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"I get bored with partying and maybe that's my saving grace — some people don't." — Bono

U2 get back to their roots

- February 14, 2001

by Anonymous

ROCK legends U2 wooed a star-studded audience in London's West End as
they staged one of their most intimate shows for years.

Ireland's biggest and best band went back to their roots last week by playing
a free show at the 1,800-capacity Astoria venue. The capital's celebrities
turned out in force for the group's smallest gig in this country for 10 years.

Bob Geldof, Oasis and Formula One racing boss Eddie Jordan were among
the stars who rubbed shoulders with competition winners. Mick Jagger, Chris
Evans, actor John Hurt and author Salman Rushdie also cheered along as
the band played a mixture of new songs and old classics.

However, outside, fans from as far away as the US waited forlornly in the rain
as tickets changed hands for 800 pounds.

One ticket tout, who refused to be named, told The Irish Post: "We are having
a field day. I have never made this much money on one show."

More used to staging lavish stadium shows, U2 dispensed with special
effects during their 90-minute set.

Lead singer Bono told the captivated audience: "We're doing this because
we're re-applying for the job.

"There's a lot of people here that could probably say the same thing. The job
is the greatest band in the world."
Bono, who introduced the band as "the family", also quipped: "It's only the
second time I've ever introduced the band."

In recent times Bono has campaigned for an end to Third World debt,
meeting former US president Bill Clinton and Pope John Paul II.

However, last year the group reclaimed the number one spot in the album
charts with All That You Can't Leave Behind.

Hailed by critics as a return to their rock roots, U2 is promoting the
long-player this month when they embark on a Stateside tour.

The band will tour Britain this March although no dates have been confirmed.

Old stars still dazzle

LAST week's show at London's Astoria showed that U2 can still compete
with the best. After selling millions of albums and playing 80,000-seater
stadia, they have come back to reclaim their mantle as the best band in the

Bono and the boys made a decent fist of it in an electric, pared-down show.

Dressed in shades, dark trousers and a weather-beaten leather jacket, Bono
threw himself into the crowd as the first strains of To The End Of The World
began to play. Showcasing a string of songs from their latest album What
You Can't Leave Behind, Bono po-goed around the stage as the Edge, Larry
Mullen and Adam Clayton struck classic rock poses.

A galaxy of stars gazed down from the gallery as the audience was whipped
into a frenzy. However, many were left disappointed as Where The Streets
Have No Name, Sunday Bloody Sunday and I Still Haven't Found What I'm
Looking For failed to materialise. Mysterious Ways, I Will Follow, Desire, One
and their first-ever single for Island Records - 11 O'Clock Tick Tock
- eventually brought fans back to their misspent youth.

Certainly a case of thanks for the memories.

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