Sunday, November 29, 2015

Imelda May Joins U2 For Final Epic Dublin Show

Bono, Edge, Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen knew that when they took the innocence + eXPERIENCE tour to Dublin, it would be an emotional time. But even their expectations were surpassed – and then some – on a spectacular final night... - 

Having kicked off iNNOCENCE + eXPERIENCE in Vancouver last May, tonight’s final U2 gig in Dublin – the last of four sold-out nights in their hometown – should officially be the end of the 2015 leg of the tour. However, with two Paris shows postponed, following the cowardly terrorist attacks of November 13th, the Dubliners still have unfinished business in the city of blinding lights. They’ll be playing those rescheduled shows next week.

Even so, playing in the modern iteration of the iconic venue where they once famously announced that they were going away to dream it all up again, this show feels like something really special, an alchemical culmination of everything that has led up to it. It’s as though the whole tour has been building up to this one.

From the moment they blast off with ‘The Miracle (of Joey Ramone)’, Bono, Edge, Larry and Adam totally own the audience – and the audience in turn are happy to submit to these rock ‘n’ roll heavyweight champions of the world.

The reconfigured staging means that there’s no fans behind the band, as there have been in almost all other venues, but it makes little or no difference to the impact of the show, or the atmosphere. Indeed, it makes things feel even more intimate. In his recent Hot Press interview, Edge reckoned that they were going to blow the roof off the venue – and he was barely exaggerating.

There’s an audible “Wow!” as the onscreen visuals kick off for ‘Iris’, and the dazzling tech spectacle that comprises iNNOCENCE + eXPERIENCE begins to unfold. It’s a particularly emotional song for Bono anyway, but tonight he really gives it his all, howling as though he really can connect to the other side. Whatever strange energy he’s summoning – or maybe it’s just the encouraging warmth of the crowd that are driving him – but tonight he’s the ultimate alpha rock star.

There are many high points. But equally importantly, there’s also never a dull moment, from the beginning to the suitably dramatic, choreographed end. While the visual effects are truly astonishing (there were more gasps as the band appeared inside the stage), they can still pull the plugs out and create amazing music – whether on ‘Cedarwood Road’, ‘Sunday Bloody Sunday’ or ‘Raised By Wolves’ – a segment that ratchets up the drama in powerful style. A stripped-down ‘Every Breaking Wave’ is perhaps even more emotionally entrancing.

There’s massive applause as Panti Bliss joins the band onstage for ‘Mysterious Ways’. And next up is the Queen of Rock’n’Roll, Imelda May who delivers a stirring vocal performance and dances like a dervish on a heart-thumping ‘Desire’. To bring the show to a close, their late tour manager Dennis Sheehan is remembered with a stirring version of ‘40’.

The last time U2 played this venue (“It will always be The Point to us,” Bono quipped at one point), they were four men in their thirties. Tonight, now all in their fifties, they were men in their prime. Fuck cynicism, this was proper traffic-stopping rock ‘n’ roll.

If you missed it… well, you’d never know. They might just be back this way when the eXPERIENCE leg kicks in. Start counting the days...

Saturday, November 28, 2015

"Great to be Back Home"

'The most visceral and uncompromising show U2 have played in Dublin since War'.

The whole of Dublin spoke of only one thing these past few days and Bono's Instagram of the four pints of Guinness on the counter of Peter's Pub on South William St. Words will never convey how much that image resonated here.

'The Boys Are Back In Town' and Adam from Malahide is wearing a Thin Lizzy Tee-shirt. He's joined as always by Larry from Artane, Edge from Malahide and Bono from Ballymun.  A band from the north-side of Dublin called U2.

"This is a family function",  Bono proclaimed after a blistering opening which brought us from 'The Miracle (Of Joey Ramone)', through 'Electric Co.' and onto 'Vertigo' in quick succession.  Tonight they felt like they'd been written in the same year. Not decades apart.
"We are all together," Bono continued, "All the relations from all over the world."

U2 and Ireland are family. We love each other through thick and thin. It's hard to convey the depth of the relationship but every Irish person gets it. A lot has gone down since U2 last played in Dublin.  It's been a hairy few years and last week was one that we'll still be talking about for decades to come. U2 offered up much needed succour tonight but it wasn't sugar-coated.

Belief and passion shone through but tonight's show was without doubt the most visceral and uncompromising show U2 have played in Dublin since 'War'.

Almost everyone in the room knows the Ireland U2 came from. It was a bleak place with no prospects that was cut off from the world.

