Watch a smokin’ version of some classic ‘toons by the poppermost of the toppermost UK bands, as interpreted by the candiest of the dandiest Tarheel bands, below. Pictured above: R2U2 hoists what is definitely not a rebel flag, but perhaps the proverbial “fish flag” – see below – that devotees of the North Carolina record store chain have come to know and love.
By Uncle Blurt
Longtime readers of this publication know full well the admiration BLURT’s braintrust harbors for U2; just recently, to mark the 30th anniversary of The Joshua Tree, we posted a number of U2 stories from the archives (such as “Before the Joshua Tree” and Elevation Obsession: U2 2001 – Fans, Bono, the Elevation Tour, and the Miranda Obsession) and posted live videos to Facewbook of publisher Stephen Judge’s walking tour of Dublin in which he stopped off at various U2-related landmarks.
Now the gang has decided to put their collective money where their mouths are by forming a U2 tribute band. Going by the name R2U2 (which roughly translates as “are you ready to U2?”, they’ve been working up a pretty impressive setlist of choice U2 tracks, ranging from early classics like “Out of Control” and “Gloria” to “City of Blinding Lights” and “The Miracle of Joey Ramone,” not to mention covers of other artists’ songs that U2 has done in concert, including “All Along the Watchtower” (done precisely like it was done on Rattle and Hum) and “Knockin’ On Heavens Door” (which is guaranteed to be a end-of-set crowd-pleasing singalong).
So which BLURT-er is channeling which U2 member? In the role of drummer Larry Mullen, Jr., editor Fred Mills; on bass will be Daniel Matti; on guitar, publisher Stephen Judge; and in the role of the flamboyant, extroverted vocalist (you might know him as Bono), Al Riggs. Both Riggs and Matti, incidentally, are experienced musicians, veterans of several bands, and they both work at our sister business, Schoolkids Records. Mills and Judge claim to be just “occasional” musicians (Mills: “Get me drunk and I can do the guitar intro to ‘Roundabout’ by Yes!”) but what they lack in experience, they more than make up for with enthusiasm and an encyclopedic knowledge of the material, right down to the subtlest of nuances from Bono and The Edge.
R2U2 plan to make their official debut on the Raleigh Schoolkids stage this coming Record Store Day, April 15, at approximated 2PM, and they will have teeshirts plus vintage copies of Mills’ old U2 fanzine U2/USA to give out free to the first 50 punters. Below, check out a recent rehearsal of the band.