Bono has become a divisive figure for some in the past decade, thanks to that iPhone fiasco, but U2’s legion of fans will show up anywhere they can they can hear the band’s music being played faithfully.
It helps that Michael Cavallaro (above) has the extroverted Irishman’s swagger and timbre down pat. Cavallaro has led The U2 Show Achtung Baby on stage around Australia and parts of Asia for hundreds of gigs spanning more than a decade.
Growing up in West Melbourne, he saw New Year’s Day on rage in the mid 80’s and was mesmerised by the band’s sound, all before the quartet became a household name.
“There was something that stood out to me and made me pay attention to New Year’s Day. Then I had to find out more about the band that wrote the song” the 43-year-old says.
“The Edge” guitarist Peter Kalamaras is the group’s founder. Cavallaro got lucky when “Adam Clayton”, his bass-playing mate David Attard, suggested him as Bono. After messing about with a few drummers, they found their “Larry Mullen Jr.” in percussionist Craig Jupp.
Like many tribute acts, they hit the seas. “We’ve been fortunate enough to play around the world on cruise ships and corporate events,” Cavallaro says. But he says it’s the super fans who have kept the act afloat all these years. “Without them we’d probably still be playing U2 songs in our bedrooms.”
The U2 Show Achtung Baby has played in Singapore to 6000 people “all drunk on beer and their love of U2.” Locally, their biggest gig was to 10,000 people.
While Cavallaro specialises in Bono’s Mr. MacPhisto character from the ZooTV tour, the group has 2 modes – greatest hits or a hits and rarities show. (they forgot to mention our Joshua Tree, Achtung Baby and Rattle And Hum album Shows….)
“Where The Streets Have No Name, With Or Without You, One and Beautiful Day always get the people going.”
LUCKY 13 GARAGE, MOORABBIN.