Last night’s sold-out U2 show at San Diego Sports Arena was about celebrating the spirit of rock & roll, so it was fitting that U2 frontman Bono repeatedly paid tribute to the late Joey Ramone, who passed away on April 15th.
The Irish quartet’s love for the Ramones is well-documented. At a show at New York City’s Irving Plaza late last year, Bono said, “We got started on the poetry and punk rock of New York City. The music of Patti Smith, Television — but more than anybody, the band that got us started when we were fifteen, sixteen — Larry was fourteen, still is — was the music of the Ramones.”
The remembrances may not have been unexpected, but that made Bono’s words and actions no less touching. Prior to doing “In a Little While,” from the recent All That You Can’t Leave Behind, Bono informed the crowd that “Joey Ramone passed away this week.” He then talked briefly about his experiences with Ramone before dedicating the song to the legendary frontman.
Later in the show, following a soulful rendition of “One,” Bono again announced, “This is for Joey Ramone,” before singing a sweet version of the Ramones’ “I Remember You,” which U2 played at their Irving Plaza show. And in a final tribute to the late punk icon, Bono dedicated the band’s closing track, “Walk On,” another number from All That You Can’t Leave Behind, to Ramone.