U2 To Perform In India, Here’s Why We Love Bono
It’s official! The iconic Irish rock band U2 are all geared up to perform their first-ever concert in India on December 15. This Dublin-based band which was formed in 1976, consists of Bono (lead vocals and rhythm guitar), the Edge (lead guitar, keyboards, and backing vocals), Adam Clayton (bass guitar), and Larry Mullen Jr. (drums and percussion). Announcing their much-awaited India show, U2 have finally confirmed their India tour this December in Mumbai. Talking to Rolling Stone India, lead singer Bono and guitarist The Edge expressed their excitement about performing in India.
“It will be such a thrill,” said Bono. “There is a whole Irish-India thing! We have the same colours in the flag, our tiny little nation — Mahatma Gandhi commented on the struggle for Irish independence and warned against the violent struggle… And our prime minister, he’s a physician — he’s trained in Mumbai, his father’s from Mumbai. It’s just these kinds of links… Also, the Irish constitution influenced the Indian constitution.”
- U2 is all geared up to perform in Mumbai’s DY Patil Stadium at 4 pm on Sunday, December 15 following performances by Katy Perry and Dua Lipa in November
- The tour celebrates U2’s fifth album, The Joshua Tree, released in 1986-87
- Equality and girls’ education advocate, an outspoken feminist Bono says: “Ending sexism isn’t just women’s work.”
- U2 said it had long coveted an Indian show. “India has been on our bucket list for a long time,” The Edge tells Billboard.
“Mahatma Gandhi commented on the struggle for Irish independence and warned against the violent struggle… And our prime minister, he’s a physician — he’s trained in Mumbai, his father’s from Mumbai. It’s just these kinds of links… Also, the Irish constitution influenced the Indian constitution,” Bono
When asked what took them so long to come to India, The Edge explained it was mostly due to production-related concerns. “In the past, there have been many logistical issues that prevented it, but we were just so determined on this occasion to figure it out.”
Bono added, “We feel that a lot of people have made this [happen]. Our shows have been quite technical over the years. In order to break down the distance between the band and the audience, we have developed certain technologies and transporting those technologies can end up putting up the ticket price. And we were very conscious of putting up the ticket prices in India.”
Bono, an advocate for girls’ education
When amidst #MeToo movement, most men stay silent, the star and philanthropist, Bono, keeps his opinion related to systemic sexism to the point. He had taken an opportunity to focus on other issues that needed attention during a guest essay in TIME Magazine.
“I was glad that I was being offered up as a firestarter for a debate the magazine rightly wanted to have about the role of men in the fight for gender equality,” he wrote in TIME. “Misogyny, violence and poverty are problems we can’t solve at half-strength, which is the way we’ve been operating for a few millennia now.”
“There is nowhere on earth where women have the same opportunity as men. Nowhere.”
Further talking about how his wife and daughters influenced him to take the issues related to equality and rights more depth, he wrote. “It seemed obvious to me that the sex who created the problem [of gender inequality] might have some responsibility for undoing it. Men can’t step back and leave it to women alone to clean up the mess we’ve made and are still making.”
Pointing out inequality in the world of a fundamental gap that exists in education, Bono further added, “There are 130 million girls who are not in school. “That’s so many girls that, if they made up their own country, it would be bigger in population than Germany or Japan. Denying girls what an education offers–a fair shot, a path out of poverty–means that women can work the land but can’t own it; they can earn the money but can’t bank it.”
“This is why poverty is sexist”
Bono continues, for change to happen, the focus should be on closing the gender gap through education.
“Give girls just one additional year of schooling and their wages go up almost 12%,” he suggests. “Give them as much schooling as boys get and things really start changing. Closing the gender gap in education could generate $112 billion to $152 billion a year for the economies of developing countries.”
Bono created Poverty is Sexist, a campaign that documents the link between poverty and gender
He continues, “When you invest in girls and women, they rise and they lift their families, their communities, their economies and countries along with them.”
Bono ends his essay with the reminder that for there to be progress, there needs to be persistence. “We’ve had a hard lesson over the past year that the march of progress is not inevitable,” he writes. “Sexism is rampant, conscious and unconscious. I’m still working on my own.”
“[So] don’t look down on me, but don’t look up to me, either. Look across to me. I’m here. It just may be that in these times, the most important thing for men and women to do is to look across to each other–and then start moving, together, in the same direction.”
India’s youth are attracting top International talent: A timeline
- The first ever spotlight was on Indian edition of the Global Citizen Festival in 2016. Coldplay headlined all over the town and other performance included sets by Jay-Z and Demi Lovato. A record 80,000 people attended.
- Then, in 2017, Justin Bieber performed live in front of 30,000 people in May in Mumbai, and had reached a critical mass.
- Ed Sheeran too toured in India for his maiden show in the country in 2015. Sheeran returned in 2017.
- Beyoncé and Shakira, both visited India in 2007.
- Bryan Adams had toured India several times since his first gig in the mid-1990s.
- After Coldplay, U2 will soon be checked off the list of India’s most-anticipated musical acts, the next big name on that list is Taylor Swift.
Picture credit: uDiscoverMusic