July 2005 Archives

When U2 Comes To Town


by Christina Dimitrova, Sofia Echo

There is a belief that if you leave a piece of paper with your wish in a crack in the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem, it will come true.

When my mother went to Israel eight years ago to visit a friend, I gave her a handful of wishes to stick in the cracks in the wall. I don't remember everything I wished for back then, but I recall that one of them was to see a U2 concert.

Eight years after she put my wish into the wall, it finally came true.

On July 5 2005, in Chorzow, Poland, I finally saw Bono, the Edge, Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen Jr. play in front of 70 000 ecstatic fans from Poland, Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania, Slovakia, the Czech Republic and some Russian-speaking country.

I will not go into details about getting to Chorzow -- that is another tale -- I will only say that it was a train trip from hell.

After two days of travelling on various trains throughout Central Europe, I was convinced that someone or something was putting our faith on trial.

Chorzow turned out to be a nice clean little town in the mining countryside of Poland, near Krakow, which has a big stadium, and the local promoters manage to attract big names.

It seemed, however, that U2 was the biggest by far.

Geldof, Bono React to G8

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Live 8 organizer cautious, U2 singer triumphant

On Friday, at the G8 summit in Gleneagles, Scotland, the leaders of the world's wealthiest nations pledged to double their aid to impoverished African nations by 2010.

Bob Geldof, who organized last weekend's Live 8 concerts around the globe to put pressure on the G8 representatives, called the summit a "qualified triumph." "It is only time that will decide whether this summit is historic or not," he said. "The check has been written and signed, now we need to cash it. We need Live 8's 3 billion people to make sure it gets done."

U2 frontman and activist Bono, who co-founded DATA (Debt AIDS Trade Africa) and performed at Live 8's London concert, was more effusive. "We've pulled this off," he announced. "The world spoke, and the politicians listened."

To pressure world leaders to approve debt relief and aid for African nations during the G8 summit on July 6-8, Geldof's Live 8 organized concerts in ten cities -- featuring the likes of U2, Coldplay, Sting, Elton John, the Who, Pink Floyd and Green Day -- and was televised and Webcast live worldwide on July 2nd. On the opening day of the G8 conference, tens of thousands answered the call to convene and protest in Edinburgh, Scotland, near the Gleneagles summit site. After meeting with the leaders of seven African nations, the G8 nations agreed to double their developmental aid to Africa over the next five years, increasing it to $50 billion.

Photos are courtesy of Reuters & Associated Press.

Interesting tidbit: Paul McCartney and U2 opened the concert playing “Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band”. It later emerged that for his performance McCartney had hijacked Bono’s jacket from his dressing room forcing Bono to appear on stage in a denim jacket instead. Bono said he was stunned to see the former Beatle sporting his jacket when they teamed up on stage. “He asked our wardrobe person whose it was, and she says: ‘Bono’s - he’s wearing it today.’ And Paul says: ‘No he’s not. I’m wearing it.’” explained Bono later. He then added jokingly: “Now I’m used to being the big guy - but not in front of a Beatle.” (Source: Irish Daily Star - Saturday June 16 2007, page 3)


By Jill Lawless Associated Press Writer

LONDON Jul 2, 2005 - Bono effortlessly worked the crowd. Pink Floyd were sharing a stage for the first time in two decades. And Bill Gates was treated like a rock star. Live 8's long, winding road around the globe Saturday was an eclectic, unprecedented extravaganza.

From Johannesburg to Philadelphia, Berlin to Tokyo, Rome to Moscow, hundreds of thousands gathered for a global music marathon to pressure the world's most powerful leaders to alleviate African poverty at the Group of Eight summit next week.

Organizer Bob Geldof promised to deliver "the greatest concert ever."

Paul McCartney and U2 opened the flagship show of the free 10-concert festival in London's Hyde Park with a rousing performance of "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band." A thunderous roar erupted from the crowd of about 150,000 as the two iconic rock stars belted out the first line: "It was 20 years ago today..." a nod to the mammoth Live Aid concerts that raised millions for African famine relief in 1985.

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