Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Birthday, Larry!!!

Today Mr Larry Mullen Jr is 49!!! This year he has proved that not only is he an excellent drummer but a very versatile man!!!

Congrats, Larry and hope you have a great day with family and friends!!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Forbes: 30 inspiring female role models in world

ForbesWoman has released a list of 30 utterly inspiring female role models in world All the chosen ones are new and inspiring women from all walks of life who amaze the whole world with their courage, determination, passion and unique perspectives.
Following are some of them:
1. Ali Hewson, activist

2. Angelina Jolie, actress and humanitarian
3. Arundhati Roy, novelist and activist
4. Betty White, comedian
5. Condoleezza Rice, politician
6. Danica Patrick, race car driver
7. Diane Von Furstenberg, fashion designer
8. Hillary Clinton, Secretary of State
9. Maria Shriver,California’s first lady, journalist, activist
10. Indra Nooyi, CEO of PepsiCo
11. J.K. Rowling, novelist
12. Katie Couric, TV news anchor
13. Lauren Hutton, model and actress
14. Elizabeth Glaser ,Founder, Pediatric AIDS Foundation
15. Laura Ling and Euna Lee, Journalists
16. Maya Angelou, Poet
17. Melinda Gates, Philanthropist
18 Michelle Obama, First lady
19.Mother Teresa, Saint
20. Queen Noor,Dowager Queen of Jordan

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Wide Awake in Europe

Three-song release part of Black Friday push

U2 will issue a limited edition three-track live EP, "Wide Awake in Europe," including a previously unreleased song, as an exclusive item for independent record stores on Nov. 26.

Top-selling Irish band's piece will be the key title for "Back to Black Friday," an indie retail event mounted by the organizers of the annual Record Store Day. Nearly 1,400 stores participated in RSD in April this year.

Promotion is designed to build traffic at indie outlets on the Friday following Thanksgiving, the day Christmas shoppers typically crowd mass merchants and mall chain stores.

Limited to 5,000 copies, U2's 12-inch vinyl release will include a version of the concert favorite "Mercy," recorded live in Brussels on Sept. 21. Set will also feature "I'll Go Crazy If I Don't Go Crazy Tonight" (cut in Dublin in July 2009) and "Moment of Surrender" (captured in September in Paris).

Possible cover according to Vintage Vinyl

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

U2 Discuss Their Latest Tour


An article that appears in the Australian The Age:

The idea for U2's latest tour came at the end of the band's last visit to Australia, in 2006.
The idea for U2 360° came at the end of the band's last visit to Australia, in 2006.
''Bono walked into a meeting and asked if he could play in the round next time,'' production manager Jake Berry recalls. ''I said, 'Of course you can.'''
Designer Willie Williams, who has worked with U2 since 1982, set to work with architect Mark Fisher. ''I didn't expect to have such a concrete idea. But an idea dropped into my head about the 360° concept.''
He pitched an idea for a stage based on the iconic tower at Los Angeles airport. ''The band loved it,'' Williams says. ''They're still ambitious and always want to advance the form in some way.''
Williams describes the show as the third in a trilogy that follows his co-creations Zoo TV and PopMart.
''Those two shows were ground-breaking in advancing the form,'' he says. ''History has turned Zoo TV into something magical. PopMart had the first large LED screens the planet had seen. It seems mad now because it's standard practice for rock shows. After that, the floodgates opened.''
The team spent two years working on the logistics of 360°. The tour would require an investment of about $150 million to become feasible - a monster gamble for any rock band. Still, it paid off; the tour grossed $311 million in 2009.
Throughout the tour, there are three stages, or ''claws'', in motion. The first is being shipped to Auckland. The remaining video, lighting and automation come from the six 747s on their way to Australia.
''It's very difficult to take a show like this to Australia and make it pay,'' Berry says.
So large is the show, the crew have had to dramatically remodel venues around the world. In Barcelona, the tiny cobbled roads outside the stadium made it impossible to load in the equipment. Berry and his team got permission to asphalt the road. In Dallas's Cowboys Stadium, existing video screens - including the world's largest - were moved to accommodate the stage. Many soccer stadiums have required new grass lawns.
''We have dug out tunnels to get trucks and cranes in the buildings,'' he says. ''We've spent some money.''
Due to the scale of the show, U2 have purchased carbon offsets but Berry concedes a tour this size cannot have a clear eco-conscience.
''Carbon offsets were very high on our list,'' he says. ''We're doing as best as we can with it. With something this large, it's impossible to be 100 per cent.''

Monday, October 25, 2010

How We Met: Adam Clayton & Michael Hoppen

Clayton  says that Hoppen 'doesn't just sell to you, he teaches you how to look and really see things'

"Away from the music-business star system, you find more measured people to be around' 

Interviews by Hugh Montgomery

Michael Hoppen, 53, is one of the UK's leading photography dealers, having exhibited and sold the works of artists including Diane Arbus and Henri Cartier-Bresson. He has been the director of Chelsea's Michael Hoppen Gallery since 1993. He lives in west London.

