Performance notes: Who's Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses returns to the setlist after being absent for the 2.5 months since 12 August 1992. It is played in an acoustic style rather than its former electric style. Setlist and comment provided by U2gigs.com.
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This was my first U2 show…I have untorn tickets for the $5 Joshua Tree/Rattle & Hum shows, but due to some inclement weather in northern Arizona (a bunch of snow) and parents who cared for their 15 year old, I did not get to go. So Zoo TV happened. We were sitting in a dorm room at the University of Arizona, a few guys and girls having just watched a movie…it was about 3 am and the radio mentioned that U2 tickets went on sale for a show at rival Sun Devil Stadium in just a couple of hours at Dillards. So we quickly conferred and 4 of us wanted to go. We jumped in a car and headed for the underground parking lot at the Tucson Mall Dillards. We were given lottery tickets, I believe, and wound up with pretty good seats…section 7, row 4, seat 20. Public Enemy was scheduled, but due to our never-ending-in-that-era screwing with MLK day, they (rightfully, IMO) did not play their set, other than to play the incendiary “By the Time I Get To Arizona” and explain to the crowd that, while they understood a U2 crowd was not the enemy, they could not, in good conscience, play a state that could not recognize a MLK day (we have one now). Then the Sugarcubes. If that is your thing, great. It isn’t mine and I think they played an extended set to cover somewhat for PE. Then the Bush “We Will Rock You” and an explosion of sound that is Zoo Station.
I have a very good memory, and was 100% conscious and sober for this show, but I am not going to pretend that I remember details 25 years later. What I remember is the show was amazing, everything was on point, and it was everything Rattle & Hum promised, but instead of sepia tones and earnestness, it was bold, loud, in your face…and yet still just U2. Which, for me, is church, as I have learned over some 10 shows since this day. I have (to butcher Bono) long since forgotten the details of my “friends”…one was a close friend, one the sister of my closest friend, and the third a girl I was trying to hook up with over our 4 day U2 trip low key who wound up being a lucky miss (the next time I saw her, she had shaved her head bald and was having some “issues”). But the show was perfect, the crowd responsive, and we all forgot for a day that we were the boil on the ass of America in regard to proper recognition of MLK, and basked in the glory that was seeing U2 at their best in a city that had become directly associated with the band in America.
This part is only rated, not commented on Recording: Audience microphone - 4 stars
The crowd felt the energy of this amazing show and responded accordingly. At that point in time, Arizona, and Tempe, felt like a vital part of the U2 story.
I told the whole story above...it doesn't fit perfectly into these fields, but the show was both meaningful on a personal level, which I convey, and technically very sound with a couple of small glitches that I have (here we go) long since forgotten..
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"It's this guy beating up his girlfriend about her searching for answers and just telling her to look around. It's like science fiction gospel. Edge is calling it country hip-hop."
- Bono on If God Will Send His Angels (Q Magazine, March 1997)
did you know
Much of the song 'Drowning Man' is written from the point of view of David railing at God, but occasionally, it switches, and God replies. yet, the song is addressed to Adam Clayton.