“I wanna be in that band!” U2‘s Bono shouts with delight as he stares at the screen. The singer, gripping a beer and dancing to the music, is crammed with the rest of the group – guitarist The Edge, bassist Adam Clayton and drummer Larry Mullen Jr. – into a tiny control room at NBC’s Rockefeller Center studios in New York. U2 are reviewing the mix and footage of their performance less than an hour ago on top of the building – 71 floors up, in below-freezing cold under a gorgeous winter-sunset sky – for Jimmy Fallon‘s February 17th debut as host of The Tonight Show.
“Guys, this is history!” Fallon raves to the small, lucky crowd before introducing the band, referring both to his big night and U2′s appearance. The electronica-driven blast of “Invisible” – from U2′s forthcoming album, recorded over the past two years with producer Brian Burton a.k.a Danger Mouse – is the band’s first, public performance of new material since the end of their in-the-round stadium tour in 2011. After a first take that Bono deems not quite perfect, U2 play “Invisible” again, flanked by members of the Rutgers University marching band. This is the keeper: Bono bounds on to the sliver of a stage like an eager boxer, punching the air as he sings, and The Edge’s chiming-guitar solo rings clear and hard through the frigid air.
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