Thursday, December 24, 2015

Bono and Hozier take to Grafton Street for Christmas Eve busk

Bono, Hozier, Glen Hansard, The Script and The Coronas took to Dublin’s Grafton Street this Christmas Eve in what has become an annual busking session for some of Ireland’s biggest musicians.
A large crowd gathered to join in the sing-along outside Dunnes Stores, with many people taking to social media to post photographs and videos.
They kicked it off with Hozier’s hit song Take Me To Church, and followed it with U2’s When Love Comes To Town.

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Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Eagles of Death Metal Talk Sharing Stage With U2

A little over a month has passed since an Eagles of Death Metal concert in Paris was the target of a deadly terrorist attack. Since then, frontman Jesse Hughes has been in awe of the outpourings of support his fellow musicians have shown him. "If I get emotional, I apologize," he says, as tears well in his eyes and his voice deepens with emotion. "It's not in a bad way. I really am very touched by the true sense of community that I've experienced in rock & roll."

The day after the November 13th assault, in which ISIS terrorists took the lives of 89 concertgoers and one of the band's crew members at Bataclan, help from fellow rockers came immediately. "Bono called me to check in on me and was praying with me on the phone," Hughes says. And then, three days later, Duran Duran spoke up. Eagles of Death Metal had covered the New Wave group's haunting and now prescient 1982 single "Save a Prayer" on this year's Zipper Down. Now Duran Duran singer Simon LeBon was telling the world they'd donate all earnings from the cover to charity. "[We are] considering options that are useful, peaceful and uniting," LeBon tweeted. When Hughes and Eagles cofounder Josh Homme heard this, they were moved by the band's selflessness and decided to create their own charitable campaign, Play It Forward, for which they asked other bands to cover their catchy, feel-good Zipper Down track "I Love You All the Time."

On December 18th, Eagles of Death Metal launched their Play It Forward website, which features 13 cover versions of "I Love You All the Time" by bands as diverse as Imagine Dragons and Savages, as well as Florence and the Machine and My Morning Jacket. For each song, the band provided links to iTunes, Amazon, Spotify and its own Play It Forward store in an effort to make it as easy as possible for fans to listen to the songs and, by proxy, send the band's royalties to the Sweet Stuff Foundation, an organization that regularly assists musicians in need and is currently allocating all donations to give to victims of the Paris attack. Pearl Jam also recorded a version of Eagles of Death Metal's "I Want You So Hard (Boy's Bad News)" live in Rio de Janeiro, which they put out as a single benefiting Play It Forward. What has astounded Hughes and Homme is the breadth of artists who submitted songs.

The Play It Forward campaign and the support of Eagles of Death Metal's peers and inspirations have not just created a way for the group to raise money for those affected by the attacks, Hughes says they've been "critical" in inspiring him to perform live again. The group that perhaps has been most encouraging in that regard has been U2, who were in Paris at the time of the attack and, even before that, had been longtime friends of the band and shown what Hughes describes as a "mutual love."

"Bono knows that I'm a Christian, and he also knows I'm a mama's boy," the singer says, holding back his emotion. "The very next day [after the attack], a courier came with a phone that had a note that said, 'This is from Bono. Make sure you call your mom.' I thought that was awesome. It was the first time that I really got to talk to my mom without being in a police station, and that meant the whole world to me at that moment.

"Then Bono called because I needed advice," Hughes continues. "I felt like the best person to ask for advice on how to deal with this is someone who's rubbed elbows with world leaders. And he just prayed with me on the phone. He kept my head off of things, and then U2 visited the memorial site and delivered lyrics of ours that he thought were appropriate. And that particularly was important to me because I really wanted to be out there. I didn't want to be in some safe house. I take personal pride in being really close to my fans. I knew a lot of the people personally that didn't make it, and that little detail, just on a personal note, is something that nobody else would ever know that it mattered, but it mattered to me. I didn't know how I was ever going to get back onstage again."

Eagles of Death Metal's next live appearance took place in Paris less than a month after the attack — at a U2 concert. "They were robbed of their stage, so we would like to offer them ours," Bono told 10s of thousands of fans at the AccorHotels Arena on December 7th. Each of the Eagles, sans Homme, then came out and stood next to their instrumental counterparts in U2 and performed Patti Smith's "People Have the Power." Hughes dressed head-to-toe in white.

When the tune ended, U2 left the stage and Eagles of Death Metal took the opportunity to play an ebullient rendition of "I Love You All the Time" as the final song of the night. As it wound down, Hughes walked to center stage with his right arm in the air, like a preacher reborn. "We love you so good," he told the crowd. "We hope you know this. Thank you, Paris. We will never give up rocking & rolling." Then, the five members joined arms and bowed.

He didn't show it that night, but Hughes admits now that he was afraid to go back. When it was done, he was glad he did. "U2 were trying to make sure we didn't have something in us killed," he says through tears. "They would have accomplished their goal if they had just performed the song with us. They didn't have to give us the stage for the last song. And they did. They took care of us completely. They were genuine and sincere, and they were very proud of our accomplishments after the fact. That was such a beautiful way to put training wheels on for performing."

Homme agrees. "I think for those boys that were in Paris to go back and play right away was really important," he says. "If you're going to let something build, it should be that confidence to go right back up there. I know that must have been difficult to do, and I was proud to watch those guys do that. It was really … " He stops. "Sometimes there's not words made yet to describe how you feel about something, and watching them, I wish I knew what letters to put together to explain how I felt. Can you imagine how tough that was?"