I first met Adam around 10 years ago. We had a show of Jacques Henri Lartigue, one of the great French photographers: Adam purchased a wonderful picture by him, which shows the 20th century appearing in the shape of a car on the left and the 19th century disappearing in the shape of a horse and carriage on the right. It's an important moment in photographic history, and it was quite surprising that he came in and knew exactly what he wanted.
We didn't really meet for a number of years after that, but he reappeared on the scene when we started specialising in Japanese photography. He has been to Japan many times with U2, and had a fascination in the images and the history behind them, and has built up a collection of post-war Japanese photography. We get some people who come in and say, "I want a photograph about this size," which makes my heart sink, but Adam is drawn to specific images.
Are we similar? He'd probably say I was tone-deaf, but the most important thing that we share is a passion for creativity.
We never really talk about music. I like U2 as a band, but I gravitate more towards jazz. When we have social time together, we'll go to galleries or museums. And we always email each other about things we've seen and have found interesting, or I'll call him and say, "If you're in New York, you should go and see such and such an artist."
I most admire his diligence: he's not a dilettante or buying pictures as it's trendy. You must remember U2 have worked with some incredibly talented artists such as [the photographer] Anton Corbijn. In fact, we had an exhibition called 22, which was 22 pictures of U2 over 22 years by Corbijn. That shows the mettle of both Adam and the band: where others would chop and change who they work with according to fashion, there's a level of consistency there.
My favourite memory of Adam is when he saw the work of Shomei Tomatsu for the first time, and, like me, just said, "This guy's unbelievable." It's tremendous when someone you respect sees the same thing in a work that you do. You don't even need to say that much: that's the art of great art.
Adam Clayton, 50, is the bassist for the Irish rock band U2, with whom he has released 12 studio albums and sold more than 150 million records worldwide. He lives in Ireland and France
The first I heard about Michael was through [the fashion designer] John Rocha. John had recommended Michael to me as the go-to guy for photography. I'd started collecting some pieces in the early 1990s, when I was living in New York: Robert Mapplethorpe, Diane Arbus, Man Ray. I was really just dipping my toe in the water, and I stopped for a long time after that. Then my friend Naomi Campbell gave me this Lartigue photograph and, as it happened, Michael was having a Lartigue show at the same time, so I went to it, and connected with him immediately.
What marks Michael out as a dealer is his passion: he collects as much as his clients. The art market was very different before the mid-1980s: then, art was all about passion, whereas now it's become a commodity. In that way, I think Michael is very much rooted in the old-school. He doesn't just sell to you, he informs you. He can teach you how to look and really see things. If I'm in London and have time off, usually on a Saturday, I'll give him a call and see what [exhibition] he has on, and what usually starts out as a 45-minute visit turns into a couple of hours.
There are two types of collector, I think. There are those who are quite academic, and get into the archaeology of finding the earliest example of a particular idea. Then there are those interested in what's new. I'm in the latter category, probably as I have a great interest in popular culture. That's where Michael is great: he puts an awful lot of stuff under my nose, such as Japanese photography. My interest in that came out of a feeling of boredom. I felt the big American photographers – the Walker Evans, the Ansell Adams, the Irving Penns – were over-exposed, that they had colonised our minds in terms of visual imagery. Also with U2, our artistry has always been bound up with the mythology of America, and I had grown tired of it. So when Michael said, "Why don't you look at what's going on in Japan? They're very undervalued, but doing very high-quality things," it was refreshing.
Michael is much more open-minded than I am. He lets everything in, which is admirable, while I edit quite a lot simply.
I'm sure Michael listens to music, but he's not interested in my opinion of it and that's fair enough – he's not interested in what I had for breakfast either. In the music business, there's a big star system and a degree of drama and glamour. Once you get away from that, you find much more measured people and I prefer to be around that. That's what I find in the art world, and that's what I find in Michael.
The first European show of the US photographer Robert Bergman's colour portraits is at the Michael Hoppen Gallery, 3 Jubilee Place, London SW3 (michael until 27 November 

Killing Bono: Official Trailer

The film about the journey of "not making it," as it was called has finally launched an official trailer. As it was warned this is not a U2 movie. McCormick joked, "I'm going to be immortalized now as a loser."
It promises to be very interesting and really a lot of fun.
Watch the official trailer   here or at

Fans can follow movie updates and watch behind-the-scenes footage on The Official Killing Bono Blog.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Return To South Africa

'The show will look amazing in South Africa ...' The band has not played in  South Africa since 1997. caught up with U2's manager Paul McGuinness and 360° Tour Manager Jake Berry ahead of the announcement that the band are returning to South Africa.  
Click here for an anticipation of what it would be like in SA...U2 > News > Return To South Africa

Friday, October 22, 2010

Gabrielle's Angel Foundation for Cancer Research Angel Ball 2010

Edge and Morleigh at the Angel Ball
Gabrielle's Angel Foundation for Cancer Research Angel Ball 2010 at Cirpriani Wall Street in New York on October 21, 2010.
Photo coverage: 

With Sam Moore

Edge playing a Gibson Music Rising Les Paul    

Madonna to visit Malawi with Bono

Pop diva Madonna is planning to return to Malawi next week in the company of fellow star Bono.

The material Girl makes it a point to visiit the southern African state at least twice a year to supervise her 9m GBP Raising Malawi Academy for Girls as well as visit the six orphanages she is  funding.

 A source close to Madonna's initiatives said while last time she was in the company of UN economist Professor Jeofrey Sachs, this time around she cames with Irish Band U2 leader and superstar Bono.

'Bono will join Madonna in Malawi,' said the source.

Bono has previously visited Malawi. In January 2002 the star joined the then Harvard University development economist Prof. Jeffrey Sachs to lobby southern African leaders to use debt relief to fight poverty and AIDS.
'Bono is a big admirer of Madonna's work in Malawi.

This time he wants to join Madonna to Malawi to see what Madonna is doing.' 

Madonna adopted two children from the country.

'He wants to visit all the dusty villages that Madonna goes to. He complains that the first time he came here in 2002 he was only taken to the cities of Blantyre and Lilongwe,' said the Raising Malawi source.

