Friday, August 28, 2015

Bono joins African stars in campaign to use music to empower women

Bono, second left, poses with African music stars after a press conference in Lagos, Nigeria, Friday, Aug. 28, 2015.

African stars have joined rock star Bono in a campaign to use music to help empower women globally.

Bono and the top African male musicians D'banj, Diamond and Banky W announced Friday that they will be included in a remix of the song Strong Girl, a rallying cry for women's empowerment which features top African female talent.

U2 frontman Bono, whose ONE advocacy group is the creative force behind the campaign for women empowerment, said music can create awareness and help shift policies to empower women because politicians are driven by popular things.

Sipho Moyo, Africa executive director of ONE, said the campaign hopes to create structural and policy changes globally that will ensure women are empowered. The ultimate goal is to eradicate extreme poverty in 2030, Moyo says.

New Video for "Song for Someone"

‘Don’t let it go out…’ Illustrator and photographer Matt Mahurin directs this visual meditation on 'Song For Someone', from U2’s latest album Songs of Innocence.
The video was posted in U2's official Facebook page.
Reuniting U2's music and Mahurin's distinctive style - the two worked together on 1993's 'Love Is Blindness' - 'Song For Someone' is a visual meditation on one of the standout tracks from Songs Of Innocence. 
Rendered in a beautiful black and white palette and featuring a performance from Bono filmed earlier this year in Malibu, Mahurin's vision for 'Song For Someone' draws sharp parallels between song, inspiration and other forces of nature.
'Collaboration is a great part of the creative process,' said Matt, talking about working with the band again. 'And it has been a true joy to once again jump aboard the band's mission of music, mercy and mayhem.'
Mahurin's evocative take on 'Song For Someone' contrasts with Vincent Haycock's short film, starring Woody and Zoe Harrelson, which debuted July 9 on SundanceTV.

'Song For Someone' has been a highlight of the  iNNOCENCE + eXPERIENCE Tour, which resumes September 4 in Turin, Italy.

Never surprised when U2 meets resistance…

'On the eve of the mammoth European leg of their Innocence + Experience tour, Q spends a week with the band in the US, enjoying rare access to their inner sanctum backstage for an honest, soul-searching cover story…'
The new edition of Q Magazine hits the streets .

Friday, August 14, 2015

Tony Hawk recruits U2 to customize skateboard

Professional skateboarder  Tony Hawk has partnered up with Ben Harper to create Boards + Bands, a fundraising initiative for Hawk’s eponymous foundation. Hawk hit up some of his skater buds, including Ryan Sheckler, Chad Ortiz and Nyjah Huston, to donate one of their boards and then pick one of their favorite songs. Harper then approached those musicians with one simple instruction: “Please write the lyrics to this skater’s favorite song on his skateboard, and we’ll use it to create more skateparks for kids.” Among the musicians participating in the collaboration are , U2, Pearl Jam, Of Mice & Men, Jay Z, Metallica,Tenacious D and more.

“We are thrilled about this year’s amazing collection of boards featuring unique collaborations between some of the biggest names in skateboarding and music, and we are grateful to all that made it possible,” says Hawk in a statement. “We have high hopes for this year’s auction as we continue to further the Foundation’s mission of bringing skateparks to low-income communities around the world.”

You can see all the custom boards as well as place a bid here

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Happy Birthday,The Edge!

The Best of days to the best guitar player in a rock band: Ladies and Gentlemen, The Edge (a.k.a. David  Howell Evans)!!!!!

Thursday, August 6, 2015

U2 grants rare long-form interview to podcasting duo

NEW YORK CITY - One of the world’s most powerful bands didn’t grant its latest long-form interview to MTV, Rolling Stone or Howard Stern — instead it sat down with a pair of comedians with microphones.

U2 is getting in on the podcast revolution.

The latest episode of “U Talkin’ U2 to Me?” — a U2-themed podcast co-hosted by actor Adam Scott and comedian Scott Aukerman — sees the show’s hosts chatting at length with the band in New York City. The episode premiered this morning and is now available free to download or stream at

“Putting two talented superfans like Scott and Adam together with their favorite band produced a truly unique conversation full of unforgettable insights,” said Chris Bannon, chief content officer of the Earwolf podcast network. “It was a lot of fun … I know U2 fans will be [thrilled].”

In the 60-minute interview, the bandmates talk about their plans for releasing a new album in 2016. Also in the show, singer Bono talks about requiring further surgeries to fix his hand after a bicycle accident in November.

Scott is perhaps best known for his long-running role on NBC’s “Parks and Recreation,” while Aukerman hosts IFC’s “Comedy Bang! Bang!” and has won an Emmy Award for his work as a television producer. The duo has hosted “U Talkin’ U2 to Me?” since February 2014, producing 21 episodes in that time.

