Nearly better than the real thing as U2 stream gig live
Millions of U2 fans around the world will be able to watch their heroes live in concert this weekend as their California show on Sunday night will be streamed free of charge on the internet.
However Irish viewers will have to stay up very late to catch the sold-out show from the Pasadena Rose Bowl, outside Los Angeles, which is not due to be aired on YouTube until 3.30am Irish time on Monday morning.
The concert is the penultimate date of the band's '360 Tour' this year, although more dates will follow in 2010. Some 96,000 tickets have been sold for the Rose Bowl gig, the venue's biggest audience to date.
U2 manager Paul McGuinness said streaming the show on the internet will allow the rockers to take the party far beyond the walls of the Rose Bowl.
"The band has wanted to do something like this for a long time. As we're filming the Los Angeles show, it's the perfect opportunity to extend the party beyond the stadium.
"Fans often travel long distances to see U2 -- this time U2 will go to them, globally," he added.
The show will be streamed live on YouTube to 16 countries across five continents and will also be available on U2.com as video-on-demand after the live stream.
YouTube music manager, Michelle Flannery, said: "We're thrilled to be able to provide our global audience with a live streaming performance by one of the world's greatest bands. We're always looking for ways to connect fans around the world and this is the perfect opportunity."
It's not the first time U2 has allowed a live streaming of one of their concerts. In 1997 the Boston leg of their 'Popmart' tour was aired on Microsoft's MSN website.
Meanwhile, Bono dedicated the song 'The Unforgettable Fire' to Stephen Gately at concerts in Houston and Dallas last week, describing the Boyzone star as "a beautiful spirit and a bright flame".