, he is in a class of his own.

Now, entirely by chance, I recently discovered on YouTube that he is a great admirer of the Roy Orbison song, 'The Crowd'. Listen. No one else in the entire world even knows that song. It flopped in the US. It got to number 40 for a single week in the UK. But it was the first 45 I ever bought, and I've never understood why no one else loved it as I do. Well, Bono does. So he can't be all that bad.

Adam Clayton and The Edge are Adam Clayton and The Edge. They have a classy, understated style, with fantastically rich riffs, and they don't try to compete with Bono. There's no reason to. He's almost nothing without their music, and they're almost nothing without him as singer. Which is the most important stone in an arch? There is none. The arch falls if any -- keystone, base or column -- is missing. U2 is the perfect five-stone arch: and on Saturday, that arch gave 83,000 long-standing fans, and a single new one, an absolutely brilliant, brilliant night.

Monday, July 27, 2009

More Reviews on U2 Dublin´s Nights

U2's refusal to stagnate blows away any weary familiarity

IT’S LIKE this: every four years, U2 return home from their travels, set up their inordinately large and mostly innovative tent, and sing for their supper. No more and no less, they are entertainers, a rock band of a certain mature age that have been schlepping around the globe for over 30 years.

You would think by this stage that we (by this, I mean the band’s die-hard fans, cynics, casual followers, staunchest critics, wry observers) would be weary of Adam Clayton’s studied stoicism, Edge’s adamant refusal to remove his skull cap, Larry’s cavalier, muscular way with a white T-shirt, Bono’s sincere humanistic nature. You would think that we would be tired of hearing, yet again, With or Without You, Where the Streets Have No Name, Sunday Bloody Sunday, Desire, Elevation and all the rest.

And you know what? Such is the nature of familiarity, we probably are fed up with U2. Yet still they continue to surprise and extend themselves. Cynics and arch critics of the band may start to yawn or laugh by this point ­ yes, we’re giving you permission – but there remains at the core of U2 an obvious if not obsessive necessity to weave change in and out of the fabric of their music and performance. Whether you’re a fan or not, after 30 years on the go this type of resistance to stagnate is beyond admirable.

Once you get over the impressive presence of the veined ‘Claw’ (which, due to the spatial dynamics of Croke Park, is more 270- than 360-degree), what you’re left with is just four blokes, an excellent sound system, some very large hi-tech screens, subtle and effective visuals and rock music that ranges from heritage to extraordinary.

The band bookend Friday night’s set with two of the best tracks from their, comparatively speaking, underperforming latest album, No Line On The Horizon: Breathe and Moment of Surrender . The title track, Get On Your Boots (the weakest single U2 has released to date) and Magnificent (aptly titled) follow, the latter picking up slack before belting into a triple whammy of Beautiful Day, Elevation and Desire. They follow this with a stripped down version of Stuck in a Moment You Can’t Get Out Of , wherein Edge strums acoustic guitar and Bono sings as if there’s 80 in the room, not 80,000. And then Bono and the crowd launch into a rugged rendition of The Auld Triangle , which is dedicated to Ronnie Drew. People, there was not a dry eye in the house.

These songs and more (including One , The End of the World, The Unforgettable Fire, City of Blinding Lights, Vertigo, Walk On, Sunday Bloody Sunday, Where the Streets have No Name , and Bad ) constitute a series of moments that result in a pin-sharp point of fact: there is no other rock band in the world capable of maintaining such a steady level of quality at such a high level of performance.

The downside to this is that we shall probably never again see U2 in venues small enough to see the whites of their eyes, a stance that seriously undermines their battle-cry ethos of ‘He Who Dares Wins’. On this particular grand, wham-bam-thank-you-maam scale, however – where four ordinary blokes perform in front of almost a quarter of a million people over three nights, where the music often matches the ambition, they are simply unbeatable.

Tony Clayton-Lea for The Irish Times


On stage in Dublin , Bono announced that Daw Aung San Suu Kyi is to be awarded Amnesty International's most prestigious honour - the 'Ambassador of Conscience' Award for 2009.

'As powerful a voice and as strong a leader in these times, as Dr. King and Nelson Mandela were in theirs... is Aung San Suu Kyi.
'She has been under house arrest in her native Burma for most of the last 20 years. Her crime is that if she was to participate in elections she would win.
'This week, the brutal force that has her incarcerated will decide in a mock trial if she will spend the next 5 years in a prison.
'I am proud to announce tonight...on the 27th of July in Dublin...that Amnesty International have chosen Aung San Suu Kyi as the recipient of their Ambassador of Conscience Award 2009.
Thank God for Amnesty International. May God keep Aung Sang Suu Kyi safe.'

