Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Bono Turns Sydney RED For World AIDS Day

Showing up for an important day in Sydney, Australia, Bono was spotted talking to press ahead of the lighting of the Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge on Tuesday (November 30).
Joined by bandmates The Edge and Adam  Clayton the U2 front man was chosen to flick the switch to turn the iconic buildings red in honor of AIDS Day 2010.
World AIDS Day is coming up on December 1st and helps to raise awareness of the ongoing fight against the AIDS epidemic with more than 80 iconic landmarks across 13 countries set to light up red for the awareness day.

More pictures here

 Join RED 


Bono: Economy Woes Are Hurting AIDS Fight

Financial tough times in developed economies are undercutting efforts to stop the global spread of AIDS,  Bono said on Tuesday.

"Times are hard in the Western world," the Irish rock star and campaigner told Reuters after launching World Aids Day, marked around the world on December 1, at Sydney's Opera House.

Bono said agencies established to arrest acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) "were fighting hard for funding" nearly three decades after the disease was first diagnosed.

He added that more money was needed to meet a target set by the Global Fund to eliminate the tranccording to the United Nations children's fund UNICEF, over a thousand babies are born each day in Africa with HIV and about half of the HIV-positive women in Africa do not get the drugs they need to prevent transmission of the virus to their babies.
"In recessionary times, people have to tell their politicians this is important to them," Bono said.

An estimated 33.3 million people worldwide had the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) that causes AIDS in 2009, according to the latest figures issued by UNAIDS. There were 26.2 million in 1999.

There is no cure and no commercially available vaccine but combinations of drugs called antiretrovirals can keep patients healthy. However, the virus stays in the body forever and can reactivate if people stop taking the drugs.

"Some people think that the pandemic is on its way out and it's job done," Bono said. "It is really not so."

(Reporting by James Regan, editing by Mike Collett-White and Paul Casciato)


The Edge´s Playlist

As before with Bono, Rolling Stone  published Edge´s playlist.

Edge said that the post-punk era was "very formative" for him, the music that "made an impact" on him.The first part of his list, has to do with the music played in the late 70`s, early 80`s.


The Edge over Auckland

If you want to have a good view of Auckland, just do as Edge has done: take a helicopter and fly over it!!!


South American Leg: Confirmed!!!

U2.com has confirmed Brazil and Argentina `s concert for 2011.

"Live Nation Global Touring and Time for Fun have today confirmed that U2 will return to Brazil. The U2 360° Tour will visit Sao Paulo’s Estadio Morumbi on April 9th, 2011 and special guests on the night will be Muse."


"Live Nation Global Touring and Time for Fun have today confirmed that U2 will return to Argentina. The U2 360° Tour will visit Estadio Unico de La Plata in Buenos Aires on March 30th, 2011 and special guests on the night will be Muse."

So finally the home of the U2 3D will see the 360ยบ tour.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark Saw Light

Bono & Edge appeared on the CBS news program 60 Minutes  as part of a 15-minute feature on Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark. The broadcast traced some of the history of the Broadway musical and, in addition to interview clips, also featured Bono and Edge singing some of the songs with the musical's performers.Bono and Edge tell the story of the delaying musical and showed some of the music they composed for it. We can actually see Bono singing some of them. In the second video, Bono and Edge are working and performing.

Here are two TV commercials of the musical.


U2 to play on at Etihad Stadium, even if a storm hits Melbourne

U2's first Melbourne show on Tuesday night will go ahead regardless of predicted rain.
 The Irish band's enormous "claw" stage sticks out of the top of Etihad Stadium, meaning the roof cannot be completely closed.
Fans should prepare themselves for wet weather, but possible thunderstorms and lightning will create more of a problem.
"If it rains we'll get wet," the band's site manager Bart Durbin said.
"Unless there's torrential downpours, that may affect it slightly, other than that the show goes on. The roof has to be open. We've done shows in the rain before. We get wet. It's not the best thing but we'll go on."
The stage for the band's 360 Degrees tour began being assembled inside Etihad on Friday. The weight of the stage, said to be the largest in touring history, has required extra reinforcement in the car park under the venue.
About 60,000 fans will watch tomorrow's show, the first of U2's Australian tour.
Three "claw" stages will criss-cross the country.
One is already being prepared in Brisbane for U2 shows there next week.
The tour, which ends in Perth on December 19, requires 48 trucks to transport the steel in the staging, 17 trucks for flooring and 60 trucks for the lighting and sound production.
Tickets are still available for U2's shows tomorrow and Friday, with hip hop star Jay-Z as special guest.
Music fans will be hoping Kanye West, in town on a low-key visit to record an album with Jay-Z during down time from his U2 commitments, will join his fellow rapper on stage in Melbourne.


U2 360 Degrees arrives Down Under as most expensive rock act ever

U2 360 Degrees, the most expensive rock spectacle ever, is here.

The tour, with a daily running cost of $850,000, arrived on six 747 jets to be assembled by a crew of 130.

"You compare a tour by the number of trucks they use," production manager Jake Berry said. "The Rolling Stones ran 46 trucks. We are running 55. This is the biggest."

The centrepiece of U2-360 is a so-called claw, an imposing bug-like structure that houses 200 tonnes of light, sound and video magic.

U2-360 stage designer Willie Williams said: "The breakthrough was to make it so big that it becomes part of the stadium. But, in a funny way, it's invisible because the performance area is not connected to the structure."

Indeed, the stadium of fans surrounding the claw and stage become part of the show, too.

"It's a cross between a rock show and a sporting event because you can see the other people," Williams says.

U2 redefined stadium rock with their Zoo TV and PopMart tours. But U2 bassist Adam Clayton says U2-360 is revolutionary. "We know it's a game changer," he said. "These football stadiums can be quite imposing for music. But this has a different atmosphere. There is humour to it, almost something ridiculous about it. You think 'How is this going to work?"'

In terms of box office receipts, U2-360 is working incredibly well.

It took $123 million to be the highest grossing tour of 2009.

A back injury flattened the band's lead singer, Bono, and tour profits, for most of this year.

U2-360 resumed in August with sellout dates across Europe. U.S. dates are scheduled next year.

U2's manager, Paul McGuinness, confirmed the $850,000 daily running cost of U2-360. "That's the overhead cost of being out here whether we play or not," McGuinness said. "It's important we play regularly. There is a discipline involved.

"Even though we're spending a lot of money, we're making a lot of money."

McGuinness knows U2-360 is a new model for stadium rock. "We've always done landmark productions, or so we think," he said. "Being able to play in the round, in stadiums, is the holy grail."

Put simply, in the round means up to 30,000 more seats, which equals lower ticket prices.

