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Fearing I may end up a fair way from the stage, I made my way to the stadium just before the gates opened. The entry system and wrist band process was swift and faultless. I managed to get very close to larry at the tree stage and waited lime a kid on Christmas Eve. Noel Gallagher to be fair worked hard and eventually won over the crowd with a couple of Oasis classics. Larry strolled onstage at 8.15 and the stadium erupted as the others followed one by one. From the first drum intro to Sunday until the final notes of One, we were taken on an incredible journey through a forty year back catalogue of huge anthems. By the end I was both physically and mentally drained, but I can't wait until Melbourne tomorrow night to ride the ultimate roller coaster again.
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Love this band, these shows, and my experience.
We had seats for night 1. After relaxing and enjoying dinner and listening to The Joshua Tree tribute band at Hurricane’s across the street, we walked into the arena and to our seats around 7pm. Once we realized that security wasn’t really paying attention and people without wristbands were just walking onto the floor, we did the same thing and ended up center of the screen on Adam’s side, second row off the rail.
Thinking I could do the same thing again the second night, I bought a cheap balcony seat the morning of the second show. But security was a lot tighter – there were only a few entrance open for floor access, and there was one guard at the top of each entrance and two at the bottom, and they were each checking the wristbands pretty diligently. So I enjoyed night 2 from the very top row of the arena, which was a totally different but still awesome experience. I sat next to and chatted with a wicked nice family from Texas; the husband told me he had seen them on every tour since Joshua Tree all over the country, and now he and his wife were bringing their daughters to see them. This was their first show in Boston. Even though we were in the seats, our entire section still got into it and stood up for a lot of the concert. A super fun, casual, but enthusiastic vibe all around, and it seemed that way for most of the entire arena, both nights.
The opening is perfect. LIAWHL with just Bono underneath the screen is great. Blackout is killer. The images, the reveal of the band under the screen, the song itself – unbelievable opener. I wish they played the strings part and Edge’s guitar up way more during Lights of Home, but that was still amazing.
From my vantage point both nights, I Will Follow got the biggest crowd reaction of the night. Insane feeling to scream and jump along with an entire arena and to see the band love playing it so much. I think Gloria got a bigger reaction than ABOY, but both are great high energy songs. I get now why Beautiful Day follows there – to keep up that energy. It’s needed, because The Ocean then kills every last ounce of it. It stopped everyone dead. I understand that it’s the start of the innocence narrative, but wow is it a buzzkill. Even going straight into Iris would be better.
Seeing this version Sunday Bloody Sunday up close was more intense than I thought it would be – the entire band still get really into it, even though it’s not the regular version. Edge and Adam had their eyes closed for a lot of the song.
Until the End of the World is still my favorite song live. It can stay in whatever incarnation it’s in for every show from here on out and I would never get sick of it. I didn’t miss Streets, but I would’ve missed UTEOTW.
The HMTMKMKM comic on the screen is fucking awesome. Even better would be the band actually playing the song live while they show it…
Acrobat. Acrobat. ACROBAT. I thought I died last year when I heard Exit live. Nope. That was last night. I’m so glad they’ve never played this live before. It’s a fucking monster. My favorite live performance of the show.
I love SATS but I think in every way – thematically, musically (acoustic) – it could be replaced with Please. Or even rotated with SATS.
When I had seats the second night, I had full view of the screen, and I got the clearest sense of the narrative of the show from here, way more than in being in GA and more than listening on the mixlrs. The images of the current KKK and pure filth going on in America right now was stark, and I expected those to be the most impactful on me. But nothing made me scream louder during both shows than those images immediately giving way to Pride and images of MLK and protestors. There’s no other song that could come after those images (angry songs like Bullet or whatever) – the feeling of being lifted up by love after seeing that was unreal. By far, my favorite part of the show is Pride – GOOYOW – American Soul – COBL.
One is a crowd pleaser, but I really wish it was rotated with something else. I was way more excited to sing along to Love is Bigger, which is fresher. 13 is as gorgeous live as it is on the album, but it ended so abruptly that it ends the concert on a weird, very mellow note. I get that it’s the end of the narrative – but still…
Since this was definitely a Bono album, it’s definitely a Bono show. I understand it’s the story, the journey, the narrative, etc. – but it seemed that this was more tipped towards Bono’s storytelling rather than four men playing together on a stage, and I was left missing more of that balance between the four of them. I think the narrative can still come through even without a lot of the inter-song stuff, like Bono’s “phone call home” as he’s taking off Macphisto’s makeup, and The Ocean, which the way it’s played is not even a song. Even just one more rotational song spot would make a difference.
Still, yet another awesome live U2 experience I will never forget.
