has found what they're looking for - U2 tribute band is coming
to Boston club
June 8, 2004
By JAY N. MILLER
For The Patriot Ledger
Brady had been in several rock bands during his youth and college
years around his hometown of Sudbury, Ontario. But while
the original music produced by his bands, called 41 Barrington
and Press X, often struggled to find a consistent audience, Brady's
current gig is so popular it has brought him all around the world,
playing before packed houses.
became a hot commodity when he decided to musically assume the
identity of Bono, fronting a U2 tribute band. That band, Elevation,
of the hottest on the Toronto club scene, will be making its New
England debut Saturday at Club Odyssey in Boston.
of us had been doing original rock things before this,'' Brady
said by phone from his Toronto home. ''But it had become frustrating
getting gigs, and then often not having many show up for those
gigs. Since we're doing this tribute, we play before lots and
lots of people every weekend. It's much more satisfying as a
decided back in 2002 that he'd try to launch a U2 tribute, so
he put some ads on the Internet. ''I was always a big U2 fan,
and there seemed like there was a void in Toronto, with nothing
like this,'' he said. ''U2 is definitely worthy of a tribute,
with a career of better than 20 years and many hits.''
audition process resulted in a final lineup of Kevin Strom on
guitar as The Edge, John Johnstone on drums as Larry Mullen Jr.,
and Mick Barnard on bass as Adam Clayton. All had been performing
in various Canadian rock bands, and all were serious U2 aficionados.
have been to just three U2 concerts,'' Brady noted, ''but our
bassist has seen more than 10. We did a lot of studying their
videos, going all the way back to their start. We've based our
show more on the live U2 concert experience than on the studio
versions. We also have our own light show similar to theirs,
and wear costumes based on their clothing from all eras, from
the early 1980s to the '90s right through to today.''
than the superficial cosmetics of the act, it was necessary to
get the right feel, he said. ''We all think the musical aspect
of what we do is much more important,'' Brady said. ''You must
perform well technically to be able to do U2 justice. That's
especially difficult with The Edge, because he creates a very
distinctive sound with a lot of extra effects like delay and
texturing. I think Kevin Strom really does an outstanding job
of capturing the sound of The Edge.
winter the band did a 12-day tour of Italy, Bosnia and Kosovo.
Their first gig on the tour was as opening act for Joan Jett
and the Blackhearts in Venice, before a military audience.
agency that had seen us perform in San Francisco set up that
European tour,'' Brady said. ''It was a whole series of shows
before crowds consisting mostly of NATO troops. That first show
in Italy was a homecoming concert for 5,000 soldiers who were
returning from Iraq, and realizing what they went through made
it a very humbling experience for us. Joan Jett and her band
were also all very nice to us. ''Later on we played through Bosnia
and Kosovo. One very special date for us was in Sarajevo, which
is an especially beautiful city. U2 themselves had played the
first concert there after the war ended, in 1997, so it felt
like revisiting history - and the city had many U2 fans.''
recent reward for Elevation was being able to play at the first
Into the Heart festival in their hometown of Toronto. That celebration
was essentially a fanfest for U2 fans, so Elevation got to play
for some serious diehards.
came from all over the world, literally, to attend that festival,''
Brady said. ''We got to play before 500 of the biggest U2 fans
from everywhere, from England to Los Angeles, all in one room.''
Naturally, Elevation will play most if not all of the major U2
hits, but they also are unique in playing an eclectic selection
of rarities. Some previous shows have included album cuts or
forgotten concert numbers like ''The Electric Company,'' ''Lady
with the Spinning Head,'' and ''Ultraviolet (Light My Way).''
we have to do a lot of the hits, like 'Beautiful Day' and 'Sunday
Bloody Sunday,''' Brady noted. ''But we also try to provide a
treat for the dedicated diehards, by playing some rare songs
that people don't get to hear nowadays. Most of these are songs
we enjoy that U2, for one reason or another, doesn't commonly
perform anymore. We balance those with the more familiar hits,
over a three-hour show.''
been getting accolades for his part in that lengthy parade of
U2 tunes, and if it sounds like he works hard at it, don't worry.
This is a guy who runs marathons for fun. Brady finished last
year's Chicago Marathon in a most respectable 2:27.
was my first marathon ever, so I was happy with that time,''
he said. ''I'm hoping to maybe do better at the Toronto Marathon
is fun from a physical perspective, and we need to be in shape
for this show,'' he said. ''I believe the singer and the drummer
have the hardest jobs doing U2, because we do over a three-hour
show. Keeping myself in that kind of shape allows me to perform
at a high level all the way through.''
Brady wears himself out after a concert or a marathon run, he
can prescribe his own remedy. By day, he's a physiotherapist,
who graduated from Queens University in 1999. He's now in graduate
school at the University of Toronto.
of the Elevation musicians have day jobs, and the band is a weekend
sideline most of the time. Their Canadian pals in the Blushing
Brides, the premier Rolling Stones tribute, tipped them off to
the Odyssey as a cool venue.