Showtime for The Showman

8 Nov 202256

As promised, it was a night of 'words, music and some mischief' when Bono took the stage in New York for the opening date on the Stories of Surrender tour.

Here's some very early reaction from those who were at the Beacon Theatre. ( Been at one of the shows? Add your own reviews below.)

'It was such a beautiful evening of stories, songs, fans.' wrote Beth Talisman. 'It flew by because nobody knew what time it was! Phones in pouches meant everyone was either chatting or reading the book before the show (genius but again no photos!) Just enough of the U2 crew to make you feel like you were at a show...
'The musicians and Jacknife Lee give us some of the best known songs in new beautiful ways. The visuals featured Bono's art and touch back on some of what was seen on screens during Cedarwood Road on tour. Very sparse set that gets used perfectly to tell the stories from the book….'

'As with every U2 tour,' said dmway on Zootopia.'There was a LOT of thought and pre-planning behind this endeavor, and it showed! The show was part-concert, part-role play (with props!), part-stand-up comedy, part-tear-inducing narrative. It was all great! Bono may have invented the genre "Performance Autobiography" with these shows. I was expecting a lot, and, as always with anything U2-related, this show delivered and then some….'

Kay, from German U2 fan site, put it like this: 'After all the articles about Bono's memoirs… the time had come… to the sounds of City of Blinding Lights Bono entered the stage and the entire auditorium rose and sang along. Bono thanked his band members for allowing him to perform solo. Only after Vertigo was played, the audience began to sit down and slowly Bono started to recite from his book, which was amazingly fluent… the whole set was very entertaining and many of us had tears in our eyes from laughing, because Bono was, is and remains simply a good storyteller.'

The 14 date tour travels through North America and Europe this month, in support of Bono's memoir Surrender published this week.

'Surrender is characteristically expansive, but it whizzes by… generous, energetic book.' Read some of the first reviews of the book here.

The audio book edition is also proving a hit and you can take a listen to extracts of Bono's reading - and order your copy - here.

