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Old 05-01-2005, 08:58 PM   #1
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Article from The Globe and Mail: Vancouver Show

Call PM, Bono urges
By ALEXANDRA GILL

Saturday, April 30, 2005

U2 At GM Place In Vancouver on Thursday

The spirit moves in mysterious ways. And Lord help us, so do Vancouver's wooden crowds. U2's first Canadian concert at General Motors Place on Thursday night was rocking along at an ecstatic pace until the last song of the night, when a reluctant audience made a mockery of Bono's politically charged finale.

"I'd like to talk about your Prime Minister, Paul Martin," the Irish band's lead singer and Nobel Prize-nominated crusader for the relief of Third World debt announced, about an hour and half into the sold-out show.

"I told him I'd be a pain in the ass," Bono continued, referring to his public attack on the Prime Minister earlier this week, after Martin reneged on his promise to raise spending on foreign aid for the underdeveloped world to 0.7 per cent of Canada's GDP by 2015.

The audience responded with a hearty chorus of booing, but Bono asked them to give Martin another chance. "He's a great leader for Canada and I believe that he can do what we want him to do -- to lead the world out of despair and poverty, this year. It's a Canadian idea," he added, referring to the 0.7 per cent solution, one that has already been adopted by Germany, France and Britain. "If you people believe in it, I believe Paul Martin is the kind of person who will listen to you. I think we should give Paul Martin a call.

"Get out your phones," he urged, as the stadium lit up in a bright blue cellular glow and the phone number of the prime minister's office flashed across the jumbo screens above the stage. Unfortunately, the phone number being flashed had the wrong area code for Ottawa. Luckily, the blunder didn't seem to dampen the audience's enthusiasm. No, the most embarrassing moment of the night was still to come.

As the band launched into One, a hit single from 1991's Achtung Baby, Bono urged fans to climb up and sing with him."One love, one life, when it's one need, in the night," Bono cried out. "This audience, this generation, has had enough. Enough! Enough of despair! No more! So Paul Martin, I'm calling you!"

Maybe everyone down in front was too busy trying to get through to the Prime Minister's office with the wrong number. Whatever the reason, only five fans leapt to his side. Five! Out of an audience of 18,000! And Bono was really begging, even offering his hand to help people up. "Come on, support me," he shouted, as his pathetically small army swayed around awkwardly, looking painfully uncomfortable.

The night had begun on a much more celebratory note, as glittery confetti fell like snow over the stage and white lights lit up the beaded screen behind the band for the first song of the night, City of Blinding Lights, from the band's new album, How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb.

Bono, wearing his trademark wraparound sunglasses and a leather jacket, seemed loose and relaxed as he danced around the oval catwalk. "See the world in green and blue, Vancouver, it's right in front of you," Bono sang out, tweaking the lyrics to Beautiful Day (All That You Can't Leave Behind), later going on to heap praise on the city.

For the next hour, the band offered an eclectic mix of new and old, with a set selection that stretched all the way back to the rarely performed Gloria, a song from their second album, 1981's October. The two-hour concert got politicized about halfway through, when Bono tore off his glasses and started banging wildly on a drum during Love and Peace or Else, from the new album. His tribal-like drum beating led into Sunday Bloody Sunday.

"Read my head," Bono shouted, as the cameras zoomed in on a white headband emblazoned with a cross, the Star of David and a crescent moon. "Jesus, Jew, Mohammad, it's true," Bono sang out, before he fell to his knees, pulled the headband down over his eyes and crossed his hands over his head during Bullet the Blue Sky, which was interspersed with The Hands That Built America.

The flags of Africa scrolled down the screen during Pride (In the Name of Love) and Where the Streets Have No Name, as Bono evoked the memory of Martin Luther King and compared the civil-rights movement to the struggles of the beleaguered continent. "Everyone is equal in the eyes of God. Sing for Dr. King."

The audience shouted back exuberantly, and the evening charged along swimmingly, until the awkward Canadian moment.

The concert would have ended on that limp note, but perhaps realizing that the feeble farewell wouldn't cut it for the tour DVD being filmed that night, the band came back with a rousing triple-song encore, that included Zoo Station, The Fly and Mysterious Ways (all from Achtung Baby).

Thank God for the woman with the sign that read "I just ditched my wheelchair. Will you dance with me?"

Bono helped her up and gave her a big hug as she swayed enthusiastically, despite her weak legs.

"See, advertising helps," he laughed, as the audience roared them on.
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Old 05-02-2005, 09:54 AM   #2
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Talk about a reporter who has no clue!!! Bono was not trying to fill the stage with people, he just decided to pull up those five with "One" shirts in a spontaneous moment. I don't know how this reporter calls that ending a "limp note" ... it was probably the most emotional moment I've ever experienced in my U2 concert going history. And then to talk about the encore as if they really weren't planning on coming back out anyways, but it was just to try to save the show for the concert DVD release (which if you did a bit more homework you'd discover they we'ren't filming there anyways) ... get real. Maybe you should ask to see the nights preplanned setlist ... or better yet, look at a setlist or two from previous shows. Doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that was the way the show was planned. That's a terrible news story; frankly it's embarrasing.
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Old 05-02-2005, 11:35 AM   #3
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I wrote a letter to the editor concerning that article. I urge everyone to do the same. The idiot reviewer seems to have left before the second encore and seems so preoccupied with finding a grain of negativity (in a show where there was none!) that I felt compelled to call her on her idiotic points.
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Old 05-02-2005, 11:38 AM   #4
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What a freaking idiot...

Here's the article and an option to email a letter to the editor

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servl...alexandra+gill
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Old 05-02-2005, 11:52 AM   #5
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I must be bored... sent a letter....



It is obvious to me that Ms. Gill was looking for a negative angle to this story or is obviously just a complete moron...

"Maybe everyone down in front was too busy trying to get through to the Prime Minister's office with the wrong number. Whatever the reason, only five fans leapt to his side. Five! Out of an audience of 18,000!"

Bono was inviting 5 fans with specially made t-shirts that highlighted the one.org campaign... it is preposterous to think that Bono was inviting all 18,000 members of the audience (the great majority of them being in seats) to join him on stage.

http://tinypic.com/4tn40x

"The concert would have ended on that limp note, but perhaps realizing that the feeble farewell wouldn't cut it for the tour DVD being filmed that night, the band came back with a rousing triple-song encore, that included Zoo Station, The Fly and Mysterious Ways (all from Achtung Baby)."

DVD was not being filmed that night... moreover, it is plain to see that Ms. Gill does not go to very many concerts. These "encores" are standard operating procedure. Ms. Gill must also have left early, as the second encore also included: All Because Of You, Original of the Species, 40.

I understand Reviews of concerts are subjective, but this piece really crosses the line into poor reporting and uneducated editorializing.

Thanks.

(picture taken by Isabelle Guns)
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Old 05-02-2005, 01:11 PM   #6
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Thanks for posting the link Miroslava, was having trouble finding it earlier.
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Old 05-02-2005, 01:14 PM   #7
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Oh you're from BC! You tell her
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