U2 frontman Bono has been awarded the Liberty Medal in Philadelphia. The award is given annually and recognises leadership in the pursuit of freedom.
After being awarded with the medal, Bono paid tribute to the US, saying: "In the American body politic there's no poetry like the poetry of the Declaration Of Independence and the Constitution.
Actually, I happen to be pretty fond of Casey at the Bat. And there's still bars up in Sitka where a spirited recitation of The Cremation of Sam McGee will set you up with free rounds of Yukon Jack for the night. (Technically, that one's Canadian, but none other than Seamus Heaney has cited it as a childhood favorite.)
Speaking of Canada:
Hail to Van Halen
Van Halen's two-hour-and-10-minute performance kicked off with a triple-shot of great classic rock -- their cover of The Kinks' You Really Got Me, I'm the One, which the band stopped mid-song to rapturous applause -- "It only took us 20 years to get this far," said Roth -- and Runnin' With the Devil.
In between, there were such classics -- all from the Roth-fronted years of 1978-84 -- as Romeo Delight, Beautiful Girls, Dance the Night Away, Everybody Wants Some, their cover of Roy Orbison's Pretty Woman, I'll Wait, And the Cradle Will Rock, Hot For Teacher, Little Guitars, Jamie's Cryin', Panama, and Ain't Talkin' Bout Love.
Truthfully, it was hard to maintain the energy of that trio of opening songs, but the band definitely aimed to please with a hits-heavy set list and backed by impressive green laser lights, an enormous video backdrop and confetti raining down on the audience by the very end.
"I can't tell you all how excited we are to be here tonight," said Roth.
By the way. It's 'brown' M&Ms. The green ones were valued at my high school for their supposed aphrodisiacal qualities, which probably led to my confusion. And, having read to that point in the story, I've learned that the brown M&M clause was a cold and calculated business trick, further encouraging my growing respect from the little old rockers from Pasadena.