U2 pay tribute to convicted Burmese pro-democracy leader at Wembley

Bono also offers up their giant 'claw' for the 2012 Olympic Games

U2 payed a special tribute to convicted Burmese pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi last night (August 15) after her prison sentence was recently extended.

The Dublin four-piece have heavily campaigned for her release for the last nine years and even penned the Grammy award winning single ‘Walk On’, taken from their 2000 album ‘All That You Can’t Leave Behind’, in her name.

Ms Suu Kyi won the Burmese elections in 1990 with the National League for Democracy, but was never allowed to take power, and has been under house arrest ever since.


She was due to be freed but her sentence was extended for a further 18 months last week when she let a US national, John Yettaw, into her lakeside home after he swam there uninvited, thus preventing her from taking part in elections scheduled for 2010.

U2 singer Bono told a crowd of 88,000 at London‘s Wembley Stadium during the second night of the group’s 360° Tour of the UK: “An extradordinary woman has spent 20 years under house arrest. Her only crime is if she had run for election she would won have that election.

“Her name is Aung San Suu Kyi. I send a prayer from London to Burma for her safety.”

The frontman then urged the crowd to don masks of the pro-democracy leader, which were handed out during the gig, as the band launched into ‘Walk On’, while volunteers marched onstage with her face on.

The band played a two-hour set under their giant ‘claw’ stage as they blasted through a host of their greatest hits plus seven tracks from their recent album ‘No Line On The Horizon’, including an electro version of ‘I’ll Go Crazy If I Don’t Go Crazy Tonight’.

U2 also revisited some old classics including ‘The Unforgettable Fire’, which has only recently been showcased on their world tour for the first time in over 20 years, and ‘Ultraviolet (Light My Way)’, which saw Bono firing off red laser beams from his jacket while he swang across the stage on a circular microphone.


Later the whole stadium also belted out the words to fan favourites ‘I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For’ and ‘Pride (In The Name Of Love)’ while the likes of Led Zeppelin‘s Jimmy Page, Hollywood actor Kevin Spacey and Mel C watched the show from the sidelines.

Bono was on jovial form throughout the concert, often throwing in snatches of tracks by The Rolling Stones, Frankie Goes To Hollywood, The Beatles, Led Zeppelin and Black Grape mid-song.

He also paid tribute to the city of London on numerous occasions, and joked: “If you want our claw for the Olympic Games we’ll give you a good deal when the tour finishes.”

The band rounded off the show with a poignant rendition of 1992 single ‘One’ before Bono urged the crowd to lift up their mobile phones and light up the stadium for closing track ‘Moment Of Surrender.

U2 played:

‘No Line On The Horizon’
‘Get On Your Boots’
‘Beautiful Day’
‘Until The End Of The World’
‘New Year’s Day’
‘I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For’
‘Stay (Faraway, So Close!)’
‘Unknown Caller’
‘The Unforgettable Fire’
‘City Of Blinding Lights’
‘I’ll Go Crazy If I Don’t Go Crazy Tonight (Remix)’
‘Sunday Bloody Sunday’
‘Pride (In The Name of Love)’
‘Walk On’
‘Where The Streets Have No Name’
‘Ultraviolet (Light My Way)’
‘With Or Without You’
‘Moment of Surrender’

Earlier Glaswegian five-piece Glasvegas threw in a few covers of their own as they performed their own take of ‘Blue Moon’ and Korgis‘ 1980 ballad ‘Everybody’s Got To Learn Sometime’ for their short set which dipped into their self-titled debut album and their Christmas LP ‘A Snowflake Fell (And It Felt Like A Kiss’).

As they launched into It’s My Own Cheating Heart That Makes Me Cry’ a clearly humbled James Allan told the crowd: “Thanks for coming to see us today. I really wasn’t expecting so many people, it feels really fucking flattering.”

The Hours opened proceedings, playing tracks from their two albums ‘Narcissus Road’ and their recent LP ‘See The Light’.

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