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The band played a surprise set high on the seventh floor balcony of Broadcasting House in London tonight. Nobody knew about it, except the 5,000 fans who showed up and stopped the traffic. Again.


Get On Your Boots, Magnificent, Vertigo and Beautiful Day rang out across the rooftops on a beautifully clear winters night as the police closed Portland Place in Westminster to keep traffic away so that the crowds massing on the streets below could enjoy the free show.

Only the BBC would have film of the set from their own helicopter - looks great too, watch it here.

The impromptu gig was the climax of a great day at the BBC which began with a performance in the BBC Theatre for Radio 1's Live Lounge ('Boots', Magnificent, Beautiful Day and Breathe), segued through myriad studio interviews and ended up with the live set for Chris Evans' Radio 2 show.







"This is a great honour." Bono announced, describing how delighted they were to be playing at the BBC. "This is the first time we've played these songs to people, so we hope we don't screw it up.'

Little chance of that as people craned out of local hotel windows, waved from surrounding balconies and even stood on the roof of the nearby church to get a better view - periodically taking sharp intakes of breath anytime they felt the singer was getting a little too close to railings.

Down on the street you could make out Edge and Bono - and Adam some of the time - while Larry remained hidden from view, except to the TV cameras broadcasting live on one of the BBC's digital channels. (We'll bring you details of rebroadcast as soon as we get them.)

Amazing job by the band's crew to set up the gear in such a miniature roof space and hang the PA off the building so that the sound was so clear in the middle of London. Great end to a great week in London.

Are you in the UK and were you there tonight ? Leave us a comment, tell us what it was like.