"I can assure you the costs of putting this show on are the highest in history," McGuinness said.

"But the audience looks at the show and can see what we spent the money on.

"They see an incredible spectacle."

Clayton agreed: "There is a financial risk when you do something that hasn't been done before. It's a bit like inventing the wheel.

"We've now proved you can do a show by hanging light and sound off a structure. But to build that structure is a very high price. You have to make sure your tour is doing all right." Clearly, U2 are astute businessmen.

But McGuinness said the numbers must never get in the way of creativity.

"The reason for being good in business is so you can do what you like creatively," McGuinness said.

"By and large, we have succeeded. There aren't too many instances of the business getting the better of the creative process."

Berry said U2-360 took the creativity of stadium rock to an end game -- purely because of cost. "It's like the Beijing Olympics," he said.
© Sunday Mail, 2010.


Sunday, November 28, 2010

Bono meets Asutralian Foreign Minister

Bono meets Kevin Rudd at The Opera House to discuss aid for HIV sufferers. Picture: Marco Del Grande / The Sydney Morning Herald

 FOREIGN Minister Kevin Rudd has met with U2 frontman Bono to talk about poverty and aid.
A spokesman for Mr Rudd said the pair met at the Sydney Opera House today for about 45 minutes, along with Make History Poverty co-chairs Andrew Hewett and Tim Costello.

The rock star praised the government's development agenda, bipartisan support to reduce poverty globally and spoke about the challenge of global development and Australia's contribution, the spokesman said.

On Bono's agenda was an expansion of the Australian government's aid program and meeting Millennium Development goals set by the UN to reduce global poverty.

Mr Rudd praised Bono for his activism and the pair also spoke about developments in HIV globally, the spokesman said.
Mr Rudd told Sky News that Australia was committed to assisting the world's less fortunate.
"We've always had a view that when there's strife around the world we pitch in," he said.
U2, touring with rapper Jay-Z, begin the Australian leg of their tour in Melbourne on Wednesday.

They'll play two shows at Etihad Stadium before performing in Brisbane on December 8 and 9, Sydney on December 13 and 14 and Perth on December 18 and 19.


Friday, November 26, 2010

Gig Review: U2 in Auckland

TRIBUTE: U2 honoured the Pike River miners during the song One Tree Hill.

Two of music's biggest acts paid tribute to the Pike River miners at a sold out Mt Smart Stadium on Thursday night.
There was little doubt that a band with the social conscience of U2 would acknowledge the tragedy, even during the entertainment behemoth that is their 360 tour.
"People have ways of dealing with grief, in Ireland we sing," said charismatic front man Bono before an emotional version of Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For.
They followed that with local favourite One Tree Hill as the names of the 29 dead scrolled down the massive screen at Mt Smart Stadium on Thursday night.
Earlier, hiphop mogul Jay Z dedicated Forever Young to the miners as he said "they will always be in our hearts and they will always be forever young".
Those were two moving moments in an otherwise upbeat night as U2 returned to New Zealand after an absence of exactly four years.
They've taken an audacious approach, with a claw shaped stage surrounded by rotating bridges and giant video system allowing a 360-degree view of the band, as the tour name suggests.
It ensured a fantastic perspective for the capacity crowd, but in some ways the screen above the tiny figures of the Irish foursome was almost too good and you had to drag your eyes away to find the band on the stage.
In a show of more than 20 songs there was a run through their catalogue of hits including Beautiful Day, Elevation, Vertigo, Sunday Bloody Sunday, One and With or Without You.
They were interspersed with new songs like Magnificent and Get On Your Boots off their uneven 2009 album No Line on the Horizon.
The show signalled the start of the fourth leg of their massive world tour, which upwards of four million people have seen so far. There seemed to be a few teething problems with their set and Mysterious Ways suffered through a muddled sounding backing vocal.
But with most of their biggest hits well in the past U2 still have an ability to keep things fresh and the combination of Adam Clayton on bass and Larry Mullen on drums set a punishing groove in songs like Elevation that keep Bono strutting and dancing along the rotating runways in his black leathers and sunglasses.
Four years earlier Kanye West suffered poor sound as his U2 opening gig fell flat at Mt Smart. Jay Z had no such trouble on Thursday night as a party vibe ran though hits like Izzo, Hard Knock Life, D.O.A and a massive closing number in Empire State of Mind.



Auckland, 2nd Night

'Dunedin, Wellington, Tauranga, Auckland...' Second night in New Zealand and Mt Smart Stadium is rocking again.

'Thank you to Jay-Z for getting this space ship off the ground,' said Bono, 'The hip-hop heavyweight champion of the world and not just hip-hop... that band is scary.'

He promised, 'we're gonna have a greater night. Because we can, we must. It's Friday night, we're a long way from home... and we're feeling a little flirtatious.'

And so we were into the second night of U2's fifth visit to New Zealand: '84, '89, '93, '06, 2010' - as Bono listed the years when the band have played Kiwi shows, it seemed like everyone in the house was yelling for 'More!'.

'It's been a long romance with this wild and extraordinary country but tonight I think we should go all the way...'

And they did, with another blistering 24-song set including a series of second-night surprises including New Year's Day, Angel of Harlem ('This goes out to the Queen B' - Beyonce, who is at the show tonight) and Hold Me Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me.

One Tree Hill was again particularly poignant as Bono recalled it was written about 'a life unfairly snatched away... we wrote it for Greg Caroll, whose family are with us tonight. But tonight it belongs to the miners of the West Coast Pike River...'

And as it ran, beautiful as ever, down to the sea so the red balloons rose from the stadium into the night and the names of those who have lost their lives lit up the huge screens above the stage.

Other notable moments: 'Streets' featuring some great new video footage of Edge walking the hills back in The Joshua Tree era and thanks to the U2 audience for campaigning for the release of Aung San Suu Kyi: 'She sends her thanks to you all and now we campaign for the more than 2,000 political prisoners... then we will truly rejoice.' And into Scarlet...


Return of the Stingray Guitar
Beautiful Day
New Year's Day
Get On Your Boots
Mysterious Ways
Until the End of the World
I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For - Movin' On Up
One Tree Hill,
Angel Of Harlem - Don't Stop Til You Get Enough
In A Little While
Miss Sarajevo
City of Blinding Lights
Relax - I'll Go Crazy If I Don't Go Crazy Tonight (remix) - Two Tribes
Sunday Bloody Sunday
Walk On - You'll Never Walk Alone
Encore(s): One, Unchained Melody - Where the Streets Have No Name
Hold Me Thrill Me Kiss Me Kill Me
With or Without You
Moment of Surrender


Thursday, November 25, 2010

Gone But Not Forgotten

November is a sad month for rock and roll. Among others, dear Michael Hutchence (INXS frontman), Freddie Mercury (Do I really have to say Queen frontman?) and George Harrison (I won´t say anything here) passed away.