On the twentieth anniversary of her arrest, Irene Khan, Secretary General of Amnesty, said she remained ' a symbol of hope, courage and undying defense of human rights, not only to the people of Myanamar but to people around the world.'

Add your own support to the release of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and Myanamar's Political Prisoners here.


New Video of "I'll Go Crazy If I Don't Go Crazy Tonight"

The second video for "I'll Go Crazy If I Don't Go Crazy Tonight" is the live version shot in Barcelona when the tour started. The starting point of the DVD of the 360° Tour?? Hope so!!!

After all they are 4 next friends...

Profile: Larry Mullen

Eamon Carr, journalist for the Irish Times set his mind and writing on the drummer of U2; many times forgotten behind his drum kit, never when you hear his distinctive beating in any of the band´s songs (least of all for millions of women who die for a glimpse of his lopsided smile)...

In the way that scientists monitor, say, plankton to assess the health of our oceans, long-term fans claim that Larry Mullen's demeanour is a reliable gauge to U2's musical form. Last night, to help confirm that the band is on a roll, I set up LarryCam. It was Larry Mullen's initiative that kickstarted U2 and it's said that in the lines on his face one can read the history of the band.

21.00 A lone figure in white T-shirt and dark trousers strides purposefully from Hill 16 towards a drum kit. This is Larry Mullen Jr going to work. He's lean. He's mean, in a positive way. And he's focused on the task at hand, providing the engine-room dynamics that will power this juggernaut on its important homecoming concert.

21.15 Larry is working up a sweat energetically driving a series of songs from the new album. Songs the fans are familiar with. Although he appears to grimace, Larry is in fact singing along to Get On Your Boots.

21.50 Larry disappears from stage. No panic. It's just to allow Bono and The Edge deliver an intimate version of Stuck In A Moment You Can't Get Out Of.

21.55 A wry, bemused look crosses Larry's face as Bono makes a pig's mickey of the Auld Triangle. It's a party after all!

22.15 Larry straps on an African djembe drum and takes it to the bridge. The one that leads to the audience. This is a good sign. He's in the groove. And going walkabout!

22.25 Dedicated to Burmese pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi, Walk On is marked by audience members wearing masks. Larry looks taut and serious, like Kirk Douglas in Spartacus.

22.50 As Larry powers the band into the home stretch he begins to smile.

23.00 Now he's singing along on the marvellous Moment of Surrender. It's been another spectacular evening's work by one of the world's finest rock drummers.

23.02 He can afford to smile as he throws his arm around Bono's shoulder. Despite sometimes having a lot to put up with, Larry remains the beating heart of a band at the peak of its powers. Happy as...

Eamon Carr for The Herald

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Triumphal in Dublin

Second night at Croke Park and the reviews are more than prositive...The Irish Times

Croke Park rocks: Bono and the band show their edge

FOR BONO the shows so far on U2’s 360° tour in Barcelona, Milan, Nice, Berlin and Amsterdam have been merely “warm ups for the main event”: a run of three shows in Croke Park starting last night.

Dublin yesterday became U2ville – radio was playing them back-to-back, in city-centre pubs U2 tribute bands were offering up their best ersatz effort and a small army of overseas travellers embarked on “U2 Walking Tours” of the city – taking in their old recording studio at Windmill Lane and their present one at Hanover Quay as well as their old stomping grounds of the Project Arts Centre and the Dandelion Market.

What struck most on the entry roads to Croke Park last night (a stadium with the finest media facilities know to mankind) were the multifarious hues of the fans – travelling Japanese groups mingled with excitable Argentinians while two women in burkas jointly carried a “Iraq loves U2” placard. The demographic make-up of the 80,000 crowd wasn’t lost on Bono who said from the stage: “I know there’s a lot of out-of-towners here tonight, that’s because they know the best place to see U2 live is right here in Dublin”.

Taking to the stage shortly before 9pm with a piercing sun still in the sky, the full technological bells and whistles of the much-vaunted “Claw” were lost somewhat in the glare. Due to the particular configuration of Croke Park, the 360° tour had to become the 270° tour for the night that was in it – with Hill 16 unavailable.

They gave it socks from the start. Acknowledging the stadium’s historical significance and its proximity to the Royal Canal, Bono dedicated a cover of “The Auld Triangle” to Ronnie Drew, noting the song “was the greatest sound, because it is the sound of home”.

There was a brief intermission early on for a public service announcement a la Bono. He went off on a self-help trip saying “Look at us Irish people – we are smart, sexy and undefeatable ... and there’s nothing we can’t do if we believe it ourselves”.