On the visit Madonna is also planning a family reunion for her adopted children with their biological parents.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Bono tells they just want to be back on the airwaves

Progress killed the radio stars  by Andrew Murfett
U2 Bono.
Bono. Photo: Getty

"Being successful is a lot easier than being relevant" ... 
U2 remain the world's biggest rock band but Bono tells Andrew Murfett they just want to be back on the airwaves.
U2 WANT to get back on the radio. While the 5 million sales of their 12th album, last year's No Line on the Horizon, is nothing to sniff at, and the album earned the band their best reviews, it failed to generate what their luminous frontman Bono deems the key element of pop — a hit single.
In December, his band will bring the ludicrously ambitious U2 360° Tour — the largest rock show of all time — to Australia.
The numbers behind the show are mind-boggling. The tour costs about $750,000 a day to run; its stage, which weighs 390 tonnes, requires two 50-tonne cranes, 180 trucks and six chartered cargo-only 747s to transport it.
U2 remain the world?s biggest rock band  but Bono says they just want to be back on the airwaves.
U2 remain the world´s biggest rock band but Bono says they just want to be back on the airwaves.
Yet the show's aim — to create an intimate relationship between the band and 70,000-90,000 people each night — is regularly achieved.
U2 are not men to rest on their laurels. Even as they stand midway through a world tour that will undoubtedly become the highest-grossing to date when it concludes next year, they are looking forward.
They have spent much of this year working on an album produced by Danger Mouse, the alias for American production ace Brian Burton (Gnarls Barkley, Gorillaz).
Due early next year, it will be preceded by a single in December.
"We have about 12 songs with Danger Mouse," Bono says. "It's the album we'll likely put out next because it's just happening so easily."
The singer adds that, in a stream of creativity, U2 are working on two other projects.
The first is a club-inspired album with Black Eyed Peas rapper, French DJ superstar David Guetta and Lady Gaga collaborator RedOne. Also,
Bono and guitarist The Edge are attempting to sell their bandmates, bassist Adam Clayton and drummer Larry Mullen jnr, the concept of a U2 album based on the 20 songs the two have written for a Spider-man musical that opens on Broadway next month.
"We're experimenting to discover different sides to us," Bono says. "And I think we're at one of those moments. We're fighting for relevance. Being successful is a lot easier than being relevant.
"We may be about to do our best-ever album or we may be about to be irrelevant."
He pauses to consider that rather weighty statement.
"That's how I woke up feeling this morning," he says.
Tellingly, for the first time in their career, the group have been channelling this productivity into their live show, regularly incorporating six unreleased tracks into the show's set list.
The show itself is a sight to behold. The much-talked-about "claw", the 50-metre-high, four-legged colossus that houses the circular stage, runway, speakers, lights and screen, makes the stadium feel smaller.
It succeeds, too, in amplifying the energy of the audience. The claw throws your perspective of the stadium. The sheer scale and proportion mean there is nothing between band and audience; they are surrounded.
It deftly crosses a line between rock show and football match.
Naturally, the show has its high-minded moments — Desmond Tutu appears — but as the hits One, Where the Streets Have No Name, Vertigo, With or Without You are all rolled out, there is also playfulness.
Among the most satisfying moment is watching the entrance of these four best mates, whose friendship has survived more than 30 years playing together.
With the house lights on and soundtracked by David Bowie's Space Oddity, the quartet walk unaccompanied through the crowd to reach the stage. It's a knowing nod of gratitude to fans, an unspoken acknowledgement that they have stuck tight for so long.
"It's well known that if the four members of U2 walk on stage, most people will get hairs standing on the back of their neck as an involuntary action," Bono says. "Less well known is that [it] happens to us as well. The four members of the band walking on mean the molecules start vibrating at a different rate. It's really bizarre."
We're standing in the bowels of Rome's Olympic Stadium. The band arrived at the venue three hours earlier, travelling in a presidential-style motorcade through the city — think blaring sirens and police choppers — after their tour plane landed late at Rome airport.
While not exactly lanky, in person the man born as Paul Hewson is not as short as many believe (178 centimetres, to be exact) and although the glasses remain on, his heavily freckled, wrinkle-free visage belies his 50 years.
The voice is raspy and although unfailingly polite, he cannot mask the nervous energy of a man minutes away from entertaining 80,000 Italians.
With Rome the band's final date until they reach Auckland on November 26 (and Australia on December 1), he is clearly relieved to complete a gruelling European tour.
"It's required a great concentration in energy to do these shows," he admits. "There was a feeling going into this tour that I would lose my physicality. But I don't think I did."
Yes, Bono does feel mortal, vulnerable. Usually, he quietly discloses, it's if somebody close to him passes away. So this was different.
His problems began in New York on May 11, the day after his 50th birthday. In training for 16 North American stadium gigs and a career-defining slot at Glastonbury, he slipped a disc in his back that punctured a ligament and broke into two pieces.
"I was walking around saying I could handle it but it turns out I was in grave danger," he says. "Those little bits that had broken off were starting to sever nerves in my spinal canal. I was losing the ability to walk."
He had been walking with a cane for several days before an MRI revealed the extent of the injury. He flew to Munich for emergency surgery, where his physician told him there was a chance his gait might be permanently affected. At the same time, the band's equipment was arriving in the US for the tour. It quickly became clear Bono would be incapable of performing. The band's manager for the past three decades, Paul McGuinness, made the call.
The American dates, along with their precious Glastonbury slot, were to be cancelled.
"We tried to avoid the word 'cancelled'," McGuinness says. "It was postponed. And it was very worrying. There was partial paralysis of his right leg and considerable pain. I was quite nervous."
The delayed shows cost the tour about $15 million, half of which was covered by insurance.
"The tour had restarted, the trucks were in motion, there were hundreds of people around the world travelling," McGuinness says. "It was very stressful and expensive to halt it, send everybody back and wait to find out how long it would take for him to recover — if, indeed, he would recover. We were concerned for our friend."
Remarkably, on August 6, after intensive rehabilitation, Bono was back on stage in Turin, Italy, and thinking about another 22 stadium dates over two months through Europe.
Each day on tour, Bono worked with a German physio he refers to as "Hitler's doctor", who would "beat the shit out of me for 45 minutes", and a Finnish practitioner, "the Finnish fondler", who would "work me and try and unbuckle my body".
On stage in Rome, there is little evidence of his injuries as he shadow-boxes and nimbly spider-dances through the show.
It concludes, after two encores, with a seven-minute album track from last year, Moment of Surrender.
Despite the track's length and the fact it's a non-hit, few head for the exit. The audience waits patiently as the group depart the same way they entered, together alone, four teammates at the end of a gruelling match.
"Promoters say it's bizarre," Bono says. "It doesn't matter if it's Madonna, Bruce Springsteen, Rolling Stones — when the last song goes on, 20,000 leave. And Moment's not a song anyone knows, really. But it shows you something is going on. They want to see the four of us walking off together."
A week later, when Bono calls from his home on Killiney Bay, near Dublin, he confesses to some post-gig revelry.
"I did allow myself a bottle of champagne," he says. "I even punched some imaginary air."
We return to the matter of longevity and I suggest the audience's response to the band walking into the arena together could be as simple as celebrating the fact that staying together, be it personal or working or sporting relationships, is so unusual in 2010 that people want to see it up close.
"It's a strange thing to stick with the people you grew up with in your teens," he says.
"Not only am I in the band with my three best friends, I married a girl [wife Ali] from the same school who was in class with Edge and who was the only one smarter than him in their year."
McGuinness says: "In the early days it was all about survival. Getting a record deal was surprisingly difficult."
Bono, for his part, blames the band's slow start to an inconsistent live show.
"When we were trying to get a record deal, people were fired for suggesting us, because that'd bring over their boss and we would be so crap," he says. "Then the next day we'd be great. We didn't seem to have much control over the outcome. Now, we're more consistent."
This brings its own challenges. "What worries me about U2 now is that because the band are playing so well, we can make an average song sound great," Bono says.
Which is part of the reason they have stepped away from their so-called "dysfunctional family" of producers: Brian Eno, Steve Lillywhite and Daniel Lanois.
"Each night on this tour, we'd fly out of a show and go straight into the studio," Bono says of the Danger Mouse sessions. "Because you enter the studio with the roar of the crowd in your ears, you know what works. If you take musicians away from the stage too much, they become quite abstract in their heads. They start to use words like 'interesting'. But people don't want to see you do something interesting. They want something passionate or wild.
" 'Interesting' is the moment musicians scratch their chin. It ruins great and dramatic music. You listen to the Sex Pistols or Nirvana or the first MGMT album and you don't scratch your chin. You say, 'Wow, that's extraordinary'."
Some hard lessons have been learnt from No Line on the Horizon.
"It's a strong piece of work," he says. "It's original. But it feels like a bit of a commitment, that album. It's not light on its feet. [Horizon's first single] Get on Your Boots is a big song every night. People go nuts. But it didn't sound like that on the radio.
"We didn't have a single on Horizon. Having preached a gospel of zero tolerance against progressive rock, I realised it's starting to happen to us. It's a dangerous disease."
This tour is about U2 creating intimacy on a grand scale, which seems impossible but happens every night. Next year, the band will likely fulfil their Glastonbury slot and close the 360° tour as the biggest to date.
Bono, though, has more immediate concerns. "The biggest challenge now will be getting a song on the radio. That's our drug of choice now. I don't know if we will achieve it. It takes a radio programmer saying, 'I want that feeling on my station'. And they may not. It will be very hard for U2 to dominate the radio now after No Line on the Horizon. But we're going to try."

