June 2011 Archives

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Band in talks about converting their innovative stages into amphitheaters

By Matthew Perpetua, Rolling Stone

U2 have announced plans to sell "the claw" - the innovative four-legged structure at the center of their record-shattering 360 Tour - as a permanent venue following the conclusion of the tour this summer. The band had three of the 29,000-square-foot steel structures built for the two-year-long jaunt and are in discussions with various promoters about installing each at different spots around the world.

"It's certainly our intention to see these things recycled into permanent and usable ventures," U2 tour director Craig Evans told Billboard. Evans would not get into specifics about potential buyers but said that discussions typically involve converting the structures into full interior pavilions and amphitheaters. "They're something you can put up on a waterfront and become an instant skyline icon."

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ArtUncut, the direct action group, attacks decision to silence peaceful attempt to highlight Irish band's offshore affairs

by Adam Gabbatt, The Guardian

Activists seeking to return the Glastonbury festival to its political roots expressed outrage after a peaceful protest against the tax status of headline act U2 was disbanded with "totally unnecessary" violence by security staff.

Members of Art Uncut, an offshoot of the larger direct action group UK Uncut, complained that 10 guards had used "heavy-handed" tactics on Friday night in their rush to remove a 20ft (6m) inflatable banner emblazoned with the legend "U pay your tax 2".

One protester, Claudia Graham, 23, had her finger broken during the scuffle. She said: "It was totally over the top, they were really quite violent. They had one guy round the neck. It was totally unnecessary. You should have the right to put up whatever banner you like."

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U2's performance at the Glastonbury Festival attracted protesters, but Bono and co proved they are the world's top rock stars - and we should learn to cherish them, says William Langley

By William Langley, The Telegraph

Grit your teeth and face the unpalatable truth. It's time to start being nice about U2 again. When a band has been this uncool for this long, the least it deserves is a reappraisal, and on Friday night at Glastonbury, the veteran Irish rock outfit gave a quality performance. It was big, safe and polished. Which is part of the problem.

A stiffer element at the festival holds that Glastonbury is the wrong place for global megabands and the big production efforts that go into them. So, last year, when U2 were forced to pull out following a back injury to their 51-year-old frontman Bono, a quiet ripple of satisfaction ran around the soggy extremities of Worthy Farm. It lasted only until the singer, happily repaired by a team of top German surgeons, announced the band's plans to have another go.

By the standards of the pop world, this looked suspiciously like an honourable course of action. Bono and his men are currently on a tour of the US, and to reach deepest Somerset they had to fly in from Baltimore and straight back out again to Michigan. But instead of showing gratitude, many among the plastic poncho-clad crusties were still complaining about things like the group's "brand image" as the rockers arrived on stage.

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U2 have made their first appearance at the Glastonbury music festival, as the headline act on Friday night.

BBC

The band played a greatest hits set that included Where The Streets Have No Name, One, With Or Without You and Beautiful Day.

They also played on as protest group Art Uncut inflated a 20ft balloon emblazoned with "U Pay Your Tax 2".

Coldplay will headline the Pyramid Stage on Saturday, with US star Beyonce closing the event on Sunday.

Dorian Lynskey, writing for the Guardian, called the rain-sodden performance a "charged and memorable set" that showed off the band's "formidable showmanship".

by Benjy Eisen, Spinner

Coming off the biggest, most profitable rock 'n' roll tour in history, U2 are sometimes considered the world's biggest band. But there's one thing they haven't done that most of the other "world's biggest bands" usually do, and that's headline major festivals. Thus, as odd as it may seem to say it, they might actually be a little unprepared for their headlining slot at Glastonbury this coming Friday night.

Additionally, U2 have gotten used to letting the Claw -- their massive, custom-made, biggest-of-its-kind stadium set -- help them entertain audiences, with its double stages, state-of-the-art light rig and the largest video screen to ever tour with a band. "[Glastonbury] is about a band being able to get up and play the music and there aren't bells and whistles, necessarily," drummer Larry Mullen Jr. tells BBC Radio 1. "That's a challenge for us and we've got something to prove."