The music itself is familiar – it’s part of this country’s cultural soundtrack but even the “I can’t stand them but I never miss one of their live shows” contingent (ie the media guest list) were reaching for the superlatives: this was one of the band’s strongest ever live outings. An achingly poignant acoustic version of “Stuck In A Moment”; an evocative “Unforgettable Fire; a rough-hewn garage rock “Vertigo” and a Balearic Beat version of “I’ll Go Crazy” all put the gig into warp speed.

A tribute to Burmese leader Aung San Suu Kyi during “Walk On” saw 60-odd people march around the perimeter of the stage wearing the mask of the political prisoner – an affecting sight.

As darkness fell, the “Claw” crept into life. The biggest ever musical stage structure (at 164ft high it is double the size of the previous biggest ever stage – at one point descending so low it almost touched the artists’ heads.

U2 ended with a broody “With or Without You” and a sadly soulful “Moment Of Surrender” (the song of the night).

It was a sort of homecoming – and a type of triumph.

The Irish Independent...
The Herald...

Clip of the second night..."Unknown Caller" and let it rain...

Saturday, July 25, 2009

A Sort of Homecoming

U2 play all over the world and their fans are special everywhere they go, but Dublin, their hometown, is a different experience all together. As Edge said in the Dublin gigs are "not just another show."

"A lot of times when we do play Dublin, there is a kind of magic that occurs that just doesn't happen anywhere else. 'Metaphysical peaks' would be the only way to describe the atmosphere," he said.

And I think that this performance of "Moment of Surrender" last night at Croke Park says it all...magical...

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

2nd Night in Amsterdam

The second night in Amsterdam brought changes in the setlist: Elevation, Until the End of the World and Bad were played for the first time in the tour. I Still Haven´t Found...The Unforgettable Fire and Unknown Caller were left behind.

Bad-a U2 classic...

It´s amazing how this song still mesmerizes the audience after so many years of being created!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Amsterdam 20/07:Amazing rendering of "Ultraviolet"

U2's first of two concerts in Amsterdam. After being played at the immediately previous show in Berlin, Angel Of Harlem was done again . In A Little While re-appeared after missing three shows. It was followed by a brief space chat, the third of the tour . Moment Of Surrender was concluded by a snippet of 40.
The full setlist was:

  1. Breathe
  2. No Line On The Horizon
  3. Get On Your Boots
  4. Magnificent
  5. Beautiful Day / Blackbird (snippet)
  6. Mysterious Ways
  7. I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For / Movin' On Up (snippet)
  8. Angel Of Harlem / Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough (snippet)
  9. In A Little While
  10. Unknown Caller
  11. The Unforgettable Fire
  12. City Of Blinding Lights
  13. Vertigo
  14. Let's Dance (snippet) / Crazy Tonight
  15. Sunday Bloody Sunday
  16. Pride (In The Name Of Love)
  17. MLK
  18. Walk On / You'll Never Walk Alone (snippet)
  19. Where The Streets Have No Name / All You Need Is Love (snippet)
  20. One

  21. Encore(s):
  22. Ultra Violet (Light My Way)
  23. With Or Without You
  24. Moment of Surrender / 40 (snippet)

Monday, July 20, 2009

U2 & Irish Music Programme

U2 and The Ireland Funds announce today that they will finance a scheme to offer children and young people in Ireland the opportunity to learn a musical instrument and/or avail of vocal tuition. U2 will provide €5m to ensure the national rollout of the instrumental and vocal tuition elements on a phased basis to 2015. The Ireland Funds will begin a campaign to raise a further €2m. Music Network, a non-profit music services organisation will administer the scheme, which will be introduced nationwide on a phased basis from 2010-2015.

The scheme will support local education authorities throughout the country to engage music teachers to provide instrumental and vocal tuition to children and young people. The programme will be rolled out nationally and is based on two successful pilot schemes which have been running since 2004 by local Vocational Education Authorities in Donegal and Dublin.

The Edge, speaking on behalf of U2, says, 'Being around music at a young age was important for us and we were lucky to have it at school. We had been looking for some time for a way to get involved in an initiative in music education in Ireland. After talking to various people in Ireland about what to do, we came to the conclusion that the Music Network scheme is really well thought out and that we, in partnership with the Ireland Funds, should just get behind it.'

Loretta Brennan Glucksman, Chair of The American Ireland Fund says, 'Our goal is to stimulate philanthropy in Ireland and the scheme falls under two of our funding priorities - education and culture. We are thrilled to be part of a project which will bring the Music Network Scheme nationwide as it is a proven success and has wide-ranging support from Government as well as the music education establishment. We believe that the programme will make a huge contribution to music education in Ireland.'

