A Celebration of U2 began performing U2 tribute shows in 2005 all over the Midwest under the name “The U-2 Incident”. In 2009 the band decided to “restart and reboot” themselves by changing their name and refocusing their purpose.
Today, ONE: A Celebration of U2 has crafted their stage show to bring the music and spirit of their favorite band to U2 fans everywhere. Playing music from throughout U2's vast catalogue and incorporating an innovative lighting/video show, the members of ONE are dedicated to recreating the sights and sounds of U2 live.
Now entering their fourth decade together, U2 has sold over 145 million albums worldwide that have so far yielded 23 Grammies. U2 were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004.
Currently, U2 continue to push the bounds of popular music with their innovative new album No Line on the Horizon and their record-breaking U2360 tour.
The members of ONE admire more than just the music and longevity of U2. They also admire the difference the members of U2 have tried to make in the world. Specifically speaking, Bono is one of the key founders of the “one” campaign. According to their website, ”ONE.org is a grassroots campaign and advocacy organization backed by more than 2 million people who are committed to the fight against extreme poverty and preventable disease, particularly in Africa.”
Each member of ONE has been a lifelong fan of U2, and each has his own reasons for wanting to celebrate U2's music and career:
“The members of U2 have entered their fourth decade together, and what they have managed to accomplish is unique in the history of rock music. Over the course of their thirteen studio albums, they have written and recorded incredibly distinctive and memorable music, and they’ve done it with the same lineup of four innovative musicians.
The Edge’s guitar playing has always been rooted in the spirit of punk, but it is also organic and soulful. When I bought my first electric guitar, I knew that I had to attempt to figure out how The Edge did what he did, so ‘Streets’ was the first song I learned. Although I continue to learn more and more of U2's music, I’ll never stop being amazed by The Edge’s inventiveness.”
“I always found U2 an interesting pillar in my musical upbringing. They managed to be relevant (for almost 30 years), while being pop oriented in appealing to the masses. And yet they still have an Edge to them…no pun intended. Walking the line of edginess and still having pop sensibilities is the most impressive thing about U2. As a song writer myself, I find that a difficult task, yet they seemingly do it effortlessly.
I listen to music in two different ways; there is studying and just listening. Listening to Bono sing is kind of a lesson in less is more. However, studying his vocals is an exercise is hearing depth. I grew up listening to singers with great technique, lots of power, etc. I always admired Bono from a stylistic point of view, but as I have studied him for the purposes of emulation in the band, I realize he possesses some very good technique as well. He is judicious in his offerings of technical prowess but will still belt it out with a never ending amount of emotion and angst. I thought by now I might be tired of the songs or even the way that he sings them, but Bono is a singer who has layers that I have enjoyed uncovering. He is known for lots of things, such as meeting with world leaders, or social change issues. To me, I know him for his voice!”
“The lyrics of most U2 songs are hopeful, real and uplifting. The music is honest, sometimes raw, sometimes complex, often redemptive, always cool. Bono, the Edge, Adam and Larry are a perfect amalgam, a perfect sum of their respective talents and sounds. This band is big, ‘bad’ and belongs.
Larry Mullen Jr’s martial drumming leaves little doubt of his marching band roots. Once one learns of the additional left floor tom he employs, the ‘cannon-ized’ cadences with which he drives U2 make absolute sense and are the only ones appropriate. It now annoys me to play a kit without one!”
Greg (Bass Guitar)
“I was 13 years old when I was introduced to the music of U2. It is hard to put into words the impact the ‘New Year’s Day’ and ‘Gloria’ videos had on me the first time I watched them. To hear the desperation and hope so beautifully married in these songs touched my impressionable soul and still does to this day when I sneak views at our video show during a performance. I adopted U2's small prayer from ‘Gloria’ for my life as well: ‘Oh Lord, if I had anything, anything at all…I’d give it to you.’
I also started playing bass that same year and quickly became a student of Adam Clayton. I love how is driving, melodic bass lines take you on a journey. From ‘New Year’s Day’ to ‘Indian Summer Sky’ to ‘Unknown Caller’ and on and on, the musical marriage of desperation wrapped in the arms of hope affects the core of my being…and I get to celebrate this music at every show we perform. What an honor.”