U2’s decision to sit down for a podcast interview continues a pattern of top-level celebrities and politicians giving their time to the burgeoning medium.

U2 Closes N. American Leg of Innocence + Experience With 150,000 New York Fans

The Edge and Bono perform onstage during U2's "iNNOCENCE + eXPERIENCE" tour at Madison Square Garden on July 26, 2015 in New York City. 
Kevin Mazur/WireImage

North American leg churns $76 million -- now Europe's on tap.

U2 wrapped the North American leg of the Innocence + Experience tour in stunning fashion with an eight-night, sold-out stand at Madison Square Garden in New York City that grossed nearly $20 million from the attendance of almost 150,000 fans.

Marked by special guests on stage and VIP attendees in the audience, the critically acclaimed shows put up a final tally of 149,942 tickets sold, with a gross of $19,474,285, according to Billboard Boxscore. That takes the total of the tour's opening leg to 650,582 attendance and $76,166,563 gross from 36 shows, all sellouts. Innocence + Experience is produced by Live Nation Global Touring president Arthur Fogel and his Toronto-based team, promoter/producer of all of U2’s tours since PopMart in 1997-98.

The follow-up to the historic 360 tour of stadiums in 2009-11 (which grossed $736.4 million and moved 7.2 million tickets, both all-time records), Innocence + Experience marks the first time U2 has played the relatively intimate confines of arenas since the Vertigo tour in 2005-2007. The band makes full use of the venues, with groundbreaking staging and video that allows for 360-degree seating, including general admission on the floor. Calling the North American leg “a huge success on every level,” Fogel tells Billboard that the tour, “blew everyone away, fans and critics.” He continues, “In our world, people use the term ‘great’ all too easily, [but] in this case it is an understatement. They are the best live band in our business, and if there was any doubt by a few, they should have learned that by now.”

The tour began May 14 in Vancouver, B.C. A Nov. 16 bicycle accident in New York’s Central Park that seriously injured Bono, the band’s frontman, did not delay the start of the tour, which had long been slated to begin in the spring of 2015. In fact, the jogger who first happened upon Bono after the crash, and the EMTs who tended to him, were both in attendance and recognized at the Aug. 30 show, and the latter even fulfilled a promise to knock back a shot of Jameson with the singer, who obliged from the stage.

At the final New York show, Bruce Springsteen took the stage to accompany the band on “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For,” and a cover of Ben E. King’s “Stand By Me.” Springsteen was attending the show with presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and her husband, former president Bill Clinton. Other guest performers throughout the Garden stand include Jimmy Fallon, The Roots, Lady Gaga, and Paul Simon. Among the celebrities who attended were Paul McCartney, Nile Rodgers, Alicia Keys, Jon Bon Jovi, Coldplay’s Chris Martin, Chris Rock, producer Steve Lillywhite, model Christy Turlington, MTV personality (and former Billboard Touring Awards host) Matt Pinfield, Howard Stern sidekick (and former Billboard Touring Awards host) Gary “Baba Booey” Dell’Abate, tennis great John McEnroe, and filmmaker Steven Soderbergh.

The tour resumes Sept. 4-5 in Turin, Italy, with a 34-date leg that will culminate with four shows in Paris, Nov. 10-15. Included in this European tour, also in arenas, are four shows each in Amsterdam, Stockholm, Berlin, and Barcelona, and six shows at London’s O2 Arena. U2 tours typically span three years, and while it is expected that U2 will return to North America in 2016, Fogel declined to release details, saying only, “I can’t wait for the run in Europe this fall, and beyond.”

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

U2 Go One on One with Fans for In-Depth Q&A Session

Bono, The Edge, Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen, Jr. sit down with a live audience at the SiriusXM studios in New York City

NEW YORK, Aug. 3, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- SiriusXM announced  that one of the most significant rock bands of all time, U2, sat down for an intimate Q&A session with a select group of listeners for the SiriusXM "Town Hall" series at the SiriusXM studios in New York City.

Bono, The Edge, Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen, Jr. answered questions from SiriusXM listeners about their celebrated career, everything from the very early days of the band when bassist Adam Clayton was their manager and The Edge's mother was the first U2 roadie, to the future of music streaming and distribution to their most recent album Songs of Innocence and their current tour "iNNOCENCE + eXPERIENCE Tour 2015."

Asked about the connection between Songs of Innocence and the upcoming Songs of Experience, Bono explained the philosophies behind the two albums for which the tour was named, summing them up with two lines.

“The philosophy of the first album is probably best contained in a line from our second album October in a song called Rejoice. And the line is, ‘I can’t change the world, but I can change the world in me.’ That was the position that I think we felt when we were in our younger times,” he explained.
“For Songs of Experience, it’s a different line — it’s in [the song] Lucifer’s Hands, which is an outtake that really has both innocence and experience in it – and it has the line, ‘I can change the world, but I can’t change the world in me.’

