Bruce Springsteen & Chris Martin Will Front U2 for World AIDS Day Concert

aids_logoWith Bono still recovering from a nasty bike accident he suffered in Central Park, two rock titans are fronting U2 during his absence at Monday night’s (Dec. 1) World AIDS Day (RED) concert in Times Square.

Bruce Springsteen and Coldplay frontman Chris Martin (whose band owes more than a little to the Irish rock outfit) will temp with U2 tonight, giving audiences the chance to see a truly one-of-a-kind show from U2 Minus 1.

“Appearing at the personal invitation of U2, Springsteen and Martin have graciously donated their time and talents to save the World AIDS Day event from cancellation,” the band wrote on their Facebook page. Kanye West and Carrie Underwood will also perform at the World AIDS Day concert (not with U2, however).

Speaking of U2, their controversial new album Songs of Innocence — which met with mixed reviews after its stealth release on your iTunes — was recently named Rolling Stone’s Album of the Year. The magazine’s second best album of 2014? Springsteen’s more-or-less-panned disc High Hopes. So expect a very enthusiastic Jann Wenner watching the Boss front U2 in New York tonight.


New limited-edition U2 t-shirt launched to mark human rights day – News


HRO YM U2 Sig Series 30 T Navy.2.jpg

Hard Rock project will benefit Amnesty’s human rights work

Amnesty International,

Hard Rock has launched a new limited-edition U2 t-shirt to mark international human rights day (10 December) and raise funds for Amnesty International.

U2 joins a legendary roster of rock icons – including The Who, Bruce Springsteen, Eric Clapton, Jon Bon Jovi, Shakira, Ringo Starr and John Lennon – as part of Hard Rock’s “Signature Series”, which has helped to raise millions of dollars for charitable causes worldwide.

The “U2 Signature Series: Edition 30” t-shirt is being produced through a partnership between EDUN LIVE and Hard Rock, and will be available online and in Rock Shops at Hard Rock Cafe locations in London, New York and Dublin, with 15% of the retail price benefitting Amnesty. It will be available in Hard Rock Cafes, Hotels and Casinos worldwide from February 2013.

The U2 Signature Series t-shirt is printed on a navy blue EDUN Live t-shirt made from 100% African cotton (image available).

The shirt, which costs £20.45, features an image of an electric guitar with angel wings, emblazoned with the words “JUSTICE,” “HUMANITY” and “EQUALITY.” A barbed wire is seen wrapped around the neck of the guitar. The back of the t-shirt bears the signatures of each member of U2 – singer Bono, guitarist The Edge, bassist Adam Clayton and drummer Larry Mullen, Jr.

U2’s The Edge said:

“I hope this t-shirt generates loads of cash for Amnesty International and their tireless work towards the release of prisoners of conscience all around the world.

“Plus there’s a guitar on it – so it’s a win-win as far as I’m concerned.”

Amnesty International Campaigns & Communications Director Thomas Schultz-Jagow said:

Buy the t-shirt at

“We are thrilled that U2, Hard Rock and EDUN have generously offered to support Amnesty International in this high-profile way.

“We have a history of working with all three, and the combined power of us all coming together on this project will make a huge difference by raising awareness of our human rights work around the world.”

Hard Rock International’s Senior Director of Brand Philanthropy Annie Balliro said:

“We are proud to support Amnesty International and aid in the fight for human rights worldwide through the Signature Series programme.

“Hard Rock is honoured to have U2, legendary musicians and dedicated activists, join with us to raise funds and awareness for such an important organisation.”

Copyright © Amnesty international, UK.

Bono turns tables on pal Gavin as Electric Picnic off to a hot start – News


By Ken Sweeney, Entertainment Editor

BONO was a surprise addition to the Electric Picnic festival when it kicked off in brilliant sunshine yesterday.

Arriving by helicopter at 6.15pm, the U2 frontman wasn’t performing but turned up to catch a set by his long-time friend Gavin Friday on the first day of the music and arts event.

For decades Friday has jetted around the globe as U2’s ‘special adviser’, giving them notes about their live shows.

But last night the roles were reversed as Bono sized up the former Virgin Prune’s performance on the main stage just after 7pm.

The only problem with having a superstar pal watching your show is that photographers’ lenses were all trained on Bono watching from the mixing desk rather than on the stage.


Nevertheless, Gavin dedicated his song ‘Angel’ to Bono and his wife Ali who are celebrating their 30th wedding anniversary this month.

It was Bono’s first visit to the Electric Picnic, which is now in its ninth year.

Take That’s Gary Barlow admitted on the ‘X Factor’ last weekend that he had never heard of the Electric Picnic, but for the 32,500 Irish music fans in Stradbally, Co Laois, this weekend it’s the highlight of their music year.

Wayne Stuart (30) spoke for many. Originally from Co Clare but now working in Glasgow, Wayne had returned to Ireland specially for the three-day event.

“It’s not just the music. There are so many other attractions to the Electric Picnic like Mindfield and Body & Soul,” he said.

“I’d describe it as an adult playground. I went to Oxegen for the first eight years but I’m not 18 any more and the age range at Electric Picnic goes from kids to senior citizens.

“I love the atmosphere so much that it got me back from Scotland.”

The biggest drawback to any Irish music festival is the unpredictable weather, but by teatime last night the meadows of the 600-acre Stradbally estate were bathed in balmy sunshine.

There’s more good news, with Met Eireann promising today will start off dry and bright, and tomorrow will be even warmer and sunnier, with temperatures hitting 20C or 21C.

Tailbacks didn’t prove a problem either, with heavy but steadily-moving traffic around Stradbally last night.


That left one genuine problem for festival-goers — the clash of top names on different stages with Ed Sheeran, Christy Moore and Icelandic band Sigur Ros all performing between 11pm and midnight last night.

Even a three-hour set from Goth doom merchants The Cure tonight seems unlikely to dampen spirits.

One of the more unusual performers on the many stages over the weekend will be celeb agent Noel Kelly. (See The Diary — Review Section).

More used to representing Ryan Tubridy and Grainne Seoige, the 49-year-old will be fronting the Transformation Blues Band on the Salty Dog stage at 7pm this evening.

However, the NK management boss said his “singing the blues” had nothing to do with salary cuts for his stars in RTE.

Rather, he’s doing a favour for the band whose singer had been unavailable for the festival and looking forward to a return to his former role as frontman with Dublin blues band The Leadbellies.

Weekend festival tickets are still available for €230. Sunday day tickets are €99.50.

– Ken Sweeney Entertainment Editor