Michael Hutchence belts out a song during a 1991 concert at the Whiskey in West Hollywood, California. (Getty Images)

 It's been 13 years since we lost the great Michael Hutchence at the age of only 37. But even over a decade since his death he's still regarded as one of the most charismatic performers Australia has ever produced.
Born in Sydney in 1960 he met up with the Farriss brothers in the late 70s and formed INXS. Their self-titled debut came out in 1980 and since then INXS have sold millions of albums.
Michael said of the band's success. "INXS are real. INXS is a real band. We didn't just have a hit out of a garage. We just kept on playing and playing and that's the way we work and function. We're a living band."
Michael lived his life to the full.And while he wasn't doing stuff with INXS he was busy with his side project Max Q and collaborating with Jimmy Barnes and amongst others Bono from U2.
When he passed away suddenly in 1997 tributes flooded in and continue to do so to this day.
"Michael Hutchence is the sweetest boy I've ever met." Kylie Minogue remembered at the time of his passing.
While, Jon Farriss remembered his bandmate and close friend as a man who lived his life the way he wanted. "He was enthusiastic, energetic, charming and mysterious. He was a poet, a visionary and a dreamer who was deeply passionate about music and the arts."
Bono said of him: "Michael was not only a great singer but a great friend of ours"...

Since Michael's passing, U2 have often paid tribute to their great mate 'Hutch' many times at their concerts around the world. To see them, click here.
The most well-known is their song "Stuck in a moment you can´t get out" from the All that you can´t leave behind" album.

On 25th  we remember Freddie Mercury as a legend or rock. The great Queen singer was loved all over the world, worshipped as a rock star, admired as a man and always evolving.
Freddie Mercury (his real name was Farrokh Bulsara) was born in 1946. When he was 24 he met Brian May and Roger Taylor and formed the band Queen. Almost immediately he was known for his theatrical style and amazing four octave vocal range.
In the 70s and 80s with the help from his bandmates Freddie's flamboyant style helped change the musical landscape around the world forever.

Queen playing their classic hit "Radio Ga Ga" at Live Aid 1985 at Wembley Stadium (remembered by U2`s fans as the 16 minutes we almost lost Bono) , Freddie Mercury was one of those amazing rock stars that could command the stage and his audience.
"The most important thing for me is to be happy and to have fun," he once said. "Happiness is the most important thing. If I'm happy then it shows in my work."
Outside of Queen he released a couple of solo albums and even collaborated on three Michael Jackson songs, none of them officially released. But one colloboration that became one of his best known works was with good friend David Bowie and the song "Under Pressure".
And then one day in 1991 Mercury told Queen's manager that he was going to make a public announcement that he was HIV positive. Just over 24 hours later he died of bronchial pneumonia. It was November 24 in 1991. Freddie Mercury was 45.

Live Aid 85

 Bono made a funny remark of his encounter with Queen´s frontman in the book U2 by U2 (here)

 George Harrison, also known as "The Quiet Beatle"and its  quiet lead guitarist and spiritual explorer who added both rock 'n' roll flash and a touch of the mystic to the band's timeless magic, died on November 29, 2001. He was 58. Harrison died at a friend's Los Angeles home following a battle with cancer, longtime friend Gavin De Becker told The Associated Press. Harrison's wife, Olivia Harrison, and son Dhani, 24, were with him. 
''He left this world as he lived in it, conscious of God, fearless of death, and at peace, surrounded by family and friends,'' the Harrison family said in a statement. "He often said, Everything else can wait, but the search for God cannot wait, and love one another.'' 
With Harrison's death, there remain two surviving Beatles: Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr. John Lennon was shot to death by a deranged fan in 1980. 
''I am devastated and very, very sad,'' McCartney told The Press Association, a British news agency, early Friday. ''He was a lovely guy and a very brave man and had a wonderful sense of humor. He is really just my baby brother.'' T A man who sought privacy in his life, Harrison attempted to keep some of it, when a world of fans grew concerned about his ongoing encounters with cancer. In July 2001, he released a statement asking fans not to worry about reports that he was still battling cancer.

George Harrison was born Feb. 25, 1943, in Liverpool, one of four children of Harold and Louise Harrison. His father, a former ship's steward, became a bus conductor soon after his marriage. Harrison was 13 when he bought his first guitar and befriended Paul McCartney at their school. McCartney introduced him to Lennon, who had founded a band called the Quarry Men - Harrison was allowed to play if one of the regulars didn't show up. ''When I joined, he didn't really know how to play the guitar; he had a little guitar with three strings on it that looked like a banjo,'' Harrison recalled of Lennon during testimony in a 1998 court case against the owner of a bootleg Beatles' recording. ''I put the six strings on and showed him all the chords - it was actually me who got him playing the guitar. He didn't object to that, being taught by someone who was the baby of the group. John and I had a very good relationship from very early on.''
George Harrison's passing is the loss of an extraordinary human being. He will be missed by an entire generation.
In the Elevation Tour, U2 played Harrison´s song "My Sweet Lord" in his memory.



We're still in the driving seat'

ROLE PLAYERS: Bass player Adam Clayton is the modest musician, where frontman Bono is the charismatic leader. PICTURES / AP

 Scott Kara (TimeOut, New Zealand) talks to U2's Adam Clayton about how the band has evolved and why the game's not over yet.
Bono describes him as "wildly and mentally endowed" with the "sartorial swagger of the Brat Pack". He's the Clark Gable - think Rhett Butler in Gone With The Wind - of the biggest band in the world.
Well, that's what Bono reckons anyway. To us mere mortals, however, Adam Clayton is simply U2's laid-back, cruisy and ever-so-stylish bass player.
Following a friendly reminder from his assistant, he calls me 25 minutes late from New York on Sunday morning (New Zealand time).
"Hi Scott. It's Adam," he says cheerily. He asks what the weather's like.