That show on U2's stage, Hughes says, instilled a sense of responsibility in him. "I know this sounds corny, but I feel bound to France forever now," he says. "The reaction of the country in general was wonderful to me, and so U2 gave me the opportunity to come back and go through my mourning process a little more naturally instead of feeling like I left my heart there."

It also gave the group the motivation it needed to tour again. On February 13th, they will kick off what they've dubbed their Nos Amis tour in Stockholm. Three days later, they will once again play Paris, this time at the Olympia, and they will continue to tour Europe through the first week of March. They've even planned a return trek to the continent in August. They will play the U.S. and, as Homme says, tour for the life of the record over the next couple of years.

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Thursday, December 17, 2015

Another view on Bono: Eve tells us about her "embarrassing dad"

"He may be a rock icon to millions but to me, Bono will always be my embarrassing dad"

Eve Hewson- Eva Fehren Debuts Portraits of Women That Inspire(Photos: Herring & Herring / Courtesy of Eva Fehren)

Eve Hewson is making waves in Hollywood, but there was nothing showbiz about growing up with the U2 legend (By Patricia Danaher)

The name Bono brings several images to mind: there's the rockstar strutting across a stage, the bemused artist defending the automatic download of his album on to iPhones, or the political activist paying his last respects to his late friend Nelson Mandela. One image that Paul Hewson's famous moniker certainly wouldn't suggest is that of a dad in a dressing gown embarrassing his children on the school run - but according to his actress daughter, that's exactly what the real Bono is like.

"Like any dad, he would do things that were really annoying," Eve Hewson tells me with a groan. "He used to blast The Backstreet Boys in his car in traffic on the way to school and then get out in his dressing gown and dance with his glasses on. We were just mortified. But now I think he's a really fun dad. We tease him all the time, but he teases us back too!"

John, Jordan and Elijah - photo taken last month in London

Venerated superstar he may be, but 24-year-old Eve says that she and her siblings - sister Jordan (26) and brothers Elijah (16) and John (14) - are not afraid to share their opinions with Bono.

"My sisters and my brothers are like micro managers with my dad and we don't shy away from telling him what we think," she tells me, grinning affectionately.

"We like to tell him what to wear and what to listen to and things like 'that shot's not good' and 'this verse isn't good'. We are very involved.

"He used to drive us to school and we would play whatever songs they were working on at the time. Like I say, we would be very involved and then upset if the version we liked didn't make it on the album. There would be a fight and we'd be like: 'Why, dad, why? You have to listen to us!'"

Today, we meet at the Waldorf Astoria hotel in New York. Eve - full name Memphis Eve Sunny Day Hewson - arrived early for our interview and, refreshingly, not surrounded by a massive entourage. She's here to talk about her acting roles - Eve can currently be seen starring opposite Clive Owen on television and Tom Hanks on cinema screens - but she is very at ease when asked to talk about her family.

She said recently that her upbringing was very down to earth and that the Hewson children "didn't grow up caring about the flashy things; my parents are not very sceney". Instead, she tells me, Bono and wife Ali involved their children in their business and charitable endeavours.

"Both of my parents were good about involving us in whatever they were doing and we were definitely around when One (Bono's campaigning organisation to fight global poverty) and Edun (the ethical clothing line founded by Ali) started. That's been great in helping me develop my taste and opinions."

When it comes to music, Eve says that she has cultivated her own tastes. She admits to being a terrible singer herself, albeit one who's not shy of a spot of karaoke.

"I love great pop music. I have a Nano iPod and my iPhone and I'm listening a lot to 5th Harmony [a girl group who came out of American X Factor]. They are the best. I also have some bad hip hop music and I love this young new artist Tori Kelly, who is really good."

Eve has no problem admitting how much of a U2 fan she is, and she's still smarting at the hostile response to their last album, which received a huge backlash after it was released by automatic download to every Apple iTunes account. Bono later apologised to those who felt that the automatic download was intrusive.

"I've heard every U2 song literally hundreds of times and been at so many concerts, but I was still really looking forward to going to their concerts in Dublin last week," Eve says.

"Songs of Innocence is in my iPod too. I love that album and I am so proud of my dad. I listened to probably 700 versions of Every Breaking Wave - that song started about eight years ago and it was almost on another album. I would probably say that this was the most personal album my dad has written and I was disappointed with the way people received it. That was really unfortunate because I feel it took away from how incredible the album really is.

"They wanted to go back to the roots of what inspired them as musicians and it really is very emotional. We all cry when they play it on tour because it's about my dad's mum who passed away when he was 14, and who we've heard so much about, but we have never met.

"He doesn't really talk about her that much, but he put a lot of his memories of her in those songs. I am really proud he went there and sort of looked back on his childhood."

Visibly moved at talking about her father's connection to his past, Eve tells me a touching story of something she and her siblings recently did for him.

"We actually went to his old house, 10 Cedarwood Road, which he sings about on the album, last Christmas as a surprise. My sister and my brother and myself knocked on the door and we asked if we could come in and take pictures in his old bedroom, as a gift for him.

"So that's what we did, a little photoshoot with his best friend Gavin Friday, who grew up on the road with him. He came and showed us where they used to hang out and it was funny, when we got out of the car, Every Breaking Wave started playing on the radio!