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American landscape in Belgium
That show has been special to me. I went to USA for the first time in May-June 2017. I went in Arizona and California and saw the kind of landscape the band saw and used for their album "The Joshua Tree" but also for the visual of this tour. So seeing them two months after my USA trip was special to me. I went to my fifth U2 gig with my father. We had GA tickets and well Belgium is not known as a good organized country. Doors were supposed to be opened at 4pm. To enter in GA in King Baudouin stadium there are two doors. With a bit of logic and organisation you open those two doors on same time but they didn't and one of them has been opened before the other one. I was not on the lucky door but it didn't matter. We had a good spot. If you look at the drums on main stage we were in front of it and if you look on B-stage it was on our left at maybe five meters. So we had a great view on B-stage and we were not too close of the huge screen of the main stage, we actually had a good view on the screen, not too far and not too close. I mean in my opinion being in first row of the main stage for this show wouldn't be great because stage and screen are too large and you wouldn't enjoy the show the best. Of course if I would be in first row of the B-stage it would be the best but my spot was great like I said. So after a few hours of waiting we had the opening act and what an opening act. It's like having two gigs for price of one and half. We enjoyed Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds concert. "Champagne Supernova", "Wonderwall", "Don't Look Back In Anger" it was a nice moments. I mean the atmosphere was the one you can have on a hot summer day. Lot of sun, hot weather, nice sunlight on stage, people were in good mood and in peace with lot of smiles listening good music from Noel and his band it was really cool. Crowd sung some songs like the ones I mentioned before and Gallagher joked with the crowd wich was pleasant. Also a word about the stage. Well like usual U2 didn't make it small and minimalist. A large main stage (59 meters), behind it a large screen (61 meters long and 14 meters high) with a high resolution (7200 x 1560 pixels). On the screen we could see the shape of the Joshua Tree. That shape made the 14 meters of the screen high but also 9,1 meters higher than the screen, so 23,1 meters high. Then there is a catwalk and a B-stage wich looks like the Joshua Tree. The tree trunk stage is 37 meters long and on the end of the trunk around it there is a 17 meters wide B-stage in form of the Joshua Tree. So a cool stage.
During all the waiting, before the opening act and after it, poems in English has been showed on screen. Then "The Whole of the Moon" from The Waterboys could be heard from the speakers and people gets excited because everyone knew it's mean showtime.
We saw Larry Mullen Jr walking on catwalk to the B-stage and then launched the concert with "Sunday Bloody Sunday", The Edge appeared second, followed by Bono and then Adam Clayton. All the band is on B-stage so pretty close of my dad and I. Of course a classic song like "Sunday Bloody Sunday" made the crowd happy and some of them jumping and it's an energic start. Nobody in sit in seats place. Band then played a new version of "New Year's Day". They actually played and sung the last verse they usually skipped. The song was so longer than usual and in a kind of new version. People were happy so my father and I were too. Crowd made clapping during the song. Band was energic and our view were good. They were playing and moving all around the B-stage so everyone could see each of them closer to them from time to time.
Then came THE moment. After four gigs without my favorite song (even if that song was on the printed setlist of my first U2 concert they didn't play it on that night) they finally played it. I heard "Bad" in concert for the first time. To be honest if I could had "A Sort Of Homecoming" and "Bad" like they did in Seattle on 14th May 2017 it would be perfect. But back to "Bad". As soon as first keyboard introduction notes started, the crowd really appreciated it. I could hear "Aaah" all around me. I remember that when first notes has been played I turned back to see my father face and said "Yes" happily. It's my favorite song and I do really love that one. I can't explain. It's just a beautiful song with a nice sounds and atmosphere like U2 can created and it start quiet to became wild and wild and it put lot of energy and emotions on same time. And if you look the video of this concert you will see that the crowd is wild during "Sunday Bloody Sunday" and "New Year's Day" but on "Bad" the crowd is just listening and seems quiet but it's not the boring quiet, it's the kind of quiet when a crowd is into the song and enjoyed it and the kind of quiet when a crowd is astonished by a performance. I'm a guitarist myself and during my first small concert I did at my college with friends we lived something similar but way less good than U2 of course. It was an exhibition and we were there to play music while people were looking at pictures. And we had three songs to play, it was our first gig and we only made a few quick rehearsals. I didn't talk on microphone because I was so stressed. So we just started to play a first song and to be honest nobody were really looking at us and I think nobody realised we started to play and everyone was talking. Then we started to play the second song and during it I made a guitar solo and suddenly in 20 seconds step by step the crowd became silent and quiet and they looked us until the end of our small gig in a deep quiet and it's that feeling in much bigger and deeper I recognize in the crowd during "Bad".
