Bono attends Bruce Springsteen concert

Our Bruce Springsteen fanatic on staff spotted Bono with Christy Turlington at Madison Square Garden for Springsteen’s concert this evening. There just as a “regular” fan, Bono sang along to the songs in the stands with the rest of the audience. During “Born to Run,” Springsteen acknowledged his Irish friend’s presence, and Bono flashed the peace sign at the Jersey boy in return.

Instant Karma for NYC

Instant Karma’s gonna get you
Gonna knock you off your feet

U2 knocked the audience at Madison Square Garden off its feet this evening (Nov. 21) by performing a full version of John Lennon’s “Instant Karma” with Patti Smith, who opened the show. Bono introduced the song by saying the band wanted to do “something special for New York City.”

The Lennon tune was followed by the show’s final song, “Bad,” for which Bono led the crowd to sing “People Have the Power” by Smith.

Patti thinks U2 have the power interview punk goddess Patti Smith in expectance of her support stint for U2 at their upcoming (and umpteenth) Madison Square Garden shows.

Patti is full of praise for the band now and in the past and recalls a cute anecdote about Larry:

‘The story I remember most is from the 1970’s, when our band weren’t allowed to travel to Ireland because of the unrest so I went with just my piano player. We visited a church, and there were a lot of poor kids and struggling kids and I read poems and talked and sang songs with an old upright piano and we talked about rock’n’roll as something from the grassroots that didn’t belong to the rich or to business but something that was the people’s art. We talked about how everyone in that room was capable and deserving of expressing themselves. And one of the people who was there was Larry, he was just a young boy, and he has told me about that since and we talked about Africa, about Ethiopia and all the things you can do through music – artistically, poetically. And that was my first contact with Larry.’

Talking about seeing the band earlier on this leg of the tour, she says:

‘But the strength of the show took me right back to CBGB’s in the 1970’s, I was so moved by the whole thing: everything you want in rock’n’roll, the sexual energy, the emotional energy, the political concerns… but music you can dance to and express yourself in. It was all there.’

NYC 4: “We’ll shine like stars…”

Welcome to moodswing central. Fans attending multiple shows in New York got to see plenty of different sides to U2’s lead singer.

From run-of-the-mill Bono on the 7th, to pissed off Bono on the 8th, to distracted and going-through-the-motions Bono on the 10th and absolutely determined to kick ass Bono on the 11th. We can’t possibly predict which of the ‘nice bunch of guys’ exactly will be fronting U2 on the 14th. You let us know.

Maybe it wasn’t The Edge’s smoothest show of the tour, but this time Bono didn’t snark. (His ‘I really enjoyed that, The Edge.’ earlier in the week came out a little cutting.) The man was too busy enjoying himself on stage. All smiles, all fun and happy banter.

During Sunday Bloody Sunday, he picked a little girl off the shoulders of her father in front row, and made her sing ‘no more’. Later, he gave her his COEXIST bandana as a memento. At another point during the show, a German fan was the lucky recipient of Bono’s pricey specs.

But the moment we were sure this was a special one came when Bono finally pulled out the fan-favourite ‘shine like stars in the summer night’-verse of With or without you, for the first time since God knows when. Trainspotters world wide wet themselves for sheer ecstasy.

The chorus of ’40’ echoed through the ‘Gardens’ (as Bono kept calling the MSG) for the longest time. Then the lights came on and for your editor-in-chief at least, it was the end of Vertigo 2005. Thank you, Madison Square Garden, thank you, New York.