An estimated 30,000 people watch the band perform one of their most unusual shows in New York...
U2 staged the biggest guerrilla gig in history last night (November 22) in NEW YORK CITY with a surprise performance at the EMPIRE FULTON FERRY STATE PARK underneath the BROOKLYN BRIDGE.
An estimated 30,000 fans and industry-folk pulled out their subway maps and tried to navigate their way to out-of-the-way site where swarms of police and a gigantic MTV film crew awaited the mob.
Rumours that U2 were playing a secret show began circulating last week but no one was certain it was really happening until about noon, when the band climbed on the back of a giant flatbed truck and drove from upper Manhattan to the site downtown, performing the whole time.
Industrious fans who saw the band driving down Broadway outside their office windows were able to jump online and buy tickets off the MTV website, but most heard from friends that the biggest band in the world was playing a free show and decided to turn up and check it out.
The sound of several helicopters circling above intensified as the band’s truck began it’s long trip over the Manhattan Bridge, all of which was visible to the crowd. Fans who couldn’t get into the show lined up along the promenade on the Brooklyn Bridge, which allowed them to look down on the stage. The performance drew representatives from every major TV station, newspaper, and rock magazine in the city as well as several VIPs including the actor Jared Leto
The band took the stage as the skies darkened, threatening rain, which luckily held off for the duration of U2’s stunning 11-song set – which included two airings of new single ‘Vertigo’.
Bono was his usual magnanimous self, reminiscing about the band’s first trip to New York. He said: “[We remember] what it feels like to come over the bridge to Manhattan,” as well as philosophising: “Science and medicine and God are all the same thing and they should always be the same thing.”
He also told of how “My father used to conduct the stereo with my mother’s knitting needles,” before album track ‘Sometimes You Can’t Make It On Your Own’, said to be inspired by his late father, who died in 2001.
The setlist was:
’All Because of You’
’Sometimes You Can’t Make it on Your Own’
’City of Blinding Lights’
’Original of the Species’
’She’s A Mystery To Me’
’I Will Follow’
’Out of Control’
U2’s new album ’How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb’ is out this week.