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U2, Green Day are coming to the Superdome

(USA Today) -- To trumpet a milestone in New Orleans' recovery and beat the drum for more assistance, U2 and Green Day will stage an NFL pre-game performance Sept. 25 at the official reopening of the Superdome.

The show will precede the game between the New Orleans Saints and the Atlanta Falcons, the first event in the Superdome since Katrina turned the battered stadium into a leaky refuge for flood victims.

U2 and Green Day will play three or four songs, including the newly recorded The Saints Are Coming, a 1978 punk tune by Scottish band The Skids. The appearance will utilize New Orleans musicians, including Troy "Trombone Shorty" Andrews and brass bands.

U2 guitarist The Edge spearheaded the event and record on behalf of the Music Rising (www.musicrising.org) campaign he co-founded in 2005 to replace musical instruments lost in the Gulf hurricanes.

The snarling Saints seemed apt for the occasion (sample line: "A drowning sorrow floods the deepest grief"), and Skids singer Richard Jobson, visiting the studio Wednesday, gave his blessing for the bands to pen additional lyrics.

"We had been talking to Green Day about finding a project at some point that would suit both bands," Edge said from London. "This was the perfect song and the perfect gig. The tune is the intersection of U2's musical roots and the sweet spot where Green Day are musically. Billie Joe (Armstrong) and Bono sounded great singing it. Even as a rough mix, it sounds amazing."

Edge hopes the event will remind viewers of the city's vibrant musical culture and unmet recovery needs.

"The Superdome itself symbolizes a rebirth," he says. "It was a destroyed building and the scene of horrendous suffering. To see it redeemed is a wonderful sign."

The event launches Music Rising Phase II, which aims to supply instruments to schools, churches and organizations, especially in poor neighborhoods. The first phase placed instruments in the hands of about 2,100 musicians.

"The entire city is one giant music academy," Edge says. "It's crucial that people have the opportunity to come back, and we see music as a catalyst for that. Schools and churches are a great way to start.

"We're skirting politics," he says. "Everyone in New Orleans can agree that the music is unique and positive. It's a rallying point across all racial and political divides."

Live coverage begins at 8:20 p.m. ET on ESPN with a simultaneous Westwood One broadcast offered non-exclusively to stations worldwide. Rhapsody will stream the audio, and a special track and video download will be sold for a limited time after the event at rhapsody.com/musicrising.

By Edna Gundersen, USA TODAY

Posted on by Macphisto

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