Here’s a preview of U2’s not-actually-that-live Grammy performance

Landing a performance slot on the Grammy Awards is a big, big deal for things like goosing album sales, streams and sales of concert tickets. U2 has one of the coveted spots on Sunday’s broadcast, which is great for them–except for one thing: it won’t be live.

The band was scheduled to film their Grammy appearance Friday night on the Hudson River. That means when the broadcast from Madison Square Garden cuts to them, it’ll be a pre-recorded thing. It’ll look live. But it won’t be.

But U2 will NOT be lip-syncing. It will be a live-to-tape thing. And this really isn’t all that uncommon for complex performances designed for live broadcasts to be re-recorded. Think back to Lady Gaga’s Super Bowl performance. Some of that was done in advance.

Here’s a look at U2’s rehearsals on their barge.

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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