Bono celebrates his birthday today (May 10), and after being active with U2 for over 40 years, he remains one of the best frontmen in rock.

In honor of his birthday, here are seven incredible must-see live performances from Bono throughout his career.

But First, The Latest on U2

U2 had an eventful 2023 and a busy early 2024. The legendary band had the inaugural residency at the Sphere in Las Vegas. To the surprise of no one, the U2 Sphere residency was a massive financial success.

Per Ultimate Classic Rock, the revenue for the 40-show residency is estimated to be $256 million. The outlet also noted that 661,456 tickets were sold for the residency. Additionally, tickets were going for upwards of three times their face value on the secondary market. Needless to say, U2’s Sphere residency was a massive success.

As previously reported, the venue cost $2.3 billion to build. In December 2023, The Hollywood Reporter noted the 17 shows U2 performed through Nov. 30 generated $30.7 million in revenue, which is an average of $1.8 million per show.

Larry Mullen Jr. was forced to sit out of U2’s Sphere residency in Las Vegas due to needing shoulder surgery due to the wear and tear of drumming for decades.. However, the drummer was in attendance to take in the penultimate residency gig.

During the March 2, 2023 show, Bono took a moment to acknowledge the sidelined Mullen Jr. In fan-shot footage, Bono said, “The rumors that Larry will be playing with us tonight are not true, sadly. But he is here with us!” Mullen Jr. was then shown in a crowd on the Sphere’s screens, which led to loud ovation from fans.

U2’s official X (formerly Twitter) account shared a brief statement from Mullen Jr. He wrote, “What an incredible night at Sphere. So grateful to Bono, Edge and Adam, and, of course, Bram [van den Berg], for an amazing job. Very emotional night for me, personally – Larry Mullen Jr.”

  • 'Bad' – Live Aid (1985)

    U2 is able to make a stadium show feel like a club show. They proved that during their now-legendary set at Live Aid in 1985 where Bono jumped from the massive stage to dance with one lucky audience member.

  • 'Where The Streets Have No Name' – 1987 Joshua Tree Tour

    This performance from the first Joshua Tree tour was prominently featured in U2 concert/documentary film Rattle & Hum. Simply put, Bono’s vocals here are perfection.

  • 'Even Better Than The Real Thing' – 1992 MTV Video Music Awards

    In the thick of their ZooTV tour, U2 performed live via satellite with Dana Carvey as Garth Algar during the 1992 MTV VMAs. It was both comically and technologically awesome.

  • 'Lemon' – ZooTV (1993)

    If you’re making a list about live Bono and you don’t bring up any of the personas from the ZooTV tour, frankly, your list is incomplete. This writer’s personal favorite was MacPhisto, a gold-clad demon of sorts that liked to prank call the White House. Here he is performing “Lemon.”

  • 'With Or Without You' – Elevation Tour (2001)

    Remember how we said U2 has a way of making big concert settings feel intimate? For this one fan picked from the crowd, Bono made this performance of “With Or Without You” really intimate.

  • 'Beautiful Day/MLK/Where The Streets Have No Name' – 2002 Super Bowl Halftime Show

    With 9/11 still fresh in the minds of all Americans, U2 took to the Super Bowl Halftime Show and gave one of the most moving performances of their career. From Bono emerging from the crowd to him running laps on the heart stage, it’s a moment fans certainly haven’t forgotten over the years.

    https://youtu.be/4VcBsqOYhYo?si=YpTACl7KvYE0dV4m

  • 'I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For/Desire' – NYC Subway (2015)

    If only more bands busked on subway platforms! In perhaps one of the coziest sets U2 performed in recent years, Bono has no shame in mugging for all the cell phones out capturing this once-in-a-lifetime performance.

Sign me up for the 96.5 BOB FM email newsletter!

BOB knows music, and now you can too! We'll send you the latest music news and information, plus all the great events going on locally with the BOB Squad.

*
*
By clicking "Subscribe" I agree to the website's terms of Service and Privacy Policy. I understand I can unsubscribe at any time.