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Sun, May 09, 2010
New Straits Times
U2's music rocks the stage

YOU do not know what a real concert experience is until you have seen U2 live, or so fans of the Irish rock quartet say.

U2's concert U2360° Live from the Rose Bowl Stadium in California, United States last October is an example of how the band from Dublin, Ireland always pulls out the stops to give fans a memorable time.

The stage design featured a large four-legged steel structure that holds the speaker system and cylindrical video screen, and hovers above the performance area. Dubbed "the Claw", the platform is surrounded by a circular ramp, which connects to the stage by means of rotating bridges.

This concert was also streamed live on YouTube and viewed by millions of fans globally. While U2 is one tough act to follow, International College of Music (ICOM) students did not disappoint as they put together a tribute to the legendary band - which comprises Bono, The Edge, Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen Jr. T

he ICOM Celebration Series Tribute Concert is a biannual event to recognise the achievement and contribution of music artistes, whether they are singers, musicians, arrangers or producers in the entertainment industry.

ICOM students get to pay homage to a local and an international artiste by performing some of their greatest hits every year. Some 45 students were involved in the Tribute Concert which featured 19 full songs and medleys of U2 hits.

Three female powerhouse singers Cheryl Boncimino (from the United States), Irma Seleman (Malaysia) and Jungeun Whang (South Korea) belted out their own renditions of Sweetest Thing, Sunday Bloody Sunday, Vertigo, Moment of Surrender, With Or Without You and Beautiful Day, among other hits.

They were backed by an 11-member choir during numbers such as Where The Street Has No Name, One and Walk On.

Band leader Feri Lau says that a lot of preparation went into making the concert a success. "We researched into U2's musical and activist career as we wanted to do our best to introduce the music of the Irish band to the public," adds the Berklee Transfer Programme (BTP) student from Indonesia.

Lau, who was also involved in past Tribute concerts to the Eagles (2008) and Michael Jackson (2009), says each concert brings a different experience.

"I get to work with a large group of people and learned new skills," he says.

While U2 has sold more than 140 million records worldwide, Malaysian Loh Ui Li admits she knew little about U2 before the concert.

However, her lack of knowledge about the band did not stop her from doing a good job as a music arranger.

"We tried to inject our own flavour into each song while maintaining their original feel," says Loh, a Bachelor of Music (Professional Music) student.

Jesica Yap, who assists Loh in music arrangement for the concert, is proud to be part of a project which honours the rock star activists.

"U2 members possess good characters and their music reflects this," says the BTP student also from Indonesia.

-New Straits Times

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