Emergency surgery has led Bono into a spurt of creativity.

 Emergency surgery in which he faced being paralysed has led the world's most famous rock star into a spurt of creativity.Bono, who is bringing his band U2's behemothic stadium show U2360 to Australia in early December, entered surgery in Munich last May, unsure if we would walk again.
The 50-year-old had slipped a disc in his back that punctured a ligament and broke into two pieces.
"I was walking around saying I could handle it but it turns out I was in grave danger," he told The Age this week, in an exclusive interview to be published in EG tomorrow. "Those little bits that had broken off were starting to sever nerves in my spinal canal. I was losing the ability to walk."
Remarkably, just ten weeks after the operation, he was back on stage in Europe. More ambitiously, he has revealed his band is working on three new albums.
The first, which is likely to be released early next year, is being produced by Danger Mouse, the alias for American production ace Brian Burton (Gnarls Barkley, Gorillaz).
"We have about 12 songs with him," Bono said. "At the moment that looks like the album we will put out next because it's just happening so easily."
The second album is what he calls a "club" record, that will feature Lady Gaga collaborator RedOne, Black Eyed Peas rapper Will.I.Am and French superstar David Guetta.
"U2's remixes in the 1990s were a real treasure," he said. "So we wanted to make a club sounding record. We have a pile of songs."
Bono and guitarist The Edge are also attempting to sell their bandmates, bassist Adam Clayton and drummer Larry Mullen jnr, the concept of a U2 album based on the 20 songs the two have written for a Spider-man musical that opens on Broadway next month.
"We haven't convinced the rest of the band to do that yet," he said. "Larry definitely has a raised eyebrow."