t's glum but it'll be beautiful for their two Auckland shows (the first of which is tonight), I tell him.
"It better be or we won't come," he chuckles.
There's some small talk about rugby, since the All Blacks have just played Ireland.
"Is it appropriate to ask who won?" he asks politely.
The All Blacks, but it was a typically determined Irish effort.
"It's a bit too brutish for me. I'm more of a cricket fan," he offers. It's perhaps not surprising he likes the gentlemen's game, considering he and bandmate The Edge were both born in England rather than being of pure-bred Irish stock like drummer Larry Mullen jnr and Bono.
"Actually, I don't particularly like the cricket, I like the clothes," he laughs.
So it turns out Bono's sartorial observation is right.
Clayton, the man, is also friendly, forthcoming, and understated. The thing is, he's almost pathologically modest.
"What comes across on stage is a pretty honest depiction of the way I see things," he says. "I think people understand I don't take all of this too seriously. It [being in U2] is something you get up and do every day and life carries on, regardless.
"But it's an amazing thing to have grown up with your mates for 30 years," he says, before reverting back to the most absurd understatement, "and to have made more than a good living out of it."
Not that the 50-year-old is dismissive of what U2 have become since forming in Dublin in 1976 when 14-year-old Mullen put out a call on the school noticeboard for musicians to join a new band.
Back then, Clayton "was an unhappy teenager and music was the thing that always calmed me". He admired The Who's bass player John Entwistle, was into punk, and about to discover the funky delights of black music and rhythm and blues ("when bass gets funky, that's when I get interested").
These days, even though he's rolling in it and feeling quite relaxed, he still has the same hunger and passion for music.
"There is some essential truth within music. You know, when you see a great band or a great singer you're dealing with something irrefutable. And I've always followed that and still consider music in that way, and try to get to that moment where people reveal something that's more powerful than feeling it.
"I think what is interesting," he continues, "is that rock 'n' roll was kind of invented as a teenage art form, and in some ways people diss whether or not you can continue to be relevant as you get older. I would say my experience, and the band's experience, is that age has nothing to do with it - it's about the quality of your ideas and how you execute them. I think we're still very much in the driving seat now."
That "good living", as Clayton describes it, comes from having sold more than 150 million records, being one of the biggest touring bands around and having, in Bono, music's ultimate statesman and crusader.
"He's crazy, charismatic, and intelligent. It's a specific job being a frontman and a lead singer and I think we've got one of the best."
Even in an age of plummeting record sales, with the 360° tour, in support of latest album No Line On The Horizon, U2 could just be bigger than ever.
The band have embarked on some large-scale tours in their time, including 1992's Zoo TV in support of Achtung Baby and the elaborate PopMart tour of the late 90s, but they don't get bigger and more technically ambitious than the 360-degree staging and audience configuration of the current stadium tour.
With its giant, claw-like centrepiece and the cylindrical video screen, it is immense and revolutionary. "It's probably our first stadium tour where we've had to learn how to make it work," says Clayton.
While the set list for the tour includes all the band's big songs, like Where The Streets Have No Name, Pride (In The Name Of Love), and Vertigo, Clayton says they are also playing a few new songs, as well as some surprises like The Unforgettable Fire, the title track off their beautifully ambitious, yet underrated, 1984 album, which was a highlight of the 360 Live At The Pasadena Bowl DVD released earlier this year.
"The shows are kind of interesting because not only is the band playing really well - we're really settling in nicely now - but we're now being brave enough to add in some new songs along the way. It's a bit of a first and, I have to say, it's a bit risky to be playing new songs to a stadium full of people. But it seems to go across pretty well."
Brave? Risky? You're in U2, man.
"Well, that's true. But there are things that you don't do and one of them is, when you're playing shows to very large amounts of people, you don't give them anything that means their attention will wander. You've got to have all the bells and whistles or they'll go and get a hot dog. You can do it in a club or an arena because you can lose them for a song and you can pick them back up again, but in these bigger settings it is risky."
These new songs, he says, could be the start of a new, fresh period for U2. Clayton believes U2's albums can be grouped into cycles. So 1980's raw, impassioned debut Boy, 1981 follow-up October, and the anthemic and revolutionary War from 1982 were formative records.
Clayton describes as "a convulsion of adolescence" in the notes of the 20th anniversary collectors' edition of The Joshua Tree. The next three albums - the The Unforgettable Fire, the mega-selling Joshua Tree (1987) and, arguably the band's best album, Achtung Baby (1991) - were where U2 found their true identity.
"When I think of [those three records] I see one of our great creative runs as a band, a series of albums which represent the 'core values' of U2," he says.
After Achtung Baby - "industrial, underground and noisy" - they got even more experimental, dancey and electronic in focus on Zooropa (1993) and Pop (1997).
The latter, believes Clayton, started out being more mainstream but was taken over by the influence of the British dance music scene, which comes through on lead single Discotheque. It's arguably the band's weakest album - yet given its shot at doing something different, it's hardly a dud.
The band's next phase signalled the start of the current era, a return to a more classic and traditional U2 sound.
"We really wanted to bring it back to being a band again. We stripped it back down to reveal what a good band we had and that really was All That You Can't Leave Behind. We decided consciously to go back indoors and play indoor concerts because at an indoor concert you don't need to have as much production value and you can pretty much be on stage and do it with the music alone.
"That cycle continued through How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb and on No Line On The Horizon, which although it sounded like a band that had grown, we were still very much working in that stripped-down format, and it's probably the end of another cycle."
The band are working on new material at present and the next album will be different again.
"It is quite a fresh area for U2 to be working in. I don't think it's going to sound like familiar U2 territory at all. The creative process is always exhilarating and fun, because you can go as far as you like."
And that's all he's saying about the new songs until they play them live - so pick your moment when you go and get that hotdog.


Auckland, New Zealand,November 25

Bono´s "rock star" stance

After about six weeks off the road,U2  resumed the 360 tour on Thursday in Auckland, New Zealand.   They performed especially for the New Zealanders "their song": "One Tree Hill", Bono dedicated it to the victims of the Pike River mining disaster and the names of the 29 victims scrolled on screen during the song.  Jay-Z joined U2 on stage for two songs, including the first performance of "Scarlet" since September 3, 1981.


Return of the Stingray Guitar
Beautiful Day
I Will Follow
Get On Your Boots
Mysterious Ways
Until the End of the World
I Still Haven't Found 
What I'm Looking For
One Tree Hill, Pride
In A Little While
Miss Sarajevo
City of Blinding Lights
I'll Go Crazy If I Don't Go Crazy Tonight (remix)- Relax -
Two Tribes
Sunday Bloody Sunday
Walk On - You'll Never Walk Alone
Encore(s): One
Amazing Grace - Where the Streets Have No Name
With or Without You
Moment of Surrender

Picture gallery here


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Bono & The Edge Discuss 'Spider-Man' Delays

Creating a megamusical is no easy feat, even in the hands of U2 megastars Bono and The Edge.

"Easier than we could ever have imagined. Harder than we ever thought," says Bono, resting on a Times Square hotel bed near where "Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark" is readying for its first preview.

"I mean, easier in the sense that the music came to us effortlessly. Dreaming up the show, the scale of it, the flying sequence, the pop art opera that it is - that was all pure joy," he adds. "What we didn't realize was how difficult it is to stage this stuff, both technically and financially."

