Triumph and tears at solo show.

U2 star Bono rocks his book ”40 Songs, One Story” as an emotional one-man theater show. AUSTRIA was at the tour stop in Berlin.

With U2 he fills the world’s largest stadiums. For his Bio Surrender: 40 songs, one storye Bono is much more intimate: the book tour Stories of Surrender stops in only 14 small theaters worldwide. Bono had booked the venerable Admiralspalast in Berlin on Wednesday for the only guest performance in German-speaking countries. Only 1,756 tickets and black market prices up to 2,500 euros. AUSTRIA was there live.

Mobile phone ban. “My U2 colleagues have given me permission to do this as long as it’s a one-off thing. So welcome to my one-man show,” he said after the stormy opening City Of Blinding Lights the euphoric fans in a German-English gibberish. And then with an absolute photo ban – all cell phones had to be locked away! – to dance with the charm of a car salesman converted to a telepriest for 120 entertaining minutes through a captivating mix of concert, cabaret, voice imitation (sensational Pavarotti satirical work) and tragedy. “Even for me, a biography is a completely new form of navel-gazing!”

Tears. Bono staged his life in Berlin in a sparse setting of four chairs, which symbolized the band members of U2, two armchairs and cartoon videos as an impressive theatrical performance. From the near-death experience due to a congenital heart valve defect to the love for wife Ali (“I met her in the same week as my U2 buddies: within just 7 days my entire life was settled!”) to Deathbed of Papa Brandan Robert Hewson. “His last words were Fuck Off!” All in all, an emotional roller coaster ride between laughter, clapping and tears.

hits. The fact that the music definitely played a formative role was shown by the fact that Bono embellished his stage play with 16 U2 hits. Four of them, among others Oct, introduced in impressive instrumental versions by cellist Kate Ellis and harpist Gemma Doherty. Plus world hits like Sunday Bloody Sunday, Beautiful Day or With Or Without You in new, exciting arrangements. A pleasant change from the last hackneyed U2 concerts. Director Wim Wenders, comedian Michael Mittermeier and Bono’s wife Ali Hewson also cheered in the audience.

father. The focus of the self-adulation around the standing sentence “Me book, what I wrote meself” and a bit too much religion and politics (“This country has doubled its contribution to development work – I love Germany”) were the funny conversations with the bitter and quirky Daddy in the Sorrento Lounge. The father, who didn’t think much of Bono and his music, was only enthusiastic about his son’s collaboration with Luciano Pavarotti after a long hesitation.

Future. The audience anyway: standing ovations! Also for Bono’s grandiose classical interlude Torna a Surriento: A future after U2, with whom he wants to rock Las Vegas this year and finally Europe again in 2024, is therefore open to him on the theater stage!

This is Bono’s book tour setlist:

City Of Blinding Lights
With Or Without You
Into The Heart (Instrumental)
Out Of Control
Stories For Boys
I Will Follow
Gloria (Instrumental)
October (Instrumental)
Sunday Bloody Sunday
Miss Sarajevo (Instrumental)
Where The Streets Have No Name
Happy Day
Torna a Surriento