You must be a logged-in member to add comments.
Rocked the Ryman
U2’s songs came alive tonight in the stories he told. I’ve heard Beautiful Day hundreds of times, but never like this. The lyrics breathed life into the tale of Bono’s father’s death. Thank you for sharing two hours of your soul with us tonight. I’m a better person for it.
The best way to spend a Sunday night
I had the great fortune to be present at the Toronto presentation last Sunday. I'm a brazilian living in Québec, and I’m a big fan of Bono and U2 since I was little, so it was wonderful to be able to watch this perfect presentation ( I've been to Morumbi in 2017 also \o/ ). Me and many people around me laughed, cried and sang a lot, Bono is a complete artist and a amazing human being, the whole world is very lucky to have Bono here with us. It's a gift of God for sure. Thank you very very very much, Bono!!!!! Love you!!!
Bono in Toronto
I was lucky enough to get Surrender ahead of time so I had a bit of a head start on what to expect. Actually, I wasn't sure what to expect...would he read the book? Would he sing? I was blown away on so many levels, not the least by the vulnerability that Bono brought to the stage. U2's music has always connected to my soul and this night did no less. Here is a man who has learned to live his life connected to his values in an unapologetic and unwavering manner. Inspirational and uplifting. ~Jo
Bono is a master performer. He coaxed so much love and adoration from our intimate crowd at the Meridian Centre in Toronto. Opening up about stories of his father, mother, Ali and the boys. We were spellbound for the entire show, sharing in his highs and lows and love for the relationships he has so carefully nurtured and craved. Bono, thank you for your Innocence and Experiences, and the Desire to share your Songs for Someone. I hope you take great Pride in the U2 community you have built with your Mysterious Ways and Blinding Light. #bono4ever
Is he a wizard?
Bono wove a spell over the audience in Toronto with his performance of stories and songs from Surrender. It was an absolutely magical night: we laughed, we sang, we cried... As long-time U2 fans, my mother and I were so grateful to score tickets for the only Canadian performance on this tour. Feeling very lucky! Personally, I really appreciated the phones in pouches policy -- there were no distractions from enjoying the night and being fully present for this performance. That said, the hour-long lineup in the cold, just to get through security checks and into the theatre, could have been better planned. Thank goodness it wasn't raining...
Amazing and Exhilarating
You’d get goosebumps every time he turned a story into a song… then you’d get excited because the tune would start to turn into a song… then back to story. He was funny and heartfelt and sad and hopeful and childish and serious all at once. Bono is truly one of a kind.
Stories of Surrender - Toronto, Canada
Incredibly captivating performance by Bono! I was thoroughly immersed in his story, the music and his emotion the entire performance. So grateful to have had this once in a lifetime experience!
Like nothing before...and something I de
I was at the Beacon on 11/2/22. What a night.. Bono with the bare minimum on stage told raw, vulnerable stories from his new memoir mixed in with him singing! (oh what a treat). Truly an unforgettable experience. It was therapy for my tormented and broken soul as I'm going through an unimaginable time (I just lost my beautiful 24 year old daughter to leukemia unexpectedly on 10/6/22 - we were still on the path for a cure and she got a horrific infection which overtook her fragile body) so I wasn't going to go but I got a sign from her and got tickets for me and my sister. I laughed, I cried (especially with the stories of Bono's Ma and Da's passing), and then I laughed again. If only I could go every day....#songsthatsavedmylife #bonotherapy
Bravo my darling Bono, Bravo
The voice struck my heart as it did when I was 13 listening to WLIR when I asked myself “who is this voice speaking to me.” My eyes fought the tears so I can get a visual, it was the closest I will have him in my living room talking to me and knowing my pain. My mother, 92, listens to Pavarotti daily, so listening to Bono speak of the greatest voice in history and talking about losing his mom…I kiss and hug my mother daily. I take Bono with me everywhere, we are ONE. It was a two hour course in being human.
It was an unforgettable experience. Bono and team were amazing. Great stories, songs and experience.
Bono Tour NYC
I’ve had quite the month taking in both Bono events at The New Yorker Fest and the Beacon Theatre… and somehow I knew to go to McNally Jackson when they opened on publishing day and procured my very own signed copy of #SurrenderMemoir! More thoughts, pics and videos on or learn more about my professional film work at Thanks! What an incredible evening… #Bono in concert and one man show for his #SurrenderMemoir book tour. I caught his @newyorkerfest appearance last month which featured a surprise mini concert and a/v experience apart from the advertised interview and knew I had to go back for his full length show @beacontheatre! In the presence of President and Secretary Clinton, The Edge and Michael Stipe, among other notable figures, we saw Bono cover similar touchstones to @springsteen’s Broadway show (losing his mom early and a subsequent difficult relationship with his dad, finding salvation in music, activism and better— their words!— wives who made them better men). Bono’s dynamism, range (he even sang an Italian aria!) and heart on his sleeves humor, earnest expression and humility was
