The Saints Are Winning: Celebrating U2′s New Orleans and Super Bowl Connections
February 8, 2010 · Print This Article
The New Orleans Saints came to Miami tonight and will come home to a joyous New Orleans as Super Bowl champions. While the musical theme of this victory march is the hip-hop vibe of the “who dat” nation, it’s hard to forget U2′s connection to New Orleans, the Superdome, and the Super Bowl.
In 2002, U2 gave what many still remember as one of the best halftime performances in Super Bowl history. Today, as pop culture pundits across the blogosphere anticipated The Who’s halftime spectacle, they looked back at the best and the worst of recent midgame musical moments. Many seemed to agree that the post-9/11 meditations by Bono and company in down New Orleans still count as one of the Super Bowl’s best cultural moments.
Writing at the Huffington Post, Shawn Amos recalls, “Less than five months after 9/11, U2 turned the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans into a place of worship. As the Irish band played their final song, ‘Where the Streets Have No Name,’ a giant banner was raised behind them displaying the names of the 2973 people who died during the 9/11 attacks. U2 used the banner during that year’s Elevation Tour but this televised version had added resonance and turned a mere sports game into massive statement of unity and resilience – something New Orleans would need three years later when Katrina hit.”
Then, in 2006, for the first home Saints game at the Superdome since Hurricane Katrina devastated the city, U2 performed with Green Day the single “The Saints Are Coming,” a moving rock anthem to mark that occasion. Add to this Edge’s work with Music Rising to get instruments to New Orleans’ musicians during post-Katrina years, it’s easy to postulate that U2 were cheering for the Saints as they marched to their first Super Bowl appearance and subsequent victory.