Even if it's my favorite song I didn't recorded with my phone, I wanted to be into it and to enjoy it from start to end and I did. Lot of people didn't used their phone during it. There were lot of phone for first two songs but not here wich was better. I can play it at guitar so I know how wonderful is it to play it but listen it is great too. And the "Heroes" snippet is a good one as well and everybody recognized it and sung it. Anyway good song that make everyone in the audience alright and agreed on it. There were clapping and singing. I think I kept my eyes on the band singing all the time and making the clapping when it need to do it. Well Bono messed a bit in the lyrics but it didn't matter. Also everyone in seats place were still standing. Intense performance.
"Pride (In the Name of Love)" followed and well I would prefer "A Sort Of Homecoming" or another song but only because I already heard it at almost each of my fifth U2 gig and so yes even if I like the song and think it's a good one I would like some change but it's only to me. Crowd appreciated it and made the "Oh, oh" wich lead us to "The Joshua Tree" part of the set.
At the end of "Pride (In the Name of Love)" the screen wich always been off before turned on to show some messages before turning all red with the shape of The Joshua Tree in black while the orgue introduction of "Where The Streets Have No Name" was starting. Larry Mullen Jr walked at the end of the B-stage to give his drums stick and then rejoin other members all standing in silence on B-stage. Then the band walked on main stage, stand at the foot of the tree for a few seconds and then The Edge launched the song. Like usual during this one crowd became wild and when the screen show an West american road trought the desert we could see the crowd like us appreciate the quality of the video. Visuals were really good and of course reminded me my recent USA trip wich was awesome. Something I really appreciate in that live version is the fact the introduction lasted quiet long like in the album version, it's something which give me the magic feeling of the song as well as seeing thousand of people jumping and singing it. Energic and great moments.
"I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For" followed and visuals were once again really cool. Bono drunk a Belgian beer at the start of the song. Crowd sung the first two verses and the chorus and in this live version drums and bass started at the beginning of the song wich was nice. There has been some clapping from the crowd too. Everyone really enjoyed the song as well as me and my father. It's the first one I ever learnt to play at guitar after all so it's a bit particular for me. Song end on people singing the chorus.
"With or Without You" followed and as soon as it started the crowd make a huge noise of satisfaction. A live version closer of the album version as ever. Nice visuals from the Death Valley and crowd singing the song and also making the "Oh, oh". Some lightfire in the audience and some clapping. Band walked on main stage on this one. Good moments.
"Bullet the Blue Sky" came then. Darker song, visuals still showing USA, and what a great live version. Close of the 1987 version with The Edge also using a "Wah Wah" effect and a bottleneck. Great guitar parts, nice crowd wich sung and was energic. Solid drumming too, in two word, amazing song.
"Running To Stand Still". Quiet song played on keyboard. This song is a great one too and is maybe underated. There is emotion in it and it was cool to heard it. Bono ended it with some harmonica parts. People sung it a bit and used lightfire again. Nice moments.
"Red Hill Mining Town" followed. First time for me I heard that song live and well I was expecting better. I was expecting the guitar parts like in the album version and well I was dissapointed by the keyboard but also the small orchestra playing it. So glad to saw it live but I was expecting better.
"Welcome to the side two of the Joshua Tree itself" said Bono to launch "In God's Country". I love that song and since the snippet Bono made of it in "Beautiful Day" in Rose Bowl in 2009 I wanted to heard it live and tonight this became true. I loved the guitar, bass and drumming parts, the energy in it and visuals were nice especially at the start with the Joshua Tree, the mountains and the sun. I also appreciated the Irish flag on the landscape and the end.
"Trip Through Your Wires" was the next one. I like that song. For me there is the typical American sound U2 was looking for. A bit of country and south music in it. I also liked the visuals again, with the woman painting the USA flag on her house. Guitar parts were good as always. For a first time hearing this song I was happy of it.
"One Tree Hill" followed. And really I was so happy to heard it. It's one of my favorite song of that album. I like the sound in it, the guitar parts and when The Edge lets himself go to a good guitar solo. And I always thought I will never hear that song live unless I go to Australia but I finally saw it live and I really appreciated that performance even if the guitar solo was not the best I heard for this song. Also visuals were once again really beautiful.
"Exit" was the next one. It began with a short video clip showing western and cow-boy. One of them looked a bit like Fred Trump, the father of Donald Trump, but was not him. However his name in the clip was Trump and he made the promise to protect the village by building a wall around it. One of the villager said he is a liar. I learned after the show that this short clip came from a 50's TV series called Trackdown. Then the song started and two hands apparead on screen with messages on them. One had "Love" the other had "Hate" on them. During the song Bono came on B-stage for the first time since the start of The Joshua Tree set so we could see it closer wich was great. That live performance was a great one. Lot of tension, intensities, energy in it. Musicaly song was awesome but guitar parts were really great. Bono had energy as well and light show was cool.
