U2 made their first live performance of tracks from new album ‘ALL THAT YOU CAN’T LEAVE BEHIND’ this afternoon (September 27) from the roof of THE CLARENCE, the hotel they own in Dublin, and nme.com were there to bring you the first report.
The superstar rockers recorded two new songs, ‘Beautiful Day’ and ‘Elevation’, for a special Top Of The Pops appearance which will be broadcast in the UK and Ireland on October 6.
Kicking off around 3.15pm, the band ran through ‘Elevation’ twice. The song sported a laid-back, almost baggy groove as well as frontman Bono‘s trademark wailed vocals. They proceeded to play ‘Beautiful Day’ five times.
Despite being an overcast and wet day Bono typically conjured some messianic pact with the gods, and the sun burst through the clouds right on cue for the start of the track. They completed the recording just after 4pm.
Earlier, the traffic was stopped only momentarily as the four band members entered the front entrance of The Clarence Hotel at 3pm, where they briefly spoke to the Irish media.
When asked about their penchant for Beatles-style roof-top appearances (U2 pulled a similar trick in 1987 when they recorded the video for single ‘Where The Streets Have No Name’ from the roof of the Million Dollar Hotel in LA), Bono commented that it wasn’t the first time they had culled inspiration from the other Fab Four, saying: “We’ve ripped The Beatles off many times before!”
Some 4,000 fans and onlookers lined the banks of the River Liffey to cheer on the four-piece despite a relatively inaudible sound and poor view. Some fans managed to find better vantage points by climbing onto the roofs of the adjoining buildings.
Bono expressed his appreciation by turning to the throng and punching the air.
Among the crowds were visitors from mainland Europe who had travelled to Dublin especially to witness the occasion.
Paul Folley, 25, from London, said: “I just heard about this on nme.com yesterday and I flew straight over. It wasn’t much of a gig, but it was still great to be here and watch history in the making. I’m a huge fan. The new single is OK, but I think the album is gonna rock.”
Vincent Chireau, 23, from Paris, said: “Only U2 would do something like this. They respect their city and their fans. I wish I could see their faces closer, but ‘Beautiful Day’ is a beautiful song.”
Patrick Gillet, 26, from Burnley, was less impressed with the single. “My Jealous God [early ’90s baggy also-rans], ‘Everything About You’, 1990 – that’s what it sounds like. Or early Blur.”
‘Beautiful Day’ is released on October 9, followed by ‘All That You Can’t Leave Behind’ on October 30.