The Minister for Education and Science, Batt O'Keeffe TD, says, 'I'm delighted that U2 and The Ireland Funds have agreed to join us as partners in progressing the music agenda in Ireland. We recognised the gaps in music education in 2001 when a feasibility study was commissioned to examine how a national system of publicly supported local music schools might be provided. The pilot schemes which Government has funded since 2004 will now provide the model to roll the scheme out nationally. We are very grateful for the support of U2 and The Ireland Funds for the programme over the next six years. It has the potential to create a true legacy for music education in Ireland.'

Deirdre McCrea, Chief Executive of Music Network says, 'The study that we carried out in 2003 identified serious gaps in Irish musical education and we have been working since then to advocate for a practical solution to address these gaps. The pilot schemes, run in Donegal and Dublin over the last four years with Department of Education and Science support, have demonstrated that our model is a viable one and we now look forward to rolling out the scheme successfully on a nationwide basis.'

As well as acting as co-funders, The Ireland Funds will administer the philanthropic gift.

Details of the rollout of the Music Education Scheme:
a. it will provide music teachers throughout the country, sometimes in fixed locations, sometimes operating on a peripatetic basis in a local area (not limited to county boundaries);
b. it will be rolled out on a phased basis, in a number of new locations each year, beginning in 2010; all kinds of musical performance will be served - classical, jazz, traditional and popular music;
c. it will be administered centrally by Music Network, which has a proven track record in running different music development initiatives (including , for example, a capital scheme to provide for instrument purchase) they will provide central services, coordination and quality assurance, and will be responsible for the governance of the scheme;
d. it will be offered on the basis of competitive tender: local interests (for example one or more local VECs and/or local authorities, local private music schools, parents groups etc.) will be invited to bid for a three-year subsidy to provide for the costs of teachers and local administration; they must show how they will generate matching resources locally, and how they will plan to make the scheme sustainable in the longer term;
e. local administrative and infrastructural resources (eg. classrooms, insurances etc), fees from participants and the non-exchequer funds provided by the donors respectively are each expected to make up one-third of the costs of delivering the scheme over the next five years.

Wim Wenders in Berlin´s Concert

The acoustic version of 'Stay (Far Away So Close)' was dedicated to the band's longtime friend, German film director Wim Wenders at Berlin´s concert.

The director has collaborated with the band for many years. As well as directing the 'Stay' video when it was released as single in 1993, he also directed Million Dollar Hotel, the film Bono co-wrote, which was released in 2000.

Ernst Wilhelm ("Wim") Wenders (born 14 August 1945, Düsseldorf) is a German film director, playwright, author, photographer and producer.
He has recieved several awards including the Golden Lion for The State of Things at the Venice Film Festival (1982), the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival (1984) for his movie Paris, Texas, and Best Direction for Wings of Desire in the 1987 Bavarian Film Awards and the 1987 Cannes Film Festival. Wenders was awarded honorary doctorates at the Sorbonne in Paris in 1989 and at the Université Catholique de Louvain, Belgium in 2005. In 1993 he again won the Bavarian Film Awards for Best Director.He was awarded the Leopard of Honour at the Locarno International Film Festival in 2005.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Want to Play with U2??

First night in Berlin, the setlist has a new song: an acoustic version of a song that was born there :Stay (Faraway So Close) and the performance of Angel of Harlem, includes new musicians: some fans from Czech Republic come to the stage to play with them!! Arent´t they lucky?

Setlist Berlin 18 th July:
1. Breathe
2. No Line On The Horizon
3. Get On Your Boots
4. Magnificent
5. Beautiful Day / Here Comes The Sun
6. Mysterious Ways
7. I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For
8. Angel Of Harlem
9. Stay (Faraway, So Close!)
10. Unknown Caller
11. The Unforgettable Fire
12. City Of Blinding Lights
13. Vertigo / She Loves You
14. Let’s Dance / Crazy Tonight
15. Sunday Bloody Sunday
16. Pride (In The Name Of Love)
17. MLK
18. Walk On
19. Where The Streets Have No Name / All You Need Is Love
20. One
21. Ultraviolet (Light My Way)
22. With Or Without You
23. Happy Birthday a Nelson Mandela
24. Moment of Surrender

Director and friend Win Wenders was in the stadium who was the one wanted a song for his film "Faraway So Close" and the band produced Stay (Faraway So Close).
It was also Mandela´s birthday (91) and Bono asked the crowd to sing Happy Birthday to the peace fighter and the entire stadium erupting in a rousing chorus which they probably heard in South Africa.
During Moment of Surrender, Bono paid special thanks to the magnificent 360 touring crew and added a tribute to those involved in the tragic accident on the Madonna tour in Marseilles earlier in the week. 'This goes out to the Madonna crew.. and to the good lady as well.'

