April 2005 Archives

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By Mary Guiden, Seattle Times

Last night, about 17,000 fans at KeyArena cheered on the Sonics in Game 2 of their playoff series. Just one day earlier in the same venue, fans walked into a completely different space, the high-tech rock 'n' roll showcase that was the stage for megaband U2.

The logistics of that transformation are staggering. The Key hosted the first Sonics playoff game Saturday night. Sunday morning, in less than eight hours, U2's stage and equipment -- 16 semitrucks full -- were unloaded and set up. Within minutes after the second concert ended Monday night, crews were knocking the set down. And the arena was ready for basketball again by 6 a.m. yesterday.

How that concert came together is a lesson in the massive behind-the-scenes logistics of modern high-stakes entertainment.

Bono Assembles an Army

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Brian Hiatt -- Rollingstone.com

U2 singer enlists Diddy and Timberlake for his fight against AIDS and poverty

In the latest and most public phase of Bono's ongoing battle against global AIDS and extreme poverty, the U2 singer has assembled an army of A-list celebrities -- from Justin Timberlake to Tom Hanks -- to encourage Americans to lobby their government for more funding.

"We're not asking for their money, we're asking for their voices," Bono said at an April press conference for the One Campaign, which aims to persuade the U.S. government to spend an additional one percent of its budget to assist Africa and other struggling regions. "This isn't a cause -- it's an emergency."

The One Campaign kicked into high gear on April 10th with the debut of a TV public-service announcement starring Timberlake, Hanks, Brad Pitt, Sean "P. Diddy" Combs and George Clooney.

U2 Mixes Spectacle and Emotion

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By Larry Rodgers -- AZCentral.com

Irish supergroup U2 has staged spectacles for years, and Thursday's installment of its "Vertigo" tour at Glendale Arena certainly had its bells and whistles.

Most impressive on the visual front was the use of huge beaded "light curtains" that could programmed like a stadium scoreboard on steroids to flash colors, words or -- during a call for world unity by politically outspoken singer Bono -- a waterfall of flags from around the globe.

The band used an elliptical stage similar to the heart-shaped number employed last time out, enabling Bono and guitarist the Edge, bassist Adam Clayton and drummer Larry Mullen Jr. to strut far out into the arena's floor, with a group of lucky fans mulling about in the middle of it all. The stage was ringed with an array of lights used to set all types of moods.

Although Thursday's concert had its share of fun moments, it was more about a band exploring new ways to present its 25-year-old catalog and, just as important, the messages behind that music. (U2 returns to the arena tonight for a second sold-out show.)

Bono's in the Book

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U2 star gets place in history

Suzanne Kerins, The Mirror

We all all know Bono is a bit of a legend -- but now the Bard of Ballymun is set to go down in history. Literally.

The 41-year-old U2 frontman is being graced with his own entry in the Encyclopaedia Britannica.

Kristine A. Strom, Senior Media Editor with Encyclopaedia Britannica Inc., has contacted Irish website www.ShowBizIreland.com trying to get information on Bono and his career.

Bono -- whose real name is Paul Hewson -- will no doubt be listed for his musical achievements with U2 as well as his campaigning work against the spread of AIDS and Third World Debt.

The singer will take his place among the great and the good of Ireland past and present, as well as some of the country's most famous brands and events.

He will join the likes of W.B. Yeats and his painter brother Jack, former Presidents Mary Robinson and Jack Lynch, poet Oscar Wilde, novelist James Joyce, Guinness and St. Patrick.

The Joys and Troubles of Leading the Pack

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By Chris Martin -- U2Station.com

Tonight at U2's second Los Angeles show, and thus far in the Vertigo Tour, U2 has acknowledged their age as never before. Tonight, I saw my first U2 concert at the Staples Center- a concert by a band I've listened to since my infancy, back in the October days. Tonight, a self-proclaimed diehard, one that could sing you the lyrics to Pete the Chop or A Celebration, finally got to see the band he's loved for years and years.

As the seats filled and a typical lazy Los Angeles crowd slowly found their seats, the lights dropped, and I saw Edge walk up the stairs onto the Bullseye from my seat just to the side of the stage. The band struck into the already-familiar melody of City of Blinding Lights, as the LED strings of lights descended and showed a brilliant stream of artistic displays.

As the band ended Vertigo, Bono launched into a short snippet of Stories For Boys... and it was then that in retrospect I saw where U2 is today.

Brad Pitt, Bono Among Celebs on New PSA

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BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. - Brad Pitt is among the A-list celebrities featured in new public service announcements for a campaign led by U2 singer Bono to fight poverty and AIDS.

The campaign was not immediately asking for donations but simply raising awareness and recruiting new advocates, Bono said Wednesday at an event announcing the public service announcements

"We're not just asking for people to put cash in the pot here," Bono said. "Americans are generous, we know they'll do that. We're not actually asking for their money, we're asking for their voice."

Pitt, who visited Africa after being inspired by Bono's advocacy, said he was struck by how extreme poverty there has made it difficult for the sick to gain access to drugs to minimize the effects of AIDS.

Bono Honors the Pope

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Bono paid tribute to Pope John Paul II during U2's show in Anaheim, California last night (April 2).

Five songs into the Dublin band's sold out concert at the Anaheim Pond the singer began speaking about the head of the Catholic Church, who passed away Saturday evening at the age of 84.

"I met the Holy Father and I was so taken by this showman, even if I didn't agree with everything he said," the singer, whose father was Roman Catholic, said to the crowd as the band began playing the intro to new song 'Miracle Drug'.

Bono carried on speaking about a time six years ago, when he met the church head and gave the Pope his trademark sunglasses.

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