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Gabrielle´s Angel Foundation Auction

 Gabrielle´s Angel Foundation for Cancer Research is having a ball and auction on with a very special prize!!

U2, one of the world’s most celebrated rock bands, brings their U2 360° World Tour to the States in 2011.  You and a guest will fly first-class on Continental Airlines to the North American city of your choice to catch U2’s show from VIP seats.  And while plenty of attention is given to the amazing structure built above the stage, beneath the band's feet lies the Underworld.  Down to the mysterious, hidden depths beneath the U2 360° production. Down beneath the show where only the hardiest crew member dare venture.  Get a behind (or should we say below?) the scenes look at the engine room of the Space Station.  To make your Underworld experience even more memorable, your private tour guide will be The Edge himself.   A once-in-a-lifetime adventure for any true U2 fan!

Please note this item will close at noon EDT on Oct. 21 to be included in the live auction at the Angel Ball Gala.
The proceeds for this item benefit Gabrielle's Angel Foundation -- The Angel Ball
Donated by: Continental Airlines, The Edge

Why U2 are still the greatest band in the world

This is what Neil Mc Cormick things and frankly...we agree!!

OK, I know I’m biased. I grew up with this group and have a long, personal history with them and, of course, it influences how I feel. The past was very present to me, this weekend, when I found myself in Rome watching the last night of the European leg of U2’s 360 tour.
Looking out from an aeroplane window over a sea of clouds, I thought about how I used to catch the 31 bus to see this group play in pubs, clubs, colleges, hotel bars, school discos and church halls in Dublin. Now I have to fly across a continent, ride in taxis, trains, planes and coaches, to stand amongst 89,000 others in the enormous Stadio Olimpico in this ancient centre of classical civilization. So I don’t know what anybody else was feeling, gazing up at the hi-tech, alien sci-fi Claw that forms the centrepiece of the U2 stage show, but I was experiencing an intense sense of dislocation, a bafflement at how something that was such an intimate part of my youth had expanded to such a ludicrous scale.
Hundreds of working people moved around beneath the towering Claw, a small army equipped with two-way radios and laminated passes, focussing on the thousand little component tasks that need to lock together to make this show come to life, night after night. And at the centre of everything are four musicians. A rock band. The very same band that I saw start up in the school gym playing a Peter Frampton song in 1976, but not really the same band at all.
The U2 show in Rome was absolutely breathtaking. Here in a city where bloodshed at the Coliseum was once the greatest show on earth, U2 delivered its 21st century counterpart. Only this time the peaceful Christians weren’t being thrown to the lions, they were the new Gladiators, cheered by the multitude as they took the stage, carrying instruments instead of weapons, making music, not war.
U2’s 360 show is state of the art, with a great beating heart. The dazzling lights, the ever shifting screens expanding and illuminating the action, the sheer physical presence of the Claw itself, the crystal clear sound being beamed to every corner of the stadium, all of this locks together to create a mind bending, mass-entertainment spectacle at the very cutting edge of modern technological possibility. And on the stage in the round, there are four tiny figures playing often rather structurally peculiar and sonically inventive rock songs, with lyrics that provoke and challenge, and choruses that suddenly soar into the ether, carried aloft on the voices of tens of thousand fans, lustily singing together. What really struck me was that you can’t actually compare the experience of a U2 show to anything else. You can’t even compare U2 to themselves, or at least not to the band I saw starting out.
I was carrying an access all areas pass. For a time I watched the action unfold in the hi-tech centre known (to the crew) as Willie’s World, where stage designer Willie Williams and a team of about eight stare intently into computer monitors, shaping the action of the Claw itself, while on the deck below, sound veteran Joe O’Herlihy and his team massage the sonic envelope. There are people working here who have never actually seen a U2 show, all they ever see is the displays on their screens, their jobs requiring they cannot lift their eyes up to take in the onstage action. I got a little closer, watching for a while from inside the legs of the Claw, mere feet away from the band themselves. And as the Edge strode past me on the runway, fingers picking out lateral riffs on his guitar, multiplied by effects units to take on the dimensions of a one-man orchestra, all the while singing his backing vocals into a headpiece mic, eyes focussed into the distance, I got a glimpse of how far U2 have come, and what a strange place they find themselves in now.
There was Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen Junior, locked tight into one of their counter-intuitive rhythm patterns, pounding it out. There was Bono, pumped up, bunched over, fiercely gripping his microphone, roaring an open throated note that surged from his chest via the giant speakers overhead and out into the night. And although they were so close we could have all been back in McGonagles bar in Dublin, their eyes were focussed on another space altogether, over my head, beyond the packed inner ring. So I turned to see what they see, and watched the mass of people, the crowd spreading out across the stadium floor and rising vertiginously up the sides, just a dense, pulsating throb of  humanity, absorbing all that music and emotion and powering it back at them, hands aloft, mouths open in song. There was a mad energy to the moment, an intense feedback of feeling. And so I gave up my spot, and went back out into the audience, standing back far enough to see the tiny figures onstage and the images overhead, and the lights, and all the action, because back in the cheap seats is where this show really comes into its own.
U2 make big music, for moments like this, in places like these.
I’ve seen the 360 tour in other cities, and you can read reviews of it elsewhere (including mine), but this was the best I have seen it. The set has shifted away from promoting the most recent album, No Horizon, to just digging into U2’s extensive back catalogue, and the band no longer seem in any way overwhelmed by the technology and the sheer spatial dimension of the Claw. The whole experience has become more integrated, visually, sonically, emotionally, and the band are on fire, playing with the intuitive connection that comes with relentless touring, delivering a set with a paradoxical combination of fierce intensity and comfortable assurance.
For me, personally, the most hair raising moment was Bono’s operatic aria, standing in for Pavarotti at the climax of the intimate, tender “Miss Sarajevo”, really belting out the soaring final Italian language libretto, hitting the notes with the raw throated exuberance of a big chested bar room opera buff. But there were many great moments, where song and performance and display and crowd all came together in euphoric rushes of emotional unity, inspiring the kind of profound feeling of shared experience that makes rock music sometimes feel like just an amplified version of a primitive religious rite.
I know that not everyone shares my love of U2, and why should they? Some people would never go to a gig like this, and apparently consider stadium rock to be a term of abuse. That’s a matter of taste. And then there is the more personal carping and abuse, which fills up the comments box at every mention of U2. But if we can put aside, for a moment, all the nonsense about U2’s wealth (despite what sceptics frequently suggest, it should at least be recognised that U2, like most global rock bands, are tax efficient, not tax evaders) and perhaps agree to disagree about the effectiveness of celebrity charitable missions (some may be heartily sick of hearing his opinions, but Bono uses his personal time and the platform of his fame and a considerable portion of his own wealth to very actively support and promote third world charitable initiatives), then maybe we could remember that, bottom line, U2 are a rock band, writing songs to express themselves as best they can, and performing around the world for an audience that loves them.
You might see a more thrilling gig in a local pub (I have seen many), and you might be more touched by one man with an acoustic guitar in a club (it has happened to me), and you may well prefer music that is more lateral, extemporised, simple, complex, whatever. But nobody does stadium entertainment like this.
I hung on till the last note of the final encore at the Stadio Olimpico, and there was no visible movement towards the exits, none of the usual trickle of early escapees determined to beat the rush. Instead, audience and band remained locked together in the moment. It was as if every last drop of this extraordinary experience was being savoured to the full. The roar as they finally left the stage was deafening, even louder than the show that preceded it. On their own terms, and with their own crowd, U2 are impossible to beat. On Saturday night in Rome, for 89,000 fans, this really was the greatest show on earth.