It's been a long, strange trip for the rock duo's first attempt at a Broadway show. But the end is in sight: Years of delays and behind-the-scenes shake-ups will end Sunday (Nov. 28) when the public finally gets to see the reported $60 million musical for the first time. The first preview is naturally sold out.

"Is there jeopardy?" asks Bono, U2's main songwriter and lead singer. "Yes. Because it's technically very difficult. It has never been achieved before - the kind of scale of what we're looking for. There may be very good reasons. We're going to find out. The expense of it? A lot of it was the delays."

He and the Edge, the band's lead guitarist, signed on back in 2002 to write the score in partnership with co-writer and director Julie Taymor, the Tony Award-winning creator of the Broadway hit "The Lion King." The death of a key producer slowed the production for nearly two years while raising money, and the sheer size of the show - enormous sets, a 41-member cast and aerial stunts - needed time to perfect.

"If the rabbit comes out of the hat, we will be, I think, rewarded. If the rabbit comes out of the leg of the trousers, we could be figures of fun for a few days. Or worse. Maybe looking for a job," he says.

The musical has 40 pieces of music in total, including 18 songs. Only one tune - the glam rocker "A Boy Falls From the Sky" - is widely known, but Bono and the Edge say the show's music runs the gamut from garage rock ("Dancing Off the Walls") to choral arrangements. Only four or five are rock songs and the musicians want to dispel the notion that they've created a rock opera similar to The Who's "Tommy."

"It's much more varied than anything we would ever achieve or set out to do with U2," says the Edge.

Adds Bono: "There's big, otherworldly melodies. There's dance numbers. There's experimental, avant-garde, jagged metal pieces."

The music for the show will be performed live from an 18-member orchestra in two rooms backstage. Two musicians from the band Carney will be on stage alongside their lead singer, Reeve Carney, who plays Peter Parker/Spider-Man.

Bono says only two songs had their start before the project began and the rest were custom created for the show. Sometimes, he and the Edge would come up with an idea for a song, and other times the scene came first.

"We would always defer to the needs of the story and characters," says The Edge. "It was a fun project and it was in that spirit of fun and just letting your imagination go off that a lot of this stuff came together."

They hope the experience will unlock the songwriting and expand their vocabulary - or at least shake things up - when they rejoin bassist Adam Clayton and drummer Larry Mullen Jr. in U2.

"As much as we've used our experiences with U2 to inform the way that we approach writing for this, we think that the opposite will happen, and when we come back to U2 Land, it'll be with a certain knowledge and sense of new thoughts and new ideas," the Edge says.

Both men are happy with the final product, layering praise on Taymor, whom Bono calls a "master of her form, a great storyteller and she believes in magic." He also calls Eiko Ishioka, who did the costumes, and George Tsypin, the set-maker, as "two card-carrying geniuses."

Bono has been inside the sprawling Foxwoods Theatre on 42nd Street and says that despite the delays, the mood is upbeat, from the top creative people to the stagehands. New paint and carpet have been placed in the theater's lobbies in anticipation of final dress rehearsals later this week.

"I think even though it looks like there's a lot of ill will against us, I think it'll turn around," he says. "If it's just spectacle, we will have failed. But if you can be moved, and if you believe these characters, and… you really buy into the myth, it's a great American story."
© 2010 The Associated Press


All Set For Auckland

U2.com has posted a short video showing The Claw at  Mt Smart Stadium, Auckland, getting ready for tomorrow´s  big night.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Bono to paint Sydney icons RED

U2 SUPERSTAR Bono will turn the Opera House and Harbour Bridge red next Tuesday as part of commemorations to mark World AIDS Day.
He will press the button to turn the two famous landmarks crimson in a ceremony involving Premier Kristina Keneally and Governor-General Quentin Bryce.
Bono is founder of the organisation RED, which has provided $150 million worth of assistance, including AIDS medicines, to sufferers in Africa.
Other global landmarks to get the RED overhaul include the London Eye and City Hall in Dublin, Bono's home city.
Technical experts will take advantage of the rigging on the Bridge for the New Year fireworks to light the eastern arch and pylons. NSW Health will also erect a large red ribbon on the south pylon.
World AIDS Day is held on December 1 to raise awareness of victims and to remember those who have died from the disease.

U2 Rehearsing in Auckland

Edge has posted a picture in his Twitter account of (obviously) One Tree Hill, the tallest five volcanic islands which make up Auckland, New Zealand. The song makes reference to their friend and value member of the U2 organization, Greg Carroll who passed away during The Joshua Tree Tour.

"The imaginery of (the song) ´One Tree Hill' superbly evoked the seafaring heritage of Carroll´s Maori ancestors. A spiritual tour de force, it is a hymn of praise and celebration which describes the traditional Maori  burial of their friend on One Tree Hill and links it poetically with themes of renewal and redemption, with the river running, running down to the sea." (Niall Stokes: U2 The Stories Behind Every U2 Song)

The band started rehearsing for their concert at Mt Smart Stadium in Auckland for next Thursday 25th.

There was a  surprise  for the fans huddled at the Beasley Rd entrance as they ran through Scarlet for the first time.

And New Zealand's favourite U2 song also got some time tonight - Bono introducing it by saying to the assembled fans and crew, 'Tonight we just think about these people who are still under the ground and our hopes and our prayers are with them this evening,' referencing the mining disaster on the country's West Coast.


Rolling Stone: The Playlist Special

In this issue of Rolling Stone magazine "Fifty artists pick up their personal top tens". Bono is the first one to tell us about his top tens. He chose David Bowie, great influence for U2´s music.

