22 August 2001
Special Night at Earls Court
Aung San Suu Kyi, leader of Burma's pro-democracy movement, featured in a bold new video piece at Earls Court last night.
'Sometimes it is better to have the people of the world on your side than the governments of the world,' read the video walls, as footage played of a BBC interview with the 1991 Nobel Peace Prize winner, who is currently under detention in Rangoon.
The clip introduced a blistering performance of Bullet the Blue Sky as the band returned to the stage for an encore - images of the global arms industry flashed the screens. Aung San Suu Kyi's son was in the audience for the show, along with other campaigners for the freedom of the Burmese people, who live under military rule.
More on the campaign in our Hearts and Minds section
Last night's show was different for another reason as earlier in the day Bob Hewson, who had been ill for a long time, finally broke free of his illness. It was a particularly poignant show for the capacity 18,000 crowd.
'Hello, I'm really, really, really happy to be in this city, here in London this night, thank you,' said Bono, after a searing opening sequence of Elevation, Beautiful Day and Gone. 'Really we started out our whole life as recording people here in this town in London, we signed our record deal here, we lived around the corner here just when we were 18, 19 years old and I want to thank all the people who've been with us since way back then, people who've helped us out, people whose floors we slept on, record company people whose noses we've broken, want to thank you all.'
In recent shows Bono has been dedicating Kite to his father, 'the last of the opera stars' and last night was also a tribute to Bob Hewson.
'I also want to thank my old man, my father for giving me this voice that I have. He was a fine tenor and he said to me that if only I'd had his voice just think what might have happened.. 'A lot of attitude and he was very ill over the last week and he's no longer ill 'cos he's free of all that now, my old man has left the planet, like Elvis or something... 'This is a song I thought I wrote the lyrics for my kids but I think my old man wrote it for me, this is Kite..'
Further report on this show to follow in our Tour News section.