U2 + HBO = 2 fall specials

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by Maria Puente, USA TODAY

Get ready for another behind-the-scenes look at what it's like being a world-class rock band on tour, when U2 gets the up-close-and-personal treatment from HBO in November.

Michael Lombardo, president of HBO programming, announced Thursday the network will air, on Nov. 7, a documentary about the band and the team of creative types who worked with them to conceptualize and create U2's current iNNOCENCE + eXPERIENCE world tour.

The following week, the network will air the band's Nov. 14 performance at Bercy Arena in Paris. Both the documentary and the concert will be available on HBO GO and HBO NOW simultaneous to the programs' world premieres on HBO, the network said.

The documentary will be produced and directed by Oscar-winning documentary filmmaker Davis Guggenheim (An Inconvenient Truth, Waiting for Superman). He's a sort of Boswell for U2, having made It Might Get Loud, featuring U2's The Edge, and From the Sky Down, the 2011 documentary chronicling the recording and release of U2's 1991 Achtung Baby.

Rockers team up for "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For" and "Stand By Me" to stunned Madison Square Garden crowd

By Andy Greene, Rolling Stone

The first clue came during the end of "Beautiful Day" when Bono sang a few lines of "Hungry Heart." It lasted no more than six seconds, but it seemed to confirm rumors that had been flying around for weeks that Bruce Springsteen was going to come out for the final night of U2's eight-show stand at Madison Square Garden. But nobody knew for sure Friday night until the end of "Where The Streets Have No Name" when an extra mic stand appeared and Bono began speaking about Springsteen's profound influence on the band.

Needless to say, the capacity crowd erupted when Springsteen walked out with an acoustic guitar. "Earlier, when I busted myself up here in the city, we had a gig in Times Square for Red and this man showed up and delivered," Bono said. "The chairman, the Boss. Mr. Bruce Springsteen." They let the audience sing the first few verses of "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For," but Bono and Springsteen were soon trading lines on the tune just like they did at U2's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction in 2005 and the HOF's 25th anniversary concert in 2009. Last year, Springsteen sang it in Times Square with the band when he subbed in for an injured Bono.

Duo plays "Where The Streets Have No Name" and "Out of Control" with cover band Unforgettable Fire to stunned fans at New York club

by Andy Greene, Rolling Stone

U2 have spent the past couple of months bringing special guests - an Elvis impersonator, a Canadian U2 cover band, Lady Gaga - onto the stage at their own shows. But on Wednesday night, they brought the act to a higher level when The Edge and Adam Clayton joined the New York-based U2 tribute band Unforgettable Fire at The Cutting Room, a club in New York that seats 450 people.

Making the appearance even more special, the show was part of U2 fan site @U2's 20th anniversary celebration. Nobody involved with the event knew that half of U2 would even appear at the party until moments before they walked onstage. "It was mind-boggling," @U2 founder Matt McGee tells Rolling Stone. "Our whole crew has been trading texts all morning saying, 'Did that really happen?'"

U2 have released a new short film, that premiered on the Sundance channel Thursday night, July 9. The video piece was broadcasted right after the third season premiere of "Rectify".

Woody Harrelson starred as "Aaron Brown", a prisoner who is about to be released to meet his real life daughter, Zoe Harrelson, at the prison gates in a desert location. The U2 song "Song for Someone", from their new album "Songs of Innocence" was played in the background. Vincent Haycock directed this nearly 8 minute film.

Watch it below:

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"A lot of my early memories of teenage years were of violence, and the sheer fear of leaving the house, going to catch the bus," frontman says

by Jon Blistein, Rolling Stone

Bono and the Edge broke down U2's songwriting process and recalled the rough North Dublin roots that inspired the Songs of Innocence cut, "Cedarwood Road," in a revealing interview for Song Exploder.

The song gets its name and story from the street Bono grew up on, but it began -- like many U2 tracks -- with a guitar riff the Edge came up with at home. In speaking about these initial steps, the Edge noted he sketches songs on GarageBand and works with drum loops Larry Mullen Jr. recorded for the demo process.

