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U2 singer records Simon & Garfunkel track with Saint Sister and others for McVerry Trust

by Ed Power, The Irish Times

Bono took time out from preparing for U2's 3Arena show last Friday to contribute to a charity cover of Simon & Garfunkel's Homeward Bound that is now storming the Irish charts.

The Street Lights version of the 1966 single, in aid of the Peter McVerry Trust, Simon Community Ireland and Focus Ireland, was released at 9am today. By lunchtime it had soared to number two on iTunes.

Alongside the U2 singer it features Snow Patrol's Gary Lightbody, Conor O'Brien of Villagers, Cathy Davey, Saint Sister and David Geraghty of Bell X1, with arrangements by Colm Mac Con Iomaire, formerly of The Frames, and backing vocals by the High Hopes Choir (whose members are former homeless people). The song was assembled at Camden Studios in Dublin by the producer the arranger Cian Boylan.

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Opening Act(s): None

Setlist:

  1. The Blackout
  2. Lights of Home
  3. I Will Follow
  4. Gloria - Gloria (Van Morrison) - Gloria (Patti Smith)
  5. Beautiful Day
  6. Dirty Day
  7. Zoo Station
  8. The Fly
  9. Stay (Faraway, So Close!)
  10. Who's Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses
  11. Intermission (Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me)
  12. Elevation
  13. Vertigo - The Jean Genie
  14. Even Better Than the Real Thing (Fish Out of Water Mix)
  15. Hall of Mirrors - So Long, Farewell - Acrobat
  16. You're the Best Thing About Me (Acoustic)
  17. Summer of Love (Acoustic)
  18. Pride (In the Name of Love)
  19. Get Out of Your Own Way
  20. New Year's Day
  21. Ode to Joy - City of Blinding Lights
  22. Encore(s):
  23. Women of the World - One - Invisible
  24. Love Is Bigger Than Anything in Its Way
  25. 13 (There Is a Light) - The Miracle (Of Joey Ramone)

Remarks:

U2 returned as promised to Berlin, Germany, to make up for the unfinished concert that took place on September 1, when Bono lost his voice 5 songs into the set. This concert marked the conclusion of the Experience + Innocence tour and also was an historic occasion for being the first time U2 opened and closed a leg of a tour in the same city (Berlin). Bono thanked the crowd after "Beautiful Day" saying: "Last time we stood here I could not sing that song, and you sang it for us. Thank you. Thank you for coming back." This final concert of the tour was also captured on film for a future video release as many cameras were in the arena tonight. When MacPhisto (Bono's alter ego) took the mic, he said right before "Acrobat": "MacPhisto is disappearing for a while. Remember Berlin, whenever you see a journalist being crushed or children being separated from their parents, whenever the lost or the lonely are washed up on borders that are closed, you'll find me. Where you see those many names, remember this, there's just one face attached to it -- it's my face." Spotted at the show was Brian Eno, long regarded as the 5th member of U2, especially during the production of "Achtung Baby" when they recorded in Berlin's own Hansa Ton Studios. The Experience + Innocence tour was remarkable for not including a single song from the Joshua Tree album, the first time this has ever occurred on any tour since the album's release in 1987. There were 40 total different songs performed on this tour, of which 14 were played at every concert, and featured songs from every U2 album except 2010's "No Line on the Horizon". The only song not performed or excerpted on the tour from U2's Experience + Innocence album was "The Little Things That Give You Away" (though it was performed in 2017 during U2's Joshua Tree 2017 tour 16 times). At the end of the concert, Bono said to the fans in Berlin: "We've been on the road for quite some time, just going on 40 years, and these last four years have been really something very special for us. We're going away now."

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