Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Deep, deep disappointment ...

About half a dozen of my students are currently on exchange in England at our campus at Harlow. They make frequent day trips into London, and I ask you, none of them was there for this:

U2 play surprise gig in London
Band dust off rare track for acoustic show
NME, November 23, 2007

U2's Bono and The Edge played a surprise gig tonight (November 23) at London's Union Chapel. Playing as part of Mencap's Little Noise Sessions, the duo surprised the audience with a four song set which included rare track 'Wave Of Sorrow'. The identity of the 'special guests' was shrouded in mystery when introduced by host Jo Whiley as "a new band with a lot of potential: "Dave the guitarist is very nervous...If he makes a mistake forgive him, he's new. The singer is very shy."

The band opened with 'Zooropa' track 'Stay (Faraway, So Close)' with Bono reading the lyrics off a sheet on a music stand. The singer changed the lyrics: "You can go anywhere/ Miami, New Orleans, London, Belfast and Berlin" to " You can go anywhere / Miami, New Orleans, Belfast and Islington," which was met by roars of approval from the crowd. After the track finished The Edge said : "I hope you like our new direction."

Launching into 'Desire', Bono ad libbed parts of INXS' 'Need You Tonight' into the track. He sang the lyrics "I've got to let you know / You're one of my kind." He started clapping before taking out a harmonica to play on the track's distinctive finish. Bono introduced 'Angel Of Harlem' by saying : "This is our only Christmas song." After a false start which saw the singer sing the start of 'Like A Rolling Stone' by Bob Dylan over The Edge's riff, the duo continued.

Bono then introduced the next track by saying : "So about 20 years ago we started a tune on 'The Joshua Tree' and yesterday we just finished it. This song is based on the experiences that my lovely wife Ali had in Ethiopia. You forget that this was the land of the Queen Of Sheeba...I was 25 and it was an extraordinary time to be there ... It was an overwhelming experience. This (song) has never been played before. Just don't tell Larry (Mullen) and Adam (Clayton) we're doing it ... Oh Adam's here! This is for you sir."

They played 'Wave Of Sorrow' with The Edge playing the keyboards. Bono said : "Thanks for being so generous," and The Edge said: "I hope you didn't notice there were a few mistakes but I was told that was okay...I felt the love."

I am deeply, deeply disappointed that none of my students serendipitously happened to be at exactly the right place at exactly the right time to witness something I had no idea was happening to watch a band they probably don't like and send me pictures.

Obviously, I have failed in my pedagogical mission to inculcate young minds with a nigh-clairvoyant obsession with U2 that allows them to sense when and where the band will play surprise gigs. So much for getting tenure, now.

1 comment:

Mark P said...

I love it, 'Dave the guitarist.' Brilliant. Though if Bono is going to start using printed lyrics in concert, it will ruin one of the great unintentional comedy moments of any U2 show, when Bono inexplicably forgets the words to songs he wrote himself and he's sung a million times.