With 'Iris' we get a glimpse of the pain that drove these four to make something of themselves beyond our beautiful island.

"It's a strange thing for a grown man to say", Bono offers as introduction, "That losing my mother aged 14 was what sent me on the path with these three guys."

Leading into 'Song For Someone', Bono pays the first of many tributes to Ali as he brings our attention to the screen, "That's me aged 18 playing a guitar my brother Norman gave me. Writing a song to impress Alison Stewart. Still working on that one, but she's here tonight."

Adam has taken Sunday Bloody Sunday and re-worked it as one of the funkiest dub cuts you've ever heard. It still sends shivers down the spine though as we confront our past.  We sing our hearts out as decades of pain is represented in Oliver Jeffers' stylised re-workings of Belfast's tribal murals.

'Raised By Wolves' is in many ways the emotional fulcrum of the show. It recalls the unresolved Dublin and Monaghan bombings of May 17th 1974. The bloodiest day of the 'Troubles'. The haunting face of a deceased toddler stares out from the screen. One face amongst many victims U2 force us to remember 41 years later.

It seems like every week there are new faces now destined to stare out at us from screens. Lives frozen forever as terror takes them at random. 'Bataclan' was the word not mentioned that was on everyone's mind. Music lovers have been attacked and being here amongst family helped. A lot.

From Monaghan to Baghdad, from Beirut to Paris there's a line of suffering that U2 help us process. Understanding what it's like to live through tough times defines this show.
It's a theme returned to towards the end as we're stunned into silence by the footage of Kobanî in Syria. A city devastated.

This was a show that combined not just iNNOCENCE and xPERIENCE, but also pain and joy.
In Ireland we combine sadness and elation. Funerals are as ecstatic as weddings. We 'carry each other' through light and shade.

We bopped like born again teenagers as the band played 'Pride' for the Heaney family. For Seamus Heaney, who was our greatest living poet the last time U2 played Dublin. For those he left behind.

This night wasn't morbid. It was a wake up call. We need to prioritise. Hold close what's precious, look out for those that need our help and celebrate the very fact of being alive. An emotional night with a simplicity and punch that won't be forgotten quickly.

So much about last night couldn't have happened anywhere but Dublin. At one point Edge leaned over to Bono and reminds him to thank "Fr. Crosbie for the use of the hall". It's a throwaway line that would take about a thousand words to explain.

That's the greatest thing about being amongst family. You don't have to explain yourself.

As Bono had put it earlier, 'Do you know what? We've spent the last nine months travelling the world trying to explain the Northside of Dublin to people. But we don't have to do that tonight because tonight we are here...'

A whispered 'Oiche Mhaith' serves as a goodbye. 'Good Night' in Irish but there's lots lost in the translation.

It's a blessing you use for those you truly love. 'Oiche Mhaiith U2' we whispered back, meaning every last syllable.

Night One of four.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Fans say U2's 3Arena gig like a 'pub show'

The lads are enjoying their time back in Dublin

U2 super fan Beth Nabi, who travelled from the States to see all four 3Arena gigs, told TEN after the gig: "It was special. U2 were so well received and you could tell they were so happy to be here playing for that home crowd."

Her partner Chris LeClere said: "After seeing them in all the other cities and all the other shows, this felt more like just a hometown show. It was like you were in a pub listening to a band on a stage and everybody's just having a good time and getting into it."

Beth added: "You felt like you were in Bono's house", with Chris interjecting: "You did, it wasn't a big concert, it was a pub show from a group of guys who were just playing for fans and the fans loving them.

U2 frontman Bono has said he's thrilled to be back on the Northside of Dublin and thanked fans for their patience and sticking with the band at the 3Arena on Monday night.

The homecoming gig is the first time Bono and the lads have played Dublin since 2009 at Croke Park and all four gigs this week on their iNNOCENCE + eXPERIENCE tour are sold out with many travelling long journeys to see the famous foursome perform on home turf.

Speaking to the cheering crowd at the gig, Bono said, "Do you know what we have spent the last nine months travelling the world trying to explain what the Northside of Dublin is and we don't have to do that tonight because we're here.

"This is a great feeling for us to be home," he said.

He later thanked fans, saying: "Thanks for giving us this life. Thanks for your patience. Thanks for sticking with us."

One American fan said that she had sacrificed Thanksgiving celebrations with her family to come to the gig.

"I just couldn't miss it, I had to come no matter what. I'm missing Thanksgiving which is a big deal in the United States, so my family had to forgive me....I had to go to Dublin to see U2", she said.

