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I have a female assistant that would like to sit on Larry's drum stool. A male one, too. -- Bruce Springsteen, at U2's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction

by Stan Aaronson

Bono + Edge at the Hollywood Bowl

Experienced the privilege of seeing half of U2 -- Bono claimed the more handsome half -- last evening. The performance was treated as lackluster by the pseudo-quasi-semi-hip SoCal audience. Evidently, most paid to see either Usher or Gaga and were unimpressed with the over-40 rock stars. The only performers former President Clinton appeared on stage with were Bono and Edge; citing their advocacy and leadership in debt forgiveness, post-Katrina cultural restoration, etc. The performance was "acoustic." As acoustic as one can make an amplified performance, anyway. They performed four tunes as a duo with Edge on acoustic guitar, with the remainder of the set backed by a string section. Bono had made a cameo earlier in the evening, singing harmony with K'Naan. It was a rare performance of U2 songs since, when on tour with the "other half" of the band, they are more or less obligated to arrangements that satisfy an audience expecting the gigantic U2 sound. Bono's voice was amazing, having just completed a world tour that has left his vocal chords rather strained. Edge was masterful on the strings, turning out lush chords and blinding solos while never dominating and always harmonizing, his voice in perfect simpatico with his band mate. Y'all can watch the show streamed on Yahoo.com, though I rather doubt that the performance comes off virtually as well as it did live. http://www.atu2.com/news/bono-and-edge-perform-for-clinton-foundation.html

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