COMMENTS

29
twoshots
16 March, 2009
after work treat
I heard the romours, and as I am working nearby, I thought I drop by after work, in the end I had to leave a little earlier, as I could not conceil my excitement any longer! great to see them again, what a day, and only U2 can make a distance between the road and the 7th floor feel small. Well done, everyone, thanks the Metropolitan police - and looking forward to the tour!
Isaiah43v19
05 March, 2009
A long drive for a historic moment
I drove down on Thursday evening all the way from Scotland with a mate who'd conveniently won a pair of tix for the Live Lounge in the morning. We got to London town at around 01:30 a.m. & with what felt like not to much sleep queued and enjoyed the Live Lounge - what a privelege to be among the first to hear a couple of the new tracks from the album. -- Night time and as it became clear that they were indeed going to play on the rooftop i just stood and enjoyed it conserving energy for the drive home again. It wasn't until I started watching the two events on BBC Red Button that I realised just how historic it all was. Thanks guys for a truly special couple of gigs - thanks Andy for the ticket - thanks BBC for taking the risk... -- I can't quite imagine what the tour will be like. A Moment to Savour and indeed to Surrender... --
alvarengau2
05 March, 2009
Moment of surrender
Moment o Surrender is the best song of this album. It's a great song, no doubt.The band must play this song live...
ainhoa_from_london
04 March, 2009
On the roof
I was there...before and after- I as working on the broadcast of the Chris Evans show, picking up calls with questions from listeners, and it was a treat to have them in the studio. All day long there was this buzz around , and it started to build up big time after lunch. When they came out of the lift and sat down in the sofas just opposite from where we were, that was pure rock'n'roll!! What a presence, what lovely people they are!! Just fantastic, it was so hard for all of us to contain the excitement...I had seen a few suspicious emails, but I wasn't sure what was going on beyond 7 pm...after Chris left the studio and we stopped taking calls we run out towards the street...oh, the music bouncing off the walls..they are in top form!! I will remember this as the best moment at work ever!! Well done guys...
RHan
03 March, 2009
My First Time
Have been a fan for years and never been able to see them live. That all changed when I won tickets to see them in live lounge. One of the best days of my live. The sound was amazing !!!!!!
nikov2
02 March, 2009
Belgium was in the video!
yeah, it was worth the trip! and an night with almost no sleep thanks Bono, adam, edge and larry for this day!! and thanks to my belgian U2 friends to come along!! nikov2
Pooria
02 March, 2009
A night to remember
I work at BBC World Service,our studio is next toBroadcasting Houseroof, so we decided to have U2 instead of the news. Not a bad choice!
jezzasparky
02 March, 2009
Absolutely brilliant
Amazing - so glad I dragged myself up there despite being ill - was worth it!!! Has made me desperate for more though!
BabyLemon
01 March, 2009
Thank you
I was there on the church steps watching the boys . It was just Magnificent and i'm looking forward to the tours even more
katelijneverdonck
01 March, 2009
Belgium was in the video!
5 Belgian Lads took a day off to horizon to London. Departing from Antwerp, 500km and 7 hours later, we arrived in Regent Street on a bright beautifull day. We enjoyed the climax from the setup, soundcheck to the 'secret' gig. We just wanted to experience that special moment and it was just great! It's LINEAR ... just pitty "Breath" was not in the setlist... however ... Thanks for the free concert! Mark, Patrick, Tony, Nico and Tom
01 March, 2009
Love the Rooftop show
hi Bono & co Love the Rooftop show in London on Friday night. It was like the Beatles all over again boys nice one guys. Love the new CD of U2 Got the CD on Friday & i have not stop Playing it since Boys. Love you all. Love Frances from Tralee Co,Kerry
killershark
01 March, 2009
What's Next?
They are heading to the NYC today as they will be on Letterman all next week... It is anybody's guess what they will pull out of the bag while in their favorite town.
Bayerpaul
01 March, 2009
I was there too
What a great day,I got to see the jo whiley gig in the bbc radio theatre,shook Bono's hand and was there for the roof gig too.what a day
silvia catia
01 March, 2009
my brasilians`friends were There !!
My friends from Brazil were there it`s amazing! They don`t believe until now !!
I only saw on BBC ...... I loved....i loved....i loved !!! Magnificent live was beautiful !!!
Thanks U2 for this gift !!!
Silvia
Brazil
ntrevia
28 February, 2009
U2 stops the traffic!!!!!
ihe show was amazing!!!! An unforgettable night!!! We got our brazilians flag autographed by Bono, Edge and Adam...just Larry is missing. Just U2 can do something thing like that. The greatest band ever.
celia
28 February, 2009
Fantastic
Great way to finish the week. Brilliant Friday night in London. Sound amazing...well done guys, can't wait for the album!!!
lozzybrown
28 February, 2009
Awesomeness!
I heard the rumours too, got down there for about 5 and already the area was buzzing with excitement - eventhough quite a few people didn't know what it was about. Everyone was just standing around looking up at the building.People onopen top buses looked intrigued. Then the road was shut off, and we all poured onto the road, I was near the church.Then Chris Evans announced 'U2', and we were treated to the four songs whch vibrated all the way up Regent Street. Magnificent!
Michal_M
28 February, 2009
my first time ;)
it was my first time seeing u2 live. It was good. Wasn't awesome probably due to the sound quality, but as it wasn't a proper gig I was very, very pleased anyway. Well done guys!
orange12
28 February, 2009
Spine-tingling
I was there. It was awesome. I thought Bono was going to fall over the railings at one point. Great to hear 'Magnificent' blasting into Oxford Circus. A special moment for fans. Thanks!
bono72
28 February, 2009
MAGNIFICENT!
I was there and the whole experience was really breathtaking and surreal! I have been following the band around the globe for 20 years now. I just missed out on the brooklyn bridge / ABOY video shoot by days as i flew back to england - but this one i knew about and got myself in the front row right outside broadcasting house. The atmosphere was electric and the boys were on top form - magnificent. Roll on letterman and GMA!!
bonny_steph
28 February, 2009
Magnificent night!!!
Was there last night and had the most amazing time ever! Waited around since about 11am, saw the band enter for the Chris Evans show :D And managed to get a great position for viewing the rooftop gig, could make out Bono and Edge most of the time with Adam occasionally jumping into view too!! Seriously thought Bono might just lounge over those rails - he wanted to be in the crowd ;)
joshua1
28 February, 2009
Great view, great show
I was directly below the band on the church steps. amazing view and once in a lifetime :)
Side
28 February, 2009
Magnificent
Just was great to see the band live again and what a great way to do...did scare me when bono got close to the edge (no pun intended)
cevans
28 February, 2009
bbc gig last night
I was at the gig last night! it was amazing!! i was dancing and singing all the way through! well done boys!!
NielsenU2
28 February, 2009
I was there!
An awesome show it was too!
Mark Taylor
28 February, 2009
I was there,,,and I met the band!
I had heard rumours and so decided to take half day. Turned up at 1pm and eventually saw band arrive for Chris Evans. Both Bono and Edge signed by Boots 7". Bizarrely I got interviewed in French by France 2 TV! Show was fantastic, sound amazing - well done Joe O'! We were right near front but it didn't make much difference other than giving us cricked necks! Can't wait til tour now, what a week! Roll on summer...
aedoh
27 February, 2009
A great gift
We were very aware of U2's presence in London and on the BBC this week. You should never let the truth get in the way of a good story, but U2 performing live on the roof of the BBC was the truth, a great story, and a generous gift to us lucky enough to be there. 
jo_garner
27 February, 2009
From the horizon of Regent St...
From the front of the crowd, the gig tonight was awesome and never has Vertigo been a more pertinent song!
markpearce
27 February, 2009
mrmarkpearce
Was there tonight had waited around for a couple of hours so got near the front but thought the sound was a little bitoff but as always great show. Love'Magnificent' what a great song!!!!!
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