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U2 at LIVE 8

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Amidst undue pomp and ceremony, at just gone 2pm, the current Fab Four kicked Live 8 off with one of the original Fab Four, Paul McCartney, and a rocking start, with 'Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band' - a number McCartney had never performed live. Bono had said in a TV interview, just before the start, that he felt sick with nerves, and McCartney was also quite nervous. Cool rock stars, eh?

'Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band' seemed apt, if just for the line, "It was twenty years ago today". A Beatle lookalike French horn section even came on in Sgt. Pepper uniforms, and a backdrop of mostly modern icons was a nice nod at Peter Blake's unique 'Pepper' album cover.

U2's solo triplet began with a soaring version of 'Beautiful Day' (not happy with the white doves being used, though they seemed happy enough when released, flying off into the distance), which then broke into The Beatles 'Blackbird', as a Macca tribute.

A sound enough, and very energetic version of 'Vertigo' followed, but it's not one of their greatest songs, and 'Pride' would have been more apposite. Though Bono did introduce this song with: "This is a rock and roll show. Hip hop show."

Backed by the lilting repetition of The Edge's guitar, Bono then went into an inspired speech: "This is our moment...We're not looking for charity. We're looking for justice. Make history by making poverty history." Then, with Bono on rhythm guitar, the band went into the wonderful 'One'. Totally in keeping with the sentiments of the day, and U2's greatest song. All capped off by Bono breaking into 'Unchained Melody' - with a little help from the crowd.

- Paul Rance for booksmusicfilmstv.com/Peace & Freedom Press.

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U2 perform their greatest song, One, at Live 8 

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