Bryan Wawzenek, Gibson.com

U2's Achtung Baby marks its 20th anniversary this year and the Irish rockers are planning to release a deluxe edition of the album to celebrate. The 1991 album also will be paired with U2's 1993 release, Zooropa, in a special edition box set, according to Rolling Stone - via Slicing Up Eyeballs.

"There will be multiple formats," said U2 manager Paul McGuinness. "If you pile a lot of extra material and packaging and design work into a super-duper box set, there are people who will pay quite a lot for it, so you can budget it at a very high level and pump up the value."

The plan is for each album to be issued on its own and that the set will include bonus audio and video material from U2's ZOO TV concerts.

Last month, it was reported that the band members were filming footage for an Achtung Baby documentary with It Might Get Loud's Davis Guggenheim.

U2 bringing their own stage to Glastonbury?

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Michael Eavis hints the headliners' production will be bigger than anticipated

NME

Glastonbury boss Michael Eavis has suggested that U2 are bringing their own stage to the festival this weekend.

The Irish rock legends headline the festival this Friday (June 24) in their first festival performance since the 1980s. In recent years, the band have been more used to lavish stage productions, like the infamous 'claw' construction that formed the centerpiece of their most recent world tour.

Now, Eavis has suggested that their show may not be as stripped down as expected.

ANI/Daily News & Analysis

Irish rock band U2 has revealed that the release of their new album will be delayed due to the failure of recording sessions.

The band had been working with Gnarls Barkley star Danger Mouse and superproducer RedOne, and had hoped to release their 13th studio album, the follow-up album to 2009's 'No Line on the Horizon', within the next few months.

But bassist Adam Clayton revealed the recording sessions with RedOne are just not working, and that with their busy schedule they would have to delay further studio work, which will most likely delay release of the album to late 2012.

'I'm sure the next time we go out it will be quite different,' says the Edge

Rolling Stone

Last month, Rolling Stone Senior Writer Brian Hiatt traveled to Denver to catch up with U2 as they kicked off the final leg of their 360 Tour. He chatted with the Edge and Adam Clayton about the epic two-year tour, the difficult birth of Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark and where exactly U2 goes from here. (For more, read our full account of U2's time on the road from the most recent issue of Rolling Stone.)

The threatened protests over U2's alleged tax avoidance prove that Glastonbury's founding spirit has been rekindled

Ros Wynne-Jones, The Guardian

'Did I disappoint you, or leave a bad taste in your mouth?" At Glastonbury this month, U2's headline set is more than likely to include One, the band's enduring hit - and the name of lead singer Bono's advocacy organisation for the world's poorest people. Originally released as a benefit single for Aids research, the song's lyrics carry an unintentional pertinence for the protesters threatening to use the festival to highlight the band's alleged tax avoidance.

The martyring of Saint Bono will take place courtesy of Art Uncut, a subsidiary of the tax avoidance campaign UK Uncut. It plans a series of actions over the Glastonbury weekend, stopping short of disrupting U2's set but an acute embarrassment to a band that has at times foregrounded morality over music.

Brian Boyd, The Irish Times

U2 WILL be making a long-awaited first appearance at the Glastonbury festival on Friday, June 24th, but lobby group Art Uncut will not be cheering them on.

Members of the organisation say they will be staging a "highly visible" protest from the audience to draw attention to what they claim is the band's tax avoidance.

Oiler Brule gave lift to hitchhiking Bono

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Kelsey Nichols, right, Gilbert Brule and Brule's mom
Lori Johnson at Wednesday's U2 concert in
Commonwealth. Photograph by: Ben Gelinas

By Ben Gelinas, Edmonton Journal

EDMONTON - Edmonton Oiler Gilbert Brule and his girlfriend picked up an unusual hitchhiker in West Vancouver on Tuesday -- U2 frontman Bono.

Brule and girlfriend Kelsey Nichols were driving to a park to walk Bella, their German shepherd, on Tuesday afternoon near the West Vancouver Yacht club when they spotted a couple of hitchhikers on the side of the road.

Brule, watching out the window, was sure one of them was Bono.

Nichols, who was driving, didn't believe him, because, really, why would Bono be hitchhiking in West Van?

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