So this tour is getting special with every single night...what else is going to surprise us?

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Au Revoir Nice!!

On their way to Berlin and the memory of the trabants and the recording of Achtung Baby, only a short time after the Berlin Wall fell down!!

360° Tour in Twitter

Rolling Stone magazine reports on his new online issue that U2 have started posting photos of the tour on Twitter.

"U2 have joined the masses on Twitter, establishing @U2_360Tour to give fans a look at life on the road and backstage on their 360 Tour, which is currently in Europe. So far, the Twitter feed has only hosted photos from the band but no text, so Bono hasn’t had to confine his thoughts to 140 characters just yet. Judging by the Twitter timeline, the photos were taken as the band traveled from Paris, having played two nights at the Stade De France, to Nice, where U2 were set to play Parc des Sports Charles Ehrmann last night, July 15th. A press release indicates that the bandmembers are snapping the photos themselves."

U2_360Tour’s first Tweet was an out-of-focus self-portrait of guitarist the Edge. From there, the band posted a series of pictures showing the (literally) red carpet treatment they receive en route to the airport. There are out-of-focus shots of women dragging luggage, off-duty traffic cops, giant Ferris wheels, a dish full of pastries and a picture of what appears to be all of Edge’s onstage jewelry. The band hasn’t posted any live performance shots."

Edge´s house in Eze, France???

Share photos on twitter with Twitpic

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Nice Hold on Tight!!

First pics of today in Nice...thanks to


  1. Breathe
  2. No Line On The Horizon
  3. Get On Your Boots
  4. Magnificent
  5. Beautiful Day
  6. Mysterious Ways
  7. I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For + Stand By Me (fragment)
  8. Desire + Billie Jean (fragment) + Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough (fragment)
  9. Stuck In A Moment You Can't Get Out Of
  10. Unknown Caller
  11. The Unforgettable Fire
  12. City Of Blinding Lights
  13. Vertigo
  14. Let's Dance (fragment) + I'll Go Crazy If I Don't Go Crazy Tonight (Redanka Mix)
  15. Sunday Bloody Sunday
  16. Pride (In The Name Of Love)
  17. MLK
  18. Walk On + You'll Never Walk Alone (fragment)
  19. Where The Streets Have No Name
  20. One
  21. Ultraviolet (Light My Way)
  22. With Or Without You
  23. Moment Of Surrender
"The Claw" on the road...thanks to U2.start:

"The Claw" being built in the Olympic Stadium,Berlin, thanks to

A little bit more of Paris...

While we wait for news about today´s show in Nice, here are a couple of clips of the last night in Paris.

Snippets of an interview with the French TV with the Kaiser Chiefs sounding behind...


The debut of "Mysterious Ways" in the 360° Tour...

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Merci Paris!

Last Sunday was the last gig in Paris and the show as spectacular, improvign with each performance.Now the band is getting ready for playing in Nice tomorrow. has posted what it was like in the Stade de France...

Walking to the a ceremony...


"Breathe" growing in huge proportions as the concert opener...


Leaving stage...


Monday, July 13, 2009

Mysterious Ways in Paris

Mysterious ways makes its debut in the second night in Paris. They had already incorporated "Angel of Harlem/Desire" and "Stuck in a moment (you can´t get out of)" which show the band is ready to change and add songs to the setlist.

'Thank you for giving us a chance to build this space station, you paid for it, hope you like it. ' explained Bono. 'We think it's going to take us to all kinds of places but most of all its job is to get us close to you. That's what the 360 experiment is all about...'

Adam is making the giant circumference of this stage his own. He did an entire circuit during Beautiful Day and from the moment he and Edge, crossed the bridges simultaneously onto the b-stage, it felt like the band spent more time reaching out to all parts of the audience. Mr Clayton loose on stage, a sight to be seen!!!!

No Line On The Horizon
Get On Your Boots
Beautiful Day
Mysterious Ways
I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For
Angel of Harlem
Stuck In A Moment You Can't Get out Of
Unknown Caller
Unforgettable Fire
City of Blinding LIghts
I'll Go Crazy (Remix)
Sunday Bloody Sunday
Pride (In The Name of Love)
Walk On
Where The Streets Have No Name
With Or Without You
Moment of Surrender

Sunday, July 12, 2009

First Parisian Night

Paris, Stade de France, 11 th July.

Five shows in and that's all the signal that 90,000 Parisians need to know that the U2 space station is in orbit and the fifth show of the tour is about to begin. The distinctive figure of Larry Mullen Jnr walks along the central platform of the stage and as he starts playing Edge appears from his right, Adam from his left. Bono arrives last, coming 'from a long line of traveling sales people on my mothers side.'