"We filmed my brother walking down the street with Gavin. He's my godfather and he came into the house with us and we took pictures in the kitchen, in the bathroom and in dad's bedroom. Then we took a picture of the four of us outside of 10 Cedarwood Road and blew it up for him for Christmas. He wept when he saw it.

"We also showed him the video of us going there. That was a really nice moment."

The Hewson children later did the same thing for their mother. No doubt the photos are treasured souvenirs of home for the couple when they are in New York. Eve told in a recent interview how when she moved to the city to study at the prestigious Tisch School of the Arts six years ago, her parents also took their leave of their home in Killiney.

"I didn't invite them, they just came," she said. "My sister had moved here a year earlier, to study at Columbia, and I don't think my mum could cope with losing two kids to the US. So they conveniently decided to renovate the house and had to be out of it for a year."

Bono, Ali (below with Eve) and the boys spent the year in the penthouse overlooking Central Park that they bought from Steve Jobs, while Eve shared a student dorm near to her college. She says her parents were not initially crazy about her choosing to become an actress, but now they are her number one fans. And with good cause.

Having landed early roles opposite Sean Penn and James Gandolfini, Eve is currently starring in the second season of the hit TV series The Knick. The series is set in 1900 at New York's Knickerbocker Hospital and in it Eve plays Lucy Elkins, a wide-eyed nurse in thrall to Clive Owens' drug-addicted surgeon. The role led to Eve's first on-screen sex scene, something which she has said was a scary prospect but "then we did it, and I realised it's not a big deal at all - It looks real, but that's nothing like what is actually going on."

Eve also plays Tom Hanks' teenage daughter in Steven Spielberg's Cold War thriller Bridge of Spies, currently in cinemas. Recently, it was announced that she's to play Maid Marion in Robin Hood: Origins, which is due for release in 2017.

Despite her rising Hollywood profile, she says that she hasn't considered moving to Los Angeles and is very happy to call New York home for now.

"I live in Brooklyn and all of my friends have moved from Dublin to New York, so we all live together in the Greenpoint/Williamsburg area.

"I have a tiny apartment and it's filled with pictures and paintings from flea markets and Playbills and Polaroids from my friends. It's like a little commune and everybody lives two blocks away from each other, so it's nice.

"I am close to my older sister Jordan and she lives a few blocks away from me with my best friend from home. My parents work in New York a lot, so they are always in and out."

Eve dated One Tree Hill star James Lafferty for four years, but they broke up a few months ago. She was since rumoured to be seeing fellow actor Max Minghella, but says she's single. Head-turningly pretty, today she is wearing wide striped trousers and a sleeveless shirt from Misha Nonoo. However, she reveals that, without a stylist, she's much more of a tomboy.

"I am a terrible shopper and I am the kind of person who goes into a full sweat in the closet in the changing room. I love clothes and I love fashion, but for some reason, shopping stresses me out. I can never seem to find anything that fits right or looks good.

"My friends are also more tomboys than fashionistas, so they're not big shoppers either. I go shopping with my mom and she's the best with that sort of stuff."

So what is in store for Bono's movie star daughter when she comes home to Ireland this Christmas? By Eve's description, the Hewson's Christmas sounds very like that in any other Irish household. Well, other than her dad's busking on Dublin's Grafton Street on Christmas Eve, that is. Let's hope he wears more than a dressing gown.

"Christmas in our house is like a three-day event with all sorts of rituals. On Christmas Eve we all have lunch in town and we go and do a bit of Christmas shopping. My dad sings on Grafton Street and does his busking thing. Then on Christmas Day, we go to Church and then our relatives come over and we have a big six-hour lunch/dinner and we all play games and hang out with our cousins.

"Then the next day, we do that most Irish of rituals on St Stephen's Day - we all go off to the horse races. I can't wait."

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Special Report: Countdown to Zero - Suroosh Speaks with Bono

VICE co-founder Suroosh Alvi traveled to Rwanda with U2 lead singer and (RED) co-founder Bono to explore how we have reached "the beginning of the end of AIDS" and what needs to happen next.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Bono & Ali with fashion designer John Rocha

Bono and John Rocha at the unveiling of a portrait of the designer by artist Geraldine O’Neill at the National Gallery of Ireland in Dublin. Left, Ali Hewson. Photo: Arthur Carron.

"It feels like Christmas Day," fashion designer John Rocha exclaimed at the unveiling of his portrait in the National Gallery of Ireland last night.

It was a small but star-studded affair with Bono, Guggi, Ali Hewson and John's designer daughter Simone all attending the event.

"I'm a very big fan of John's," Bono told the Irish Independent.

"He's an extraordinarily talented man and an extraordinary gift to our country."

A portrait of the U2 frontman once graced the walls of the gallery but Bono believes the curators took it down "after the release of the last album" on iTunes.

Artist Geraldine O'Neill, who was shortlisted for the inaugural Hennessey Portrait Prize in 2014, created the impressive piece of work which shows Rocha standing in front of swathes of fabric.

"He was a fantastic person to paint," O'Neill said.

"I don't paint that many portraits but we just clicked straight away. It was an extremely enjoyable experience."

Top designer John was joined by his wife and business partner, Odette, his fashion designer daughter, Simone, and his new granddaughter, Valentine.

"I'm thrilled," John said. "It's the highest honour I've had in this country, it's a wonderful occasion and a very special night."

Rocha is the latest in a series of well-known figures in Irish life to enter the National Portrait Collection.

