Members of U2 Join Cover Band to Play U2 Songs
By Andy Greene | Rolling Stone
Editor’s Note: What a great story this is. Anyone who loves music and who has taken the time to learn to play an instrument and/or sing has their favorite bands. A favorite band for many is U2. They have been around nearly forty years and thus their reach is multi-generational. Some of these fans care so much about a band they form tribute or cover bands. Recently, one such band had the surprise of a lifetime when U2 joined them onstage. Here is that story…
U2 have spent the past couple of months bringing special guests – an Elvis impersonator, a Canadian U2 cover band, Lady Gaga – onto the stage at their own shows. But on Wednesday night, they brought the act to a higher level when The Edge and Adam Clayton joined the New York-based U2 tribute band Unforgettable Fire at The Cutting Room, a club in New York that seats 450 people.
Two months ago, the @U2 crew formally invited the band and their entire team to the party. The African Well Fund, a registered charity comprised of U2 fans that raise money to build wells in Africa, hoped to present their annual birthday card to Bono as part of the festivities. They also knew that U2 had an off-day from their Madison Square Garden residency and might enjoy the chance to meet their most passionate fans. “It was a million-to-one shot,” says McGee. “As late as yesterday afternoon, we got an e-mail saying they had other commitments and couldn’t rearrange their schedules.”
But the U2 representatives did say that members of the band’s management and publicity team might want to stop by. A large group of them showed up shortly after the party began and were given a detailed walk-through of the event, including a side door and VIP balcony. “All of a sudden Edge’s guitar tech Dallas Schoo walked through the main entrance and stood at the check-in desk,” says McGee. “I saw they weren’t letting him in. I ran over and said, ‘He’s on the list! Let him in!'”
Schoo is a familiar site to U2 fans, and a crowd formed around him as McGee led him towards the stage. “He said to me, ‘Listen, take me up the stage,'” says McGee. “‘I’m going to play a few songs with Unforgettable Fire.’ Looking back, I think his entrance was partially a planned distraction. It got the attention of all the fans, and Edge and Adam were able to slip in through a side door and up to the VIP area.”
When Unforgettable Fire finished their next song, Schoo walked onstage and began talking to their guitarist Mick Normoyle. “He said to him, ‘What’s the setting on your rig for ‘Streets?,'” says McGee. “He then picked up the instrument and began tuning it. At this point, we’re still thinking Dallas is going to be the one playing.”
The sight of Dallas tuning a guitar was enough to make the crowd go nuts, but then Clayton and Edge walked onstage and took over for their doppelgängers as the half-real/half-fake U2 hybrid kicked into “Where The Streets Have No Name.” “Everyone erupted,” says McGee. “It was unforgettable and just insane. I was just numb. Tribute Edge was standing right behind Real Edge and Tribute Adam was standing right behind Real Adam. There was such joy in their faces. I’m almost in tears watching how happy they were.”
When the song ended, Edge and Clayton took off their instruments and posed for photos with the band. “The crowd kept chanting ‘One more song,'” says McGee. “They then put their instruments back on and played ‘Out of Control.’ They took a group photo with the band and their security led them out through the side door. It was fantastic.”
Editor’s Additional Note: The following is a link to one of the videos that captured this momentous occasion: https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=61jx9VlWkqg
Originally entitled: “Watch the Edge, Adam Clayton’s Shock Performance With U2 Cover Band”
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