U2's Monster 2nd Downunder Show

Last night two of pop music’s superpowers came together for a pulsating night at Docklands.

Just over 60,000 fans crammed into an expanded-capacity Etihad Stadium to witness U2 360, the Irish superstar band’s bold achievement in stadium rock.

But before Bono and co landed, the American hip-hop superstar Jay-Z was entrusted with opening the monster double-bill.

He provided U2 with a winning mix of pop-cultural prestige and commercial supremacy few acts could, and he undoubtedly widened the night’s demographic. His wife, singer-actress Beyonce, however, was not to be seen.

Jay-Z also delivered pop hits, none better than last year’s epic Empire State of Mind, which drew the night’s first big singalong.

Still, much of his set was a little jarring for this rock-loving crowd and last night was unequivocally about U2.

It’s not difficult to get caught up in the logistics of the U2 production - the ”claw” is 50 metres high and carries 590 tonnes of equipment. But the stage, while vast, feels uncluttered and gives the band access to the crowd on all sides.

Almost miraculously, U2 delivers a sense of intimacy.

The sight of the four mates from Dublin, who have endured for more than 30 years together, entering the packed stadium by walking through the crowd as David Bowie’s Space Oddity blasts out is genuinely thrilling. It’s a nod of gratitude to fans, an acknowledgment that the quartet and their followers have stuck tight for so long.

Yet Bono was the irrepressible star last night. He used the elongated catwalks to strut, shadow box and spider dance through early parts of the set.

The U2 classics - With or Without You, I Will Follow, Where the Streets Have No Name, Sunday Bloody Sunday, Beautiful Day and One - were delivered in elaborate fashion.

Recent tracks Get On Your Boots and Magnificent were helped in part by Bono namechecking in the intro St Kilda, Richmond and Fitzroy. The gesture to Melbourne was lapped up.

City of Blinding Lights and Vertigo were also given fresh energy.

Songs regularly segued into others in almost mash-up style. Bad borrowed from All I Want Is You. And even the rain held off despite dire forecasts.

As for the sound, it was excellent to fair depending on where you were in the stadium.

”We’ve been doing this a while,” Bono said. ”But we’re still figuring out so much about music … Keep coming to see us, we’re still pilgrims.”

He then spoke of a strong connection the band has with Melbourne and launched into I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For.

The band also played two new, unreleased tracks.

Both were strident efforts demonstrating that these rock veterans retain their hunger.

U2 perform at last show for Hamish and Andy

THOUSANDS of Hamish and Andy fans were treated to a free mini U2 concert this afternoon when the band performed Desire and Vertigo live on stage at Melbourne’s Sidney Myer Music Bowl.

The radio pair were performing their last national drive time show at the free event when the Irish rock stars made their surprise appearance while the boys were fooling around singing their own song, “We are better than U2”. 

Celebrating “pants-off” Friday, Hamish and Andy appeared on stage dressed in colonial style hats and jackets and short black boxers to begin the show

U2 then joined the duo on the couch on stage for a relaxed chat.

“The last time we spoke to you guys was on the phone in France, to actually meet you in the flesh… a bit too much flesh…” The Edge said.

Other special guests included Michael Paynter, John Farnham and Daryl Braithwaite. 


Farnham joked about following “you two and following U2 too,” before performing for the crowd. After Farnham wished them farewell, the boys teased about Farnham’s own farewell tours - at eight and counting.

At the end of the show the boys thanked their parents who sat in the audience and their girlfriends Megan Gale and Zoe Foster.

Hamish thanked Andy by giving him an “Andy” necklace and got himself a “Hamish” necklace.

Hamish told the crowd, “We really don’t know what it is we’re going to do next year,” before Andy added, “In the words of a great man, it’s far from over.”

The popular duo have been touring the country playing live shows for the past week as part of their farewell Thank You tour.

They announced their departure from the daily drive time show earlier this year to pursue their television careers, but are yet to announce any details.

But the boys won’t be gone from radio for good. They return next year with one drive show a week on Fridays for the national Today network. They will be replaced Monday to Thursdays by Fifi Box and Jules Lund.

Read more: http://www.news.com.au/entertainment/music/u2-perform-at-last-show-for-radio-stars-hamish-and-andy/story-e6frfn09-1225965373032#ixzz173DANt8v

Etihad Stadium No Rain Out

Regardless of the weather the boys will play !

The Irish band’s enormous “claw” stage sticks out of the top of Etihad Stadium, meaning the roof cannot be completely closed.

Fans should prepare themselves for wet weather, but possible thunderstorms and lightning will create more of a problem.

“If it rains we’ll get wet,” the band’s site manager Bart Durbin said.

“Unless there’s torrential downpours, that may affect it slightly, other than that the show goes on. The roof has to be open. We’ve done shows in the rain before. We get wet. It’s not the best thing but we’ll go on.”

The stage for the band’s 360 Degrees tour began being assembled inside Etihad on Friday. The weight of the stage, said to be the largest in touring history, has required extra reinforcement in the car park under the venue.

About 60,000 fans will watch tomorrow’s show, the first of U2’s Australian tour.

Three “claw” stages will criss-cross the country.

One is already being prepared in Brisbane for U2 shows there next week.

The tour, which ends in Perth on December 19, requires 48 trucks to transport the steel in the staging, 17 trucks for flooring and 60 trucks for the lighting and sound production.

Tickets are still available for U2’s shows tomorrow and Friday, with hip hop star Jay-Z as special guest.

Music fans will be hoping Kanye West, in town on a low-key visit to record an album with Jay-Z during down time from his U2 commitments, will join his fellow rapper on stage in Melbourne.

U2 announces second Auckland show

Irish rockers U2 have added a second Auckland date to their “360 degrees” world tour.

Tickets for the first concert at Auckland’s Mt Smart Stadium on November 25 sold out in less than an hour on Friday. The second conert will be on November 26, and tickets will go on sale on Thursday.

Second dates were also announced for Melbourne, Brisbane and Sydney and Perth.

The band will bring American rapper Jay-Z. It will be the first New Zealand stage appearance by the hip hop artist and partner of singer Beyonce Knowles.

Ticket prices start from $39.90, but a surcharge of almost $20 per transaction by an online outlet has upset many concert goers.