Another Italian fan said "such a great place being here in Dublin, it's like being at home. It's the home of U2, the home of every U2 fan actually".

Another man who's also been swamped by fandom is Tom Ryan, the owner of Bono's boyhood home on Cedarwood Road in Glasnevin.

He told RTÉ that fans have long been making a pilgrimage to the singer's old homestead but that attention has really picked up after the band wrote the nostalgic song Cedarwood Road for their last album Songs of Innocence.

"Oh that's really escalated it. This period with the concerts going, its escalated the fans bigtime. If I charged them a penny for each photograph, I'd be a rich man", he joked.

Over the weekend Bono and co were spotted out and about in Dublin ahead of tonight's gig.

The lads are back in town and they are making sure they catch up with friends and family in their favourite establishments ahead of their gigs at the 3Arena this week.

The Edge was spotted dining out with his wife Morleigh Steinberg at Luna restaurant in Dublin on Saturday. Bono later joined the couple with some of his friends.

According to reports fans did not bother the famous diners for autographs or pictures, leaving them to enjoy their meal in peace.

U2 also shared a pic on Twitter yesterday of four pints of Guinness standing in a row on a table in Peter's Pub on South William Street. If you look very closely at the mirror in the background of the pic you can see that it was Bono taking the snap.

Enlace permanente de imagen incrustada

The €2 million proceeds from this week's gigs meanwhile will go to Music Generation, Ireland's national music education programme.

Its director, Rosaleen Molloy, said:  "Music Generation would not exist without U2's vision. It was the band's very own personal experience of music education as children and teenagers that has driven their commitment to kick-start this ground breaking project."

Monday, November 23, 2015

U2 and the Ireland Funds donate €3m to State’s music programme

Rock band U2 and philanthropic network the Ireland Funds have made donations totalling €3million to the State’s national music education programme.

Music Generation is to be expanded following the announcement by U2 that it is to receive €2million from their Irish concerts, and a further announcement from the Ireland Funds that it will donate € 1million.

Music Generation provides access to high quality subsidised music tuition for thousands of children and young people across the country.

U2’s the Edge said the organisation is “continuing to grow” and the donations would “bring us closer to achieving our ambition for every child and young person in Ireland to have access to music tuition”.

Kieran McLoughlin, president and chief executive of the Ireland Funds said the music education programme has been “extraordinary” and “brings so much benefit” to young people and communities throughout Ireland.

“The Ireland Funds is delighted to be supporting this flagship initiative and, together with U2, will also seek to raise additional support as part of our commitment to unlocking the musical talents of the next generation,” he said.

Music Generation national director Rosaleen Molloy said the programme provides access for 26,000 children and young people and creates employment opportunities 330 people.
The programme was established by Music Network in 2010 following a €7m donation from U2 (€5 million) and the Ireland Funds (€2 million) to implement its national strategy for music education in Ireland.

“The impact of the original €7m philanthropic donation from U2 and the Ireland Funds has been extraordinary,” said Ms Molloy.

“Every day, the lives of thousands of children and young people are being transformed through access to a variety of music tuition opportunities – everything from song-writing initiatives to brass bands, orchestras, choirs, rock groups, rap projects, grupaí cheoil and composers clubs.”

Saturday, November 21, 2015

U2 bring pomp, bombast and defiance to Belfast

Band’s first show in city since 1997 combined big songs with overwhelming visuals

 U2 on stage at the SSE Arena in Belfast. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times
U2 on stage at the SSE Arena in Belfast. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

You expect a lot of pomp and bombast from the word go at U2 concerts. It’s just how they tend to (rock and) roll. Sure enough, Bono’s entrance - a stately swagger up a long central catwalk, one arm held aloft - to the Patti Smith song The People Have the Power, set the expected tone. But this time, alongside the prancing and posturing and high-octane showmanship, there was something different: a new desire to reach out and connect with the audience, to tell them a story, to bring them on a journey.

Perhaps this was due, at least in part, to the context. The Belfast show in the SSE arena was the band’s first gig after their cancelled Paris concerts, and although the terrorist attacks were not referenced until the very close of the night, there was a sense of heightened emotion, defiance and solidarity in the air.

It was also the first time that U2 had played Belfast since 1997, which meant that the crowd greeted them like long-lost cousins.
And what a story this band can tell. The visual impact of the show was extraordinary, even overwhelming at times, especially during their new song Raised By Wolves, which was inspired by the car bombs that killed 33 people in Dublin and Monaghan on May 17th, 1974.

