To celebrate 20 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall, and as part of MTV’s Europe Music Awards, U2 performed in front of the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin today. The performance was free, although it was ticketed and limited to 10,000 attendees. Yesterday, the stageing and lighting were prepared, and earlier today, the band sound checked six songs.
The band did not play the six songs that they sound checked. However not everything was different from the sound check; One and Magnificent were abbreviated versions, and Sunday Bloody Sunday featured a guest rap by Jay-Z. In a surprise, Beautiful Day was played with the extended “we love you” intro. U2Gigs reports that this was the first time since 20th of September 2009.
Not with out controversy a two metre barrier has been erected around the Brandenburg gate to keep out people without tickets for the show.
“It’s a shame that a barrier has been set up. It’s stopping many Berliners from hearing the concert,” local politician Frank Henkel told the BBC.
The U2 show is part of the MTV Europe Music Awards, which take place later. Ten thousand tickets were given away free online and snapped up within hours. Now police in the city said as many as 100,000 people to descended on the square in front of the Brandenburg gate to try and catch a glimpse of U2.
Mr Henkel, Christian Democrat floor leader in the Berlin city-state parliament, said: “It would have been so much better if as many Berliners as possible could have taken part.
“We don’t know who’s responsible for this, whether it’s U2 or MTV. He continued: “10,000 people is a lot, but U2 could have had an even bigger audience enjoying their music at this wonderful location.”
McGuinness said Berliners think it is “pretty ironic” that an event to mark the falling of the wall has resulted in another one being constructed. Fans, too, were displeased.
“It’s completely ridiculous that they are blocking the view,” said Louis-Pierre Boily, a Canadian fan who travelled to Berlin despite failing to secure tickets for the show. “I thought it’s a free show, but MTV probably wants people to watch it on TV to get their ratings up,” he added.
U2, Live Nation, or MTV not really sure who was to blame for the “wall” however it sure did not leave a postive vibe feeling amoung the fans that just wanted to catch some “one” love from their hero’s.