Bono at Chicago Theatre
I stood up when it was over and told my husband that was the best thing I had ever seen. I meant it. Absolutely amazing and I didn't want it to end. Bono is the ultimate story teller. I laughed, I cried, I clapped, I sang. A truly wonderful evening.
Bono at the Beacon
The anticipation was incredible. What was format going to be? What stories will he tell? Who will accompany him? Who will be there? The wondering of all these things only added to the excitement. The one thing we did know was that it was going to be a special and unique experience. And Bono did not disappoint. It was totally captivating and mesmerizing. I guess you can say we surrendered ourselves to him for two whole hours. Sometimes you could hear a pin drop… We all know he would be a great story teller, because of how brilliant of a lyricist he is….. it was heartfelt, funny, personal, and moving. Shout out to the musicians who accompanied him… What an incredible and special evening. Bravo Bono. Thank you for Surrendering your story to us! Lifelong fans, Kristen and Vicki
You could hear a pin drop...
...except for Bono's voice. Every U2 experience you've ever had you've been jumping, dancing, singing, cheering, surrounded by thousands doing the same. Now imagine thousands completely silent. Completely still. Barely breathing. Taking in every vocal note, every melody, every lyric...letting them fill all your senses and etching them into your experience and memory...feeling the music fill all your fellow humans around you, as one... I hope it was as special and indelible for Bono as it was for everyone else in the theater that night.
Memories & Melodies
What an amazing night! We’ve hoped for so long that Bono would right a memoir…finally! We heard funny stories, emotional stories, and inspirational stories but overall, we got a true sense of his humble, kind, and heartwarming soul. We are so grateful to have been in attendance for your opening night! Thanks Bono, for your memories and melodies…..and your opera, Bravissimo! Vic & Doris Ferzetti Delaware USA
Brilliant show. Miss the other 3 band members, but quite entertaining and moving. The opening strums to With or Without You on the harp, with Bono describing the walks on the beach with Ali - brought me to tears. Thank you Bono !!!
Beautiful, Emotional
I felt lucky to get fan pre-sale tickets and went with my younger brother. We are lifelong U2 fans. This was a once in a lifetime experience (in our hometown!) and will be in my heart and soul forever. We lost our parents to Covid 3 weeks apart and in a way, Bono’s vulnerability about the loss of his parents and its long-lasting impact on his life and his art moved me deeply. That’s what U2 and Bono have always been for me though: expression through art, but healing through that artistic expression too. Thanks for an incredibly special night and particularly for always considering your fans.
unforgettable night of song,stories and
Thank you for getting fans into this intimate evening with Bono. As a fan for 40 years I thoroughly enjoyed this once in a lifetime experience. The stories were poignant, the vocaɔs powerful and the illustrations haunting. I surrendered to our showman and it was a night of pure immersion. Feeling forever blessed.
Last night
It was amazing seeing Bono in a different role and without his boys. It was just right. Still had to stand and sing to the songs he played. Some people in the audience were not happy with that. Tell everyone to be quiet and sit down. But it was a thrill to see this amazing man. Lucy Magee Wells
Thank you Bono for an amazing, introspective and raw look into what went into making Paul Hewson the amazing storyteller, songwriter and singer you are!
Anniversary Celebration with BONO!
We went to the opening night of BONO’s book tour. It was amazing, insightful and inspiring. Thank you Bono for a once in a lifetime experience for our 31st Anniversary! The Beacon Theater is beautiful and created an intimate evening for all. We came from the Kansas City metro area for this special event and are so thankful for so many U2 concerts, songs and now this special evening being a huge part of our lives together over the years! Todd and Paula T+P=❤️ 4Ever
Opening night 11/2/22
Amazing show!! So grateful to have been part of the experience and there for the 1st show!
Something Special
Easily one of the best and most beautiful experiences we ever had. Funny, moving, emotional, fascinating and on a personal level, sometimes relatable. Amazing job by all involved.
Thank you!
Thank you to Bono for coming up with the idea for this tour, and thank you for excerpting my mini-review here!
Bono on Broadway!
I've often said that tour's should never start, but always end in NYC. After last night's beautiful opening night performance at the Beacon, I humbly have changed my stance. I wanted to say "Bravo" on such an outstanding show. The staging and show design under Willie Williams's fluid direction allowed for so much humanity, humor and kick ass rock moments. L.A. Gabay New York City
It was a night that we will never forget. Spectacular! Mike & Steph O'Donnell, West Chester, PA
   Newer comments    31 - 56 of 56    Older comments


19 Jul, 2024

Beautiful Day is the eighth release in this year's series of digital Deep Dives and B-Sides.

10 Jul, 2024

Cáit O'Riordan with her take on Mothers of the Disappeared.

9 Jul, 2024

 Subscribers Special
No prizes for naming this latest live cut from the Sphere.

24 Jun, 2024

 Subscribers Special
Pauli The PSM, heading out to the floor one more time...