U2 Shows Updates
Original Stories by Aaron J. Sams (2023-06-29)
For over twenty years now, the team here at U2Songs have been tracking the live performances that U2 give, both as a full band and solo appearances. In 2019 we set up our own show archive here at U2Songs to continue that work. From digging for information on old shows, to live tweeting new performances or even streaming shows when we can, live is where we live. As things are a little quieter around here, we are using that time to continue the work on our U2 show archive. Adding and updating shows, set lists, and tour information.
While we don’t share every little change as we upload to the archive, we thought you may find a few of the more recent additions of interest. We believe this is the first time many of these appearances are being captured in any online show archive. But we’ll be sending a note over to our friends at U2Gigs so they can update their archive likewise.
We’ll present some of the write ups as part of this article, but click on the link back to the original show entry for all the details.
Without further explanation, here’s ten new appearances we’ve added to the database.
01. 2004-12-01 The Groucho Club, London, England
Bono appears at The Groucho Club with Tom Jones and Jools Holland, singing songs that Tom is recording for a new album.
U2 were in London for Guggi’s show at the Osborne Samuel Gallery. After the show, Guggi and the gang moved on to the exclusive Groucho Club where they had dinner for 30 in a private dinner room, booked by Paul McGuinness. The entourage from Ireland included Adam Clayton, The Edge, Bono, Ali Hewson, Gavin Friday, Caroline Corr, Simon Carmody, Paul McGuinness and others.
While at the bar after dinner, there was a power outage and Bono, Tom Jones and Jools Holland took to the piano in the club to entertain the guests waiting out the power interruption. One of the songs that Jones sings is “Sugar Daddy” a song that he’s been working on with Simon Carmody and Bono, which he will record for his 2008 album 24 Hours. Bono also joins in on a rendition of Tom’s song “Sex Bomb” performed by candlelight, which is also unreleased at this point.
02. 2023-01-06 Mike’s Camp, Kiwayu Island, Kenya
While on vacation in Kenya with family, The Edge participates in a small musical session one evening at the resort known as Mike’s Camp, on the island Kiwayu in Kenya. The session is presented by Winyo Shiphton, who confirms that The Edge did perform, but was unable to confirm what The Edge performed. The session also involved Mak Adem, another African artist. Shiphton posted a photo of himself with The Edge after the performance.
03. 1994-10-05 The Point Theatre, Dublin, Ireland
Nanci Griffith does a four night series of shows at the Point Theatre in Dublin. This is the second of four shows. Tickets are available via HMV, and are £17 or £18.50. Larry Mullen appears at the show, joining Griffith and her Blue Moon Orchestra on four songs, the four that he contributed to her recent album Flyer. Although meant to be a surprise, Larry’s appearance is heavily rumoured in advance. “This Heart” is played late in the night, and gets a strong audience reaction. Adam Clayton also performed on the Flyer album, but was not present for this concert in Dublin.
04. 1982-08-31 Sutton Castle, Howth, Ireland
Bono and Ali were married at All Saints Church in Raheny and followed it up with their wedding reception at Sutton Castle, in Dublin. The mansion house is located on the southern side of Howth Head, overlooking Dublin Bay. A party was thrown afterwards for the newlyweds, which included a band called The Cyclones. Irish musician, Paul Brady was in attendance, and he joined the other members of U2 for a performance of “Tutti Frutti”.
Musician magazine shared, “Bono and Ali were married last August, and as we head for Sutton Castle to eat dinner, they tell me about the raucous reception they held there, during which, of course, the band commandeered instruments from the hired help, climbed on a table and assisted local folkie-turned-rocker Paul Brady in playing “Tutti Frutti.”
Reports say that the reception manages to knock out power to the mansion, in use as a hotel, and Bono and Ali spend the night at the hotel in darkness. The honeymoon would take Bono and Ali to Chris Blackwell’s Goldeneye estate in Jamaica.
