Opening Act(s): Snow Patrol
Return Of The Stingray Guitar, Beautiful Day - My Sweet Lord, New Year's Day, Get On Your Boots, Magnificent, Mysterious Ways, Elevation, Until The End Of The World, I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For, Pride (In The Name Of Love), In A Little While, Miss Sarajevo, City Of Blinding Lights, Vertigo, I'll Go Crazy If I Don't Go Crazy Tonight (Remix) - Discotheque - John I'm Only Dancing, Sunday Bloody Sunday - Get Up Stand Up, Mothers Of The Disappeared, Yiğidim Aslanım Burda Yatıyor, Walk On - You'll Never Walk Alone. Encore(s): One, Amazing Grace - Where The Streets Have No Name, Ultra Violet (Light My Way), With Or Without You, Moment Of Surrender.
U2 perform their first ever concert in the country of Turkey. "Mothers Of The Disappeared" is performed during the concert and is dedicated to Fehmi Tosun. Tosun was mentioned in U2's "Pop" album liner notes and he vanished in Turkey in 1995 as a victim of human rights violations. Afterwards, Bono invited Turkish folk singer Ömer Zülfü Livaneli onstage to sing one of his personal songs entitled "Yiğidim Aslanım Burda Yatıyor". Despite half the stadium being full, over 50,000 fans are in attendance at tonight's concert in İstanbul.
U2's first ever Turkey appearance crowns cultural capital
by Rumeysa Kiger
No stint as European Capital of Culture would be complete without a visit from rock royalty, and so İstanbul's status was confirmed on Monday night as the world-famous Irish rock band U2 took the stage for a massive gig at the Atatürk Olympic Stadium as part of its ongoing tour.
Nearly 50,000 fans were treated to a spectacular show, both musically and visually, despite occasional rain and nightmarish traffic on the way to the venue.
Widely known for their stance on many political issues around the world, the activist-rockers avoided visiting Turkey for years out of concern for human rights violations within the country. So it was particularly symbolic that they were finally convinced to play İstanbul during the city's tenure as a European Capital of Culture in 2010. And, of course, it put an end to long years of yearning for Turkish fans when the group finally took the stage as part of the European leg of the band's 360° Tour.
After opening the show with "Beautiful Day," frontman Bono welcomed the audience in Turkish and said the atmosphere at the concert was even greater than they had expected. They sang a wide range of songs from their distinguished repertoire during a two-hour set, including classics such as "Sunday Bloody Sunday," "With or Without You" and "One." After the fifth song of the concert, Bono told fans that what happens in İstanbul has a significant importance for the world.
Bono had requested earlier to take a walk across the Bosporus Bridge, which is normally closed to pedestrian traffic. The Turkish authorities obliged him and he got his wish on Sunday night. Speaking at the concert he said: "It's a beautiful bridge. It's not just from Europe to Asia, not just from the religious to secular, but from the past to the future, from where Europe has been to where Europe needs to go." Some of the audience members expressed their disapproval when he thanked Turkish state minister and EU negotiator Egemen Bağış, who had made arrangements for his walk, and Bono said he would not mention any more politicians.
The set was played on an enormous spider-shaped stage, known as "The Claw," which enables a unique 360-degree experience for concertgoers. Reaching 45 meters at some parts, the steel structure featured a cylindrical LED video screen.
Apart from Bono, the entire band -- The Edge, Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen -- and the audience were extremely energetic throughout the whole night. Bono thanked Turkish fans many times for their patience, for they have waited for the band for so many years, and admitted U2 should come to İstanbul more frequently.
The band also brought their well-known political activism along with them. They called on the people at the concert to remember Fehmi Tosun, a victim of human rights violations in Turkey, and called Turkish singer-songwriter Zülfü Livaneli to the stage before an extremely surprised audience who sang along with Livaneli as he performed his well-known song "Yiğidim Aslanım," which tells of a man suffering at the hands of political repression. Tosun was kidnapped 15 years ago, one of the many people who disappeared during Turkey's troubled 1980s and '90s. Formerly, U2 had put Tosun's name on one of their albums' cover in 1997. Apart from issues related to Turkey, the band voiced their support for the cause in Palestine, the Iranian opposition and the leader of the Burmese democracy movement, Aung San Suu Kyi. A recording of a short speech from South African activist Archbishop Desmond Tutu on peace and a group of people on the stage carrying the symbol of Amnesty International received huge applause.
U2's 360° Tour in Europe will continue with more stops in Switzerland, Germany, France, Belgium, Spain and Portugal. With a $1 million subsidy from the İstanbul 2010 European Capital of Culture agency, the price for tickets to Monday's show, at TL 50, was the cheapest in Europe. Front-row tickets were more expensive, and proceeds from those tickets are being donated to help the fight against AIDS.
The concert also drew many U2 fans from such countries as Greece, Bulgaria, Italy, England, Lebanon, Beirut and Iran, who came to İstanbul exclusively for the show.
Fehmi Tosun 'will never be forgotten'
U2 and frontman Bono made one of their politically charged appearances in İstanbul Monday night. Ahead of their concert, on the backstage of the Atatürk Olympic Stadium, the band's members met the family of Fehmi Tosun, a man who disappeared under police custody during the 1990s. U2 mentioned Tosun on the cover of their 1997 album, "Pop," with the words: "Remember Fehmi Tosun disappeared in Turkey October 1995." Fehmi Tosun's widow, Hanım Tosun, and the couple's daughter, Besna, visited the group backstage, where they exchanged gifts with the members of the band. Following the concert, Hanım Tosun told reporters: "I was touched when Bono mentioned my husband's name on the stage. Things happen and they are soon forgotten, but thanks to them [U2], my husband will never be forgotten."
© 2010 Feza Gazetecilik