Tag Archives: Live Music

Us4//U2 – U2 Tribute Band

Earlier this year, I went down to The Rhodes Arts Centre, our local venue for small bands in Bishop’s Stortford. We had won tickets in the Observer to go and see Us4//U2, a U2 Tribute band. I went with my Dad, who had seen U2 live at Wembley a few years ago, and we were interested to see whether they would be ‘even better than the real thing!’

The band came onstage and we were shocked by just how much effort had gone into not just sounding like U2, but looking and acting like them. Edge, obviously with his hat on, was doing his signature foot-tapping, and his guitar playing was note perfect. Bono himself was energetic, running around stage, and shouting to us in his mock irish accent. He looked, and sounded, just like the real thing!

The band rolled through a series of hits, including Vertigo, Sunday Bloody Sunday, Pride, Beautiful Day, With or Without You, and I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For, as well as the one, and only hit, Get On Your Boots, from the less-than-impressive new album, ‘No Line On the Horizon.’

We left with smiles on our faces, as Us4//U2 were a great find! In my opinion, tribute bands are underrated. These bands dedicate their careers to sounding just like their heroes, so if you cannot afford to see your favourite band live, just have a look for a local tribute band. The crowds may not be as big, and neither will the atmosphere, but look at it this way – at least you’ll get a better view!

Check out Us4//U2 here:   http://www.us4.org.uk/home.html

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Green Day – Wembley Arena, November 1st, 2009

Well, I finally went to my first ever gig! I jumped at the chance to go and see Green Day last November, as there is no doubt in my mind that they are my favourite band! I’ve been a Green Day fan for almost four years now, and after trawling through endless live videos of them on YouTube, I knew that I was in for a real treat!

The tour was in support of the band’s eighth studio album, 21st Century Breakdown. In my opinion, every album of theirs is fantastic, whether it be the Pop-Punky ‘Smoothed Out Slappy Hours’ or the deeply multi-million selling ‘American Idiot.’

We arrived to be greeted by Prima Donna, the support act for the night. My friend and I were shocked by the sheer volume of their old-school Rock N’ Roll. They were okay as a support band, despite their cheesy onstage antics. These included the introduction of the ‘Sexy Sax’, the ‘Killer Keys’, the ‘Dirty Drums’ and the ‘Golden Guitar’, and numerous windmills from lead singer and guitarist Kevin Tyler Preston, who I later learnt also plays guitar in the Foxboro Hottubs.

I felt a little sorry for them, as despite their energy and enthuiasm, as you would expect when supporting Green Day, they recieved a limited response from the crowd!

However, when Green Day arrived, everything changed. The audience went crazy as the band exploded into 21st Century Breakdown. Billie Joe was screaming that not a single person should be left sitting down by the end of the song! That’s what I love about Green Day; they have the ability to make anybody feel as if they are in the front row, no matter how big the venue. Billie Joe went on to say how much he loved Halloween, and how he thinks we should ‘dress up as freaks every night.’

I spent the evening next to a Spanish guy, who seemed to arrive drunk, and drink about 30 more beers throughout the evening. He then proceeded to smoke, seemingly unaware of the British policies, however it was all in good spirit, so I did my best to put up with him! He ended up screaming his lungs out to every song, straight into his girlfriend’s wincing face, completely oblivious to the fact that his tie was in his beer!

The setlist was fantastic. Green Day were on for about two and a half hours, bringing out old classics, such as Letterbomb, Scattered and Jaded, and crowd favourite King for a Day. Every song was perfect, and involved numerous crowd involvement. This included bringing 10 people on stage to be ‘saved’ during East Jesus Nowhere, and getting one kid on stage to spray the crowd with a Super Soaker, after Billie spotted him on his phone! The set also featured an amazing technical ¬†background, which brought the whole stage to life.

After the main set had finished, Billie Joe returned to the stage for an acoustic encore, for renditions of songs such as Macy’s Day Parade, Good Riddance and Christie Road.

I left Wembley feeling that I had set the standards high for my first ever gig. Who could possibly match Green Day in live performances? I really hope to see them again in the future.

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