He follows in the footsteps of Sr Stanislaus Kennedy, Michael Longley, Seamus Heaney, Brian Friel, Maeve Binchy, and Mary and Nicholas Robinson.

Born in Hong Kong, John Rocha moved to London in the 1970s to study fashion in Croydon College.

He was inspired to move to Ireland having used Irish linen in his graduate collection.

He has lived and worked in Dublin for the past 35 years and is considered one of Ireland's best regarded designers.

In 2002, he was awarded the CBE in recognition of his contribution to the fashion industry and opened his flagship store in Mayfair in 2007.

Last year he announced his retirement from London Fashion Week and the catwalk, saying that he wished to "live by my calendar and not that of Fashion Week".

During his career, he has also worked extensively with crystal, jewellery, architecture and interiors.

Bono and Ali Hewson at the unveiling of a portrait of John Rocha by artist Geraldine O'Neill at the National Gallery of Art in Dublin. Picture: Arthur Carron

Monday, December 14, 2015

Brit astronaut set to blast into space with U2

Tim Peake

British astronaut Tim Peake has revealed details of the music playlist that will soundtrack his forthcoming six-month stay on the International Space Station. Obvious choices such as Elton John's Rocket Man or David Bowie's Space Oddity have been omitted in favour of contemporary tracks by the likes of Muse, Nickelback and Foo Fighters.

Peake said that he has already selected the three songs he'll be listening to as he makes the final checks to his Kazakhstan-built Soyuz rocket before Tuesday's launch. He opted for Queen's Don't Stop Me Now, U2's Beautiful Day and Coldplay's A Sky Full of Stars.

"I love Queen and I think that [song] has just got so much energy and obviously fun lyrics to go with it," the astronaut told the Sunday Times. He has previously stated that in order to hear the music as it is piped into his cockpit, it will need to be "real loud".

Earlier this week Coldplay tweeted a cut and paste collage depicting an astronaut flying through space accompanied by a message wishing the father-of-two luck on his trip.

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Edge Visits Belfast Center For Disabled Children

Edge, U2, Mencap

The Edge, the guitarist for band U2, took a day out of touring to visit a new facility for children with learning disabilities, Mencap, just outside of Belfast.

“I’ve been looking forward to seeing it,” Edge said of the visit. “We all need a stimulating environment, and this will provide great support.”

The Edge is a longtime supporter of the charity. He has a personal connection to Mencap since his cousin Ciara Lawrence, who has a learning disability and works for Mencap in London, asked him to become an ambassador in 2009.

Collette Stewart and her young son Harry waited to meet The Edge. She admitted to feeling nervous because she had a picture of the musician on her wall 20 years ago.

“He seems like a very genuine, kind man and seemed really interested in seeing and talking to us all,” Collette said. “I think he was a little overwhelmed. It must be quite different for him to see us lot when he’s used to bright lights.”She added that there were lots of “high-fives” with the children.
“Some people aren’t sure how to approach kids with learning disabilities, but he knew what to do,” Collette said.

During his 45-minute visit The Edge posed for photos with Mencap ambassadors and the families of children with disabilities.

After explaining that Mencap would be the official charity for the Belfast Marathon for the next three years, Collette, who also works as a Mencap ambassador, and she “teased him to see if he would consider the marathon and he said he could get the rest of the band to do the relay”.

Margaret Kelly, director of Mencap Northern Ireland, praised the musician and said, “We are incredibly grateful to him. The families were so happy to meet him.”

U2 guitarist The Edge has paid a visit to a new centre in greater Belfast which supports young people with a learning disability.

He urged people to donate to Mencap, which has been named official charity partner of Belfast City Marathon for the next three years.

“Supporting the marathon is an easy way to give back Mencap, which is particularly important at the moment, with the cost of this amazing facility,” Edge said. “On a personal level, Mencap has done so much for my cousin Ciara in helping her reach her full potential. Everyone should have access to this kind of support.”

Edge, U2, Mencap

“He has been a fantastic ambassador for Mencap and we hope his continued support inspires others to back Mencap and help make our new centre and the services we provide the best they can be for the whole of Northern Ireland,” Kelly said.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

U2 Talks to Their Fans Via Twitter

Before the special programme recorded in Paris released by  US channel HBO , the band answered numerous questions from his fans via twitter, late on Monday , 07/12 . With very good mood , many issues were discussed and some famous also decided to join in the fun .

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Monday, December 7, 2015


We want to introduce some people whose lives will forever be part of this city…’ explained Bono. 'These are our brothers, our fellow troubadours they were robbed of their stage three weeks ago. We would like to offer them ours tonight. Welcome The Eagles of Death Metal.'

The Eagles of Death Metal were the surprise guests at the end of tonight’s final show in Paris.

Three weeks after the deadly attacks at their show at Le Bataclan, the band were back on stage in Paris, receiving an ovation to raise the roof, they joined U2 to perform Patti Smith’s The People Have The Power. They then stayed on stage to perform a track of their own, 'I Love You All The Time.'

Tonight's show was one of the two rescheduled from U2's visit to Paris last month and the seventy sixth and final show of the iNNOCENCE & eXPERIENCE Tour (seventy seven if you include the club night at the Roxy in LA ) which opened in Vancouver back in May.

Another highlight tonight came when the band played the e stage, where all tour long different fans have joined them on stage for Mysterious Ways. Following a competition on, tonight nine of those fans, from different cities in North America and Europe, had flown in to Paris to be at the show.

