Wednesday, June 15, 2005


Last night saw U2 play Manchester, with Bono praising the city as the place which "taught white people to dance". Backstage, Bono had stuff to say, not all of which made much sense:

"It was a strange and overwhelming feeling to be back in Manchester and so exposed, because we went out with the sun still up. Rock stars like proper darkness, let’s be honest. Rock stars like to stand in front, behind, on top of or underneath large video screens. So to stand there in such a stripped-down way, play songs from our first album and it feel so right and feel so now, and all the magic going off; that was good."

No, Bono - rock stars don't hide away behind a huge television in the dark; the whole point about rock stardom is that you're big, bright and flashy and people will stare at you and want to shag you until your ears drop off. Clapped-out rock stars might seek to hide, though.

There's more puzzlement here:

At the end of ‘Running To Stand Still’, which was dedicated to “servicemen and their families”, the UN Declaration on Human Rights was flashed up on screen, and later, Bono thanked “Gordon Brown and (the) Prime Minister,” for the steps taken last week towards the cancellation of third world debt.

“This is the moment to make poverty history,” he said from the stage, “Prime Minister Blair, we have a message for you from this stadium of lights… this could be your moment.”

Later, Bono explained to NME.COM: “The Africa stuff really connected, because you just don’t know. Are you gonna get bottled at that point, are they gonna boo? Are they gonna say hurry fucking up? But actually they were rabid. But you get the feeling in the country that there’s a bit of history to be made and people want to be part of it.”

Yeah, Bono - god, you must have been wondering how the U2 hardcore audience would have reacted to you talking about debt - because they're well known for being the least open-minded audience in the world, aren't they? It's not like they hang on your every word, is it? They wouldn't have been making bets between themselves on the walk between the car park and the bar how long it would take before you started talking about global debt, would they? Yeah, Bono, you were so at risk of being bottled. The chances were actually about the same as your risk of being carried off by giant eagles dressed up in Basil Brush-style waistcoats.

The setlist, for those of you who want to know:

* ‘Vertigo’
* ‘I Will Follow’
* ‘Electric co’
* ‘Elevation’
* ‘New Year’s Day’
* ‘Beautiful Day’
* ‘City Of Blinding Lights’
* ‘Miracle Drug’
* ‘Sometimes You Can’t Make It On Your Own’
* ‘Love Or Peace Or Else’
* ‘Sunday Bloody Sunday’
* ‘Bullet The Blue Sky’
* ‘Running To Stand Still’
* ‘Pride (In The Name Of Love)’
* ‘Where The Streets Have No Name’
* ‘One’
* ‘Zoo Station’
* ‘The Fly’
* ‘Mysterious Ways’
* ‘With Or Without You’
* ‘All Because Of You’
* ‘Yahweh’
* ‘Vertigo’