U2 and Paul McCartney kick off Live8 in London


Releasing white doves during their set, U2 came and rocked Hyde Park — a thrilling start to today’s concerts. The band played ‘Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’ with Paul McCartney, ‘Beautiful Day’, ‘Vertigo’ and ‘One’. Contrary to the rumours, the band did not wear the Sgt Pepper outfits. Instead a brass quartet was dressed up as the Beatles.

We’ve got a ton of screen grabs for you to peruse.


U2 compare Live8 to Live Aid

U2 were interviewed by Jo Whiley earlier today, 45 minutes before going on stage at Live8. Talking about rehearsals today, Bono explains this is the first time Paul McCartney will play Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band live, so forget U2 feeling nervous… the song’s author is just as apprehensive.

The Edge confesses he felt chills coming round the corner and seeing the Live8 logo sticking out above the stage. Adam Clayton says it’s great this the event is in London’s city centre, and a great thing to feel the city’s involved. Larry Mullen’s memories of their appearance at Live Aid 20 years ago focus on the embarrassment of their entrance: in Noel Edmunds helicopter. Mullen says he could see the headline: ‘U2 go down on Noel Edmunds chopper.’

After his usual passionate rant on the issues of the day, Bono tells BBC presenter Jo Whiley he’s nervous and feels sick at the thought of facing the billions of viewers today: ‘The molecules are vibrating in this place.’ He even tosses in a little barfing motion.

The Edge shares his thoughts on the impact Live Aid had on people’s views on Africa and the shift from charity to justice, and he predicts that twenty years on from Live8 we will see even greater awareness.

The journey of equality begins: Live8

Live8 London, stage

Are you ready for U2’s hit and run performance at Live8 this Saturday? The band are kicking off the day at London’s Hyde Park, playing ‘St Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’ with Paul McCartney and then, according to a schedule sent out to affiliate broadcasters, a short set of three songs: ‘Vertigo’ en ‘Beautiful Day’ and ‘One’. (Please note, other schedules state U2 will only do ‘One’.) After their Live8 performance they will jet it over to Vienna to continue their Vertigo Tour on the same day. It’s not as impressive as Phil Collins’ Concorde stunt 20 years ago, but a valiant effort nonetheless.

Live8 stage

Our London spy had a look in Hyde Park earlier today. Here’s what we would call a pretty unique look at the stage as it’s being prepared for tomorrow. Our correspondent reports an early soundcheck has begun: Annie Lennox is billed first for that. The ‘golden circle’ area is about twice as large as U2’s and the media area looks like a NASA substation. There’s a scrolling screen at stage eye level, featuring drop the debt messages and there’s currently a grand piano on stage.

London’s buzzing with activity already. Fans were camping from Tuesday night for Wednesday 3pm, just to get the tickets to watch it on the big screens. Check out the London running order in The Mirror. Hands up who wants Jake ‘Scissors Sisters’ Shears on stage with U2.