Image Credit: Mark Allan/WireImage.comSeminal Irish rock band U2 — you may have heard of them — were fined by the city of Barcelona, Spain, this week for playing “too long and too loudly” during rehearsals for their 360º Tour last year, according to the AP. The band, which set up camp in a local soccer stadium, apparently went two hours over their scheduled rehearsal time, and offended the ears of the Spaniards living nearby — Spaniards being, of course, a notoriously quiet, restful, and curfew-abiding people — by going above the permitted sound level. For this, they have paid a fine of $22,000, and, I’m sure, have promised never, ever to let the noise generated by their giant space station that is 16 stories tall and takes 120 trucks to transport disrupt the residents of that peaceful hamlet again.

Fun fact I recall from watching the awesome U2 3D a couple years back: When the band staged a mock concert in Buenos Aires to get closeups for that concert film, there were people camping outside the stadium gates who actually wanted to hear the sound coming over the walls. Guess we know where Bono and the boys will be rehearsing in the future.

Even better nugget from the AP story, which I’ll quote directly because I can’t do it justice: Barcelona is apparently “now studying fining Colombian singer Shakira for recording a video in the city without a permit, dancing in a fountain and riding a motorbike without a helmet.”

What do you think, Mixers? Is this ridiculous, or justice being served? Between this and Erykah Badu’s fine/probation for public video nudity, the city officials vs. rock stars war seems to be heating up — whose side are you on? And if Shakira can’t dance in a fountain, who can?

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