05 November 2009
Live in Berlin for the MTV EMA's
At 7pm Berlin time tonight U2 took to the stage on the East Berlin side of the Brandenburg Gate for a short but stunning six-song live set, part of the at the MTV EMA's
. (Apologies if you are in the UK and Ireland where unfortunately this clip is unavailable due to local programming restrictions.) More of U2 at the MTV EMA's here.
'Thanks for coming out in the cold,' said Bono as the opening bars of One broke the sharp night air. The words ONE and FREEDOM bathed the Gate, the video backdrop ending with fireworks and Bono wishing Berlin a 'Happy Birthday'. It turned out to be a memorable night, prelude to the coming celebrations of the twentieth anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall.
'Thousands of Berliners and U2 fans enjoyed the 'MTV EMAs present U2 at the Brandenburg Gate' this evening.' said Mr Klaus Wowereit, Governing Mayor of Berlin. 'The Pariser Platz was the scene for a joyful celebration of peace, love, freedom and music that Berlin will never forget. Congratulations to U2 and MTV for bringing this unique moment of musical history to the City of Berlin.'
As for the set, here's our notes: From 'One' the band segued into'Magnificent' where Bono spoke of this proud city and one nation and thanked MTV for building the set. Then they ignited Sunday Bloody Sunday and with the stage swathed in green and Edge rocking out, Bono introduced the surprise guest, Jay-Z as the 'Mayor of New York City' who then rapped over the song, while Bono and Edge shared verses of the Bob Marley classic 'Get Up Stand Up'. Bono had some special lyrics for the city.
'And all the lovers and hate
That pass these keepers of the gate
And it's a heavy weight this history
But it's not too late
Won't stop this Congregation
Can't stop this Radiation
Can't stop this Meditation
And I have no Hesitation
In this ancient brand new nation
I sing but it's a shout
Jay-Z is in the house
So there's no roof over our head
Heh neither of us are goin' to bed
Speaking of the wonderful friends the band have in this city, Bono invited the audience to 'feel this moment that we're in ... in this beautiful city of Berlin.' And we're into Beautiful Day with the stage brilliantly illuminated, right up up to the horses at the top of the Brandenberg Gate itself.
In biting cold, Vertigo was just the ticket to keep people warmed up - the crowd going all the more crazy with a customised German countdown to open the track.
Everyone swaying from left to right, Bono leans on Adam as he sings... and speaks: 'Wanna thank the Mayor and MTV and Jay-Z. A song for people who are trying to hold - just that little bit tightly'.
With that the band were into a mesmeric 'Moment of Surrender', the Branderberg Gate shining under the night sky and towering over the square with four Irish musicians underneath.
Here's what they played.
Sunday Bloody Sunday (featuring Jay-Z)
Moment of Surrender
Were you in Berlin for the set tonight? Or maybe you caught the highlights on the MTV Europe Awards. Let us know below how it was.