There were not very many changes in the setlist:

1. Breathe
2. No Line On The Horizon
3. Get On Your Boots
4. Magnificent
5. Beautiful Day / Blackbird (snippet)
6. I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For / Movin' On Up (snippet)
7. Desire / Billie Jean (snippet) / Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough (snippet)
8. In A Little While
9. Unknown Caller
10. The Unforgettable Fire
11. City Of Blinding Lights
12. Vertigo
13. Crazy Tonight
14. Sunday Bloody Sunday
15. Pride (In The Name Of Love)
16. MLK
17. Walk On / You'll Never Walk Alone (snippet)
18. Where The Streets Have No Name / All You Need Is Love (snippet)
19. One

20. Ultra Violet (Light My Way)
21. With Or Without You / Rain (snippet)
22. Moment of Surrender

"Thank you for coming out and thank you for giving us a great life,' Bono explains. 'Thank you for giving us the chance to build this madness, this space station.' Times are tough in France like every place in the world, but 'we believe you are tough enough, smart enough, creative enough and stubborn enough to make the future even better than the past.'
The drum riser takes a spin during 'Still Haven't Found' and for a while each member of the band is playing to a different quarter of the stadium. "Desire"(and not "Angel of Harlem" as in the previous shows) features snatches of Michael Jackson before Bono reveals that 'we have somebody with us tonight who is about to be the first clown in space.' "In A Little While" goes out to Guy Laliberte, founder of Cirque de Soleil, who is set to join the International Space Station later this year.

Edge wants to know if space food is any good. ('Nourishing... but not like mom's home-cooked meals.' ) Adam has noticed that they have iPods and has been wondering if they have 'bass in space'. In fact the astronauts were listening to U2 over dinner just the day before. (The right answer.) The space travellers are wished bon voyage and Unknown Caller takes on another spin with its line about being 'on the edge of the known universe where I wanted to be.'

So it seems it was another blast!!!!! But by now, who would doubt it??

Friday, July 10, 2009

Bono´s New Column in the New York Times

Following the series of columns Bono has been writing for The New York Times, his new one is, as expected, related to Mr Barack Obama´s visit to Ghana.
The name of it "Rebranding Africa" summarises what he wants to say:

