Tag Archives: Bono

U2 stages high-tech ‘Innocence & Experience’ show

U2’s latest live show included a call to fight AIDS, condemnation of the 1974 car bombings in Ireland, the voice of Stephen Hawking, high-tech stage gimmicks and just over two hours of music, including most of its 2014 album, “Songs of Innocence.”

The Irish quartet brought its “Innocence & Experience” tour to the Forum on May 26, the first of five nights in the Los Angeles area.

Launched earlier this month in Vancouver, Canada, the North American and European tour continues through Nov. 15. The band performs at the United Center in Chicago June 24-25, June 28-29 and July 2.

Performing together since 1976, front man Bono, guitarist the Edge, bassist Adam Clayton and drummer Larry Mullen, Jr. know how to put on a rock show. But they were lacking a little in energy and excitement for their opening LA performance, perhaps relying too heavily on the giant horizontal screens suspended above their high-tech stage.

As with U2s previous arena tours, the stage plays a starring role in the show. The massive screens worked for some numbers, such as Bono’s autobiographical “Cedarwood Road,” lending an effect that made him look like he was walking through a cartoon town. But when the foursome performed between the parallel screens during “Invisible” and “Even Better than the Real Thing,” they appeared to be playing on TV, not live on stage.

Still, they hit all their marks and sounded album-tight. They opened with the new, “The Miracle (of Joey Ramone),” and the old, “Electric Co.,” from their 1980 debut. The set included such hits as “Vertigo,” “I Will Follow,” “Beautiful Day” and “With or Without You.”

After “Bullet the Blue Sky,” Bono held his hands above his head and said, “Don’t shoot. I’m an American.” While performing “Pride,” inspired by Martin Luther King, Jr., Bono called on the spirit of the late leader.

“Dr. King, we need you in Ferguson and Baltimore now more than ever,” Bono said. “We need the spirit of nonviolence, the spirit of love.”

The singer also lauded Irish voters for saying “love is the highest law” by legalizing same-sex marriage last week.

“They’re putting the gay into Gaelic,” he quipped.

The band was at its best when the gimmicks gave way to the music. Mullen marching with a snare drum gave new power to “Sunday Bloody Sunday,” and a stripped-down version of “Every Breaking Wave,” with Bono accompanied by the Edge on piano, was stirring.

A clip of Hawking’s voice played before the band returned for its encore. He talked about the necessity of becoming “global citizens” as a tout for Bono’s anti-poverty organization, One, flashed on the giant screens.

Bono also used the encore to discuss AIDS and an effort to end transmission of the disease between mother and child in the next five years. He sang a few bars of Paul Simon’s “Mother and Child Reunion” to make the point before the band closed with “One.”

U2 announces 19-city tour

U2 says it will hit the stage in Vancouver next May to open a 19-city tour, playing indoor arenas after a decade of larger outdoor shows.

Promoter Live Nation announced the rock band’s “iNNOCENCE + eXPERIENCE” tour last week. Tickets go on sale today. The tour swings through North America next summer before heading to Europe in September 2015.

U2 is obviously hoping for a complete recovery by lead singer Bono, who was hurt in a bicycle accident in New York City last month. During a surprise gig in New York’s Times Square this week, Bruce Springsteen and Chris Martin filled in for the vocalist.

The band will play two nights in each city, with four dates in New York, Los Angeles and London.

The band also will play two dates in Chicago in June.

Live from the Hollywood Bowl

The William J. Clinton Foundation will host Lady Gaga, Usher and U2’s The Edge and Bono for “A Decade of Difference” at the Hollywood Bowl. The Oct. 15 concert celebrates the work of the foundation, which Clinton established after leaving the White House. WiG knows what you are wondering: Will Bill play the sax on Gaga’s “Edge of Glory”?

Scandalous pix posted of Mary Bono Mack

An online publication has posted pictures that show U.S. Rep. Mary Bono Mack, R-Calif., in a compromising position with another woman.

In the pictures posted by Radar Online, Mack is having her breasts licked by Edra Blixseth, a major Bono campaign donor and former billionaire who is currently under investigation for fraud by the FBI. The photos allegedly were taken during an event at Blixseth’s $75-million estate in Rancho Mirage four years ago.

Radar Online’s sources said Mack “was blitzed and clearly having a great time” at the function.

Julie Bornstein, Mack’s 2008 congressional challenger, said the congresswoman’s partying ways are well known in both California and Washington.

“Several women in the California Congressional delegation were embarrassed repeatedly by Mary Bono’s behavior and conduct in the Capitol and encouraged me to run because of the embarrassment she brought to the legislature,” Bornstein told Radar Online.

Mack is the widow of the late Sonny Bono, who was elected to Congress in 1995. She took over Bono’s seat after he was killed in a Nevada ski accident in 1998.

In November, Mack won her re-election bid over Palm Springs Mayor Steve Pougnet, who is openly gay.