Canceled: When U2’s Bono Had a ‘Complete Loss of Voice’

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Bono explaining to the crowd that he had a problem with his voice, Mercedes-Benz Arena, Berlin, September 1, 2018

U2 was forced to cancel their concert in Berlin, Germany on September 1, 2018, when their lead singer, Bono, “suffered” what the band described in a statement as “a complete loss of voice.”

The group were five songs into their Saturday night set at Mercedes-Benz Arena and had just completed performing “Beautiful Day” when Bono signaled to his bandmates that he needed to stop.

Bono, born May 10, 1960, had been struggling with his voice, and he apologized to the audience. “Something has happened… and I think we cannot go on. It’s not right for you. I’m sure it’s not a big, big problem but I’m going to have to do something. We’ll play another show for you some other time.” (Watch the song and Bono’s speech below.)

U2 had played the same venue the night before (Aug. 31) with a 23-song set, as part of the European leg of their eXPERIENCE + iNNOCENCE tour.

The full statement posted by bandmates Adam Clayton, Larry Mullen and the Edge following the show read:

“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.

“We don’t know what has happened and we’re taking medical advice.

“As always, we appreciate our audience’s understanding and all our fans’ support in Berlin and those who travelled from afar. We will update you very soon.”

Watch the evening’s final performance, including Bono’s speech to the Berlin audience

Here’s another clip that just includes Bono’s speech

The band’s next concert was scheduled for three days’ later (Sept. 4) in Cologne, Germany, and Bono was well enough to perform. The European leg of the extensive tour, with roughly four shows each week, had dates through November 10.

Watch U2 perform “I Will Follow” on Sept. 4 in Cologne

Related: Our review of U2 on their iNNOCENCE + eXPERIENCE tour

Best Classic Bands Staff

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