Monday, October 18, 2010

U2 to release new album in 'early 2011'

U2 WILL have a new album out early in the new year, the band’s manager Paul McGuinness has said. McGuinness said the band has already debuted several of the songs live, including Mercy, Every Breaking Wave, and Boys Fall from the Sky . The album has been provisionally titled Songs of Ascent.
“I would expect a new U2 album sooner than anybody thinks. I would guess early 2011 before the next leg of the American tour which starts in May,” he said.
McGuinness defended sales figures for U2’s last album No Line on the Horizon , which he said had held up “remarkably well” despite the perception that the record had been a flop.
It sold “roughly” five million copies, while its 2004 predecessor How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb had sold twice that number.
He said record sales across the industry had declined by half because of illegal downloading.
McGuinness accused internet service providers such as UPC of being “utterly disingenuous” in stating that they could not be responsible for the behaviour of their customers.

 Several shows have been confirmed: A brand new show has been confirmed for next summer - Heinz Field in Pittsburgh on July 26th, 2011 and the so awaited return to South Africa for the first time since the POPMART Tour in 1998.

With two U2 360° dates in 2011 they will make history as the first band to stage live concerts in the Soccer World Cup Stadio in both Johannesburg and Cape Town.

U2 will play  on Sunday,  February 13th, 2011 in  Johannesburg (Gauteng) at the FNB Stadium and on Friday, February 18th, in Cape Town (Western Cape) at Cape Town Stadium.

Rumours go that they will add Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada,and Brazil for March 2011. Still waiting for confirmations... // Virginia Forquera

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Artist rediscovers photos thought lost to history

Bono and Larry in Rome in 1989, by C. Henry

THE only known photograph of late rock stars Phil Lynott and Rory Gallagher performing together has been re-discovered after 28 years.
The image, taken at an open-air concert at Punchestown Racecourse in July 1982, was only unearthed two weeks ago by photographer Colm Henry.
Once Ireland's top rock photographer, the Meath man spent the 1980s photographing some of the biggest names in music, both at home and abroad, and is now rediscovering these images as he trawls his huge archives for a new gallery.
Mr Henry said moving house over the years has resulted in him mislaying many of the images he has shot over the decades.
"I still have the negatives but many of my proof sheets are gone. In the case of the picture of Phil Lynott and Rory Gallagher together in 1982, I found it in a file of Phil Lynott images from 1986."
Henry who took dozen of photos of local and international artists said:

"Access to artists stopped because merchandise lawyers took control of the bands. At the same time I wanted to move on. I began to work in theatre, and then later for 'VIP' magazine doing glamour shoots. "
However, now aged 57, Colm Henry has gone back to rock -- opening a gallery of his iconic rock images in Dun Laoghaire Shopping Centre this week and uploading his latest 1980s finds on to website

Friday, October 15, 2010

Three Touring Awards and Boldly Going Where No Other Band Has Gone Before

U2 is nominated in three categories at this year's Billboard Touring Awards. The awards are based on global boxscore numbers reported to Billboard between October 1, 2009, and September 30, 2010. The awards ceremony is scheduled for November 4th in New York.

