U-2 Cover Band at Polish Fest Shows they are Close to "The Real Thing"

Jun 22, 2013

For a few hours on Friday night in Downtown Syracuse, the surrounding streets had no name, at least metaphorically speaking.  Perhaps the U-2 Cover Band "Desire" had a street car named the same?  Instead of a stomp your feet Polka beat, it was Rock N' Roll for the beginning of Polish Fest 2013.


Credit John Smith / WAER News

The crowd was into it.  "Bono" wore a cowboy hat and "The Edge" wore his traditional knit cap.  Not the real musicians, of course.  The Band quickly brought the crowd of about 200 people back to the 80's through today with hits like "Pride (In The Name Of Love)", and the Joshua Tree's "Where The Streets Have No Name" and "With Or Without You."    


Before they played the mellow "One Love," Bono, played by Tim Shaughnessy, reached for his acoustic guitar to a warm crowd response.  The guitar seemed to only add to his credibility along with his remarkable singing impersonation of the real Bono's voice.  So it was very apropos, the next song on the set list was "Even Better Than The Real Thing."  He even told the audience, "We even have some friends that play for the Syracuse Crunch."  OK, so maybe they aren't exactly the "Real Thing," but they sure kept the crowd guessing.

Bono impersonator Tim Shaughnessy
Credit John Smith / WAER News

The band formed in 2008 from different parts of Ontario, Canada including Hamilton and Toronto.  Shaughnessy says with half of the band married at that time, it wasn't an easy task.  The four musicians grew up since the ages of 9 or 10.  From 1985 to 1989 they formed a band in High School, but gradually drifted apart. Shaughnessy, eventually reconnected through Facebook, "I had no intention in taking a gig.  For the first hour and a half, we didn't even play.  It was a reunion." 


"The Edge" played by Guitarist David Dellavalle says putting on the black knit hat is the easy part.  It's been a long journey he says that's taken time to find "old gear and new gear."  He worked on created just the right amount of audio delay to get what he calls "sound scope."  "If I didn't have all those pedals for "The Streets Have No Name," it would sound like crap."  He eventually located and purchased a Korg A3 effects unit to perform "Mysterious Ways."  He describes the ongoing pursuit of programming for each U-2 song as requiring "a different sound patch to have (produce) that unique sound."  The other two musicians in the band are Bassist Justin Faragher as "Adam Clayton" and Drummer Gord Sobota as "Larry Mullen, Jr."


Polish music returns for the rest of the 58th Annual Polish Fest and runs through Sunday.  Hours are Noon to 10 Saturday and Noon to 5 Sunday.  You can visit PolishScholarship.com for a schedule of events.

Crowds at Polish Fest 2013 in Clinton Square
Credit John Smith / WAER News