BULLET THE BLUE SKY
As the premier U2 tribute in the American southeast, Bullet The Blue Sky is committed to celebrating the music of U2 and recreating that special U2 concert atmosphere that captivates fans the world over.
Formed by veteran Charlotte musicians in 2018, BTBS draws upon decades of experience to deliver fun and energetic shows that move the audience in much the same way as the Irish quartet themselves have done for so many years. Bullet The Blue Sky is as real as it gets.
Originally from Maryland, John Richardson has been playing bass and singing in various rock and country cover bands throughout the mid-Atlantic for over 30 years. He never thought of being in a tribute band, but when he saw the ad online asking "Are you our Bono?", he was compelled to audition. After being asked to join the band, John took some time to reflect on just what had awakened this desire to become a frontman, and he was surprised to realize just how much he loves U2. Though he never considered himself a huge fan (a true "fanatic"), John has always had a deep appreciation and respect for U2 that has grown over the years in a very organic way.
It seems to him that there have always been U2 songs on the radio; sonic landmarks along the road of his life. Though a frequent concert-goer in his younger days, John saw the band only once, in 2010 on the 360 tour in Washington, DC. To him, it wasn't just a rock concert, but an unforgettable event with the atmosphere in the stadium being unlike anything he had experienced at any show previously (or since).
John sees his role in Bullet The Blue Sky as a privilege, and he is committed to delivering the music of U2 in a way that honors the band and recreates that unique and wonderful concert atmosphere for audiences of all ages to enjoy.
Arthur Morgan moved to Charlotte in 2001 and has stuck around ever since. He played several instruments in school bands while growing up and made the switch to bass at age 23. Since then, he's held down the low end for original bands, cover groups, and open mic ensembles.
Now, Arthur provides the foundation for Bullet The Blue Sky, a tribute to the legendary U2. Although he hasn't seen the band live, he appreciates Adam Clayton's straightforward approach. The thing that Arthur likes most about U2 is their high energy, something which he brings to each and every BTBS show.
Arthur's favorite band is Coheed and Cambria, but his playing style is mostly influenced by Rage Against The Machine, Glassjaw, Mutemath, and Lydia. In addition to musical pursuits, Arthur also enjoys video games, food, and travel.
Jim Clarey is a drummer and back up vocalist from upstate New York, where he honed his skills playing in a variety of rock bands. It all began in the early 80s, when Jim's father (also a drummer) took him to see Rush for the first time. After watching Neil Peart for 2 hours, Jim knew he wanted to perform for people.
Timing and playing with dynamics is Jim's pride, which is why Larry Mullen, Jr. has always been one of his favorite drummers. Solid as a rock and with a real knack for delivering the essence of the song, Jim's work behind the drum kit with Bullet The Blue Sky would make Larry proud.
Jim's favorite U2 memory is from the 1986 Amnesty International concert in Atlanta, during which Bono climbs a speaker tower some 20 feet tall while wearing a blindfold. (This is something John will not be doing at any BTBS show!)
In addition to U2 and Rush, Jim cites his biggest influences as Genesis, Yes, Tool, Buddy Rich, Dave Weckl, and Dennis Chambers.
Born in southern Alabama on a small turtle farm, Al Yasneski grew up playing the bassoon (mostly for his turtles). After 12 years of bassoon he switched to the harpsichord where he found his love of the stringed instruments. Playing harpsichord left him with a thirst only the guitar could quench. After playing for several Mozart tribute bands he decided to join a U2 tribute band and the rest is the future.
Our heartfelt thanks to Nicolas Riveros for starting this band from scratch back in late 2017. Nic was the catalyst for Bullet The Blue Sky, as well as our original Edge. He pulled us all together, creating something bigger and better than any of us thought it would be. As it always does, life changes, and Nic has decided to move to a fill-in guitarist role with the band. And we're grateful he is still around for us to call upon when needed!