U2 arrives in Nashville on Saturday, July 2nd. The last time they were in the area was 1987, so there is a good amount of buzz in the air as the date nears. And when U2/Nashville rumors started flying, I began plotting and scheming to create a party where our U2 tribute band could play for U2 fans.
My name is Chris Simeone. I love U2 and I love playing guitar, so in November 2008 I decided to put together a U2 tribute band. First were the craigslist ads trying to entice local Bono, Adam and Larry wannabees. There was a lot of interest, more than I expected.
After several months of phone interviews and many demos I met with Davin McLaird at a local Starbucks. After talking with him for a couple of hours, I knew we could be friends and that I wanted him to portray Larry in the band. At our first practice I realized not only is he a great guy, but he’s a monster drummer too!
It took us a while to find Adam. We had two bass players join, and then leave the band. Finally an amazing player named Eric Martens told us he wanted to be Adam. He was so determined to be a part of our band and has genuine love for the music of U2 and Adam’s playing style, that he worked his tail off and learned 30 songs in just three weeks.
Early 2009 I was contacted by a singer from New York interested in the Bono spot. We tried to make it work, but the 900 miles between was too much. Around the same time Brian Desveaux contacted me through our website (www.u2act.com). He explained to me that he had portrayed Bono for a couple of years in another U2 tribute band. I went to an Irish pub to see Brian perform an acoustic set of original songs. He threw in a U2 song and that’s when I knew I found our Bono.
Our first official practice was early May of 2009. We set up in a local church and the first songs we played were Beautiful Day, Vertigo, Streets and Kite. The practice went well and we were all encouraged. However, our second practice was not so smooth. On the way there my new VOX AC30 guitar amp did a face plant in the car when I stopped short. At practice I plugged it in and found it was very dead. Fortunately I had a backup amp with me.
Our first show was a four-song set at my church’s Christmas party. It wasn’t until May, 2010 that we finally got our first paying gig; exactly one year after our first rehearsal. Since then we have had many great shows, traveled to several states and have developed a set list of over 40 U2 songs. And the set list is still growing.
July 1st is right around the corner and we are so excited to play for local and visiting U2 fans - the best audience in the world. If you’re going to U2’s Nashville show in July, please be a part of our U2 PRE concert party the night before the U2 hits the stage. It’s going to be a fun night and a great weekend.
For more information about UZoo please visit our website: www.u2act.com.