Column: off the record . . . vol. 11-473

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off the record, from @U2

Thanks to all of you who joined us in Pittsburgh earlier this week for the @U2 Killing Bono film reception with Neil McCormick. We appreciated your attendance, your kind words and your positive feedback following the event. Neil, always a lively storyteller, made our jobs easy, as did the organizer, Stephen Catanzarite, and the wonderful staff at the Lincoln Park Performing Arts Center. We couldn't have asked for a nicer evening.

Speaking of Neil, those of you who were there for my Q&A with him (or watched our live stream that night) may have heard him mention that he conducted the last interview with Amy Winehouse before her untimely death. That interview is now available at The Telegraph. He also wrote a lovely tribute to her earlier in the week. 

Whatever your thoughts may be on the passing of Winehouse, or the life that she lived, it cannot be disputed that an immense talent was lost when she passed. Unfortunately, addiction is not always viewed as the illness it truly is and judgments are often made, but I do hope that in time the singer will be remembered for her soulful sounds rather than being a member of that awful "27 Club."

Some may recall that Bono's daughter Eve starred in a film about that very topic back in 2008. It's called The 27 Club and is now available on DVD.

As a film critic, it's always been my dream to attend the Toronto International Film Festival, but this year my absence from it will hurt that much more since the new U2 documentary From The Sky Down will open the festival. Davis Guggenheim, who gave us It Might Get Loud in 2008, will debut his film about the making of Achtung Baby at the opening gala on Sept. 8. No word yet on whether the band will attend, but I have a hunch they probably will.

Speaking of missing things, I continue to feel left out that I haven’t yet made it to New York to see Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark. I will hopefully get there before the year is over, but in the meantime I’m enjoying the musical’s addictive soundtrack and the new video for “Rise Above 1,” which features Bono and The Edge along with behind-the-scenes glimpses of the production. If you haven’t seen it, be sure to check it out.

U2 seldom fails to provide me with a birthday-present-to-buy-for-myself each fall and this year looks to be no exception. 

Rumors are swirling that an Achtung Baby/Zooropa remaster set is in the works for a Nov. 8 release date and I’m salivating just at the thought of it. Those two albums have always ranked high as personal favorites, and I can only imagine how interesting the packaging could be for both products. Stay tuned to @U2 for updates as we receive them.

I would be remiss if I neglected to mention the phenomenal show U2 put on in Pittsburgh to close out the U.S. portion of the 360 tour. When the band entered the stadium full of smiles, the vibe was set for a fantastic evening and the boys didn't disappoint. From the four-song Achtung Baby opener to the finale, which included serenading the real-life (and present-in-the-venue) muse for "Bad," there wasn't a sour note the entire show. View our @U2 video of “Bad” here.

When the end is near for any U2 tour, I'm always filled with mixed emotions and this chapter is no exception. I'm sad that the band is going away, but happy to resume normal life. I get weepy thinking of the friends I won't see for another four or five years, but also look forward to enjoying some non-U2 vacations and the return of my savings account.  

Plus, it’s fun to contemplate how in the world they’ll top the spaceship.

© @U2/Kokkoris, 2011. 

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