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Live 8 London - U2 help artists come together as One

Review: Jack Foley

A FEW minutes after Big Ben chimed 2pm, a voice rang out in the Hyde Park sky stating: "This is our time, this is our moment, this is our chance to stand up for what's right. We're not looking for charity, we're looking for justice. We're not looking to fix every problem, just the one's we can."

The voice belonged to U2's Bono and marked the first significant statement of Live 8 London - the event dubbed 'the greatest show on Earth'.

On Saturday, July 2, 2005, the music world came together as one to unite people of all nations and to issue a statement of intent to world leaders that we will no longer tolerate debt, poverty or unncessary suffering.

The London event - held as part of a world-wide day of music that incorporated Japan (Tokyo), America (Philadelphia) and Europe (Rome, France and Berlin) - was not about making money, but rather gaining support.

200,000 people packed into Hyde Park in a show of support for Live 8's aims and to declare to members of the G8 - comprised of the world's wealthiest leaders - that the time has come to help Africa, to cancel debt and to make trade fair.

Kicking off the event was Sir Paul McCartney and U2 with a lively version of The Beatles' classic, Sgt Peppers' Lonely Hearts Club.

The 'supergroup' was preceded by a performance from the Queen's Guards, dressed in their distinctive red uniforms.

But they departed the stage just ahead of Macca and Bono's entrance and an almighty roar from the crowd.


Following Sgt Pepper, U2 went on to deliver a set of their own, kicking off with Beautiful Day - a track that was given extra significance given the occasion.

The Edge's guitar work did much to illuminate the grey skies above, while Bono's vocals were as strong and vibrant as ever.

A flock of white doves was released midway through in a symbolic gesture of peace.

Next up for U2 was their recent No.1 hit, Vertigo, a lively crowd-pleaser that really got people jumping up and down and during which Bono seemed to find his swagger.

With its catchy guitar riffs and chant along chorus, the song perfectly suited the occasion and capably demonstrated why U2 continue to be one of the biggest bands in the world.

The final song, One, was an absolute humdinger, a timeless anthem that was immaculately delivered and rich in relevance.

Its lyrics include the telling phrase, 'we're one, but we're not the same, we've got to carry each other'...

It was a sentiment that admirably reflected the intentions of the day.

Perhaps most significant, however, was another of Bono's messages, delivered direct to the G8 leaders themselves:

"This is your moment too, make history by making poverty history."

All eyes now look to Edinburgh...

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