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Quick Takes

A Berlin wall surrounds U2

November 06, 2009|Associated Press

Irish rockers U2 returned to Berlin for a free mini-concert Thursday in front of the Brandenburg Gate, playing its classic singles and a duet with Jay-Z even as the show was obscured from public view by a nearly 6 1/2 -foot- high metal barrier.

Bono greeted the crowd with the German words "Berlin, Du bist wunderbar!" (Berlin, you are wonderful!) and the band played a 30-minute, six-song set that featured "Sunday, Bloody Sunday," "One" and "Beautiful Day."

The show, free to 10,000 ticket holders who snapped up the tickets online last week in just three hours, drew controversy because of the barrier surrounding the gig.

Both Berliners and tourists alike saw the irony in building a wall around a concert dedicated to the wall that already has come down.

"It's completely ridiculous that they are blocking the view," said Louis-Pierre Boily, 23, who came to Berlin even though he failed to get U2 tickets. "I thought it's a free show, but MTV probably wants people to watch it on TV to get their ratings up."

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