"What I've chosen from David Bowie is very strict. It's my teenage life as a Bowie fan. I am still a Bowie fan. But this was when my heart and mind were very vulnerable to music. And these songs had a real impact. U2 owe him a lot. He introduced us to Berlin and Hansa Studios, to collaborating with Brian Eno. It's the high singing, beyond your 'man' voice into the feminine. And there's the staging, the attempt to be innovative. It has been pointed out that the Claw [the 360˚ stage] looks like the Glass Spider. Bowie wasn't afraid to use scale, to dramatize things. His set list was not just a jukebox he could run through. It was drama."
  1. "Space Oddity" 1969 We walk onstage to this every night — like four astronauts.
  2. "The Man Who Sold the World" 1970 America fell in love with that song because of Kurt Cobain — a man who wouldn't sell the world anything.
  3. "Changes" 1971 It's not exaggerating to say, what Elvis meant to America, David Bowie meant to the U.K. and Ireland. It was that radical a shift in consciousness.
  4. "Five Years" 1972 This sounds like it's coming from the chanson tradition. Elsewhere on Ziggy Stardust, he talks about William Burroughs. I bought Naked Lunch, which is a hard read at 15. But Bowie made important introductions, just by talking about what turned him on.
  5. "Life on Mars" 1971 Bowie's world was always full of intellectual and artistic static. Where he lived was a long way from where I lived in Dublin.
  6. "Starman" 1972 The first time I saw him was singing "Starman" on Top of the Pops. It was like a creature falling from the sky. Americans put a man on the moon. We had our own British guy from space — with an Irish mother.
  7. "Lady Grinning Soul" 1973 This is a beguiling and unusual David Bowie song. It's already there, the black influence that would be on the next album. I'd be interested to hear what Roy Bittan [of the E Street Band] would think of that operatic piano part. Bowie was a big fan of Springsteen.
  8. "The Jean Genie" 1973 Every so often, Bowie goes up against Jagger. I love his take on blues and R&B — the discipline, that swing beat. The Smiths are born in that song too.
  9. "John, I'm Only Dancing" 1972 Again, I love the economy, this rockabilly beat. It's not enough to be a great songwriter. You have to turn that song into a record, and that requires production and arrangement of a high order..
  10. "Young Americans" 1975 The great moment in this is that beautifully out-of-tune guitar break. I loved that.
  11. "Fame" 1975 I was fascinated by Bowie's predicament in this song. This was a precious and precocious talent, wanting not to die stupid.
  12. "Warszawa" 1977 I have powerful memories of meeting with my friend Gavin Friday in his living room on Monday nights to play music. We created our own world, listening to this album and trying to find out what it was about.
  13. "Heroes" 1977 It encapsulates the thought that all lovers go through: They're not alone and can take on the world. And it has Robert Fripp's furious contribution on guitar.
  14. "Ashes to Ashes" 1980 The sonic innovation of Low and Heroes is becoming more pop. I remember figuring out how they got that ping-ping-ping piano sound — we ended up using it on "Lemon."
  15. "Up the Hill Backwards" 1980 I chose this because it's like my life.


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

'Wide Awake In Europe' for Record Store Day

Wide Awake in Europe, possible cover

To celebrate Record Store Day on November 23rd, U2 are releasing a three-track live EP called Wide Awake In Europe. The limited edition vinyl will only be available from North American stores participating in Record Store Day.

 'We all wanted to get behind Record Store Day, ’ said bassist Adam Clayton, 'My local record shop introduced me to music I didn’t know and I might never have discovered.'

With only 5000 copies pressed, Wide Awake In Europe will be led by 'Mercy’ recorded live in Brussels on September 22nd 2010 and also features live performances of 'Moment of Surrender' and  'I'll Go Crazy If I Don't Go Crazy Tonight' from the U2360°Tour.

This is the first time any recording of Mercy has been released - the song has been in progress for a while and was featured in the setlist of the 2010 European leg of U2360°. Fans in the UK and Ireland will also have an opportunity to get the vinyl - a few hundred copies will also be shipped to shops in the UK and Ireland. 

The title of the EP  recalls the band's 1985 release 'Wide Awake in America' which featured live performances from The Unforgettable Fire Tour. 


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Metallica´s Drummer U2`s Groupie?

The reporter Elmo Keep  interviewed Lars Ulrich before Metallica’s show in Sydney. They chatted about music and she discovered that Lars Ulrich’s favourite band is U2. “I would go so far as to call myself a fucking U2 groupie, man. I am the biggest U2 fan in the world,” and I said “No, not really, I am,” and he said, “Oh really, you are?” and I was like, “YEP.” And he was laughing, well ok. “I would play in the fucking parking lot of the venue where U2 were playing inside on the stage, I would not even care, I would do that for them.” Then I was saying “Well, can’t you just ask Bono about this tete-a-tete and make it happen? He’s meant to be the nicest person in the world, I’m sure he’d go for it.” And Lars was saying, well maybe.

AlsoAkon , the  R&B star, is a huge fan of the Irish singing legend,Bono,best known for his work with U2. Akon has been lucky enough to work with many of his musical heroes already, but says the famous band have always remained elusive.
“U2 is the only one I haven’t collaborated with. That’s my next goal,” he said. “I will kidnap Bono. Trust me! I will hold him hostage for his vocals.”


Daniel Lanois Talks About NLOTH

Over the last 25 years Daniel Lanois has produced landmark albums for U2, Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson and Peter Gabriel, among many others. Last year — around the time he started to craft the album Le Noise with Neil Young — Lanois began writing his memoirs. The result, Soul Mining: A Musical Life, came out November 9. Co-written with Keisha Kalfin, the book jumps from era to era non-chronologically, focusing on some of Lanois' greatest records. "I tend to think in a non-linear way," Lanois tells Rolling Stone. "And chronology doesn't come into play for the creation of music, so I decided to work that way. It's probably also just the acid kicking back in."

Lanois isn't involved with any of U2's upcoming projects, but he says he keeps in regular touch with Bono. "Bono took advantage of his back injury and brought the band into the studio," Lanois says. "I haven't heard anything yet, but I'm sure it's adventurous." Lanois was heavily involved with U2's 2009 disc No Line On The Horizon, which didn't live up to commercial expectations.

Superstar producer Steve Lillywhite, who also worked on the disc, recently made headlines when he gently criticized the album. "They did not have the one song that ignited peoples imaginations," he said. "It's a pity because the whole idea of Morocco as a big idea was great. When the big idea for U2 is good, that is when they succeed the most, but I don't think the spirit of what they set out to achieve was translated. Something happened that meant it did not come across on the record."

Lanois says he doesn't totally agree with that assessment. "Steve came in late into the project so he would have a late-in-the-project perspective," he says. "The record started out brilliantly. We were just full of life when we started it in Morocco. Bono wanted to make a gospel record for the future. The first third of the record was filled with delight and we really hit on something special. We spent a long time on it, perhaps too long. The usual pressures came in at the end, like what's the first single going to be and what's gonna be in the set. If we had put out the record coming out of Morocco it would have been an amazing record, even at that stage."

Read the complete article here.


Monday, November 15, 2010

Is Edge the Greatest Guitarist Ever?

You can vote  here in the NME poll, results with next week issue.

The magazine also features the 50 best-selling albums ever and The Joshua Tree appears as 41.

41. U2, 'The Joshua Tree' (1987). Copies sold: 25 million


Is it the President? Vice-president? Or Bono?

Funny excerpt of an episode of Grey´s Anatomy :


Sunday, November 14, 2010

Bono on Aung San Suu Kyi

Bono talks about Aung San Suu Kyi´s release and makes plea to world for release of more political prisoner with CNN.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

News Updated: "Cautious Joy"

U2 have responded to the news of Aung San Suu Kyi's release today.

