On Friday, U2 took to the stage at Cape Town Stadium. And wow-the-crowds they certainly did.
I’ve always had a soft spot for the old U2 tracks, simply because they are such good quality songs. Clever lyrics, beautiful and upbeat melodies. When I was 16, I was given the album “The Best Of 1980 to 1990.” I listened that CD to death, much to my poor mother’s frustration. She often had to come into my room and tell me to “turn that racket down!” Anyway, by the time I arrived at university a year later, I decided that I could not die without having seen U2 live. I knew it was something of such epic proportions that I would never miss it. The Popmart Tour had been to South Africa a few years before, but I was only 13 at the time and living in Durban, where they didn’t visit. When I heard that U2 were coming this February, I knew I had to go, no matter what. To be honest, I don’t really like U2′s new stuff. But the chance to see those incredible oldies was just too much to let passed. And I am so glad I didn’t, as that concert was just as epic as I thought it would be, only more so.
I missed the Springbok Nude Girls perform the warm up set, but I wasn’t to phased about missing Arno Carstens in leather. I wanted to see Bono in leather.
U2 came onto the stage at 9.30pm and began with “Beautiful Day”, blasting the uplifting chorus through the hair of 72,000 fans. You can’t say that isn’t epic.
Soon followed those old school favourites I was hankering after. I still haven’t Found What I’m Looking For was goosebump-inducing. Bono sang a few lines and then surrendered the microphone to the crowd, which sang the rest of the verse and the chorus. And they sang it damn well. Bono was visibly moved by the fact that so many people, from so many different cultures, were all well versed in U2 song.
A lot of the concert was tied in with the band’s activism. I was really pleased to hear that they dedicated the entire concert to Aung San Suu Kyi, a democratic leader in Burma, who has been imprisoned since 1990 by the Burmese government, and who was recently freed. Possibly the band’s greatest song, Pride (In the Name of Love), was dedicated to Nelson Mandela, playing a video of his inaugral speech in April 1994. Bono even changed the words of the song as a tribute to Madiba.
Bono’s singing was also quite impressive – he managed to sing the Pavarotti part of “Miss Sarajevo.” It was unfortunate that most of the fans didn’t know the song “Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me,” which is one of my favourites. I still have the CD single somewhere at home which I bought when I was 11. However, the crowd certainly went wild for old favourites such as “Mysterious Ways”, “Vertigo”, “Where the Street Have No Name”, “Sunday Bloody Sunday” and the famous tear jerker, “With or Without You.” To finish they sang “Moment of Surrender.”
It was truly an excellent concert. Every person I have spoken to who went have raved not only about the performance but about the experience as a whole. Getting out of the stadium was a bit of a pain as the queues were long, and people were tired. Public transport going out of the city was packed, as no one was able to drive into the city to park. Arriving home at 2am however, I was ecstatic that I had the privilege to see one of the world’s greatest bands live; in the city I love the most in the world.
Review by Rosie Grace Brooks
U2 CAN ROCK ON THE FAN WALK
WHEN the fans begin to stream towards Cape Town Stadium for the much-anticipated U2 360° Tour Concert at Cape Town Stadium on February 18th, the 2.4km Fan Walk will be again activated with entertainment – this time as an integral part of the City’s rock music experience.
Sponsored by 8.ta, SA’s newest mobile network, the U2 Fan Walk will present an exciting journey for fans and locals alike and will include large print murals depicting the band’s illustrious history as well as iconic elements from some of their best-selling albums.
Apart from murals set along the entire route, other elements will include a stage with a screen back-drop at St Andrews Square setting the scene for DJs and a VJ while rock bands will appear from a roof-top on Somerset Rd, emulating U2’s video shot in LA of the song “Streets With No Name”.
Additional elements along the route will include sky-beams, cyber stilt-walkers, a marching band, mist-tunnels and activations from KFM.
“While it is one of the most enjoyable and safe ways of reaching Cape Town Stadium from the City we believe the Fan Walk will also be an experience on its own, providing a unique sense of the City along with entertainment elements paying homage to U2,” says Lesley de Reuck, Director of the Cape Town Stadium.
The Fan Walk also winds its way through some of Cape Town’s most vibrant neighborhoods with numerous restaurants and nightlife spots ready to cater for fans before and after the concert, creating an exciting and memorable experience in Africa’s most inimitable city.
Presented by Big Concerts and produced by Live Nation, the U2 360° Tour concert on February 18th starts promptly at 7.30pm with gates opening at Cape Town Stadium at 4:30pm. The Fan Walk will activate at around 3.30pm.
While Waterkant Street will be partially pedestrianized, still allowing cars to use these routes, Somerset Road and the inbound section of Main Road Green Point will be fully pedestrianised from 4.30pm on February 18th, allowing fans a great rocking time on the Fan Walk. Full details of road closures is obtainable at www.capetown.gov.za or at 0800 65 64 63.
It was with great sadness and fear that people from all over the world heard that Nelson Mandela had been admitted to Millpark Hospital in Johannesburg on Wednesday, the 26th of January. This afternoon, Madiba made his way home to Houghton in an ambulance after completing a two-and-a-half day stay at the hospital.
The world, but most especially South Africa went into quite a state of panic at the thought of one of history’s most influential, respected and honoured leaders showing signs of weakening. Mandela is 92 years old, and while his health has been excellent for his age, no promises can be made as to how long he will live, even in the most excellent of health. However, after much re-assurance, the general masses calmed somewhat, but messages of good wishes, strength and hope continued to flood social networking sites such as Twitter. Other people posted pictures of themselves on the web with get well wishes for Madiba, who was admitted with a chest infection.
The outside of the hospital was amok with local and international press, and the police maintained order there whilst family and friends of Mandela were allowed access to the inside of the hospital for visiting.
The South African Government came under great criticism during Madiba’s admission, as they remained tight-lipped about his state of health and the details behind his admission. Calls for calm were repeatedly made by the government, along with statements that worry was not needed, and his admission to hospital was the mandatory action to take for someone of 92 years old. He was undergoing “routine tests” they claimed. The nation still panicked somewhat, however, when it was revealed that Madiba had a lung infection, the penny dropped. A lung infection is not serious, but for a 92 year old, it can cause serious complications. Madiba was admitted as a precaution and for immediate treatment.
The news of Madiba’s ill health was of course magnified in the wake of the false claims of Madiba’s death, which were spread across Twitter last week. The South African government lashed out at these claims and the actions of those perpetuating the rumour as malicious and insensitive.
However, with Madiba returning home this afternoon, with much relief we wish him a speedy recovery!