'Boxer' Bono bounces back for the Turin crowd
BONO's back -- and his back is getting better. Two months after the singer's back surgery, which put the biggest rock 'n' roll band in the world off the road, U2 restart their massive 360 tour in Turin, Italy, tonight.
Hundreds of fans gathered outside the city's Stadio Olimpico yesterday in the hope of getting their hero's autograph -- and the faithful were rewarded when Bono (50) appeared in a black hoodie, looking like a champion boxer ready for his big fight.
Inside the stadium, U2's crew were putting the finishing touches to the band's giant touring structure which is known as 'The Claw'. Manager Paul McGuinness, who had earlier watched the band rehearse a full show on the stage, told 'Billboard' magazine he had every faith in Bono lasting all the rounds.
"Things have gone very, very well. We did a full run-through, with no breaks, straight through the show, and Bono was moving very well. He's fit," said McGuinness.
However, with U2 performing four new songs at the stadium show in Turin, the outdoor rehearsals gave the band's management another headache.
And some of the new material was posted on the internet after it had been recorded by fans listening outside the stadium.
But U2 have their producers Steve Lillywhite and Brian Eno to blame for the leak.
In June guitarist the Edge revealed in an interview that while working on 2009 album 'No Line On The Horizon' Lillywhite and Eno had suggested U2 road-test some material before they make another album.
"We always thought, 'Wonderful idea,' but never had the chance. This may be that moment," Edge told 'Rolling Stone'. When asked if U2 intended to have the new songs removed from the web, a spokeswoman for the band said last night that it was "an issue for their record label Universal".
U2's next European dates are in Germany, in Frankfurt on August 10, Hanover on August 12; and Horsens, Denmark on August 15 and 16. U2's rehearsals and date at Stadio Olimpico tonight had also resulted in disruption for another Irish side, Shamrock Rovers, who had been due to play Juventus in the second leg of their Europa League qualifier in Turin.
However, last night's match was played in Modena instead of Turin because of the U2 concert.