One of them, Trish, found herself up on stage again, grooving gracefully through Mysterious Ways and then shooting the Meerkat moment... at which point all the stage-divers were up with the band and rocking the joint through Elevation. 'What a collection you are,' said Bono 'Thank you all.'

And what a great way to mark the close of the 2015 shows, the Fourth Wall well and truly down again.


 Message from  Eagles of Death Metal via Facebook:

We want to offer our heartfelt thanks and appreciation for everything our brothers in U2 did for us in the aftermath of the November 13 attacks. They reminded us that the bad guys never take a day off, and therefore we rock ’n rollers cannot either…and we never will. We are incredibly grateful to U2 for providing us the opportunity to return to Paris so quickly, and to share in the healing power of rock ‘n roll with so many of the beautiful people – nos amis – of this great city. Thank you to Bono, The Edge, Larry and Adam, thank you to their wonderful management, thank you to France, and thank you to everyone in the world who continues to prove that love, joy, and music will always overcome terror and evil. We look forward to fighting the good fight on many more fronts very soon, especially when we pick up our tour in 2016. See you again in February, Paris

Bono reveals new song about Paris

BONO has been speaking this weekend about the Irish band’s return to Paris after having to cancel gigs in city in the aftermath of the terror attacks.

Appearing with Edge on the CNN show Fareed Zakaria GPS, Bono spoke about the defiance Parisiens have shown and about how important it is to fight this kind of terror with love and joy.

“They’re a death cult. We’re a life cult. Life force,” he said.

The celebrating, all the things we love – food, soccer – they’re trying to, you know, they’re trying to destroy those things. They don’t like women. What else is there?
The singer also took the opportunity to share a song he had written about Paris, entitled 

Streets of Surrender (SOS):

“Every man has two cities he needs to be
The one he can touch
And the one he can’t see
The one where a stranger’s a friend
Every man has got one city of liberty
For me it’s Paris, I love it
Every time I get lost down these ancient streets I find myself again
You’re free, baby, baby
Free now and forever
It’s Christmas time
You can decide to forget or to remember
You’re free, baby, baby
I didn’t come down here to fight ya
I came down these streets of love and pride to surrender
The streets of surrender”

U2 Returns to Paris for Concert Called Off After Terrorist Attacks

U2 performed at the AccorHotels Arena on Sunday in Paris, invoking the memories of victims around the world.CreditThomas Samson/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

PARIS — The Irish band U2 returned to Paris on Sunday night to play the first of two shows that had been postponed in the wake of the Nov. 13 terrorist attacks that left 130 people dead, including 89 at the Bataclan, a music hall where the American band Eagles of Death Metal were playing when it was stormed by gunmen.

It was the first large-scale cultural event in the city since the attacks, and security at the AccorHotels Arena, just a few miles from the Bataclan, was tight, with concertgoers undergoing full body searches as they entered and a heavy police presence outside.

“Tonight we are all Parisian,” Bono, the band’s frontman, said in French to the sold-out crowd of 17,000, adding in English, “If you love liberty, then Paris is your hometown.” Near the end of the set, he retrieved a French flag from the crowd, draping it over his shoulder and later placing it in front of the band’s drums.

U2 had been set to play at the arena on Nov. 14 and 15 on its “Innocence and Experience” tour, but called off the shows, citing the state of emergency that had been put in place across France. The tour will end Monday night in Paris, with a show scheduled to be broadcast by HBO at 9 p.m. Eastern.

There had been reports that U2 would be joined onstage in Paris by Eagles of Death Metal, but earlier on Sunday U2 posted on its website: “This is not the case. We have another surprise guest planned for tonight’s show.”

That guest turned out to be Patti Smith, who closed out the 27-song concert with her 1988 song “People Have the Power,” with its refrain “The power to dream, to rule/To wrestle the world from fools.”

In an interview ahead of the concerts, Bono said it was important for the band to return to the stage as soon as possible. “Terrorism relies on people being terrorized, and we were not going to be,” he said. “We felt the biggest and the only real contribution we can make at moment like that is to honor the people of Paris, who brought us the concept of liberté, égalité, fraternité.”

Nonetheless, the show included an acknowledgment that Paris still remained on edge less than a month after the attacks. The simulated bomb meant to mark the band’s transition from innocence to experience (the album pegged to the tour is “Songs of Innocence”) in recent concerts remained part of the show, albeit with a warning: Before the band took the stage a voice over a loudspeaker announced that the explosions “are part of the show, are safe and are nothing to be concerned about.”

Bono made repeated references to Paris throughout the show, and the five-song encore opened with “City of Blinding Lights” as huge screens in the background showed images of the capital by night followed by the names of the Nov. 13 victims. The song ended with Bono singing lyrics from the Jacque Brel song “Ne Me Quitte Pas” (“Don’t Leave Me”).

The rest of the encore included the band’s early anthems “Beautiful Day,” “Bad,” and “One,” which was modified to include the chorus from another U2 song “Invisible”: “There is no them. There’s only us.”

This is not the first time that U2 has paid tribute to the victims of terror. When the band played Madison Square Garden a few weeks after the Sept. 11 attacks, it honored emergency services workers onstage and also projected the names of those killed.

The band touched on other highly charged topics in Sunday’s show, with references to H.I.V., the war in Syria and the European migrant crisis, displaying the hashtag #refugeeswelcome on large screens at one point.

