“Like everyone else in L.A., I have a screenplay,” Bono instructed the sold-out crowd on the Orpheum Theatre Sunday night time for Stories of Surrender, a mix one-man autobiographical present and stripped-down U2 tour (minus his three bandmates) in help of his new memoir, Surrender: 40 Songs, One Story.
The line drew an enormous snort from the gang. But had been he being severe — and Bono’s life story is definitely as worthy of the rock biopic therapy as Freddie Mercury’s or Elton John’s — then he got here to the fitting the place. Among the adoring followers had been J.J. Abrams, Colin Farrell, Rita Wilson (husband Tom Hanks caught the Nov. 2 tour opener at New York City’s Beacon Theatre), and Cindy Crawford and her tequila-magnate partner Rande Gerber, to call a couple of of the Hollywood movers and shakers in attendance.
By 7:45 p.m., a line to realize entry snaked down Broadway and round ninth Street — a course of slowed down by Bono’s insistence that each cellphone be locked away in a Yondr pouch. Once inside, each attendee was handed a hardcover copy of his ebook. Fans who paid $250 to see their idol carry out in a 2,000-seat theater (resale tickets went as excessive as ten occasions that value) buzzed across the foyer, together with Marc Maron, who waited patiently in line on the bar.
A little bit after 8:30 p.m., Bono took the stage by launching right into a rendition of “City of Blinding Lights” from the 2004 U2 album How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb. Bono, in robust voice, was backed by cellist Kate Ellis; harpist, keyboard participant, and backing vocalist Gemma Doherty; and U2 producer Garrett “Jacknife” Lee on keyboards and percussion. The viewers jumped to its toes and sang alongside.
Yes, Bono can sing and might command the farthest reaches of a stadium behind a pair of bug-eyed sun shades. That’s just about a given at this level. But did we all know he may act?
It seems the Dublin-born rocker is a gifted actor, as, over the course of the two-hour efficiency, he embodied bandmates Larry Mullen Jr., the Edge and Adam Clayton; his droll, withholding father (whom he calls “Da”); Princess Diana (who simply wins Da over); and — in probably the most amusing working joke of the night — a very-eager-to-collaborate Luciano Pavarotti.
Through all of it, Bono revealed a brand new aspect of the rock star we thought we knew. The night is book-ended by two deaths: The stunning lack of his mom from an aneurysm in his youth; and the lack of his father to most cancers a few years later, after he has achieved huge worldwide fame and the 2 lastly started to search out widespread floor.
All that Bono bravado, it seems, is simply the product of a boy making an attempt to get his father’s approval.
By the top of the night, Bono captivated the Orpheum with lots of U2’s smash hits — “With or Without You,” “Pride (In the Name of Love)” and “Where the Streets of Have No Name,” to call just some.
But it was his show-closing efficiency of the Neapolitan track “Torna a Surriento” — famously recorded by Pavarotti and beloved by his Da — that stirred the heartstrings most. It was a pop star-turned-maestro second that evoked the 1998 Grammys when Aretha Franklin stepped in for an ailing Pavarotti to carry out a “Nessun Dorma” for the ages.
The Orpheum efficiency marked the ultimate North American date for the tour, which picks up once more for its European leg on the London Palladium on Nov. 16.