Stage set

The centrepiece of the set was a vast metal cage, suspended over the catwalk, carrying a series of LED screens which flashed images, messages, film footage, and newsreels.

The effect was almost hallucinatory. At one point the set-up allowed Bono to walk down the street of his childhood home, Cedarwood Road; on another occasion he grew to the size of a giant, and appeared to be lifting The Edge in the palm of his hand.
Later, a woman was plucked from the audience, and given a camera to film the band on a live-stream as she danced with them.

“That’s what the technology is all about - getting close to people,” said Bono.
Sometimes it was all too much. It was disorienting to see pictures of distressed refugees, or bombed-out Syrian towns, while Bono boomed Bullet the Blue Sky through a megaphone, and audience members swayed drunkenly, plastic pint glasses slopping in each hand.
The big songs were all there, of course: Vertigo, Sunday Bloody Sunday, Pride, With or Without You, Beautiful Day.

But in many ways, the music was just the soundtrack to the visuals.

Belfast: Stronger than Fear

First show in Belfast for 18 years, first show since Paris and lots of fans taking part in #whiteoutbelfast to 'make a statement in the name of peace, love and music and pay our respect to the victims of terror and violence all around the world.'

Powerful and poignant. #strongerthanfear

'What's going on?', asked Bono before introducing Iris.

'Turns out an awful lot since the last time were here... you lot are heroes to all of us... It's great to be back in the heart of Belfast...thanks for sticking with us.

'If you'll indulge us  for the next few songs we'd like to take you on a very personal journey to the Northside of Dublin, to streets not far from here that gave life to this band... it’s the view of a teenage boy – forgive me the melodrama when a lot of you have had much greater dramas to deal with...but those first fights in the playground, first loves, first losses...they also form you.'

'U2's first Irish show of their iNNOCENCE + eXPERIENCE tour - and, amazingly, their first gig in Belfast since 1997 - was a triumph of pure rock theatre.’ reported RTE, noting the closing encore tribute to events in Paris.  ‘The encore is deft and deeply felt. To a dazzling visual display of Paris at night, U2 perform a shimmering City of Blinding Lights for the City of Light.   

Urgent, political and still hungry after all these years, this latest incarnation of the U2 live show is never less than gripping.'

'Raised by wolves
Stronger than fear
Raised by wolves
We were raised by wolves
Raised by wolves
Stronger than fear
If I open my eyes,
You disappear...'

Powerful new visuals for Sunday Bloody Sunday and Raised by Wolves among the highlights on the second night in Belfast.

Out of Control was back in the set tonight, after missing six shows, according to @U2gigs, who also noted that the last time time the band played more than one show in Belfast was back on the War Tour. In fact it was 36 years and four days ago that the band first played this city, at Queens University, their first show outside of the Republic of Ireland, when they were on the bill with  poet Patrick Fitzgerald and, headline act, Squeeze, featuring Jools Holland.

'Streets' really took off tonight, from the moment Bono introduced it as a prayer, 'that we don't turn into a monster to defeat a monster.'

The press seem to agree, as the Irish Daily Mail put it, 'There was simply nothing old or hackneyed about this show and new bands could learn a trick or two from the sensational production values. And thanks to a giant  mobile screen, the band once again brought a live concert experience to a new level.'

Or The Irish Daily Mirror:  'From the time the first chord is struck until the last note is played, fans will be captivated by a mesmerising performance that's a lot of fun. While the visuals and lighting effects are spectacular, most of the messages are in the music, the songs from the 80s right up until the present day which still speak to fans old and new. This is a perfect performance from band on form at the top of their game.' 

Saturday, November 14, 2015

" Woke up, had it all, then came night fall, I've got nothing left but a heart shaken down"

Bono and band members from the band U2 place flowers on the pavement near the scene of yesterday's Bataclan Theatre terrorist attack on November 14, 2015 in Paris, France.

U2's message: "Woke up, had it all, then came night fall, I've got nothing left but  a heart shaken down... Love for lovers... Of music... Of Paris
Love is bigger than anything in its way!

Paris Shows not Going Ahead

As a result of the ongoing state of emergency across France, the U2 Paris concerts scheduled for the 14th and 15th November will not be going ahead as planned. U2 and Live Nation, along with HBO who were due to live broadcast the Saturday concert, are fully resolved to go ahead with this show at an appropriate time.