Few fans apparently were deterred from attending the rescheduled shows. Of the 34,000 tickets sold for the November concerts, just 2,000 were refunded and resold, according to the band.

Stephane Le Bozec, 47, who drove more than five hours from the Brittany region to be in Paris for the concert, said that the idea of not attending never crossed his mind, “not for a second.” He added: “We’re not afraid. Music is my passion and the attacks make it even important to be here, to share our passion for music and for U2.”

Léa Vlaeminck, 19, a student from New Caledonia who was at the concert with her boyfriend, said she was proud to attend. “It’s how we can fight terrorism, by continuing to go to concerts,” she said. “I feel it’s our duty to be here.”

'We Stand Together…'

'We stand together with the families who have lost lives here in Paris,

'We stand together with the families who have lost lives in San Bernardino, in Damascus and Beirut

We stand together with the families whose children have been taken hostage by an ideology 

that  shows none of the mercy or compassion of the God they deem to serve….'

An emotional night in Paris as the band returned to France, three weeks after the devastating terrorist attacks.

'Oh, you look so beautiful… in this city of lights…'   and never more so than at the end of City of Blinding Lights, as images of Paris on the huge screens gave way to the names of those who lost their lives.

The massed cheering in solidarity was one more sign of an extraordinary atmosphere of celebration and defiance tonight. 

As Bono had said, introducing Iris, it felt like the whole world was in the city.

'Tonight we are all Parisiens. 
'Ce soir nous somme tous Parisien...
If you love liberty – Paris is your hometown.'

What a show, all the way from The Miracle (Of Joey Ramone) to One and Bad and the surprise arrival on stage of Patti Smith and 'People Have The Power' to close a remarkable evening.

Friday, December 4, 2015

U2, Eagles of Death Metal to Perform in Paris on Sunday

U2 Music Documentary HBO

Marianne Zumberge
News Editor, @marianniepants

U2 and Eagles of Death Metal will perform together in Paris this Sunday, resuming the appearances that had been affected by the November terror attacks in France.

According to Billboard, EODM will join Bono and Co. for U2’s final song on Sunday at Paris’ AccorHotels Arena. U2 had been scheduled to perform on Nov. 14 at the same venue, but the concert was postponed in the wake of the attacks. Now the band will perform at AccorHotels on Dec. 6 and 7, with the previously scheduled HBO special to record the second night.

“So much that was taken from Paris on the tragic night of November 13th is irreplaceable. For one night, the killers took lives, took music, took peace of mind – but they couldn’t steal the spirit of that city,” U2 frontman Bono said after rescheduling the shows. “It’s a spirit our band knows well and will try to serve when we return for the postponed shows on December 6th and 7th. We’re going to put on our best for Paris.”

EODM will also be resuming the remainder of its European tour in February of next year. In the band’s first interview after the attack, frontman Jesse Hughes expressed his eagerness to get back to Paris and perform. “I want to be the first band to play in the Bataclan when it opens back up,” Hughes said in an interview with Vice. “Our friends went there to see rock and roll and died. I want to go back and live.”

Thursday, December 3, 2015

U2, Preaching Defiance, Heads Back to Paris

Near the midway point of every recent U2 show, a simulated bomb goes off. The sound of the explosion, which along with the song “Raised by Wolves” commemorates 1974 terrorist car bombings in Dublin, is meant to mark the end of innocence on the band’s autobiographical “Innocence and Experience” tour.

“Blood in the house/Blood on the street,” Bono sings. “The worst things in the world are justified by belief.” Tribute messages scroll past on high-tech screens: “Remember the victims,” “Leave our culture alone,” “Justice for the forgotten.”

Already steeped in geopolitics, U2’s elaborate arena show will be imbued with fresh symbolism when this Irish band ends its tour with two shows in Paris on Sunday and Monday, Dec. 6 and 7, the last of which will be broadcast on HBO at 9 p.m. Eastern. Originally scheduled for Nov. 14 and 15 at the AccorHotels Arena, the concerts and television special were postponed in the wake of the Nov. 13 terrorist attacks that killed 130 people, including 89 at the Bataclan, a concert hall where the band Eagles of Death Metal was performing.

Less than a month later, U2 — which played Madison Square Garden several weeks after 9/11 and honored emergency workers from the stage — will perform the biggest concert in Paris since the Islamic State-coordinated assault.

“Some of our songs from back in the ’80s, about events in Ireland, suddenly have a new meaning and a connectedness to these terrible events in Paris,” said the Edge, U2’s guitarist, who added that the band was “thinking about some special guests” to honor the tragedy.

By phone from New York, where he honored the 10-year anniversary of his humanitarian organizations, ONE and (RED), Bono, U2’s frontman, was characteristically hopeful about returning to Paris, stressing joy and defiance in the face of terror. These are excerpts from the conversation.

Q. You played two shows in Paris ahead of the attacks and were preparing for the HBO show. Where were you when you learned what had occurred?

A.I was onstage, and we were rehearsing at the Bercy [now AccorHotels Arena]. We were evacuated from the building. We were hoping that the reports of multiple incidents were wrong. It was kind of chaos.

What was the decision process like to cancel the shows?

U2 doesn’t have a history of canceling many shows. I suppose the Irish in us just doesn’t want to give in to terrorism. We’ve had it all our lives. But the look on [the head of global touring for Live Nation] Arthur Fogel’s face, I could just see that this was not going to happen. And then: How could we be useful for the Eagles of Death Metal? What could we do while we were here in Paris?

