- Berlin Wall - Germany - music
Free U2 concert warms up Berlin ahead of historic anniversary
U2 gave a free concert - as part of the MTV Music Europe Awards - to 10,000 fans in front of the Brandenburg Gate to commemorate the twentieth anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.
AFP - Irish rockers U2 Thursday warmed the German capital up for celebrations next week marking the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall with a spectacular mini-concert in the heart of the city.
The band played six songs at the historic Brandenburg Gate, a landmark blocked off to West Berliners prior to a peaceful revolution that tore down the Berlin Wall dividing the city on November 9, 1989.
The performance formed part of the MTV Music Europe Awards, held in an arena in an eastern district of the capital, with the concert featuring songs "One" and "Sunday Bloody Sunday" beamed live into the ceremony.
The 10,000 tickets for the free concert by U2, who came to Berlin in 1990 to reinvent themselves and make the album "Achtung Baby", were snapped up in three hours.
With the Brandenburg Gate lit up with the words "Freedom" and "One", U2 also performed "Magnificent" and the Bob Marley classic "Get Up, Stand Up" with special lyrics to match the occasion.
Other performers at the MTV awards -- though not at the Brandenburg Gate -- included Beyonce, Foo Fighters, Green Day, Jay-Z, Leona Lewis, Shakira and German band Tokio Hotel.
The main presenter was Katy Perry, whose scantily clad opening performance for what she said would be a "sexy, sexy show" paid homage to "Cabaret", the 1972 movie set in 1930s Berlin staring Liza Minnelli.
U2 also won the MTV award for Best Live Act, while Lady Gaga won Best New Act and Tokio Hotel, whose twin brother stars were born East Germany two months before the Wall fell, took Best Group.
US rapper Eminem won Best Male, punk rockers Green Day took Best Rock act and Turkish rappers maNga claimed Best European Act.
Jay-Z, who also rapped with U2 for "Sunday Bloody Sunday", won Best Urban performer while his wife Beyonce was awarded Best Song for "Halo", Best Female act and Best Video.
It was the second time that the MTV awards were held in Berlin -- part of efforts by the music industry to jump on the back of the Wall anniversary to boost flagging sales.
Co-presenters helping hand out awards included "Knight Rider" and "Baywatch" star David "The Hoff" Hasselhoff, who performed in front of half a million people at the Brandenburg Gate on December 31, 1989.
The demise of the Berlin Wall dividing the city, itself an island in communist East Germany, brought about the unification of East and West Germany in 1990.
Around 100,000 revellers are expected at the official Berlin Wall celebrations on Monday, with Chancellor Angela Merkel, who grew up in East Germany, due to host a gathering of world leaders past and present.