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U2 Play Surprise NYC Show

U2 take flatbed down Broadway to free show in Brooklyn

November 23, 2004 12:00 AM ET

U2 shot a video for "All Because of You," the second single from their new album How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb, playing the song live aboard a flatbed cruising from the Upper West Side down Broadway yesterday in New York. The traveling show culminated in an hour-long free concert in Empire-Fulton Ferry State Park between the Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges in the late afternoon, packed with new songs and a few older hits. The performance was filmed for the December 8th MTV special mtvJAMMED: U2.

U2 spent the day playing the new single, beginning with their first morning pit stop in front of Columbia University uptown. Helicopters flew overhead, taking aerial shots of the band, and the truck stopped traffic wherever it went. By the time the group could be seen crossing the Manhattan Bridge -- announcing, "Here we come!" -- a crowd of thousands had gathered in the park, hearing of the free show by word of mouth or through fan sites.

The ecstatic audience was treated to new songs -- including the concert opener, the album's debut single "Vertigo" -- as well as older hits "Beautiful Day" and "I Will Follow." Frontman Bono added Brooklyn references to the lyrics, at one point asking, to loud cheers, "Why does this feel like a hometown concert?"

"Vertigo" is currently at Number Three on the charts and is available as streaming audio -- along with the other ten album tracks -- at both U2's and MTV's Web sites.

 

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Song Stories

“Bird on a Wire”

Leonard Cohen | 1969

While living on the Greek island of Hydra, Cohen was battling a lingering depression when his girlfriend handed him a guitar and suggested he play something. After spotting a bird on a telephone wire, Cohen wrote this prayer-like song of guilt. First recorded by Judy Collins, it would be performed numerous times by artists incuding Johnny Cash, Joe Cocker and Rita Coolidge. "I'm always knocked out when I hear my songs covered or used in some situation," Cohen told Rolling Stone. "I've never gotten over the fact that people out there like my music."

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