Bono continued: “So the thing is, when we were younger, we were fighting very much with the physical world and trying to make it a better place, trying to fight when we would see injustice wherever it raised its head. Whereas in the ‘90s we made a kind of a change, and we started fighting perhaps more interesting enemies, the ones that you find in your own life, in your own heart — the hypocrisy of the human heart is great material — and just finding those kinds of enemies, you know, it’s the world in you rather than the exterior world.”

Monday, August 3, 2015

10 Must-Watch Performances From U2′s ‘Innocence + Experience’ Tour

Bono  performs at the Innocence + Experience Tour at The Forum in Inglewood, Calif

U2 wrapped up the North American portion of their “Innocence + Experience” tour last night at New York City’s Madison Square Garden. It was the first string of shows since they gifted their latest album “Songs of Innocence” to iTunes users last fall and it got off to a rocky start: The Edge accidentally fell off the stage at the first night in Vancouver, prompting the Internet to marvel in how close he got “to the edge.” Weeks later, their longtime road manager unexpectedly passed away, too – making us wonder if there was a curse on the band. Backlash over the band’s marketing strategy, followed by a freak-bike accident that sent Bono to rehab have certainly made it a trying year for the Irish rock group.

But with this tour, they bounced back and played multiple nights in each city and treated longtime fans to a mix of rare tracks, special guests, and hometown salutes. Here are 10 moments from the tour that stuck out as particularly memorable:

1. “When Love Comes to Town” (May 15, Vancouver)

“This is a very special occasion for anyone who loves the blues,” Bono said at the second night of the band’s tour. “This is the day that the world get to say goodbye to the great B.B. King.” From there, they kicked into “When Love Comes to Town,” the number the band dueted with King back in 1988 on their album “Rattle and Hum.” King passed away the day before and U2 hadn’t played the song on tour since August 1993, according to

2. “Sweetest Thing” (May 26, Inglewood, Calif.)

Bono impersonator Joseph Hier of U2 cover band Hollywood U2 got a thrill of the lifetime when the band invited him up to duet on this tune. Bono even turns over the lead vocal duties at the end, which gave Hier a chance to show off.

3. “Beautiful Day” (June 24, Chicago)

Towards the end of this “All That You Can’t Leave Behind” single, Bono took a moment to address the crowd. “This year, our country did something really important. More people turned out to vote for marriage equality in Ireland than turned out for anything before.” He was of course referring to Ireland’s legalizing same-sex marriage in May.

4. “Gloria” (June 28, Chicago)

It had been nearly 10 years since U2 played “Gloria” when they dusted off this “October” tune. This fan shot video is as close as you can get.

5. “Desire” (July 6, Toronto)

U2 continued their tribute band tributes by inviting up Toronto U2 tribute band “Acrobat” to help them perform a stripped-down version of “Desire” from “Rattle and Hum.” Performing with your heroes is a tall order, but Acrobat pulled it off. Also neat about this video: Watch carefully as the piano disappears.

6. “October” (July 18, New York City)

At the start of U2’s eight show run at Madison Square Garden, they made it clear the Big Apple would be in for a treat. The band pulled out “October” for the first time since November 1989, according to The Edge put down his guitar and shifted to the piano – and after the song was over, the significance of its return wasn’t lost on Bono.

7. “Desire” / “Angel of Harlem” (July 22, New York City)

Bono and Jimmy Fallon must have a deep bond now, as they’re both superstars with freak hand accidents in the last year. That bond was solidified on stage, when the band brought up “The Tonight Show” host for a rousing rendition of “Desire,” introducing him as “the singer with the broken finger.” But that wasn’t the only “Tonight Show” moment: Fallon’s house band the Roots joined for “Angel of Harlem.”

8. “Ordinary Love” (July 26, New York City)

“Her ladyness, her Gaganess is here this evening,” Bono said, when introducing pop star Lady Gaga, who was decked out in platform shoes and a black bikini. With little fanfare, she sat at the piano and started up “Ordinary Love,” which Bono reminded the crowd was written for Nelson Mandela (It was U2’s Academy Award nominated song for the film “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom”).

9. “Mother and Child Reunion”/”Where the Streets Have No Name” (July 30, New York City)

At the second to last Madison Square Garden show, they brought up Paul Simon to help out with a version of his 1972 tune “Mother and Child Reunion.” It was a quick moment that led to Bono bowing down to Simon at the end, while the band started up their hit 1987 single “Where the Streets Have No Name.”

10. “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” / “Stand By Me” (July 31, New York City)

They’ve played together before, but it’s hard to think it ever gets old seeing U2 and Bruce Springsteen together on stage. And Bono never seems to tire in professing his love for the Boss.