"My job is to find a way to inspire Adam and Larry and Bono, so I don't often care to finish out a piece fully," the Edge said. "I just want to get something down that I think is a great starting point and then I know that whatever I come up with, they'll come up with something better. So I just need to get it going where its identity is clear and it's got some kind of vitality and point of view that's interesting."

by Jon Bream, Minneapolis Star Tribune

The Rolling Stones vs. U2. Mick vs. Bono. Keef vs. the Edge.

Who is the world's greatest rock 'n' roll band? Baby boomers might argue the Stones. Gen Xers might advocate for U2.

Last week, this baby boomer had the rare opportunity to see these iconic bands on back-to-back nights: the Stones on Tuesday in Milwaukee, U2 on Wednesday in Chicago.

How were the shows? Outstanding. Was one better? Yes. Which band was the greatest? I'll answer that later. First, impressions and experiences.

Just given their ages, the four Stones, 68 to 74, have to be in the autumn of their 53-year career. U2, a quartet ages 53 to 55, are in midcareer -- year 39, to be exact -- sort of like the Stones in the mid-1980s. U2 is coming off two slow-selling, hits-devoid albums, the latter of which, "Songs of Innocence," resulted in bad karma because it was sent for free last year to hundreds of millions of iTunes users, some of whom saw it as unwanted spam.

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by Greg Kot, Chicago Tribune

Montreal -- Bono and Adam Clayton are sitting on a couch in a downtown hotel last week after a U2 concert, talking T-shirts. Suddenly they're 17 years old again hanging out at punk clubs in their hometown of Dublin, circa 1977.

"The Ramones, the Clash, the Buzzcocks," says Clayton, the band's bassist, reminiscing about the bands that he, Bono and the other future members of U2 -- guitarist the Edge and drummer Larry Mullen Jr. -- witnessed and drew inspiration from as teenagers.

"The Buzzcocks -- the melodies were so great," Bono says, mimicking Pete Shelley furiously strumming a guitar. "What was their drummer's name (John Maher)? Larry used one of his parts on one of our songs."

"I took a few things from (the Stranglers') JJ Burnel - a great bass player," Clayton adds.

U2, Meerkat team up on streaming for tour

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by Jon Swartz, USA TODAY

SAN FRANCISCO -- U2's tech-rich tour keeps getting richer and richer.

The legendary rock band, which christened its U.S. tour in San Jose, Calif., last month with a high-tech spectacle of immersive video and sound, has partnered with Meerkat to live stream in each show.

The streams are distributed on Twitter and Facebook, as well as displayed at the venue.

The arrangement started during shows in Phoenix and Los Angeles, and has continued.

The live-streaming experience, filmed by a fan onstage with the band, is projected on a gigantic oblong screen at the show and is available to anyone who uses the Meerkat app.

Rock star, currently touring with his band, will be in Ottawa to discuss African aid initiatives with NGOs

CBC News

U2 rock star and philanthropist Bono will meet with Prime Minister Stephen Harper, NDP Leader Tom Mulcair and Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau following a session with several non-profit organizations in Ottawa on Monday.

Stuart Hickox, founder of the non-profit "social marketing" organization One Change, confirmed Bono is coming to the capital for talks focused on aid in Africa, and is expected to attend question period following that meeting.

The Prime Minister's Office confirmed the meeting between Harper and Bono will take place Monday afternoon. Harper is expected to discuss his maternal and child health initiative, which he has previously discussed before the United Nations General Assembly.

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by Mikael Wood, Los Angeles Times

The rattling and humming has ended, at least for now.

U2 wrapped up its extended stay in Los Angeles on Wednesday night with a sold-out show at the Forum, the band's fifth at the Inglewood arena before its Innocence and Experience tour heads east, to Denver and beyond.

Wednesday's concert was actually the last of six in L.A., including U2's visit last week to the comparatively minuscule Roxy. But sustained exposure to his fans' adoration has never satisfied Bono's appetite for more, of course. So Wednesday the frontman sauntered onstage with the Forum's house lights still on, the better to see 17,000-something Angelenos cheer his arrival once more.

"The most beautiful sound in the world," he said. "It's you!"

Here are five thoughts from the show.

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