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the shows

u2 in the name of love

Centrestage presents its long-awaited tribute to U2 – “In the Name of Love” – at the Boardwalk’s Vodacom Amphitheatre from 10-14 March, before the production moves to East London’s Guild Theatre from 18-21 March.

Featuring the unstoppable Wayne Kallis as U2 front-man Bono and guest artist Darren Peens as guitarist ‘The Edge’ along with Mike McAuley as bassist Adam Clayton and Gino Fabbri as Larry Mullin jr on drums, the show promises to recreate U2’s atmospheric, anthemic sound, impassioned vocals and enthralling live performance-style with complete authenticity.

The timing of the show could not have been better, as U2’s first studio album in the last 5 years “No Line on the Horizon” was released to unprecedented interest this week.

Being known as the greatest live band in the world with an unsurpassed 140 million album sales and 22 Grammys under their belt, U2 holds a formidable challenge to the popular Centrestage All-Star Band.

Kallis’s natural stage energy is a perfect match for the charismatic Bono, while ex-Eminent Child singer, guitarist and songwriter and U2 fanatic Peens is a perfect fit to play the U2 guitarist who has been his icon since school days.

u2 centrestage

“U2 has been my absolute favourite band for as long as I can remember - and they have been my biggest musical influence”, says Peens .

“I have twice seen them perform live and I have every DVD and CD that I could get my hands on, so when Gary Hemmings approached me to be in the show, I immediately dropped everything to fulfil this dream role!”

Peens, who runs a recording studio in St Francis Bay called The Playground Studio, has studied the Edges guitar technique and is proud to admit that he has his textural qualities down pat.

“The sound we are producing is huge – it has an extremely authentic stadium feel about it. The U2 sound is as much about the atmosphere and the spaces between the music, so it is fantastic to be working with a group of such talented and sympathetic musicians who can recreate the U2 ambiance with the required respect”, he says.

The U2 show also brings back together 3 of the original Eminent Child members as Peens will rejoin former band mates Gino Fabbri and Mike McAuley on stage.

Rather than use backing tracks – as U2 are also known to do when playing live – Centrestage opted to include Donovan Hattingh and Khanya Matomela in the group to augment the sound of the foursome and to be able to remain faithful to the studio interpretations of the songs, while still performing absolutely live.

“We listened carefully to both live and studio versions of the songs”, said Kallis, “then chose the best of both”.

Another long-time U2 fan is ace lighting designer Mike Broderick, who has also had the privilege of seeing U2 live at various venues around the world.

“Mike brings an ability to interpret the way U2 parodied stage excesses in their live shows. We could never have considered staging this tribute without involving his creative genius”, says Centrestage owner Gary Hemmings.

While the show will feature all of U2’s biggest hits, much emphasis has also been placed on the magical moments that have characterised their live performances over the years.

Songs such as New Year’s Day, With or Without You, Sunday Bloody Sunday, I Still Haven’t Found What I Am looking For and Where the Streets Have No Name represent their earlier albums, while Elevation, Vertigo, Beautiful Day, Discotheque and City of Blinding Lights - and the brand new Get Your Boots On - will make up the latter contributions.

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