1989-12-01 - Osaka, Japan - Osaka Castle Hall


Comments: This concert is often said to have somewhat of a "backwards setlist", due to the presence of songs normally played late in the set appearing in its early stages, such as Pride and New Year's Day, while the main set staple trio of Desire, All Along The Watchtower, and All I Want Is You is in the encore. Also noteworthy is the first performance of Slow Dancing in concert - nearly four years before its first official studio release! Bono had previously sung some of the song on Australian radio in October 1989.
Setlist and comment provided by U2gigs.com.

songs per album

  1. Rattle and Hum (7)
  2. The Joshua Tree (5)
  3. The Unforgettable Fire (3)
  4. War (2)
  5. October (1)

best song performances

  1. All I Want Is You (4 votes)
  2. Desire (3 votes)

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review by aussiemofo

10 years ago


This is one of those performances from the lads you've got to keep in your collection for its several wonderful qualities. Whether it be Bono completely going off his nut at a bloke in the audience, the bizarro setlist, a debut peformance of a hidden classic, or simply the band's energy-charged performance which was reaching the peak of their Lovetown magic.

This bootleg captures the essence of what Lovetown was all about. U2 went on stage as though they had just finished agreeing on the setlist two minutes prior, you didn't know what they were going to start or finish with, they played their music with a kind of reckless abandon like they didn't care whether there was two people in the audience or 20,000, and they were on the road just to have some fun...a LOT of fun.

This show was the last gig of the first leg and the band had grown more and more comfortable in Lovetown mode. The setlist is one of the most unusual of their entire career perhaps. Never had Pride been that high in the set - it virtually opened the show and New Year's Day was also traditionally reserved for the bottom half at that time. At the other end, Desire, Watchtower and All I Want Is You formed a surprise encore. But that was the beauty of Lovetown. It had the air of spontaneity and improvisation all the time, you never knew for sure what was coming next. To truly appreciate the extent of it, imagine Crazy Tonight opening 360 followed by say Unknown Caller and then picture Breathe, No Line and Magnificent as the encore!

The boys put on a hell of a show. The staple Lovetown diet of Streets, Bad, Desire, Running, Love Comes To Town, Watchtower, and Bullet are played really well, but the part-timers in Gloria and One Tree Hill steal the show for me, especially that segue into Streets - brilliant.

The very first performance of Slow Dancing is also worthy of a mention - a whole four years before the band decided to record it properly in a studio!

I think the incomplete BB King set just let it down slightly.

A solid 4-star performance (I'm a harsh judge)


A very good recording. Bono and Edge shine through but perhaps Larry and Adam could be more prominent. 4 stars.


Some spirited participation from the Osaka crowd - a little too spirited at times it would seem. (See below) 4 stars


* The upside down setlist

* Bono playing audience cop as he was prone to do during this era. I don't know what was funnier, Bono getting angry or the mental picture of a Japanese crowd moshing to I Still Haven't Found...
It gets better in the middle of People Get Ready "Listen guy, one more piece of shit out of you and you're outta here. I don't care if you paid the front row. I'm tellin' ya. Leave him for one more and he's fuckin' outta here."

* One Tree Hill---->Streets. If that's not how Streets was meant to start I don't know what is!

* All I Want Is You and 40 close out the show nicely.


* One of the only occasions when Angel was not played leaving BB King's band a bit short. I guess something had to give with the inclusion of Slow Dancing. The BB King set would go on to become entrenched as the encore during the second leg.

* The setlist could have used With or Without You before 40.

* Three covers is probably one too many, but I suppose they added to the fun and I'm being picky now.

Overall, a show definitely worth getting and keeping. The Point Depot gigs and, to a lesser extent Rotterdams, are the yardstick for Lovetown boots and performances but this Osaka show isn't far behind. I got it a while ago and still enjoy listening to it every now and then.

4 stars overall.

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Welcome to our audio page, on this page you can download lossy (MP3) and sometimes even the lossless (mostly FLAC) audio recordings (also known as bootlegs) of this show. The available recordings are sorted on the type of recording and the quality of the recording.

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"Freedom Of The Spirits"

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Audience microphone

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Bit depth: 16, sample rate: 44100, channels: 2
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"Red Sun At Midnight"

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