Soon, Air Force One will touch down in Accra, Ghana; Africans will be welcoming the first African-American president. Press coverage on the continent is placing equal weight on both sides of the hyphen. And we thought it was big when President Kennedy visited Ireland in 1963. (It was big, though I was small. Where I come from, J.F.K. is remembered as a local boy made very, very good.) But President Obama’s African-ness is only part (a thrilling part) of the story today. Cable news may think it’s all about him — but my guess is that he doesn’t. If he was in it for a sentimental journey he’d have gone to Kenya, chased down some of those dreams from his father. He’s made a different choice, and he’s been quite straight about the reason. Despite Kenya’s unspeakable beauty and its recent victories against the anopheles mosquito, the country’s still-stinging corruption and political unrest confirms too many of the headlines we in the West read about Africa. Ghana confounds them. Not defiantly or angrily, but in that cool, offhand Ghanaian way. This is a country whose music of choice is jazz; a country that long ago invented a genre called highlife that spread across Africa — and, more recently, hiplife, which is what happens when hip-hop meets reggaetón meets rhythm and blues meets Ghanaian melody, if you’re keeping track (and you really should be). On a visit there, I met the minister for tourism and pitched the idea of marketing the country as the “birthplace of cool.” (Just think, the music of Miles, the conversation of Kofi.) He demurred ... too cool, I guess. Quietly, modestly — but also heroically — Ghana’s going about the business of rebranding a continent. New face of America, meet the new face of Africa. Ghana is well governed. After a close election, power changed hands peacefully. Civil society is becoming stronger. The country’s economy was growing at a good clip even before oil was found off the coast a few years ago. Though it has been a little battered by the global economic meltdown, Ghana appears to be weathering the storm. I don’t normally give investment tips — sound the alarm at Times headquarters — but here is one: buy Ghanaian. So it’s not a coincidence that Ghana’s making steady progress toward achieving the Millennium Development Goals. Right now it’s one of the few African nations that has a shot at getting there by 2015. No one’s leaked me a copy of the president’s speech in Ghana, but it’s pretty clear he’s going to focus not on the problems that afflict the continent but on the opportunities of an Africa on the rise. If that’s what he does, the biggest cheers will come from members of the growing African middle class, who are fed up with being patronized and hearing the song of their majestic continent in a minor key. I’ve played that tune. I’ve talked of tragedy, of emergency. And it is an emergency when almost 2,000 children in Africa a day die of a mosquito bite; this kind of hemorrhaging of human capital is not something we can accept as normal. But as the example of Ghana makes clear, that’s only one chord. Amid poverty and disease are opportunities for investment and growth — investment and growth that won’t eliminate overnight the need for assistance, much as we and Africans yearn for it to end, but that in time can build roads, schools and power grids and propel commerce to the point where aid is replaced by trade pacts, business deals and home-grown income. President Obama can hasten that day. He knows change won’t come easily. Corruption stalks Africa’s reformers. “If you fight corruption, it fights you back,” a former Nigerian anti-corruption official has said. From his bully pulpit, the president can take aim at the bullies. Without accountability — no opportunity. If that’s not a maxim, it ought to be. It’s a truism, anyway. The work of the American government’s Millennium Challenge Corporation is founded on that principle, even if it doesn’t put it that bluntly. United States aid dollars increasingly go to countries that use them and don’t blow them. Ghana is one. There’s a growing number of others. That’s thanks to Africans like John Githongo, the former anticorruption chief of Kenya — a hero of mine who is pioneering a new brand of bottom-up accountability. Efforts like his, which are taking place across the continent, deserve more support. The presidential kind. Then there’s Nigeria’s moral and financial fist — Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, a managing director of the World Bank and the country’s former finance minister — who is on a quest to help African countries recover stolen assets looted by corrupt officials. And the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, which is helping countries like Ghana clean up the oil, gas and mining business, to make sure that profits don’t wind up in the hands of kleptocrats. Presidential attention would be a shot in the arm for these efforts — an infusion of moral and political amino acids that, by the way, will make aid dollars go further. That should be welcome news to the Group of 8 leaders gathered in Italy to whom Mr. Obama bids a Hawaii-via-Chicago-inflected “arrivederci,” as he leaves for Africa. This week’s summit meeting looks as if it will yield some welcome new G-8 promises on agriculture. (So far, new money: America. Old money: everyone else.) This is the good news that President Obama will bring from Europe to Ghana. The not-so-good news — that countries like Italy and France are not meeting their Africa commitments — makes the president’s visit all the more essential. The United States is one of the countries on track to keep its promises, and Mr. Obama has already said he’ll more than build on the impressive Bush legacy. President Obama plans to return to Africa for the World Cup in 2010. Between now and then he’s got the chance to lead others in building — from the bottom up — on the successes of recent efforts within Africa and to learn from the failures. There’s been plenty of both. We’ve witnessed the good, the bad and the ugly in our fraught relationship with this dynamic continent. The president can facilitate the new, the fresh and the different. Many existing promises are expiring in 2010, some of old age and others of chronic neglect. New promises from usual and unusual partners, from the G-8 to the G-20, need to be made — and this time kept. If more African nations (not just Ghana) are going to meet the millennium goals, they are going to need smart partners in business and development. That’s Smart as in sustainable, measurable, accountable, responsive and transparent. Africa is not just Barack Obama’s homeland. It’s ours, too. The birthplace of humanity. Wherever our journeys have taken us, they all began there. The word Desmond Tutu uses is “ubuntu”: I am because we are. As he says, until we accept and appreciate this we cannot be fully whole. Could it be that all Americans are, in that sense, African-Americans?

Bono Talks about Italian Leader

"I don´t wanna be a pain in the ass..." Bono starts the song One in the Italian gig with those words dedicated to controversial Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.

U2’s visit to Italy coincided with the G8 meeting of world leaders, and Bono seized the moment to scold controversial Italian leader Silvio Berlusconi for not living up to previous promises concerning Africa. Bono praised Italy but not its leader: “Italians have many gifts to the world, modern physics, the Renaissance, the piano, the gift of singing from Pavarotti to Puccini. You have so many gifts. In the next few days your leader will have to decide where he stands on the gift of life that lives beyond these shores.”

Berlusconi promised relief for poor people that he didn´t keep and Bono asked the audience to make themselves hear, and fostered them to join One.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

The Vibe of the Second Italian Night

Italy is at the centre of global politics this week, the leaders of the Group of 8 industrialised countries are there to talk about the credit crunch, climate change and how we can generally all get on a little better. Great tonight to see Italians remembering Aung San Suu Kyi by wearing her mask for Walk On: 'Right now my heart's with a woman. She has been under house arrest for many years, her name is Aung San Suu Kyi ... for the people of Burma we send a message of love.'
The second night in Milan was passionate, loud and operatic; just like the Italians!!! Everything was great! the vibe in Magnificent; the Arabic introduction to Beautiful Day; the snatches of 'Billie Jean' and 'Don't Stop Till You Get Enough' in Desire; the first outing for 'Stuck In A Moment You Can't Get Out Of' and a reminder of the north African birdsong which opens Unknown Caller. 'This is a song we wrote in a small hotel in Morocco... you can hear these birds at the start of the song.'


