'Magical Continent'

18 Feb 2011

'What time is in the world... and where are we going?' asked Bono, as U2 360° took off again in Africa. 'Egypt, Tanzania, Ghana, South Africa...'

And we went to those places and we went to others like Burma and Libya but tonight the show itself didn't stay in Cape Town. It went out live on radio stations right across the continent of Africa - and live online through U2.com to fans on every other continent. Tonight felt like a truly global event.

Don't take our word for it - here's a sample from our live text stream as people tuned in from all over.

'Ireland hearing Cape Town now - Yeeessss'; 'Streaming at Japan, Now I hear, thank you sharing us.' 'Working Well@Buenos Aires, Argentina.'; 'Loud and clear in New Zealand - thanks U2!'; 'Finnish lapland. Close to -30 degrees outside. Me in my warm apartment listening U2:)'; 'The sun is shining here in Brazil, but its already a night to go crazy!'

The voices of The Soweto Gospel Choir on the 'Rainbow People' remix gave way to Beautiful Day and as the band arrived on stage the Cape Town Stadium exploded with anticipation. 'The world just seems to have shrunk,' said Yardie, listening in to the crystal clear audio feed. Or to put it another way, as Ricardo in Brazil chimed in, 'Tonight we are all Africans...'

It was one particularly iconic African, Yvonne Chaka Chaka, who made a surprise appearance for Still Haven't Found performing a majestic duet with Bono - staying on stage as the song ran into Stand By Me. Bono followed that with one of the more surreal band introductions in a sequence on this tour which has tested the bounds of the surreal several times: tonight it featured 'the Llama of U2' (Adam), 'the meerkat of U2', (Larry), the 'ring tailed lemur and spider-monkey of U2' (that'll be Edge then) and finally, 'feet barely touching the ground, elegant, graceful...' Edge was invited to name this exotic creature. 'The Wildebeest,' he suggested.

For two years U2 360° has featured one of this country's most famous sons, Archbishop Tutu, up on the screens every night as One arrives. But tonight, as in Johannesburg, Pride (In The Name of Love) focussed on another South African living legend, Nelson Mandela. The audience reaction was spine-tingling.
'February 13th, nineteen-ninety
words ring out under a southern sky
Free at last, to live your life
The lion of Africa and his pride...'

'In the name of love,' tweeted ncamerondavies, 'rededicated to dada Madiba - the father of this nation South Africa! God bless you Madiba.

'For Madiba, Nelson Mandela,' added Bono. 'In our thoughts and prayers this evening...'

Sunday Bloody Sunday went out 'to our brothers and sisters in Libya' before Scarlet provided the musical bed for a rap celebrating the release of Aung San Suu Kyi in Burma, passing on her thanks to those who campaigned for her freedom - and asking one more thing.

''Don't forget about my sisters and brothers,' she says, '2300 political prisoners still in the jails of Burma for the crime of believing an election result.' So we will not forget...''

Walk On, One, Streets.... we followed the band to Africa tonight and it was like no other show.

'Thank you for listening in from all over the continent, listening online, listening in to the mother city Cape Town...' said Bono. 'Thanks to everyone who has signed up to the One Campaign.

'I don't want to go home... take out your phones, let's do a little magic trick, you'll have to picture this on the radio, online, across the continent, we're turning this beautiful stadium into the milky way right now, all the lights are out, just the spirit of Africa lighting up the sky...'

And with that everyone gave in to A Moment of Surrender..

Were you at the show tonight? Check out our tour pages and add your own review - and upload your photos. And check into the page where we carried the live stream to see what people were saying - and join the chat there too.


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