You visited the Bataclan to pay your respects.

We did that on our way to the airport. We left the next evening — we had a plane, which we put at the Eagles’ use if they wanted it, but they found another way. The best thing we could do for our fellow musicians was to buy them phones.

So you were able to speak with Eagles of Death Metal?

I spoke to Julian [Dorio] and to Jesse [Hughes]. But that was the best thing, Jesse said, just getting the phones to be texting and all the stuff that you do — social media — to find out what’s going on. Their phones were in the venue.

Jesse took me through every moment. They really need proper counseling, though — not from a well-meaning Irish rock star. Because post-traumatic stress disorder is a real issue for people who go through these things. They’re going to come through fine, but it was pretty bad.

When it came time to start thinking about rescheduling, was it important to you to get back out there as soon as possible?

Absolutely. Terrorism relies on people being terrorized, and we were not going to be. We felt the biggest and the only real contribution we can make at moment like that is to honor the people of Paris, who brought us the concept of liberté, égalité, fraternité.

ISIS and these kinds of extremists are a death cult. We’re a life cult. Rock ’n’ roll is a life force, and it’s joy as an act of defiance. That’s what U2 is. That’s at the very heart of our band. More importantly in this case, it’s the very heart of our audience. I can now already hear that we will be drowned out by that French crowd. And that’s powerful.

Have you kept up with the political response to the attacks?

There’s a line I’ve been using since, which is that in Ireland we know not to become a monster in order to defeat a monster. It’s not just the 130 lives that were stolen. They were also trying to steal equality and justice. In fact, from some of the reaction and overreaction — i.e. we’ll only take in Christian refugees — you can say they had a direct hit. If they change us, then they were effective.

You grew up with the threat of homegrown terrorism looming. How does that affect how you view the recent events in Paris, Beirut and around the world?

“Raised by Wolves” — on any other Friday, I would be standing right at the center of one of the car bombs in Dublin. Thirty-three people died on that Friday. I missed it. There was a bus strike on that day, which is why I cycled to school. In my sort of self-interrogation as to why I write the way I write, I thought, why am I always writing songs about social justice? I realized that this incident when I was 14 must have really affected me even though I escaped it.

My best friend’s brother did not escape it, and he was forever affected by it. He came to the show last week in Belfast and in Dublin with a piece of shrapnel from the car. He was never properly counseled, and he saw terrible, terrible things. He later became a heroin addict; he slept on the street. Now he’s restored, but he brought a piece of the car that blew up in front of him. I asked him why, and he said, “I took a little piece of it because it took a little piece of me.” Forty years later, people are still hurting.

When it comes to rebuilding the show after what’s happened, are there sections that you will adjust? For instance, the parts about the car bombings, with loud explosions?

If you were to write a script for Paris, and if it was U2 playing, you’d come up with a show similar to what we have. That’s the funny thing. But it’s not only joy as an act of defiance; it’s business as usual as an act of defiance. This is not a concert for heroes. This is just: Do your thing. That’s what the French want us to do. We’re doing what we’re told.

The tour was scheduled to end in Ireland, and now the Paris shows will become the last dates. How does that change the experience?

How bizarre is it — and in a funny way, how inspiring is it — that when we left Paris we went straight to Belfast and we found peace? We found hope. This was supposed to be an intractable problem. And this was a peace that was brutal. People had to really compromise to make this peace.

When you get bleak about things and think, Gosh, is there an end to this? Yeah, there is, it just takes lots of work, lots of time. I was never a hippie — I’m punk rock, really. I was never into: “Let’s hold hands, and peace will come just because we’ll dream it into the world.” No. Peace is the opposite of dreaming. It’s built slowly and surely through brutal compromises and tiny victories that you don’t even see. It’s a messy business, bringing peace into the world. But it can be done, I’m sure of that.

Bono, the Edge and Friends Celebrate Philanthropy at Carnegie Hall

[Vídeo] Bono y Edge en el Carnegie Hall durante el Día Mundial del SIDA

Most heads of state attend grand affairs flanked by a security detail. Bono, the archduke of the Axis of Altruism, enters accompanied only by the Edge toting a sonically lethal six-string Gibson Explorer. “Imagine having the Edge in your life,” Bono told a well-heeled audience that included vice president Joe Biden, Bill and Melinda Gates and former New York City mayor Mike Bloomberg at Carnegie Hall on Tuesday evening. “He’s an interesting man. I feel as if I’m still getting to know him.”

Bono, right, and the Edge perform at "It Always Seems Impossible Until It Is Done: A Night of Music with ONE and (RED)", in celebration of World AIDS Day, at Carnegie Hall, December 1, in New York. GREG ALLEN/INVISION/AP
The two mononymous members of U2 were headliners at a concert given on World AIDS Day to celebrate 10 years of work done by the nonprofits One and (Red) in combating two deadly epidemics: the aforementioned virus and extreme poverty. “This is not a charity concert,” the 55-year-old Irish rocker informed the audience at the outset. “Justice is onstage tonight. This is a celebration. This is an instigation. This is a provocation. This is not a charity concert.”

This was, with one glaring and American exception, one kick-ass show. Backed by the Orchestra of St. Luke’s and a Congolese choir, artists such as British pop star Jessie J., Irish rocker Hozier, Zimbabwe-born actress Danai Gurira (Michonne on The Walking Dead) and Miley Cyrus performed. Trevor Noah, the fledgling host of The Daily Show, who was born and raised in South Africa, hosted. “It’s inspiring to think that if you follow your dreams and put everything into it, in two months you can be here sharing the stage with Bono,” he said.

