By Mila Kakaza|
His charismatic moves on the stage and a voice which could make any woman going through a mid-life crisis leave her husband. Bono is immediately recognised with his black and red jacket and his signature red shades.
Formed in 1976, U2, which is an Irish pop/rock band has had a successful journey in the music industry. With 22 Grammy awards under the belt it is easy to see why a 19 year old like me would worship them. Paul Hewson (Bono) may be the face of the band but you cannot disregard the rest of the members made up of David Evans (The Edge) on guitar and vocals, Adam Clayton on bass guitar and Larry Mullen, Jr. on drums.
Live concerts are the purest form of the art of performance. You get to see how the artist interacts with the audience and you can finally judge whether they are indeed vocally gifted or vocally challenged. The Vertigo Tour, a concert tour which helped launch the bands 2004 album How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb, makes you fall in love with the band again – given that you are already a die hard fan. The tour began on 28 March 2005 through to 9 December 2006 and the Vertigo 2005: Live from Milan took place on 20 to 21 July 2005.
The stage is ready, an intimate setting between the band and the audience. The ellipse shaped stage – with some fans inside and some outside – is almost identical to the heart shaped stage used on the Elevation Tour. The crowd goes wild; Clayton’s bass guitar comes in, “Unos, dos, tres, cartoce!”. The LED lights beam with red streams of light.
The Vertigo Tour won the 2005 Billboard Roadwork Touring Awards for Top Tour, Top Draw and Top Single. The concerts were also filmed for the Live DVD Vertigo 2005: Live from Chicago and the U2 3D film.
Among many of my favourite songs by the band, “Sunday Bloody Sunday” stands out. A song which takes a political viewpoint as it describes the horrifying Bloody Sunday incidents of 21 November 1920 and 30 January 1972. The song begins with a military drumbeat echoing the authority of officials. The use of an electric violin by Steve Wickham culminates the greatness of this song.
Through their music the band members are as a band and individually activists. The album The Joshua Tree was inspired by the events of the El Salvador Civil War which Bono visited when he was invited by the Sanctuary Movement. Bono and The Edge also took part in the 46664 concerts to raise awareness for HIV/Aids. The release of the single “Sweetest Thing” allowed the band to help support the Chernobyl Children’s Project. The band has also collaborated with the likes of Mary J Blige, Green Day and Luciano Pavarotti.
Do yourselves a favour and get your hands on this DVD; even check it out on YouTube. U2 are truly musical legends; timeless and they are still rocking on.