05.2002-09-03 La Villa Bagatelle, Cannes, France
A fifth anniversary celebration for Vincent Longo’s makeup collection was held in Cannes, at La Villa Bagatelle. With four outdoor pools, three indoor pools, Turkish batch saunas, waterfalls and views of the Mediterranean was the location for this event, owned by Rafik Khalifa, owner of the new music-video channel KTV, who was sponsoring the event. An amphitheatre was built behind the house for the performances this evening. The event was emceed by Gerard Depardieu, and co-hosted by Trudie Styler and Vincent Longo. The event raised half-a-million dollars, benefiting AmFAR (American Foundation for AIDS Research) and the Sabera Foundation. About 400 people were in attendance.
Bono performed early in the night. Taking the stage with Ricky Martin, the two were egged on by fellow performer Patti LaBelle to perform her classic, “Lady Marmalade”. Patti joined them on stage at the end of the song. Bono would also perform an unknown song with LaBelle, including playing harmonica on the song.
Other performers of the evening included Sting (Styler’s husband), Patti LaBelle, Alexis Arquette, Johnny Lang, Cheb Mami, Andrea Bocelli and the Pussycat Dolls.
In attendance was a wide range of stars including Catherine Deneuve, Claudia Schiffer, Melanie Griffith, Tia Carrere, Naomi Campbell, Bryan Adams, Patricial Arquette, Heidi Klum, Lauren Bush, Pamela Anderson, Dean Cain, Ivana Trump, and Nicky Hilton.
06.2003-10-09 Sony Tower, New York, NY
U2 were looking at soundtrack options in 2003, something to potentially release a song in, to promote the upcoming album they were working on. In October 2003, Bono visited the Sony Tower in New York, and was shown rough footage from Spider-Man 2. Convinced he had just the song to contribute to the upcoming film, he sang a few lines from a song that was then called “Sky Hawk“ for the film’s creative team. The song would be later renamed “Firefly”. The album however, wasn’t going well, and the band pulled back from contributing to the film. The song would go on to be developed further into “City of Blinding Lights”, which is how we list it here. It would be a few years later that Bono would once again get involved in Spider-man projects, taking on the Broadway musical featuring the super-hero. Spider-Man 2 was released on June 25, 2004, and U2 were not part of the eventual soundtrack.
07.2006-05-25 The Summit Bar, Howth, Ireland
A local pub in Howth, which Larry would frequent, was holding a going away party for Stephen Galligan, manager of the Summit Bar. The Summit Bar is located at the summit of Howth Hill, part of the Summit Inn. Providing entertainment for the evening was Diablo, a local band, known for covers of rock songs, including songs by U2 and Thin Lizzy, based on the Northside of Dublin. Larry Mullen pops into the bar during the evening, and is announced from the stage. He plays two songs with Diablo, both U2 covers. They perform “One” first, followed by “New Year’s Day”.
08.1998-03-13 Truth and Reconciliation Commission Offices, Cape Town, South Africa
U2 meet with Archbishop Desmond Tutu upon arriving in South Africa for the PopMart tour. It is their first meeting with the man, and they meet with him at the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Offices. There’s a small problem however, he’s promised those there that U2 are there to perform, and they do give a short performance of “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” and “Amazing Grace”.
In remembering ArchBishop Desmond Tutu after his death, Bono shared, “I cannot forget the look on the very reverend’s face the first time we met him in 1998, when U2 and other guests crowded into his office of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in Cape Town. The look wasn’t indulgent or even dutiful, it was polite verging on dismissive. If I could have spelled it out: TOURISTS. ‘Let us bow our heads,’ he said to the traveling circus (half of whom were not at all religious). ‘And let us ask the Holy Spirit into the room to bless the work going on in this building, and to search all of our hearts for how we can do more to fulfill Your Kingdom on Earth as it is in Heaven.’”
“The Arch wasn’t messing about. For all the mischief he was known to make, he was just not going to let us waste his time, and he wasn’t going to waste ours. He talked a while about the philosophy behind truth and reconciliation—about his deep belief that they have to happen in that order, that we need to see ourselves before we can be redeemed. Only after the truth has its way can a clenched fist become an open hand.”
“Then without warning he trundled us upstairs, where he had assembled a hundred or so volunteers in a large room. He announced, again without warning, that U2 was ‘here to play for you.’ Which was awkward. We had no instruments, and we’ve never been known for singing a capella. We attempted a version of ‘I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For,’ to which he added the full stop and amen: ‘Neither have we.’”
