Bono? What happened in Berlin?

If there’s one thing you can say about U2 is that unless it is absolutely, completely, and utterly unavoidable, they never cancel a gig. If the show doesn’t go on, it’s because Bono has had a near-fatal bike accident or near paralysis with a back problem.

Harder U2ophiles than me will know the answer to this: Has U2 ever stopped a show, unable to continue? I can’t think of a time in the band’s 42-year history–certainly not of an occasion in the last 20 years.

But that’s just what happened in Berlin at the Mercedes-Benz Arena Saturday night during the song “Red Flag Day,” which appeared several songs into the set. Bono stopped in mid-song, turning to the crowd saying “I think we can’t go on. It’s not right for you.”

The band later issued this statement:

We’re so sorry for tonight’s cancellation. Bono was in great form and great voice prior to the show and we were all looking forward to the second night in Berlin, but after a few songs, he suffered a complete loss of voice.

We don’t know what has happened and we’re taking medical advice.

As always, we appreciate our audience’s understanding and all our fans’ support in Berlin and those who travelled from afar. We will update you very soon.

Adam, Larry and Edge

This was the second show on the Innocence + Experience Tour. The first night, also in Berlin, went off without a hitch.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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