1990-01-06 - Rotterdam, Netherlands - Sportpaleis Ahoy


Performance notes: New Year's Day is in the original setlist before Pride but is not played. Last performance of The Unforgettable Fire until 29 June 2009.
Setlist and comment provided by U2gigs.com.

songs per album

  1. Rattle and Hum (8)
  2. The Joshua Tree (5)
  3. The Unforgettable Fire (3)
  4. Boy (1)
  5. War (1)

best song performances

  1. The Unforgettable Fire (7 votes)
  2. Running To Stand Still (7 votes)
  3. She's A Mystery To Me (6 votes)
  4. I Will Follow (3 votes)

We would like to know which shows you attended and which shows you are going to attend. On this page you can see which members attended or are going to attend this show. Maybe you can send some of them a private message to meet up or talk about this show.

show attendees: 34

31 users from Netherlands:
1970eagles, Bono4U, Corgan, Draude, FromU22U, Mikyboo65, Neggie9, PiM1975, U2123, YvonneR, bArtAA, dannygalis, edbale1969, edbale69, eviltwin, gewoontoon, gogme, jeroenpolman, maartenpetra, marco1971, marsie, martinvanderveen, moonacrobat, mveernl, patrick010, pierrecas, richard1964, snortier, stevenu2, tonzerelli, ver2go

3 from Belgium: bspring1, stevie, steviebroeckx

review by MWSAH

13 years ago


Where the Streets Have No Name
- Great opener, although I prefer this song to be played somewhere half-way the setlist. But it's the best opener ever, for me. This performance is great, not even really special but very strong.
Rate: 8/10

I Will Follow
- Awesome performance, played in a small tempo, it seems. Larry is drumming as hell with Edge also on fire. Bono's comment halfway the song about the roof is great. 'Because we might blow it of' They more or less did!
Rate: 9/10

I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For
- Great as always. Very well sung by Bono, especially at the end. No Exodus this time, but even more beautiful.
Rate: 9/10

- Shivers at the start when the crowd sings along with Bono. His voice is very strong and powerful when he sings this song about Martin Luther King. Nice version, one of the purest I heard.
Rate: 8.5/10

The Unforgettable Fire
- What can I say? The last performance of this great, great, great song until this very day is also one of the best. Bono hits the high notes quite well and his chanting halfway the song when Edge gets on fire is just awesome. Just dreaming to hear this song being played live with me in the audience.
Rate: 10/10

God Part II
- Not one of my favourites but a very good song nevertheless. Good performance with an edgy performance of The Edge.
Rate: 8/10

- The transition between God Part II and Desire is lovely. It shows U2's energy on this gig. Great performance once again, but not the best I've heard.
Rate: 8.5/10

All Along the Watchtower
- Not a good start, with Edge and Larry messing up a bit. They recover well though. The snippet 'Like a Hurricane' is perfect.
Rate: 8/10

All I Want Is You
- For me, the best All I Want Is You was played on the 26th of December, 1989. This version though, is a good competitor. Very strong and oh so beautiful. The crowd is going nuts, especially when Edge repeats that lovely guitar work.
Rate: 9/10

Van Diemen's Land
- Nice song, great melody, but not a special one for me. Decent performance.
Rate: 8/10

Bullet the Blue Sky
- Great as always. I adore the Bullet the Blue Sky versions from the Joshua Tour and Lovetown, with the solo at the end. It's just awesome.
Rate: 8.5/10

Running to Stand Still
- I can't really compare Running to Stand Still with the Zoo TV performances, because these were very special in a different way. But I can say this one is the best I've heard from all Joshua and Lovetown gigs. The one played on the 31th of December 1989 also rocks, but this one has that lovely snippet at the end, with the crowd singing 'Still Running'. Shivers.
Rate: 9.5/10

She's A Mystery To Me
- I don't have any special feelings with this song, but the performance, considering they played it for the second time, was very good.
Rate: 8.5/10

Angel of Harlem
- I expected more of this one. It can't reach the level of Angel of Harlem from the 12-26 Point Depot show. It's not bad at all, but it could have been so much better.
Rate: 7.5/10

When Love Comes To Town
- Gorgeous, I'd say. BB King on fire (as always) and awesome crowd singing. Also full of energy.
Rate: 8/10

Love Rescue Me
- Lovely!! This song is so great when played live. The studio version quite sucks compared to this. Not the best I've heard, but very good nevertheless.
Rate: 8.5/10