Speaking from Paris the band said:

“We watched in disbelief and shock at the unfolding events in Paris and our hearts go out to all the victims and their families across the city tonight.

We are devastated at the loss of life at the Eagles of Death Metal concert and our thoughts and prayers are with the band and their fans.

And we hope and pray that all of our fans in Paris are safe.”

Bono talks with Dave Fanning about Paris attacks

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Adam Clayton against Racism

U2 bassist Adam Clayton joines the ProAsyl campaign "Bassists Against Racists" and speaks out against racism.

We are tired of the apparently endless rabble-rousing against asylum seekers, foreigners in general, people with a different skin color, etc. So we say STOP! With the Pro Asyl Campaign "Guitarists & Bassists against Racists" ( we would like to wake up, but we also want to send a signal to all musicians, to actively support this campaign, as some media allready did.

Framus & Warwick support Pro Asyl with their new T-shirt campaign. The complete profit of 2.00 EUR per T-shirt will be donated directly to Pro Asyl.

Edge says U2 will play ‘Raised By Wolves’ in Belfast despite bombing controversy

Talking exclusively to Hot Press, Edge has confirmed that ‘Raised By Wolves’ will definitely be in the set-list when U2’s Songs of iNNOCENCE + eXPERIENCE tour hits Belfast this month.
He was responding to comments made by Ulster Unionist politician and former Lord Mayor of Belfast, Jim Rodgers, who’s troubled by the fact that the track refers to the UVF’s May 1974 bombings of Monaghan and Dublin.

Describing it as "very one-sided", Rodgers proffered: "It's a very bad idea and it's most disappointing because they quite clearly haven't thought this one through. There isn't a hierarchy of victims. Those bombs were absolutely horrendous and at the time I totally and utterly condemned them.

"Families are still in mourning and they are still suffering through losing their loved ones. But you have to remember that so many people in Northern Ireland have lost those close to them over 40 years of continuous violence."

At recent shows, the sounds of explosions have preceded Bono launching into the song’s opening couplets: "Face down on a broken street/ There’s a man in the corner in a pool of misery/ I’m in a white van as a red sea covers the ground/ Metal crash I can’t tell what it is/ But I take a look and now I’m sorry I did/ 5.30 on a Friday night 33 good people cut down."

Asked by Hot Press’ Olaf Tyaransen whether U2 would be performing ‘Raised By Wolves’ in Belfast’s SSE Arena, Edge responded: "I think the answer is that we will, but we will be taking account of sensitivities, for sure, in the way that we stage the show. That is something we do wherever we are. The show is always presented with a sense of the audience we're going to be presenting to. Changes get made if things just don’t seem to be right or if we don’t know how things are going to work or play. People understand that the content varies a lot. We haven’t finalised that, so I don’t want to start saying how it will be different. We’re still working on it."

Edge revealed that U2 had given thought to how ‘Raised By Wolves’ would be presented in Belfast before Jim Rodgers expressed his concerns.

"This is something I started talking to our designers about months ago. This is not in response to comments in the media; we always had this in mind, because we’re aware that sensitivities exist in Belfast. The reason it’s in the show, and will stay in the show, is that ‘Raised By Wolves’, like a lot of the songs on the album, is about personal experience, about an event that we ourselves felt, acutely at the time, the impact of. Larry lost a neighbour in the bombing on Talbot Street. That street is where my bus stop was. We’d have been in town often, trying to get the bus home, and Bono just saying, you know, ‘Literally, right there.’ We’re not drawing from it as simply reflecting a moment in history: it’s part of our personal narrative.

"It’s going to be very interesting, not only playing Belfast, but playing in Dublin because, of course, the album is very personal."

Rock giants U2 prove they are still going strong after unforgettable show in Glasgow

ROCK giants U2 proved they are still going strong after four decades together and 31 years to the day that they brought their Unforgettable Fire tour to The Barrowlands.

The rock legends arrived in Glasgow for two shows on November 6 and 7, 1984, with a set list that kicked off on both occasions with 11 O’Clock Tick Tock and I Will Follow before closing with New Year’s Day and Pride In The Name Of Love.

This time the frontman Bono, guitarist - or as Bono put it - "on guitars and a whole load of sh** even he doesn't understand" - The Edge, bass player Adam Clayton and drummer Larry Mullen, Jr were bringing their iNNOCENCE + eXPERIENCE 2015 tour to the SSE Hydro in Glasgow – itself proving hugely popular – just shy of 40 years after forming the legendary Irish group in Dublin.

