Bono Kicks off a new Leg of Stories of Surrender at the Beacon
Original Story by Aaron J. Sams (2023-04-16)
The first night of Bono’s return to the Beacon Theatre, kicking off 11 shows was this evening. The theatre, capacity 2894, was also where the first leg of the tour kicked off last fall, and Bono will also film a version of the show here at the end of the run. Bono performed without U2. Accompanying him on stage was Kate Ellis on cello, Jacknife Lee on keyboards and percussion and Gemma Doherty on backing vocals, harp and keyboard.
The show started at 8:30 and ran for approximately two hours. Bono did greet fans and signed a few autographs upon entering and leaving the venue. Although a number of tickets could be seen available online a half hour prior to doors opening (not resale), the sign out front on the theatre announced that the show was sold out early in the day.
The show was similar in many aspects to the show last fall. Like shows in Europe and Canada, tonight’s show did not feature a second version of “City of Blinding Lights” which had appeared in previous shows in the US. Bono’s voice was reported to be in good shape, very strong and powerful, and the sound was reported to be excellent. Bono spoke more at length about Larry in his introduction from previous shows, and other sections of the set were extended, as were some of the songs (“Iris” is reported to be one of the extended songs).
Other songs worked in included a brief piece of Janis Joplin’s “Piece of My Heart” when he spoke about his heart surgery. “Ultra Violet (Light My Way)” was quoted in “Vertigo” as Bono shared “74th and Broadway! Baby, light our way”. “Miracle Drug” makes an appearance ahead of “With or Without You”, “Crumbs from Your Table” comes in ahead of “Where the Streets Have No Name”, and Bono sings along to “Glad to See You Go” ahead of “Out of Control.” “Money, Money” from Cabaret appears in “Desire” as it did on the first leg of the tour.
Gavin Friday was in attendance tonight as was Morleigh Steinberg and Ali, Eli, and John Hewson. Ben Stiller, Jenna Bush, Savannah Guthrie, Spike Lee, Jimmy Iovine and Phoebe Robinson were all spotted at the performance.
Updated merchandise included a new poster, featuring a white border and “Bono @ The Beacon NYC” in Bono’s handwriting, new T-Shirts, and a scarf with several of Bono’s drawings for different song titles (“Two Hearts Beat as One”, “Lights of Home”, “The Showman”, “Desire”, “I Will Follow” and “Bullet the Blue Sky”) The T-shirts also featured a number of these (“I Will Follow”, “Two Hearts”, “Desire” in black and white.) The remainder of the merchandise is made up of shirts with Bono’s face, tote bags and a black hoodie with the drawing of Bono’s face on the back. (Some of the shirts and totes were available during the first leg last year.) A photo of some of the merchandise, courtesty of Dahna can be viewed here.
The event was a phones free event, and phones were collected as people entered the theatre and placed into locked pouches. Your phone is with you during the performance but can only be unlocked in certain areas of the theatre lobby, and is unlocked upon ending.
The theatre, located on the Upper West Side of New York opened in 1929. It was originally built as a movie theatre, and these days is used as an entertainment venue by Madison Square Garden Entertainment. The theatre is a New York City interior landmark and is also on the National Register of Historic Places. The Beacon makes use of a new audio system, Sphere Immersive Sound (yes, the same Sphere as Las Vegas) to provide state-of-the-art sound to each seat in the venue.
These additional shows were announced on December 12, 2022. A pre-sale for U2.com subscribers was held on December 13, 2022 for these added shows, starting at 10am local time. For the pre-sale tickets were limited. Tickets ranged from $105 (upper balcony) including fees, and went to $441 (orchestra). Additional tickets were available at $162 for the loge and lower balcony, and $313 for the loge and orchestra back seats. There was a four ticket limit for the presale. Tickets do not include a copy of Bono’s book. The main ticket sale happened on December 15, at 10am local time. Unlike the pre-sale, platinum priced tickets were available throughout most of the venue, with the exception of some upper balcony seats. These platinum priced tickets were priced well above the prices seen during the pre-sale.
Many thanks to Lisa, Dahna, Kami, Summer, Elva, Karin, and Chris for some of the updates above.For the full show details, including set list, please check the following show listing:
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