I saw Hollywood U2 play last year and already knew they were worthy of being considered “The World’s Greatest Tribute Band”. U2 formed as a band long before MTV started and have been a solid band for almost 40 years with all original members. That’s incredible.
I was a pretty big U2 fan about 25 or 30 years ago. I had The Unforgettable Fire and The Joshua Tree on cassette (and most likely still do, although I no longer own a cassette player).
They kind of lost me after that period where the became a mega-band, but U2’s hits and quality of music really are undeniably good. And even if you don’t own any of their albums, it’s pretty hard not to know their most of their big songs.
Hollywood U2 have been playing the music of U2 for over 10 years and manage to recreate the songs in a most marvelous, spot-on type of way.
A large, very enthusiastic crowd gathered well before show time to catch Hollywood U2.
After the crowd filed in, Katie Daryl introduced the band , the curtain went up, and Hollywood U2 treated the capacity crowd to over a dozen U2 favorites.
It was kind of ironic that they started the show with “Even Better Than The Real Thing”. Given the theme of the show, that was pretty amusing. There are obvious striking similarities between Bono and Joe Hier, the band’s lead singer. Even from close up, he was very, very convincing. Early on into the set, his harmonica playing on “”Desire” was also a real bonus.
The guitarist played all of Bono’s guitar parts very well and the rhythm section matched that of Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen, Jr. quite nicely. They went to commercial break with “Sunday Bloody Sunday”.
This concert actually ran almost 20 minutes longer than the previous shows and contained an additional commercial break. The crowd went absolutely bonkers the entire show. With all the wild enthusiasm at the venue, the show could have been mistaken for a metal concert.
Returning from the first break with a rocking version of “Vertigo”. You can tell a tribute band rules when you are forgetting that you are watching a tribute band. That happened with this tune. Then they played Beautiful Day”, “With Or Without You” and included a little audience participation as “Bono” serenaded his significant other up onstage and they played out to the commercial break with a fantastic version of “Pride”. It reminded me of being in elementary school.
They kicked off the “encore” with “Elevation” and finished strong with “Where The Streets Have No Name”, as evidenced from the YouTellConcerts video, several people in attendance that admittedly weren’t U2 fans really enjoyed this show and were even going on about it. That says a lot. This band is solid and I think a lot of us will be catching them again at their shows this summer.
Even Better Than The Real Thing
Until The End of the World
Bullet the Blue Sky
New Year’s Day
Sunday Bloody Sunday
The Sweetest Thing
With or Without You
All I Want Is You
Where The Streets Have No Name
The second break concluded with Katie interviewing a few members of Rumours (Lindsay Buckingham and Christine McVie), who are paying tribute to Fleetwood Mac on the show next Monday night to close out the first season of TWGTB (free tickets to the live show in Hollywood on June 10).
Picture from a previous show with members of Queen Nation, Hollywood U2, The Ultimate Stones and TWGTB host and producer, Katie Daryl.