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It's not everyday you get to see and hear the world's biggest rock band shoot a video. And it's certainly not everyday you get to be part of the action.

But yesterday, thousands responded to the call from U2.com and local radio stations to play a walk-on role in U2 history. Doors were opening at 3pm at GM Place, Vancouver, but that didn't stop seven lovely ladies lining up at 8am...

Once inside, they - and their 3,500 friends - were treated to seven versions of 'City of Blinding Lights'. Each rendition had something a little different, as Bono played with shadows to create images not seen in the live shows.

In between takes, U2's stage manager Rocco Reedy helped the afternoon flow smoothly into the evening with a stand-up routine of jokes and bravado which threatened to upstage his pay-masters.

Fighting back, the band turned their day job into a party, as Bono led the crowd in the Hokey Cokey. Once he'd put it in, pulled it out and shaken it all about, he then asked each band member why they'd entered Pop Idol.

Did Edge's mother know he was here? "Yes, sir." And are you nervous? "Yes, sir." Bono then told Edge that he looked cute in a beard, before grilling Larry: "What do you want?" he asked. "World peace," replied U2's newest vocalist - which drew a huge cheer from the audience.

When Bono asked Adam why he wanted to win Pop Idol, the bass player replied, "So I can travel and meet interesting people."

All the while, the film crew worked studiously around this sideshow, with a dolly track and a lone man with a steadicam pinned to his chest. The video was being shot by the French directors Alex and Martin.

At 9.30pm, Rocco starting moving people from the seats closer to the stage for a final run through. And the 3,500 Canadians - who were in such good voice they made it seem more like 50,000 - were in for a treat, as the band ripped through 'Vertigo', 'All Because of You' and 'Sometimes'.

It felt like a Beatles moment, but this was U2: fans were screaming, girls were crying... All because of them. U2, on the set, in Vancouver. Blinding.

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