'There is a cautious joy amongst the campaigners for Aung San Suu Kyi's release. Over the years we have feared for her life, and until Burma's leadership better reflects its people, we should continue to be vigilant in our concern.

'For a life denied the basic freedoms, she has lived so vividly in the minds of her people and supporters and accomplished so much.  By putting the people of Burma's interests above her own, she has lived in stark contrast with her oppressors.  Her struggle has become a symbol for all humanity, of what we are capable of - best and worst.  Her very grace so infuriating to the bully government whose brutish gorging of the country's rich resources have left the people of Burma poor and hungry.

We can only pray that those in the junta who decided on her release will start to see sense and seize this opportunity to begin a genuine dialogue towards democracy. We will know they are serious when they release the other 2,202 prisoners denied a life for the crime of wanting to believe an election result.'


Aung San Suu Kyi Released

Burma Campaign UK today welcomed the release of Aung San Suu Kyi, but warned that the release should not be interpreted as a sign that democratic reform is on the way.  Burma Campaign UK also called for the immediate release of 2,202 political prisoners who remain in detention.

“The release of Aung San Suu Kyi is about public relations, not democratic reform,” said Zoya Phan, International Coordinator at Burma Campaign UK. “I am thrilled to see our democracy leader free at last, but the release is not part of any political process, instead it is designed to get positive publicity for the dictatorship after the blatant rigging of elections on 7th November. We must not forget the thousands of other political prisoners still suffering in Burma’s jails.”

It is the third time Aung San Suu Kyi has been released from house arrest.  The last time she was released, in 2002, it was part of a UN-led initiative to try to persuade Burma’s dictatorship to enter into dialogue leading to a transition to democracy. However, when the time came for substantive discussions the dictatorship refused to continue the dialogue. At the current time there is no such UN effort.  The focus of the international community has instead been on a failed effort to ensure elections were free and fair.

The international community should use the release of Aung San Suu Kyi as an opportunity to apply pressure on the dictatorship to enter into genuine dialogue.

For many years the United Nations Security Council, United Nations General Assembly, United Nations Human Rights Council, United Nations Secretary General, European Union, ASEAN, USA and even China has stated that the way to bring genuine change in Burma is for dialogue between the democracy movement, including the NLD, genuine ethnic representatives, and the dictatorship. The jargon used to describe this dialogue is tri-partite dialogue. This dialogue should lead to national reconciliation and a transition to democracy.

A revived UN-led effort to secure such dialogue, with strong backing from world leaders and the United Nations Security Council, must be the top priority. This must not be delegated to a new low-level UN envoy. The UN must learn from the failures of previous UN envoys, such as Razali Ismail, who did not have the strong international backing he needed, and Ibrahim Gambari, who tried a ‘hug a General’ approach of befriending the Generals, which failed miserably.

“The international community must seize the opportunity of Aung San Suu Kyi’s release to increase pressure on the dictatorship to enter into dialogue,” said Zoya Phan. “Ban Ki-Moon must personally take the lead in persuading the dictatorship to start genuine negotiations with Aung San Suu Kyi and ethnic groups.”

Burma Campaign UK has produced a detailed briefing paper on Aung San Suu Kyi, which provides a basic history, as well as analysis and information on past actions and future options for the international community. The briefing is available here.

A video of her release, here:

U2´s Tribute to Aung San Suu Kyi, FedEx Field Washington DC,2009

Unfortunately Aung San Suu Kyi is not the only political prisoner in the world, Amnesty International invites you to write for rights, here


Thursday, November 11, 2010

Cold Dream Colour

More about Morleigh Steinberg´s dance homage to Irish artist, Louis le Brocquy.

 Morleigh Steinberg, choreographer, wife of The Edge,  is Artistic Director of Cold Dream Colour: a ‘dance homage’ to Ireland’s greatest living artist, Louis le Brocquy.

The performance features original music by The Edge, and premieres in Dublin this Friday and Saturday, at the Pavilion Theatre. U2.com caught up with Morleigh ahead of opening night.

So, a dance ‘homage’ to Louis le Brocquy… what’s that all about?!

A dance homage – yes! When I first saw his work, about 15 years ago, I thought his paintings were so indicative of dance. For me, they were such an inspiration to create movement and I wanted to study the paintings, to really get into them.
He’s such an amazing artist. He’s worked so hard his whole life, and has remained so present in his own work. It’s all connected, it’s all going somewhere, it’s all very beautiful to see.
I had a conversation with him, briefly, and I asked if he’d ever seen his paintings danced. He said no, he had never seen his paintings danced! So the idea started there. He so often pays homage to different painters, and I thought, for his birthday we could pay homage to him.

Where did you start?

I looked at the whole body of his work, and then chose some of his periods that seemed relevant to movement or to theatre - or that really moved me, and stirred my soul. I asked two other choreographers - Liz Roche, from Ireland, and Oguri, who is Japanese and lives in LA - to look at the work too, and to see what they gravitated towards.
We studied the paintings, and the ideas behind them, and the technique and the colour, and started to make a piece from there.
The first ones I looked at were The Heads – beautiful white faces coming out of this beautiful light atmosphere. There is something so primal and so spiritual about them. So that was my first inspiration. And then the whole grey period, which had to do with post-war Ireland. A very bleak subject matter, but there’s always hope in Louis’ work.

Have you created a narrative to the performance?

There is a narrative in the way he painted, and we kind of stuck to that. There’s always hope in his paintings, a hope that rings true: the hope in the human spirit, in being human.
The dance is not chronological in terms of his work; it’s a loose narrative, just as his paintings are. You only ever look at one painting at a time, after all. They’re snapshots.
But I really didn’t want to create a literal interpretation of his paintings. I wanted to ask, what do they inspire in us?

How did Edge get on, creating the original music?

Well, he and Paul Chavez and I got into a studio, and it was a lot of fun. It’s so freeform; you’re creating sound beds. There are some melodic pieces, and pieces with rhythm; but it was fun and liberating for him to work on sound, rather than to work within the distinct structure of rock songs.
 I asked them, “What do these paintings sound like? What is their sonic atmosphere?” I didn’t want them to make music for the dance, as such; I wanted them to make music for the paintings.
The result is at times atmospheric, and at times tuneful. But there are no vocals. It’s been recorded, but it will be mixed live by Paul on the night. So the music feels organic within the performance.

Was Edge using synths, or guitars, or what?

Oh my God... they used everything from a glass harmonica to guitars, to strange keyboards, to bottles… It was such fun. It was a lot of work, but a lot of fun.
Edge is pleased with how it’s turned out. We did a workshop performance earlier this year and he was very happy with it.

