Bono, the lead singer of the legendary Irish rock band U2, had to stop a concert in Berlin’s Mercedes Benz Arena on Saturday after just a few songs because of voice issues. He struggled through some songs until the end of the band’s song “Red Flag Day” when he stopped and apologized to the crowd. Fan site atu2 tweeted about what happened.
“Bono said that he’s not quite sure what’s happened at the end of Red Flag Day. He’s clearing his throat. ‘I think it’s the smoke. I can promise you I have not been talking, but this is like a giant cigar – I’ve lost my voice and I don’t know what to do.'”
The band has issued the following apology to fans who were in attendance, according to CNN.
“We don’t know what has happened and we’re taking medical advice. We’re so sorry for tonight’s cancellation. Bono was in great form and great voice prior to the show and we were all looking forward to the second night in Berlin, but after a few songs, he suffered a complete loss of voice.”
They also thanked fans for their support and promised an update when they know more.
Bono’s loss of voice was so sudden and drastic that fans first thought his microphone had failed. They kept singing the lyrics as they waited for the technical glitch to be corrected.
The arena was apparently filled with lots of smoke, and the U2 singer said he didn’t want to be “one of those singers” who want perfect conditions when they perform but asked for the air conditioning to be turned on and the area cleared of smoke according to additional tweets by atu2. He wanted to try to sing “Beautiful Day.” He tried but just couldn’t do it and apologized to the crowd before leaving the stage for what he hoped would be a break lasting just a few minutes. The band, however, never returned to the stage. So far there has been no update on Bono’s condition or the reason for his sudden voice loss.
Among those in attendance at U2’s Berlin concert was actress Ashley Judd. She tweeted her admiration for his efforts, praising his “naked, public vulnerability tonight.” She spoke of his energy that she said was even greater than he had in the previous night’s performance. She also shared this brief video of Bono performing not long before he was forced to leave the concert stage.
The power of #bono voice before it surprised him in #Berlin and left him abruptly...he was singing his guts out (per usual). @u2 @U2eiTour The crowd so felt for him as he with surrender was obviously powerless and vulnerable. He’s real and he’s human, too, like we all are. pic.twitter.com/f0Tl3hhuA2— ashley judd (@AshleyJudd) September 1, 2018