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U2 Invade NYC

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The day began with what people thought were random U2 sightings all over Manhattan, and then slowly, people came to realize that they were driving all over the city on the back of a truck, playing various songs, as part of a video shoot for “All Because Of You.”

The final destination was Empire Fulton Ferry State Park, at the foot of the Brooklyn Bridge, where the band played a short set, both for video purposes and for a future MTV program called “MTV Jams.” The video shoot was free and open to the public; information about its location was widely available to anyone who did any basic slethuing this weekend. Originally the band wanted to play Central Park (couldn’t get permits, allegedly) and then the location was Washington Square Park (concerns about crowd control) and finally, this dramatic destination in Brooklyn.

With the Brooklyn Bridge and a twilight Manhattan as a backdrop, the band unceremoniously took the stage and launched into a crunchy version of “Vertigo.” They were clearly in high spirits and enjoying themselves. Obviously, the set was heavy on new material, as the new album (How To Dismantle an Atomic Bomb) is released tomorrow, November 23; however, spirited versions of “I Will Follow” and “Out of Control,” from the first album, Boy, “Beautiful Day” (from the last album, All That You Can’t Leave Behind) and, finally, an unexpected and poignantly tentative rendition of “She’s A Mystery To Me” (originally written for Roy Orbison) also formed part of this 10-song set.
The performance was strong and the new songs more than held up live.

U2 plans to begin a U.S. tour this March. Expanded review and photos also available at

The setlist was:

Vertigo (Take one)
All Because Of You
Miracle Drug
Sometimes You Can’t Make It On Your Own
City Of Blinding Lights
Original Of The Species
She’s A Mystery To Me
Beautiful Day
I Will Follow

Out Of Control
Vertigo (Take two)

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About Caryn Rose

  • aacool

    Thanks for that great update – wish one could have been there. Well, maybe they’ll headline at Summerfest here in Milwaukee next year:)

  • Eric Olsen

    super job Caryn, very much appreciated, sounds like a lot of fun – thanks again!

  • Cap’n Ken

    U2 – cutting edge and brilliant (iPod/iTunes tie-in, NYC street shows) or old and desperate (sold a song for use in The O.C.)?

    Just asking.

  • Eric Olsen

    valid question but I think we are seeing nothing but vitality and exuberance in execution of all this, which kind of negates the “old” question, and I don’t smell any hints of “desperation,” which is usually easier to spot in very small quantities than natural gas

  • Caryn Rose

    Earlimart and a whole score of younger bands also sold songs to The O.C. and are thought of nothing but hip and with it and cool for having done so. It’s ironic when they do it, but desperate when U2 do?

    I can’t fault them for thinking NOW about how to continue to appeal to a younger audience, instead of being 20 years from now and selling all their songs to commercials like Townshend is, and then justifying it by saying “There’s no other way for me to get my music in front of a younger audience.”

    Plus, The OC rocks.