U2 back in Mexico after bodyguard beating

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MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Irish rockers U2 played to 90,000 Mexican fans at one of the world's most famous football stadiums on Wednesday on their first tour here since a rumpus eight years ago over the beating of one of their bodyguards.

With a red, green and white Mexican flag wrapped around his leather jacket, lead singer Bono greeted an ecstatic crowd in Spanish before kicking off the concert with the group's single "City of Blinding Lights."

Like fans across the world, Mexicans held up cell phones to share the concert with friends and relatives.

Thousands of people had lined up outside the capital Mexico City's Azteca Stadium, the only venue to have hosted the football World Cup final twice, before the concert.

U2's last tour of Mexico, in 1998, ended badly when a security guard working with the band was beaten in an scuffle with the entourage of the son of then-President Ernesto Zedillo. The bodyguard ended up in the hospital.

"I don't know if they're here for the money or if they have forgiven us but the most important thing is that they are here. It doesn't matter why," said Fernando Sanchez, 40, outside the stadium.

While Zedillo met the band in his residence and reportedly apologised, and although U2 frontman Bono says he held no grudge against the country, Mexico was noticeably absent from the band's North American tour in 2001.

The Azteca holds some 100,000 people for football games but its capacity has been cut to around 70,000 for the U2 gigs.

A much-criticised investigation into the death in Mexico of a friend of lead singer Bono, British singer Kirsty MacColl, added to speculation that U2 deliberately snubbed the country.

In 2000, MacColl was swimming off Mexico's coast when she was struck and killed by a boat belonging to a Mexican supermarket magnate.

An employee of the boat's owner was given a prison sentence, commuted to a fine, for manslaughter but MacColl's relatives want the businessman to be prosecuted.

At U2's weekend concert in the northern Mexican city of Monterrey, Bono dedicated the song "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For" to MacColl, prompting President Vicente Fox's spokesman to say that the government was following the case.

Despite the long stage absence, Bono is a frequent visitor to Mexico and has described its beach resorts as his "refuge."

He is friends with Mexican actor Jaime Camil -- who appears in a 2005 film about a desperate attempt to bring U2 to play Mexico -- and with actress Salma Hayek, who participates in Bono's "One" campaign against global poverty and AIDS.

Hayek and Bono were photographed arm-in-arm outside the band's Mexico City hotel on Monday.

Copyright © 2006 Reuters. All Rights Reserved.

9 Comments

u2: i am from san luis potosi, mexico., i went to mexico city with a lot of potosinos fans to the aztecas stadium concert and we enjoied it so much ´thanks for every thing .

gerardo.

OOH MY GOD!!!!!!!!!!!!
HELLO!!!...
I'M BRAZILLIAN GIRL...SÃO SIMÃO/SP...
I HAVE 12 YEARS OLD...
I NEED DICIONARY FOR WRITE COMMENT...
IT'S A ENGLISH IMPROVISED, OK?
NÃO LIGUEM
I LOVE U2!
NÃO PUDE IR NO SHOW OF JANERY...
WATCH ON TV...
QUALQUER DUVIDA, ANSWER IN MY E-MAIL
KISSES FOR BONO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
FOR ADAM, FOR LARRY, AND... THE EDGE!
FOR BONO, PRINCIPALMENTE.QUANTOS YEARS HE HAVE?
KISS...
S2S2 U2 S2S2
P.S.:S2=HEART
KISS.............................................
:*

It´s a shame that u2 is not coming to Colombia though they have a good reason of why they aren´t coming (Human Rights are oftenly violated in Colombia) But still It sucks that they are coming to south america and not coming here. I almost went to the Azteca concert in Mexico and almost convinced my parents to let me go to Argentina but... I couldn´t. I´d be cool If they came in a future.

hi I am a mexican fan of U2. I went to their las t concert in the Azteca Stadium. I took great protographs of the band during the concert. I was 3 meters away from them, so imagine how good they are. Drop me a line if you want some of them.
See you.
And I hope U2 comes back to Mexico next year.
Thnks.

hey im 16 and i come from Ireland (the mother land of U2)
U2 are the best band that has walked this earth and not just for the music, for all they did with the problem with fair trade.
its good to see that a band can still get to number 1 after all this time.
Bono keep on rocking and keep good music alive//

I'm Mexican too. The concert in the aztec stadium was something else. I'm glad that U2 came last febreary. To me, it was a dream come true.

being irish and a u2 family member means a lot that the fans get pleasure and such joy out of our shows it means alot if you want to email me please feel free on [email protected],send youre photos and iwill reply back to you,

well!! what can i say!!! i´ve been in POPMART in the 1997 (not 1998) and it was amazing! it was my first concert ever (i was 13) and it changed me!!! i became such a fan! and i´ve waited the whole 8 years 2 months and 13 days for them to come back AND IT WAS SOOOOO WORTH IT!!! Vertigo was the best show EVER!!! on the 15th i got the opportunity to be inside the open elipse and it was amazing to see the band so close!! it´s the most amazing feeling ever! on the 16th i wasn´t that close! but i got to apreciate all the show which is impressive!!! 3 hours of u2!!!! that place became heaven!!!it was nonsense of space and time DID disappear!!

i FELT the VERTIGO and it was HEAVEN//15-16/02/2006//U2

in my personal opinion i believe that U2 is the best band in the world and also the songs of this band in special the song ONE is very important for me because it has help me for understand the diferent things in my life.

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This page contains a single entry by Jonathan published on February 16, 2006 4:07 AM.

U2 Plus Five Is No. 1 was the previous entry in this blog.

Bono with Brazil President Lula (February 19, 2006) & Carnival of Salvador, Brazil (February 23, 2006) is the next entry in this blog.

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