Tuesday, February 18, 2014

U2 at the Jimmy Fallon's First 'Tonight Show

U2 appears on the roof of 30 Rock (i.e. the Top of the Rock) to sing its new single, "Invisible." Behind the band, and frenetic fans, is New York City aglow in red, oranges, blues and purples. The Empire State building beams red, white and blue lights from its upper levels.

"I wonder how any act will ever match that performance in that incredible setting." Billboard reporter asked himself.

Fallon welcomes to the couch his new regime's first musical guest ("who you saw earlier"), U2. "Have you ever performed higher?" he jokes … of the band having just played 70 stories up.

Fallon asserts that activist Bono could give a speech about anything. "Can you do a speech about … this coffee mug?" he challenges. "It's not a cup," Bono begins, easily rising to the task. "It's a container that demands to be filled … by love."

 Fallon congratulates U2 on having raised more than $3 million so far for the charity (RED) from sales of "Invisible." "That's what separates you from other bands," Fallon lauds. "It's for people to buy the drugs needed to fight AIDS," Bono explains. "We're very grateful."

Fallon admits his longtime thought that if he ever had U2 on the couch, he'd ask the group to perform a song acoustic, "to see if you had the goods." The band begins playing the first music ever performed by a guest live in-studio on the "Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon": the opening notes of Led Zeppelin's "Stairway to Heaven." After laughter, U2 plays its other new single, "Ordinary Love." Bono and the band obviously have the goods.

Fallon and Smith, still on the couch, watch mesmerized.

The Roots(the house orchestra) turn the acoustic song into an electrified jam. Bono stands up, Fallon and Smith clap and the crowd dances along. Bono changes "ordinary love" into "Questlove" a few times.

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