  1. Breathe
  2. No Line on the Horizon [ Video ]
  3. Get On Your Boots
  4. Magnificent
  5. Beautiful Day – Here comes the sun [ Video ]
  6. I still haven’t found What I’m Looking For- Moving on up
  7. Desire – Billie Jean – Don’t stop til you get enough
  8. Stuck in a moment… [ Video ]
  9. Electrical Storm [ Video]
  10. Unknown Caller
  11. The Unforgettable Fire
  12. City of Blinding Lights
  13. Vertigo
  14. I’ll go crazy… (remix) [ Video ]
  15. Sunday Bloody Sunday – Get up, stand up
  16. Pride (In the name of love)
  17. MLK
  18. Walk On – You’ll never walk alone
  19. Where the streets have no name [ Video ]
  20. One [ Video ]
  21. Ultraviolet (Light My Way)
  22. With or Without You [ Video ]
  23. Moment of Surrender [ Video ]

As the shows go on , I can feel that the show opener is a great choice followed by 4 new songs!!! Daring but effective....very U2!!!!
There are rumours that the intro used in the show belongs to the new album to come "Songs of Ascent" and is called "Kingdom".Here are some snippets of the lyrics...


Sing yourself on down the street
Sing yourself right off your feet
Sing yourself away from victory and from defeat

Sing yourself with fife and drum
Sing yourself to overcome
The thought that someone’s lost and someone else has won Martin Stieglmayer)

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

First U2 Italian Night

Another incredible night in the U2 360° Tour, this time in San Siro,Milan,Italy. highlights...

The Space Ship felt like it was taller than the San Siro itself tonight. The discoball on top was actually higher than the roof of the stadium.

As the band arrived on stage fans on the floor gave them a distinctive and colourful welcome - holding up orange, green and white balloons. The audience was so loud by 'No Line', it was hard to make out what Bono was saying.

'How do you like our Space Junk ? We think it's somewhere between a spaceship and a cactus flower...'

Bono Introduces Angel of Harlem as 'a song for Billie Holiday, tonight we dedicate it to Michael Jackson.' and ends it segueing into 'man in the mirror' before slipping into 'Stand by Me'.

Feels like the band are still working out how to live on the huge new stage. Still experimenting with how to connect with everyone in 360. Adam spent all of Beautiful Day out on the b-stage runway. Larry looks to be enjoying his nightly lap of honour with the djembe for 'Crazy'

At the beginning of Party Girl, Bono asks the audience to welcome his daughter Eve on stage, 'not the shy one in the family'. 'Wanna sing for my little girl Eve.' he explains. 'It's her birthday today. She's no longer a little girl but older and a beauty.' A stadium join the band in singing Eve happy birthday and Larry does the honours on the champagne, pouring glasses for father and daughter.

Plenty of famous faces at the show tonight including actors Woody Harrelson and Gael Garcia Bernal, designers Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana and Nicoletta Mantovani, the widow Luciano Pavarotti.

The leaders of the G8 meet in Italy this week, which offered a timely way into One tonight: 'It is well known that I have had some differences with your prime minister over promises that were made and not kept to the world's poor. Italians have given so many gifts to the world... modern physics.. the renaissance.. the piano... the gift of song... from Puccini to Luciano Pavarotti to Jovanotti. In the next few days, at the G8, your leader will decide where he stands on the gift of life for people far beyond your shores. If you think he should do what he promised for the poorest and most vunerable in Africa, you need to let him know because he is not Increasing aid as he said he would. He is slashing it. Do you think he should do what he promised? He still can. Tomorrow. Thursday. Friday. We'll be waiting to see if he does. I write songs... Berlusconi gets to write history... it's not too late for his chapter to end with dignity... I want to dedicate this song for him... it's called ONE.'

The setlist was a tad different from the Barcelona ones:

No Line On The Horizon
Get On Your Boots
Beautiful Day
I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For
Angel of Harlem
Party Girl
In A Little While
Unknown Caller
Unforgettable Fire
City of Blinding LIghts Vertigo
I'll Go Crazy (Remix)
Sunday Bloody Sunday
Pride (In The Name of Love)
Walk On
Where The Streets Have No Name
With Or Without You
Moment of Surrender

Some vids:

City of Blinding Lights

Party Girl with Eve for her b´day