And having previously played a raft of live dates in the city stretching back to the Boy tour in January, 1981, when they played 14 songs to students at Strathclyde University, and a Glasgow Tiffany’s show for the October tour that October, it was perhaps appropriate that they decided to take fans on a trip down memory lane with a raft of hits spanning their incredible career.

Bono, 55, belted out songs that still sounded as fresh as ever including the opening The Miracle (Of Joey Ramone) followed by The Electric Co from their debut album Boy and a snippet of Saints Are Coming before the blistering Vertigo.

Then came a rousing I Will Follow as the band pulled out all the stops for the gig that was proving a home away from home.

Playing just a few hundred feet from the SECC where they brought the Joshua Tree and Zoo TV tours in 1987 and 1993 respectively, he told the crowd: "Its been a while. Thank you it's quite a welcome. We're so close to home. Thank you for your patience, thank you for sticking with us and giving us a great life. These streets are so familiar to us and they could even be our streets."

The band created a funeral march onstage during Sunday Bloody Sunday and recreated the existing section of the Berlin Wall using a caged screen inside which they performed a batch of songs before escaping for Mysterious Ways.

And one stunning female fan, Jacqueline Chandler, from Fife, got pulled onstage by Bono to dance with him during the song, enjoying a dance with him.

Earlier, launching into Iris (Hold Me Close), dedicated to his late mother and breaking into David Essex's Seventies pop hit Hold Me Close, he added: "I started this journey when my mother died when I was 14 years old. She's left me an artist."

And the thousands packed into the SSE Hydro could but agree.

Elevating Gloria in Glasgow

'High, higher than the sun
You shoot me from a gun
I need you to elevate me here,
At the corner of your lips
As the orbit of your hips
Eclipse, you elevate my soul...'

First of two shows at the SSE Arena in Glasgow… and it was full of memories.

Bono slipped a line of 'The Saints Are Coming' - released nine years ago to the day - into 'I Will Follow'.

'This feels so  close to home,' explained Bono, 'Almost home kinda feeling, thank you for sticking with us...these streets are familiar to sum they could so easily be our streets.'

And the memory of their first streets took us to 'a song that could be for Gwenda, Maureen or Jo... but tonight it's called Iris.'

The good folk at @u2gigs report this was the 72nd performance of 'Song For Someone' - not bad for a song that was only released in September last year. In contrast, the beautifully reinvented 'Zooropa',  made its live debut in this city way back in 1993 at Celtic Park - and was played live for only the 60th time tonight.
'Bullet, Zooropa, Streets,' as @PascalGteD tweeted, 'The ultimate trilogy this tour...'

Another memorable night on #U2ieTour, couldn't put it better  down in the comments:
'GLASGOW.....Fantastic....Brillant....Amazing....Loved it!'

Same city, same days of the month  - November 6th and 7th - but thirty one years on. 

Reminiscing on the band's 1984 Barrowlands shows, tonight, said Bono, was all about 'turning the SSE Hydro into the Barrowlands'.

Anyone notice how many of the 27 songs played tonight were on the set list all those years ago? Gloria, I Will Follow, Sunday Bloody Sunday, October, Pride, Bad and 40.

'Are Jimmy and Charlie coming out to play?' asked Bono, introducing Cedarwood Road. 'Simple Minds right in front of you..' he added in Beautiful Day. 

They were right in front of us back then too too but other things have changed.

Friday, November 6, 2015


Tune in to Larry Gogan's 2fm show from 1pm tomorrow (Saturday November 7) for the latest 'Larry meets Larry', as the veteran broadcaster renews his friendship with U2 timekeeper Larry Mullen, Jr. behind the scenes at London's O2 Arena.

This time around, the drummer talks about the difficulties of staging the new show in their home town; the band’s relevance in the ever-changing music scene; his current favourite acts; and what Dublin audiences can expect later this month.

He also pulls no punches when giving his opinion on the current state of the music industry, singling out companies such as Spotify and Apple to highlight how he believes that artists are not being sufficiently compensated for their work by large corporations.

Larry Mullen tells 2fm:

 "I think [the music industry] is broken. A lot of younger artists don’t get paid, and that’s a real problem. We’re kind of out of that scenario, but we would like to see artists get paid.  Companies like Spotify, the new Apple service and all the others are really going to have to pay artists more. It’s only a matter of time. I think a lot of these companies and individuals who are involved in them realise that as well. They know that artists are not getting what they should be getting." 


Larry Mullen has spoken about the difficulties of the music industry targetting streaming services in particular.

