Bono lost his voice during a concert in Berlin and had to stop the show

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German U2 fans got an extremely abbreviated performance at the Mercedez-Benz Arena in Berlin on Saturday night. Bono suffered a “complete loss of voice” after singing only a few songs on the second night of the European leg of their Experience + Innocence tour, which had kicked off at the same venue on Friday.

The BBC quotes U2 fan Paul Jones. “During the fourth song, Red Flag Day, Bono’s voice deteriorated massively – he said it was something to do with the smoke that was set off.” He then launched into the next song, “Beautiful Day,” but decided to stop performing. In a video posted by another fan, Bono sounded hoarse and was coughing. He told fans he was “so sorry,” adding, “I’m sure this is not a big, big problem – but I’m going to have to do something. If people want to go home, that’s fine – we’ll play another show for you another time.” He said he needed to leave the stage and take a break “to find out what’s happening,” but never came back. Some fans thought the smoke machines employed by the stage production had affected his voice.

Ashley Judd happened to be at the show and tweeted a photo from the concert noting that “the crowd so felt for him” as he was “powerless and vulnerable,” adding, “He’s real and he’s human, too, like we all are.”

A statement posted after the show’s cancellation on the band’s website offered an apology and, went on to say that, “Bono was in great form and great voice prior to the show and we were all looking forward to the second night in Berlin, but after a few songs, he suffered a complete loss of voice.” Bono added a statement of his own, titled “Back on Song, Back to Berlin,” telling fans:

I’ve seen a great doctor and with his care I’ll be back to full voice for the rest of the tour. So happy and relieved that anything serious has been ruled out. My relief is tempered by the knowledge that the Berlin audience were so inconvenienced. There was an amazing atmosphere in the house, it was going to be one of those unforgettable nights but not for this reason….We can’t wait to get back there on November 13th.

I’m sorry for the fans that the show got canceled, but Bono and the band seemed genuinely sorry to have had to cancel. Glad it was just a temporary setback.

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U2 play Berlin

U2 play Berlin

Photos: WENN, Getty

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14 Responses to “Bono lost his voice during a concert in Berlin and had to stop the show”

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  1. Digital Unicorn says:

    I used to be a big U2 fan and love their early work but Bono has his head so far up his own ass I can’t listen to them anymore.

    • Lex says:

      Hehehe watch the old south park video about him….. practically his biography

    • SM says:

      I know. Also I stoped carrying after No Line on the Horizon, because after Pop it all went downhill for them in my view. They failed to find a unique voice in the current cultural climate. To me they were at their peak around the time the Berlin wall fell because they seems to bein sync with the moment. Not anymore. Also, Experience + Innocence, really? Such a predictable move.

    • H says:

      I have a childhood friend who has been friendly with Bono for 25+ years. He has changed, even my friend said that. I haven’t bought a U2 album since Auchtung Baby because of it.

  2. Jayna says:

    I love Bono and the rest of U2. One of the best frontmen of a band I’ve ever seen. He gives it his all. He really did look vulnerable when it happened. Unlike the young popstars, he, at the age of 56, he going out there every show actually singing. He’s had a rough past few years, with the bike accident injuries, and then the incident (maybe a heart attack) that had him facing his mortality.

    Get well, Bono.

    • Esmom says:

      My son has seen them a couple times over the past few years and he showed me little snippets he recorded…I am astonished at how amazing he and the band still sound after all these years. He’s a musician in a band, too, and, I told him that’s what clean living sounds like!

    • Ides of March says:

      Same. I don’t understand the U2 hate and it’s nice to see someone else who respects them.

    • raincoaster says:

      I love Bono, and it’s my dream to see him sing live. I know people say he’s got his head up his arse a bit, but he’s still trying, still doing the work, and doing great stuff to change the world too. I’d like him to pay more taxes, because how many Riviera villas does one man need, but Bono is okay by me.

  3. smcollins says:

    I’m glad he’s okay and it’s not something serious that would require surgery. I saw them back in ‘92 and it was one of the greatest concerts I’ve ever been to. U2 is definitely one of my all-time favorite bands with The Joshua Tree being one of my all-time favorite albums.

  4. Erinn says:

    I really am not a fan of them. They’re ‘fine’ but it doesn’t seem like they’ve had an actual hit in… many many years. I find them boring.

    This genuinely could be my age (under 30) talking, but there’s only a few songs of theirs that I actually like. I feel like they’re a band that you’re ‘expected’ to like, almost like their reputation somehow has exceeded the actual music they put out. And on top of that, Bono is grating. I don’t hate the man, but I don’t like him either.

  5. Esmom says:

    I don’t know that I’ve ever heard of this happening, it must have been scary. Glad he’s going to be ok.

  6. Sash says:

    What a scary thing to happen. Glad he’s okay.

  7. AMA1977 says:

    Bono is my forever dong. I don’t care that he’s short (I’m 5’9″) or that he wears those stupid yellow sunglasses or that he’s married or anything else. I would, anytime, anywhere. My husband knows that if we ever happen to be in the same public space (obviously other than at a concert) as this man, I will probably make an utter fool of myself and cannot be held responsible for my actions. It’s bad. I looooove him and I loooove U2 and I actually welled up when I read this yesterday, because I want to see them one more time (always.) I hope he recovers soon and that the fans in Berlin all get to attend the rescheduled show. They put on an amazing concert and are a joy to see live.

  8. Fran says:

    I’ve been a fan for over 25 years and the Achtung Baby/Zoo TV era is my favourite, there are so many memories I associate with the songs. I am from Berlin, born, bred and raised, so there’s this special connection for me. Yes, Bono’s a preacher and can get on my nerves at a concert but I feel that this is par for the course with U2.

    I was at both concerts on Friday and on Saturday and it was moving to see Bono as a human for once on the 2nd night. It was obvious that he was totally beside himself at what had happened, like someone had pulled the rug from under his feet.

    Looking forward to what is bound to be a very special evening in November.