Between sets, speakers included Sting, former president Bill Clinton, Stephen Colbert and Biden, who remarked, “I’m the only Irishman on this stage tonight with no talent.”

Let’s cut directly to the musical hits, and one glaring miss. Jessie J, a former schoolmate of Adele’s at the BRIT School in London, wowed the attendees, which included a flock of boldface-type New York names such as John McEnroe, CBS’s Charlie Rose, CNBC’s Jim Cramer and model Cindy Crawford, with an alveoli-bursting cover of Prince’s “Purple Rain.”  

Trinity College–dropout Hozier displayed his virtuosity with a trio of songs. He opened with Skip James’s 1931 Delta blues classic “Illinois Blues” before segueing into his own 2014 hit “Take Me to Church.” The tall Irish rocker then found himself standing beside, as he said, “more than my inspiration, my everything,” Bono and the Edge, for a stirring rendition of U2’s “When Love Comes to Town.”

Colbert appeared as a presenter to honor, as he put it, “I want to pronounce this couple’s name right...Bill and Melinda Ga-tes...I looked it up on Bing.” The host of The Late Show noted that the power couple helped launch the (One) Foundation with a $1 million check before veering back to his comic comfort zone. “I mean, I was talking about this with Bono backstage,” Colbert said, “and I can’t impress on you enough that I’m on a first-name basis with Bono.”

Gurira followed with a stirring reading from a play that she had written as a student at New York University’s Tisch School, a monologue from an AIDS-infected African mother who, as Gurira put it, “has come to her reckoning.” There was no more powerful moment in the evening, as at the end of the eight-minute performance Gurira was in tears and the crowd sat slack-jawed. Perhaps because Gurira was such a tough act to follow, the erstwhile Hannah Montana headed in exactly the opposite direction.

In his opening remarks, Bono had noted, “We have in this room the famous and the infamous.” Cyrus, clad in a pink rhinestone jumpsuit and functioning as a wrecking ball of sorts to the evening’s grandeur, proved him correct. Before sitting down at the organ to play an elegy to a dead pet, “Pablow the Blowfish,” she had a crew member bring her a phone charger onstage. “My phone is dead and I wrote the lyrics on my phone,” the 23 year-old explained before launching into the tune. Afterward she said, “I’ve never gotten through that song without crying, not once” as the audience wondered if she was serious. Or sober.    

Later in the evening, when Cyrus walked onstage to take part in the closing number with Bono, the Edge and Jessie J, she was victimized by a technical glitch. As she hit centerstage to sing a verse from “One,” Cyrus looked down at a prompter that was blank. “You’ve gotta help me,” she called awkwardly across the stage to Bono. “There’s nothing there.”

Who in that assemblage that included a former U.S. president, a sitting vice president and a former New York City mayor (whom a few hope will run for president) is better at providing help than U2’s lead singer? Through the launch of One and (Red), both of which Bono co-founded, extreme poverty worldwide has been reduced by 60 percent in just over a decade.

“I witnessed a miracle,” Biden told the crowd, relating a Gaelic version of Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. “I was there when Bono walked in, met Jesse Helms for the first time and convinced Jesse Helms in one fell swoop to forgive $6 billion in third-world debt.... That’s when I became a disciple of the church of Bono.”

Few orators are possessed of as much charisma and passion as Bono, who reminded the crowd in this, the week of the 35th anniversary of John Lennon’s murder, that you can more than get by with a little help from your friends. “The best news that no one knows is that the U.S. is saving 15 million lives through the work of the Global Aids Foundation,” said the U2 frontman, noting that the AIDS virus has claimed 34 million lives. “Forty years ago, you landed a man on the moon. Since 2000, you have landed more than 15 million people back on Earth. That is a moon shot!”

And yet there remains, after all of the millions of albums sold and through almost four decades of never getting a promotion from the job he’s held since he was a teenager, a beguiling humility to Bono. Before the show, he spoke of his 2014 bicycle accident in Central Park, noting that the only pain worse than shattering his arm in six places was the world learning that an “Irish rock star wears lycra.”

Bono also noted that, to benefit (Red), he is auctioning off a chance for someone to go on a bike ride with him around Central Park’s six-mile loop. “Second prize,” he qupped, “is two bike rides.”

The two-plus-hour show closed with the headliners, Bono and the Edge, demonstrating just how much robust sonic force two old pros can summon. It was only a fortnight ago that U2 was forced to cancel a show (that was to be simulcast on HBO) in Paris due to the ISIS attacks there. Now here these two were on the stage at Carnegie Hall, opening with “Every Breaking Wave” (from their latest album, Songs of Innocence) before bringing the millionaires and billionaires to their feet with “Stuck in a Moment, “Angel of Harlem” (performing it on a cold and wet December day in New York) and the anthem “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For.”

Before their final number, the man born Paul Hewson said of himself and guitarist Dave Evans (aka the Edge), “We became musicians because we looked around and we didn’t feel like we belonged anywhere. And we weren’t sure we wanted to.”

As the Edge played the opening chords of “One,” Bono added, “It gives us comfort that when the day comes when we cannot sing anymore, that you will keep this melody going.”

Rock’s ambassador of empathy was not only talking about the music.