You’re from the States, and Louis le Brocquy is one of Ireland’s great living artists. Is this a cross-cultural embrace, for you?

When I first arrived here, I didn’t have much connection with Ireland at all - and looking at his paintings helped me to make a connection. I began to understand Ireland more, because I could relate to his paintings on a physical level. It was very personal; they helped me to feel more at home.

What do you hope your audience will take from Cold Dream Colour?

I hope it hits people at a very guttural level, as Louis’ work does. We’re dancing from the inside out. It’s not a superficial performance, that’s for sure. Even if people don’t understand it, they will still feel something.

Is Louis coming?

We hope so. He’s turning 94 on Wednesday, so it depends how much energy he has.

If he does get to see it, what do you hope he’ll draw from the experience?

You know, even if he just listens to the music and is inspired by that, I think it would be great. If he sees the performance and feels something of his work within it, that would be a success. And if he comes and just falls asleep and has a wonderful dream, I’ll be very happy.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Malaria No More Annual Benefit

Bono attended the 2010 Malaria No More Benefit at The IAC Building on November 8, 2010 in New York City.

Determined to end malaria deaths in Africa by 2015 and they are helping the world get it done. Malaria No More leverages high-impact awareness campaigns to engage the world, global advocacy to rally leadership and strategic investments in Africa to accelerate progress, build capacity and save lives.

Malaria No More is working to make sure that every family in Africa has ready access to the tools they need to prevent, diagnose and treat malaria.

Annual Benefit on November 8th, 2010.


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Bono, Ali and Edge in Anton Corbijn´s Exhibition

It's not every Friday night that Bono swings by a New York gallery opening, but Anton Corbijn isn't your typical artist. The Dutch photographer has made a name for himself over the decades for his work in the music industry, and his new show at Stellan Holm's space on Madison Avenue consists of black-and-white portraits of creative types, from Richard Prince and Iggy Pop to Kate Moss and Alexander McQueen.
"A lot of relationships that started with reluctance have been very fruitful," Corbijn explained. U2 was one of them, he added, and a few minutes later, the band's front man—arriving on the scene with wife, Ali Hewson, and Helena Christensen—was there to offer his own take. "The story of our relationship with Anton is just really so much laughter—but none of it on camera," Bono said. "He had a very extraordinary eye on the music, and he photographed not the person you were, but the one you might be. In that sense, he had a lot of faith in us. I'm not sure we ever became as interesting as our pictures."

Ali and Helena

To see Anton´s pictures, click here


Monday, November 8, 2010

Bono Wrote for Italian Singer Zucchero

Bono has written a song "Someone Else's Tears" for Italian singer Zucchero which appears in his new album Chocabeck.  He had collaborated with him in the past with two songs "Misere" and "Blue" and  they also performed together at the NetAid concert in 1999, and at the Pavarotti and Friends concert in 2003.

In Zucchero´s website, you can listen to an extract of the song and read the lyrics.


Saturday, November 6, 2010

U2 Win Big at Billboard Touring Awards

U2, Lady Gaga, Metallica and Taylor Swift capped off huge touring years by taking home the major awards at the 2010 Billboard Touring Awards, held on Nov. 4 at the Sheraton New York Hotel & Towers. Rush and Jack Johnson were also honored during the ceremony, which concluded the Billboard Touring Conference held on Nov. 3 and 4 in New York.
In honor of its massive 360 world tour, U2 was presented with the Top Tour and Top Draw Awards, which recognize the top grossing and ticket-selling tours based on global box office numbers, as reported to Billboard Boxscore from Oct. 1, 2009 through Sept. 30, 2010.
 Legendary rock group Rush was also named the 2010 Billboard Legend Of Live at the ceremony, and Jack Johnson took home the Humanitarian Award, which was supported by Brita FilterForGood. Yo Gabba Gabba Live! was given the Creative Content Award.
Live Nation Entertainment led the industry-related awards by being named the year's Top Promoter. C3 Presents won Top U.S. Independent Promoter, T4F was named Top International Independent Promoter, Creative Artists Agency was named the Top Agency, and Front Line Management Group won Top Manager.


Thursday, November 4, 2010

Jay-Z and U2 to take on Sydney

THERE are not many musicians bold enough to ask Jay-Z to open for them on stage.
Jay-Z is considered the best rapper of all time, has won 10 Grammys and his 11 No.1 albums beat Elvis Presley for the most chart toppers by a solo artist in US history.
He's married to Beyonce and has President Obama's private telephone number.
The rapper may have 99 problems, but warming up the crowd for U2 in Australia is not one of them.
When it comes to concert billing, he has zero ego.
"They deserve it," Jay-Z says. "They are the biggest band in the world. It's out of respect to them, the legacy they've created. It doesn't matter to me. I'm concerned with having great shows and putting on a great show for the people.
"The people don't care who goes on first, that's something the industry created. They're happy to get a great package, they're like 'I get to see Muhammad Ali and the Beatles?"
The rapper pauses for a moment, laughs and clarifies, "I'm not saying we are Muhammad Ali and the Beatles, I'm just saying it's a great package."

After a brief retirement (where he was CEO of his old record label Def Jam) last year's Blueprint 3 saw Jay-Z score his first US No.1 hit on his own terms Empire State of Mind with Alicia Keys having previously been on top via guest raps on Rihanna's Umbrella, Mariah Carey's Heartbreaker and Beyonce's Crazy in Love.
He's had the most US Top 10 hits of any rapper and is forging new ground in the relatively young hip hop genre; still at the top of his game despite turning 41 in December.
In the past he's called himself the U2 of hip hop.
"I just mean as far as impact and longevity," Jay-Z explains.
"I mean, in rap 10 years is like 40 years.
"I've been able to record at a high level for a long time and still be not a heritage act but somebody that's still competing for the No.1 position (on the chart). It feels really good."
He's also established himself as a live act with a fully live band, previously a rarity in hip hop where budget tours would see a rapper, an MC and a DJ.

He's also become a festival act; headlining Glastonbury and Coachella.
"It's a new feeling for me. I love having to woo so many different people. It was challenging, I almost felt like a new artist which was cool. It's almost like a discovery. I know there'll be U2 fans (in Australia) who'll go I know the name, I don't know the music and they'll go I know this song and they realise it's just music, let's have some fun."

"Music is music. As far as the commerce of music, yes, there's some challenges there. As far as people making music theres great music there you just have to look for it. There aren't 50 good albums anymore, there's maybe 15, but you just gotta look around for them."Last November Jay-Z joined U2 on stage at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin to add a rap to Sunday Bloody Sunday; they also performed together at this years Hope for Haiti telethon.

Complete article here.