May 2005 Archives

LONDON (AFP) - A who's who of popular music including Paul McCartney, the Rolling Stones, U2, Madonna and Prince are scheduled to perform this July in a massive successor concert to the Live Aid charity event of 1985, according to a newspaper report.

The event is scheduled to be announced by Irish pop star-turned development activist Bob Geldof in London later Tuesday, Britain's Daily Telegraph reported.

It said that a series of stars had already been confirmed for the July 2 event, which will take place simultaneously in London, Philadelphia and, possibly, other countries worldwide.

Names already confirmed also include British girl group the Spice Girls, whose original five-member line up last performed together in 1998, and the classic line-up of veteran British rockers Pink Floyd, the paper said.

Although the concert is being seen as a successor to Live Aid, also organised by Geldof, which raised huge sums for African famine relief, the purpose of the new event is very different, the report said.


U2 rocked my heart, mind and soul like only they could on April 28th and 29th at GM Place. And after 25 years of poignant albums and stellar concerts, it's hard to believe it was my first time seeing them.

I don't just like U2, I psychotically adore this band with every fiber of my very being. It wasn't always that way though. I've always liked them since the time my uncle put on their very first album back in 1980. I bought every album U2 ever put out and all of that, but the obsession didn't begin to manifest until their unprecedented 1987 release: The Joshua Tree.

Wondering why I hadn't ever seen them live until this past April? I chalk it up to Divine Intervention. Some mysterious force always prevented me from seeing U2. First is was my parents not willing to let a 13 year old run off to a rock concert in Vancouver. It was my parents again when they said they would only let me go if I found a "trustworthy" friend to drive down with... Of course no on fit the bill, and the one person who did refused to go because she feared U2 were becoming too secular and immoral (!). Next time around I simply couldn't afford to make the trip to Vancouver because I had just moved out on my own. The final failure was in 2001 when U2 were on their Elevation tour. Depeche Mode was touring the same year and I had to choose whether I went to see them or U2 because it all came down to available funds yet again. I chose Depeche Mode because I knew that U2 would be back again. What I didn't know was that I would be the one who might not be.

Bono: "We Need to Talk"


U2's frontman sits down with Greg Kot to 'clear the air' about negative reviews, the band's direction and the role of rock 'n' roll

By Greg Kot, Chicago Tribune music critic

Bono is steamed.

It's not every day that I answer my cell phone and hear the lead singer of U2 expressing serious disagreement with something I've written, but that day has arrived.

"You've offended us," he says as I weave up Lake Shore Drive during evening rush hour, trying not to crash into a concrete barrier while I reach for my notebook. "There's a dark cloud over us and we need to talk."

I've covered the band for 15 years, interviewed Bono a half-dozen times and attended virtually every one of U2's Chicago concerts since the Irish quartet first played at Park West in 1981. Along with R.E.M., U2 is the most important mainstream rock band of my generation, a band that set a new standard for how an arena rock concert could feel and what it could communicate. In the '90s, Bono, guitarist The Edge, drummer Larry Mullen Jr. and bassist Adam Clayton gave their well-honed approach a twist on such adventurous albums as "Achtung Baby" (1991), "Zooropa" (1993), the "Passengers: Original Soundtracks I" side project (1995) and "Pop" (1997).

Pride of Dublin

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By Lise Hand, New York Post

A superstar in the United States, an ambassador in the Third World, a saint in Rome, Bono is something else in his native Ireland - ordinary.

My friend Craig de Wald found that out in a rather comical way when he strolled into the men's room of a Dublin bar last year and found himself standing next to his longtime hero.

De Wald had first seen U2 in action in San Francisco in 1987, and since then had criss-crossed the country six times to see them play. "I've always looked on Bono as a bit of a role model. I find him interesting because he has the ability, as Rudyard Kipling put it: "To walk with kings, nor lose the common touch."

The closest most Americans will get to U2 is in the audience at one of the band's sold-out shows this week at the Continental Airlines Arena and Madison Square Garden. But in Ireland, you pass them on the street.

By Greg Kot, Chicago Tribune

The corporate juggernaut that is U2 takes over Chicago this week with four sold-out shows at the United Center in-between singer Bono's latest efforts to save the world. These efforts would have been enhanced Saturday by a concert that relied less on U2's past and more on songs that haven't overstayed their welcome.

On opening night, Bono lamented that a decade ago he would place calls to the White House in the midst of the band's Zoo TV tour, but they went unanswered. "They take my call now," he said, and the audience cheered. He went on to urge the audience to text-message his Unite Against Poverty organization which is designed to pressure politicians to follow through on the United Nations' goal of cutting world poverty in half by 2015. It was yet another example of the rock concert as political advertisement, following closely on the heels of last year's Bruce Springsteen-led Vote for Change tour that aimed to oust George Bush from the White House.

By Jim DeRogatis, Chicago Sun-Times Pop Music Critic

Despite its status as a multi-platinum, arena-filling mega-band, U2 has always maintained a reputation for caring about its fans. But when tickets went on sale in late January for its Vertigo 2005 Tour, something went wrong.

Many of the faithful who paid $40 to join the band's fan club found themselves shut out when tickets went on sale via a system that ignored the special presale privileges and issued random codes instead. As a result, many of the prime tickets wound up with scalpers who have been peddling them for more than 20 times face value.

The group scheduled additional shows to make amends -- U2 performs four nights here beginning Saturday, then will return to Chicago on Sept. 20-21 -- but the band was stung nonetheless by criticism from fans and the press.

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