09. 2009-04-25 Teatro La Fenice, Venice, Italy
Salma Hayek and Francois-Henri Pinault were married a second time in Venice, after intially exchanging vows in Paris on Valentines Day in a smaller event. The celebrations after the wedding took place at the Teatro La Fenice opera house. Bono was in attendance at the wedding celebrations in Venice, and contributed to the after party, taking the stage with Hayek, and guests Charlize Theron, Damien Rice and Woody Harrelson to perform “Stand By Me”. He was also present when all the guests took part in a group singalong to “Over the Rainbow” from The Wizard of Oz, lead by Woody Harrelson. Music was provided by a 14-member band.
Other performances during the night, without U2 participation included Charlize Theron and Stella McCartney taking on “Don’t Cry For Me Argentina” and were joined by Hayek to do “Satisfaction”. Other guests at the wedding ceremony included Penelope Cruz, Javier Bardem, Ashley Judd, David Blaine, Anna Wintour, Antonio Banderas, Melanie Griffith, Lucy Liu, Ed Norton and former French President, Jacques Chirac. 150 guests were in attendance at the event. The collected guests also sang “Happy Birthday” to Penelope Cruz who was celebrating her birthday a few nights later.
10. 2023-06-18 Dalkey Church, Dalkey, Ireland
We will wrap things up with our most recent addition…
Bono’s appearance at the 2023 Dalkey Book Festival saw Bono in conversation with Fintan O’Toole, at the Dalkey Church. O’Toole is a columnist for The Irish Times. The session was described as “What can we say about this event? Two Dubliners, two lives, two books- Bono and Fintan O’Toole. Beg, borrow or steal to be at this one. Enough said.” Admission was €40 and the tickets sold out quickly when sold in advance.
The talk turned to fathers, being held on Father’s Day, and the defiance, and having the Irish fight in you. As part of the conversation, Bono shared the lyrics from “Sometimes You Can’t Make It On Your Own” a song he wrote for his own father, Bob. The lyrics were spoken, and not sung. And Bono shared the first couple of verses of the song.
Also in attendance was Bono’s sons John and Eli, his wife Ali, and Ali’s mother, and longtime friend, Guggi. Also present was The Edge, who had been involved in two sessions earlier in the day himself. The first with Brian Cox was described as “Meet the rockstar who wanted to be a scientist and the scientist who wanted to be a rockstar. Edge was an engineering student then a band got in the way; Brian was in a band , then science got in his way. Join this extraordinary pair as they explore the wonders of science, from how the earth looks from space to black holes, quantum mechanics and maybe a few riffs on music too. Their first demo. Don’t miss it! Brian…” The second session The Edge participated in was with Oliver Jeffers, who helped create the lyric video for “Ordinary Love”, which was described as “Artist Oliver Jeffers (Here We Are) is the mind behind Our Place in Space, an epic sale model of the solar system that inspired his latest picture book, Meanwhile Back on Earth – a story that explores the universe. Go on a journey with Oliver, who will be joined by The Edge, someone who certainly knows a thing or two about science.” The session with Cox was held at the Seafront Marquee, and the session with Jeffers was held at Town Hall.
Earlier in the week Bono was in attendance for Tom Hanks’ session at the festival (Friday), as well as attending Masha Gessen’s session with Ali (Saturday), and The Edge stopped in with Morleigh for an earlier session with Brian Cox. (Saturday) While Bono and The Edge were in sessions at The Dalkey Book Festival, Adam Clayton was off as part of a session with John Kelly at the Borris House Festival of Writing and Ideas in Co. Carlow discussing music education, addiction, gardening, and U2.
Explore the Show Archive
Our show archive has the information above, and more including set lists, attendance numbers, and more for all of the performances we know of throughout U2’s career. You can get started exploring the section via our main page where you will find the shows sorted by tour, as well as specific pages for things like Bono’s Heart of America tour, the regular appearances of band members busking at Christmastime, and Festival appearances throughout the years. You can also find album promotional tours, lists of solo performances over the years, or look up shows that happened on this day in history.