AC/DC Black Ice
Bon Jovi The Circle
U2 360

TOP DRAW (most tickets sale)
Bon Jovi

Front Line Management
Principle Management
Red Light Management
Big Concerts, the top live promoter in South Africa, is dropping plenty of fairly obvious hints that U2 will be performing there in February, 2011.You can see it in the promoters FB`s page and in an article that appeas in Entertainment Africa.
The article says U2 are expected to play at Soccer City in Johannesburg on February 13, 2011, and Cape Town Stadium on February 19, 2011.The offcial announcement is expected for Monday 18th October.

I wonder if certain FB page helped the guys to decide to visit South Africa? As certain Bono says, it ´s just a question of "dreaming out loud"...

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Happy Birthday,John Lennon!!!

A dream you dream alone is only a dream. A dream you dream together is reality. John Lennon

Julian and Cynthia Lennon unveilde a monument to John Lennon in Liverpool Unveiling the statue, Julian said: "We come here with our hearts to honour dad and pray for peace and say thank you to each and every one of you and everybody involved in the celebrations today."

Ciao Europe!!

Last concert of the European leg, last night in Rome.

'Thank you for this welcome… We're on stage tonight and a lot of people thought that was impossible. And I for one feel very fortunate to be standing on this stage with my three best friends...'

 'Still Haven't Found' brought the reveal - a  dazzling Irish flag, Italian flag and the word 'ONE' in red on white. It was a breathtaking visual moment, for the band, as much as everyone else in the stadium. 'Viva Italia!'

That segued into another great moment with a rare appearances for 'Bad' and, even more unusually, a snatch of 'All I Want Is You'. And then came 'Mercy' one of the six new and unreleased tracks that the band have surprised us with at different shows  this summer.

Dallas Schoo got a special shout-out before Bono thanked everyone on the crew ahead of In A Little While. This audience was pumped all night long and  delighted to hear Bono speaking so often in Italian. 'I wanna thank all the people who helped us build this dream of ours…'
1. Return Of The Stingray Guitar
2. Beautiful Day
3. I Will Follow
4. Get On Your Boots
5. Magnificent
6. Mysterious Ways
7. Elevation
8. Until The End Of The World / Anthem
9. I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For
10. Bad / All I Want Is You
11. Mercy
12. In A Little While
13. Miss Sarajevo
14. City Of Blinding Lights
15. Vertigo / Teenage Kicks
16. Relax / Crazy Tonight / Two Tribes
17. Sunday Bloody Sunday / Get Up Stand Up
18. MLK
19. Walk On / You’ll Never Walk Alone
20. One
21. Amazing Grace (snippet) / Where The Streets Have No Name
22. Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me
23. With Or Without You / Shine Like Stars
24. Happy Birthday
25. Moment of Surrender www.u2.gigs(video)

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Bono for the Nobel Peace Prize 2010

Bono is reportedly nominated for this year's Nobel Peace Prize. The Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten lists Bono in this article that lists several of the believed nominees. The Nobel nominees aren't officially announced, only the winner; however, over the years, many who submit nominees have begun announcing their candidates publicly. If Bono is one of this year's nominees, it would be at least the fourth time his name has been mentioned for the honor (although he could've been nominated on other occasions with his name never being revealed).

In early 2009, Bono told Q magazine that he doesn't expect he'll ever win the Nobel Peace Prize:

I will never get that. I think in general they give it to people whose names are not known. Or if they give it to somebody who's very well-known, it's because they're making a particular point that year. I think they've made the Africa point a couple of times, the inequality point.

Announcement of the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize

Watch the live webcast from the Norwegian Nobel Institute, Oslo, Norway, on Friday 8 October, 11:00 a.m. CET, 9:00 a.m. GMT.

Watch the live webcast here

Bono Celebrates African Art at Launch Party

Africa Rising : EDUN´s campaign.

On the heels of Louis Vuitton’s newest advertising campaign, photographed in Africa by Annie Leibovitz and featuring environmental activists, Edun-founders, and real-life couple, Ali Hewson and Bono, LV and Edun teamed up to celebrate the opening of “Africa Rising,” an exhibit of leading artists from the continent. The Edge, Naomi Campbell, Elisa Sednaoui, Julia Restoin-Roitfeld, Margherita Missoni, Tatiana Santo Domingo, and Caroline Sieber were among the crowd at 1 Rue du Pont Neuf in the first arrondissement who were treated to both a performance by Bono (with Grammy-winning African singer-songwriter Angélique Kidjo) and later, once the dust settled from their set, Alexandra Richards on the turntables.

Bono:Irelands´s Greatest? (1 & 2)

This series looks for the greatest figures in Irish history. Dave Fanning champions U2 singer Bono, whose global human rights campaigning and charity work has inspired many. These are the first two videos of a total of five where Dave Fanning explains why Bono should be chosen Ireland´s greatest figure. The video shows Bono´s career to become a humanitarian and it  also shows  U2 videos rating from  1979 to now. Though the subject may be controversial _whether Bono could be named the greatest Irish_ the videos are worth seeing, they comprised not only Bono´s career into humanitarianism but also the band´s career into becoming the world´s greatest band.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Lennon at 70

Next 9th John Lennon would have been 70 and the media and the fans are ready to celebrate. Concerts  and releases in honour to the great musician are programmed like Sgt Peppers Only Dart Board Band Dodgy,
Gimme Some Truth ( Lennon's catalog)remasters, John Lennon Time Capsule (The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame will unveil a Lennon-dedicated time capsule on October 8) a project  in collaboration with Yoko Ono and Jonathan Polk; John Lennon Box of Vision(deluxe box set with all the newly remastered Lennon CDs; Nowhere Boy (The Lennon biopic, already released in the U.K., finally hits American shores October 8);
Imagine Peace Tower (Ono will light the Imagine Peace Tower in Iceland on October 9; the event will be streamed live on her website.)
A variety of music magazine to publish Lennon-dedicated issues. Britain's Q magazine plans John Lennon at 70, a collector's edition featuring four different covers of Lennon. Previously unseen images as well as tributes from Ono, Paul McCartney, Bono, and many more will grace the special edition.