Speaking with Irish radio station RTE 2FM ahead of the Innocence and Experience tour coming to its conclusion in the band's hometown of Dublin, Mullen said:

"I think it [the music industry] is broken. A lot of younger artists don’t get paid, and that’s a real problem. We’re kind of out of that scenario, but we would like to see artists get paid."

"Companies like Spotify, the new Apple service and all the others are really going to have to pay artists more. It’s only a matter of time. I think a lot of these companies and individuals who are involved in them realise that as well. They know that artists are not getting what they should be getting,"

U2 had difficulty adding Dublin and Belfast dates to the end of their current tour, in part because of the sophisticated stage set up, which needed to be adapted to suit the venues.

The band have been outspoken on Europe's acceptance of Syrian refugees during the tour, with Bono talking about the issue on several dates.

In Italy, after Germany announced its extensive plans, Bono said:

We might truly be at a turning point for what Europe wants to be in the 21st century... This week, something incredible happened, and Europe isn't the same as it was seven days ago."

He also said that pictures of German children offering their toys to Syrian refugees "will remain in the history of Europe" and labelled German Chancellor Angela Merkel as "a moral symbol for Europe".

U2 finished the 'mainland' UK leg of their tour in Glasgow last night, and head to Paris next, before wrapping up in Belfast and Dublin.

Adam Clayton Designs His Own Watch

Adam Clayton collects watches and is now thinking of designing one.

"I have in mind a timeless piece," said Adam Clayton to Bilanz. Our favorite bass player wants to launch his own watch "that can be worn on any occasion" and a series of features like a "metal bracelet."

He wants to throw his watch with the Swiss manufacturer H. Moser & Cie Moser . CEO Edouard Meylan is a friend of Clayton's and is well known for his  passion for watches . 
When he was a child still in the seaside town of Malahide northeast of Dublin, his uncle gave him a "Submariner" Rolex watch.

How many watches does Adam Clayton have now? He's not sure, "10 to 15 watches. A couple of models of Patek Philippe, Vacheron Constantin, Rolex and Omega have just arrived home .

Adam Clayton appreciates "the craftsmanship of classic watches." And he admits he does not wear a watch  on stage when he plays with U2: 

"No, I do not know what time it is.I do not want anyone in the audience thinking that I'm  constantly looking at the time, it would be a bad sign. 

"It is also impractical. "During concerts, I am full of energy and I'm constantly active".

adapted from

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

U2 perform live with Patti Smith at London gig

U2 Bring Out Patti Smith To Perform

U2 were joined by Patti Smith during their concert at London's O2 Arena on Thursday night (October 29).

The Irish band are currently enjoying a six-night residency at the London venue, having kick-started the stint on Monday and performed with Noel Gallagher earlier in the week.

At Thursday's show, Patti Smith was invited onstage to perform U2's 1981 song 'Gloria' as well as Smith's own 'People Have The Power'. 

Noel Gallagher recently described teaming up with U2 at one of their London gigs earlier this week as a "dream come true".

The former Oasis guitarist joined the band onstage during the band's O2 Arena show on October 26, performing their hit 'I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For' before segueing into a cover of The Beatles' 'All You Need Is Love'.

Speaking to Audioboom, Gallagher said: "It was a dream come true to be asked to get up [on stage] with them and then it was a dream come true to be asked to sing that song ['I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For']."

"They're friends of mine. I've been friends with Bono for about 20 years. It was a great moment. I was stood in the wings and they were introducing me and I was thinking 'This is actually going to happen now, this is amazing'. They are one of my favourite ever, ever bands and that's one of the best songs ever written. It was a blast, a real honour."

Gallagher added: "I thought my catering was pretty good until I was at U2 the other night, which was honestly something else."

U2 at O2 Arena, London

Six days in London ...

 "The most beautiful sound..."

'I woke up at the moment when the miracle occurred
Heard a song that made some sense out of the world
Everything I ever lost, now has been returned
In the most beautiful sound I’d ever heard...'

'The Miracle (Of Joey Ramone)' opening up the first of six nights at the O2 in London. 

 "This is not a Monday night, this is Saturday night.' 


And this 'Saturday' finished up with Noel Gallagher on stage for 'Still Haven't Found' and 'All You Need Is Love'. 

Some great reviews coming in for the arrival of #U2IE in the UK.

'Always exhilarating, occasionally unsettling and overwhelmingly inspiring,' reported John Aizlewood in The Evening Standard. 'U2 convincingly re-stated their case for greatness...'

