Live Review
by Scott Sterling-Wilder

Official website:

Print this article
  More on: U2

A couple of movies
  News - 5-10-2005
MTV Europe nominations
  News - 28-9-2005
ReAct vs Hurricane
  News - 20-9-2005
Whatever next?
  News - 23-8-2005
Honour, album, tour
  News - 11-8-2005
Fully loaded with venom
  News - 4-8-2005
Copious debris
  News - 26-7-2005
Dylan and Peel for HoFUK
  News - 25-7-2005
Steam generator
  News - 25-7-2005
Warped world
  News - 21-7-2005
Bono and U2: on another planet, man!
Live: U2
Twickenham Stadium, Middlesex
Saturday, June 18, 2005
U2 still thrill in - Cerca Trova!

Whatever fans and detractors argue about - there is no bigger band than U2 and they know how to dump a spectacle on you without losing on power or messages. With Bono’s increased interest in saving the planet/ridding Africa of debt in particular, and the stories of [other members’] souls not too thrilled about it - there was a doubt whether this’ll be a show or a political rally.

No fear - it was as rocking on all cylinders as if needed to blow, rather than dismantle, the 'bomb' of their current album's title. It also seems that U2 can’t play a bad gig anymore: they may have an under-par night but there is so much going on everywhere else - and fans’ eagerness to sing-a-long and lift lit-up mobile phones instead of old-fash lighters [due in part to smoking being prohibited within the stadium itself] - to provide some prime 130 minutes of rollicking entertainment!

Most of the hits are served and only an ardent student of tummy fluff could find something missing: from ‘Vertigo’ to ‘Bullet The Blue Sky’-segueing-into-‘The Hands That Built America’, from ‘Sunday Bloody Sunday’ to ‘Stuck In The Moment You Can‘t Get Out Of’, ‘Where Streets Have No Name’ to 'I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For', plus snippets of other peoples’ tracks such as The Who’s ‘I Can See For Miles’…

Even in the gloomier moments, ‘Sometimes You Can’t Make It On Your Own’ is dedicated to his late father Bob, the band moves with the captivating effect of Ian Curtis [the late Joy Division frontman], that surprisingly turns out to be one of his ‘idols’, according to New Order bassist Peter Hook: “I always felt that Bono picked up the mantle when Ian went. I always thought that. And then I read an article and Bono admitted it.”

The big question is whether Curtis would have gone the Bono way of selling his rock-credibility with the ‘Terrible Bees’ [Bush & Blair] smooching... Having just received the Nordoff Robbins Lifetime Achievement Award, Bono is the mega-star like few others, a compelling performer and an incredible conductor of communal singing, backed by the guitarist-of-the-generation The Edge and solid-titanium rhythms by Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen Jr. Epic rockness, huge stadium anthems!

Early part of the performance suffered poor-to-none lightshow due to the daylight but once the darkness embraced this rugby stadium - some new magic was dispensed. ‘City Of Blinding Lights’, indeedy! Bono spends fair amount of time at one of the ‘tongues’ protruding from either stage-end playing guitar and drumming, with others being occasional visitors.

‘Vertigo//2005’ tour is bigger, better, and more hypnotising as U2 march into the future that, according to Bono, is what interests them. We are also encouraged to text ‘Africa’ support… See you at Live8, man!

U2: Cerca Trova = Seek and you shall find.

Scott Sterling-Wilder
U2’s album ‘How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb’ is available now on Island/UMG