Monday, October 4, 2010

Two Nights in Portugal

First night in Coimbra...
North Star and Mercy among the highlights for first of two shows in Coimbra . I Will Follow was another surprise early on, while Hold Me Thrill Me returned in the final encore. Fifty four thousand packed into the Estadio Cidade  and what a noise they made.
'Briosa, Briosa' called Bono as the show opened, the chant of the local Academica football team, and everyone here sang it back to him with interest.

'Where are we going? Lisboa.. Porto... Braga...Coimbra!' What an ovation that received, welcoming the band for their first ever show in Portugal's main university town.

'If you'd gone to the University of Coimbra, what might you have been?' Bono asked Edge. 'I don't know if I would have lasted,' came the reply. 'But I would have fallen back on my original career plan - a male model.'

When Larry grows up, he revealed, 'I fancy myself as a professional musician.'

Adam, asked Bono, you've had time to think about this. 'I'd like to try my hand at chemical engineering.' 

As for the singer? 'Me? I am what I would have been... a travelling salesman. I sell songs with this group, my three best friends.'

'Thank you so much. Obrigado. This is Moment of Surrender...'

Return Of The Stingray Guitar
Beautiful Day
I Will Follow
Get On Your Boots
Mysterious Ways / Let It Be
Until The End Of The World / Anthem
I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For / One Love
North Star
In A Little While
Miss Sarajevo
City Of Blinding Lights
Vertigo / Teenage Kicks
Relax / Crazy Tonight / Two Tribes
Sunday Bloody Sunday
Walk On / You’ll Never Walk Alone
Amazing Grace / Where The Streets Have No Name
Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me
With Or Without You
Moment of Surrender

In the second show there was a surprise appearance of "Boy Falls From the Sky" from the musical Spiderman.

Bono said, 'In honour of last night and tonight... and the incredible welcome you have given us... we want to try something we have never played before. This could be interesting! This is Boy Falls From The Sky.'

After a day of heavy rain, the skies had  finally cleared in time for the band to take the stage for the second show here and although we'd all got soaked earlier, the receptionwas overwhelming.

'Thank you for making us feel at home, this  Irish weather is perfect,' reflected Bono. 'There’s been some bad weather in the economy for both our countries but it is not going to stop us being who we are and tonight is going to be one of the best nights of our lives.'

And so it turned out, all the way from a blistering version of The Return of the Stringray Guitar - what an inspired choice of opener that's become - to the final benediction of Moment of Surrender.

Bono lead everyone in the football chant ( Eferreá, Eferrié, Eferri-í, Eferrió, Eferriú) after Pride which was pretty special and the moving segue into Walk On: 'A message of love from Portugal, Coimbra all the way to Burma. Do not give up, one day freedom will be won. Until that day we'll stand by you...'


1. Return Of The Stingray Guitar
2. Beautiful Day / Rain
3. New Year’s Day
4. Get On Your Boots
5. Magnificent
6. Mysterious Ways / Can’t Stand The Rain
7. Elevation
8. Until The End Of The World
9. I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For
10. Pride (In The Name Of Love)
11. Boy Falls From The Sky
12. In A Little While
13. Miss Sarajevo
14. City Of Blinding Lights
15. Vertigo / She Loves You
16. Relax / Crazy Tonight
17. Sunday Bloody Sunday
18. MLK
19. Walk On / You’ll Never Walk Alone
20. One
21. Amazing Grace / Where The Streets Have No Name
22. Ultraviolet (Light My Way)
23. With Or Without You
24. Moment of Surrender / Singing In The Rain

 Rumours went that Bono didn´t feel well in this show and had to stop singing during Magnificent to take some water (some said also some pills) while the other three kept on playing.

Picture gallery.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Seville for the First Time

U2 played for the first time in Seville, Spain last night at Estadio Olímpico de la Cartuja. North Star and Mercy were back in the set , along with New Year's Day, after a short absence, and the always euphorically received Ultraviolet.
There were about 77,000 people in the stadium, another  record breaking. The Spanish  audience sang along like their lives depend on it - the sound is particularly crisp, thanks to Mr Joe O'Herlihy entering his 33rd year of service. 
Bono reflects that it was here in Spain that they began this tour, way back in June last year, so it's great to be here again. But that's not all...
'There's somebody special here tonight,' he says, 'Who gave me my first guitar lesson. My big brother and it's his birthday tonight and he's come to Seville to celebrate.'
And they all joined in with a deafening chorus of Happy Birthday to Norman, to celebrate. 'Wonderful night, something very special...' 
Return Of The Stingray Guitar
Beautiful Day
New Year’s Day
Get On Your Boots
Mysterious Ways / My Sweet Lord
Until The End Of The World / Anthem
I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For / Many Rivers To Cross
North Star
In A Little While
Miss Sarajevo
City Of Blinding Lights
Relax / Crazy Tonight / Two Tribes
Sunday Bloody Sunday
Walk On / You’ll Never Walk Alone
Amazing Grace / Where The Streets Have No Name / All You Need Is Love
Ultra Violet (Light My Way)
With Or Without You
Moment of Surrender (video)