'This show showed that U2's mojo is back, and perhaps stronger than ever.' said James Hall in The Daily Telegraph.

'Even in minimalist (for them), stripped-down mode,' wrote Ian Gittins in The Guardian, 'U2's defiantly ambitious, meticulously choreographed live productions put virtually every other rock band to shame.

More coming up on night two at the O2 but if you were there, tell us what it was like and post your photos here.

First time tonight or seen the show again and again? What did you see that you never noticed before? As @AllyahsWorld put it on Twitter, '#U2ieTour is so creative and innovative that you can catch it again and again and experience it differently.'

 "People have the power"

It's the track the band arrive on stage to every night and for the third show in London Patti Smith was in the house to take on the vocals.

Here's the NME report - which also quotes Noel Gallagher, reflecting on joining the band onstage on Monday for 'Still Haven't Found: "It was a dream come true..."

And this is Pitchfork.

Couldn't put it better than JoshTheTree it in our comments section, 'After the euphoria of Monday how could U2 top the last show? With New Year's Day, Gloria and Bad and bringing out Patti Smith. How cool was that?! Cool as f*ck. I was transported back to my youth with those songs. Many many thanks .... very happy. See yer tomorrow'

Did we mention Gloria, New Year's Day and Bad? 

"All I want is you..."

You say you want diamonds on a ring of gold
You say you want your story to remain untold.
All the promises we make
From the cradle to the grave
When all I want is you...’

Fourth night in London and first time in Europe for 'All I Want is You’.

As @TheO2 tweeted, ‘What an amazing crowd here for an incredible performance.'

 "Volcano erupts in London"

'Volcano, you don't wanna, you don't wanna know.
Something in you wants to blow
You don't wanna, you don't wanna know
You're on a piece of ground above a volcano...

There's something in the air tonight, and it's not just the spectacular mist swirling up from the Thames to envelope the O2 Arena. Inside, the atmosphere is building powerfully, too. Bono's over-brimming with autumn as he takes the stage: London, he says, looked like a Turner painting today - "incredible painted light". And with that, the band launches into their fifth consecutive London show (first time since the Boy tour - thanks, @u2gigs) with hardly a pause for breath.

The Miracle (of Joey Ramone) cascades into Out of Control, and then it's Vertigo. The O2 warns you not to buy a ticket in the gods if you have a fear of heights, but there's no fear in here tonight. I Will Follow has a few lines of London Calling for the locals, and there's even some David Essex, for those old enough to remember, at the end of an emotional version of Iris: "Hold me close don't let me go...".

He's thinking of "Alison Stewart" as well, tonight, before Song for Someone... "I miss her", he admits. Maybe it's because U2 are edging ever closer to home, but there's a relaxed feel within the intensity. Larry's introduced as a drummer and "so much more", by Bono, who pauses to think: "He hits things," he concludes. Edge even gets a quick shoulder massage from the singer during Streets. 

But escapism this is not, and turning to the refugee crisis, Bono asks the audience, "What do you want? A Europe with its heart open, or a Europe with its doors closed to mercy"? 

"Open," he continues, "you're open - and that's what makes Britain great."

The O2 was originallly built to celebrate the millennium, and fittingly tonight, both past and future are powerfully part of U2's present mix. Songs which take us back take us forward. Until the End of the World evokes the heady days of Achtung Baby when the Berlin Wall was falling, but it feels so, so right for now. Of the new songs, Volcano makes only its fourth appearance on this leg of the tour  - "a song about the rage you feel after grief", Bono tells us. 

"That was the most immense arena show I've ever seen" tweeted Neil Storey, a long-time friend of U2 from the Island Records days. "First time I saw them, they played to an audience of 7. Edge broke a string, everyone gathered round as he changed it. Tonight, it was to 17,000 ... but it was just as intimate."

Jimmy Page is in the house, and he's acknowledged during One, while Beautiful Day is for Matthew Freud (it's his birthday). It may now be November, but October seems to capture the spirit perfectly, and before the crowd streams back out into the London mist, Bono returns to his autumn theme. "What a blessing it is to be in your city, on the river, as the leaves change colour. What a blessing it is." 

Kingdoms rise, and kingdoms fall, but U2 go on again tonight.

"Wide awake in London"

'If you twist and turn away
If you tear yourself in two again.
If I could, you know I would 
If I could
I would
Let it go...'

No finer way to close a run of six great nights at the O2 in London than with 'Bad' and '40'.