With or Without You
- Unfortunately not that long and not that brilliant. There were no snippets used, but still it rocks. But I expected more of it, having the 12-26 Point Depot performance in mind.
Rate: 8/10

Pride (In the Name of Love)
- Classic song. More or less a surprise to be played on the last encore. Nice version, full of energy with a good exchange between Bono and the audience.
Rate: 8.5/10

- One of U2's best songs for me. This is the ultimate closer. This version is great, but not the best. It can't top Dortmund 1984, Paris/Madrid 1987 or Point Depot, but it still is awesome. Unfortunately Edge and Larry mess it up again in the beginning. Luckily they recover well.
Rate: 8.5/10


Rated here as 4-star audience, and it deserves it. Although some songs should deserve a 4.5 or even 5 star rating. You can hear Bono very well, but Larry's drumming is sometimes distant.

Recording: "Rotterdam Lovetown" - 4.5 stars


Before I kick-off with the setlist, I want to say that the audience was awesome. You can compare it with the enthusiastic Irish at Point Depot. They sing along with every song, pushing U2 to their best level. Because of this, U2 was in a very great mood this evening. They more or less felt they had an obligation to the fans, I think.


Sometimes I wonder why I was born in December 1988, one year before this lovely concert in Rotterdam. I was probably in my cradle as a 1-year old boy when Edge hit the first tabs of Where the Streets Have No Name in Ahoy Rotterdam on that special 6th of January 1990, 90 kilometres from my hometown.

I often ask myself the question: what would it have been like to be part of the audience during a Lovetown-show. I fell in love with the Point Depot gigs in Ireland, and the Rotterdam-shows from early January were even better, some say. Lovetown:the name itself explains it, like BB King spells during When Love Comes To Town: L-O-V-E. Yes, I love rock, I love U2, but I especially love Lovetown. Don't get me wrong, because I know the Joshua Tour was enormous and awesome. And Zoo TV was one big happening, followed by Popmart, whether you like it or not. Also Elevation gives me special feelings and was my favourite tour for a long time. But Lovetown is top-notch. The mix of songs between the Joshua Tree and Rattle and Hum, performed in small places with BB King's Orchestra makes Lovetown the best tour for me. I didn't take long and U2 didn't even cross the world with it. But the modesty of it does it for me. Like Bono says at a Point Depot show: 'After all these big places, we wanted to play a small place'.

Lovetown also marked the end of a decade in which U2 finally showed itself to the world in full glory. Live Aid in 1985 was a very important turning point, sealed by the release of The Joshua Tree. But U2 felt that every end had a start. U2 was looking for a new direction and needed time.

The energy and commitment of U2 was awesome back then. Bono was at his prime. His voice was a mix between the Joshua Tour and the upcoming Zoo TV. And U2 really enjoyed what they were doing. Lovetown was not a show, it was no entertainment like Zoo TV or Popmart. It wasn't a show with political context, like Vertigo. It was based on music, pure music, pure rock and roll. And you can feel the excitement and joy of U2 trough these shows. I guess they enjoyed every bit, like the audience.

U2's first European success was actually founded in Holland, where the single I Will Follow became a giant hit. Bono mentions this during this Rotterdam show when they start Love Rescue Me, when he says: 'And this is also a good place to end, because we more or less started here ten years ago. You've been very good for us, thank you!'. The crowd was ecstatic.

This show is awesome. It has reached a nice spot in my top ten favourites, I think. It's equal to the Point Depot shows, with U2 really on fire. I missed New Year's Day and Bad, but I know U2 played 4 shows at Rotterdam. The Bad from the 10th of January is one of the best there is.
This show is quite memorable as The Unforgettable Fire was played for the last time. I listened to this show trough my Sennheiser CX300 and my eyes shut. I transferred myself to Ahoy, Rotterdam, 18 years ago, being in the audience. I felt the energy, I experienced U2 in their best days

all reviews

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"Still Running"

  • Origins: Audience microphone
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  • Equipment: Sennheiser MKE 2002 (Microphone), Sony WM-D6 (Audio recording device)
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"Rotterdam Lovetown"

  • Origins: CD Silver
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Audio / MP3

Bit rate: 192, bit depth: 16, sample rate: 44100, channels: 2
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  1. Love comes to town - Ahoy - January 6th, 1990