U2BROTHR Finally Gets to Perform with U2

Years ago, I was in a documentary on Mark Baker, a U2 superfan if there ever was one.

On Friday night, Mark finally got a chance to perform with his heroes. The Montreal Gazette describes the event:

While Bono’s vocals were at perfect pitch throughout the night, the frontman grew roots in much of the first set. His performance was less insular in the second, especially once he brought a guest on stage for Mysterious Ways. Well, if you looked out at your audience and saw a man-mountain decked out in mirror-ball regalia, with a “U2BROTHR” licence plate dangling from his neck, you’d notice him too.

With the band already huddled together on the secondary stage, the new arrival made room by hoisting up Bono and cradling him like a baby mid-song, while the other three didn’t disrupt the slippery groove. If this was some performance-art script, the singer’s disbelieving grin didn’t betray it. Rather than send U2BROTHR back into the general-admission crowd on the floor, he was retained as a cameraman during a celebratory Elevation.

“All this technology … is so we can get closer to our people,” Bono declared. “There is no them — there is only us.” With the new crew hire’s handheld footage beamed onto the screens — and, in a priceless moment, Bono tapping him on the shoulder to request a closeup — this was U2 doing its greatest parlour trick: levelling the barriers between band and audience in an impersonal environment.

Here’s what it looked like.

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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