Bono stayed on B-stage during most part of "Mothers Of The Disappeared" before going back on main stage. Visuals showed a dozen of women holding a candle in their hands. Song was nice and I loved it and was glad to heard it for the first time live. Song ended on crowd singing the "Oh, oh". Band came then in front of stage to applause the crowd while Bono made a speech of thank you and said the stage has been build in Belgium. End of The Joshua Tree set and time for the first encore. During the wait the stage was in dark and the shape of The Joshua Tree was in blue.
Then a face apparead on the screen, probably a Syrian woman, and a speech was written on the screen. Well unfortunately almost nobody could see it. Speech was too low on screen and behind the drums set. Pictures of devastated Syria followed and "Miss Sarajevo" renamed "Miss Syria" was played. Not my favorite song but not a bad one neither, it's a nice and emotional one. Visuals were a war and ruined Syria. During Pavarotti singing part, a giant flag with a woman face on it travelled on seats place and it's a prerecorded Pavarotti singing wich could be heard. Crowd was quiet but listening it carefully. Bono thanked them.
Bono then launched the crowd with a "Oh, oh" while a pretty visual similar to an aurora borealis was on screen and while a prerecorded remix version of "Beautiful Day" could be heard from the speakers. This of course launched the song itself. Bono was on B-stage for that one so close to us for our pleasure. Also a funny fact from "Exit" to the end of the concert, Bono didn't wear his sunglasses wich is rare for him. Anyway back to "Beautiful Day" it was a bit of a different version played here. Introduction was a bit new and the verse "See the world in green and blue" was sung by Bono but also by robotic voices. Song is still nice and give energy to the crowd. I heard it at each of my five U2 show I attended so yes in a way if they would play another I would be happy but I was fine with hearing it.
"Elevation" was next, here too it's a nice song wich gave energy to the gig. Third time i heard it after 2005 and 2010 but I liked hearing it. Visual of Larry Mullen Jr waving to the crowd was fun and cool. "Vertigo" followed and well even if it's a good song, first it's not their best one but also hearing it at each gig became tiring. I heard it six times in five concerts, it's enough. Please skip it and play another one instead. Crowd reacted good but my father and I were maybe the only one who were boring by this song. Same way of playing it since 2005, same joke about Spanish lessons since 2005 and even same visuals of red and black circles since 2005. Really guys on next tour just forget about that song.
Bono walked back to main stage at the end of "Vertigo", so he stayed on B-stage for "Beautiful Day", "Elevation" and "Vertigo". A word about stage and how band used it. Main stage was 59 meters long but mainly the band stayed in the middle of it on about 15 meters almost all the concert. They rarely walked along the stage so why having a 59 meters stage long when you used maybe 20 meters of it. And about B-stage, members used it for the four first song and then only Bono came on it during "Exit", "Mothers Of The Disappeared" and the three song I mentionned before. So Bono used it good but other members didn't go on B-stage often wich was a bit dissapointing. It's not so bad but if The Edge or Adam Clayton would go on B-stage once or two after The Joshua Tree set it would be good.
"Ultraviolet (Light My Way)" followed and I was happy to heard it. Pictures of many, many women with their names apparead on screen during that song. I recognized many of them and discovered many as well. I remember of Anne Frank, Hillary Clinton, Marie Curie, Queen Mathilde, Patti Smith, Nafissatou Thiam, Emma Watson, Malala Yousafzai, The Suffragettes and The Pussy Riot. Good songs and Bono again came on B-stage half of the song and stayed on it for next one.
"One" was the one. Stadium became dark with only phone lights from the crowd who sung some parts of the song. Classic one but good one with great guitar parts on it. Happy to heard it. Bono then thanked us the crowd but also remembered that U2 has a special connection to our country. A lot of innovation and staging came from Belgium. After all his thank you he launched the last song of the night "I Will Follow". That one of course make all the stadium happy and wild. A great old rock song to close the show. I loved it especially when he made some Werchter references saying it's happy memories. We could clearly see they were happy to play it and to made that show in Belgium. And in conclusion I would say I lived a great show and concert, a good afternoon and night, a nice opening act, a nice setlist and some impressive visuals and I had a nice spot in GA to watch all of that so yeah I loved that gig.
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The Edge side
Fourth U2 show for me, the first one in my own country. I was there with two friends and my father. We were there early because we had GA tickets and we did good. We were right in front of The Edge and we were like in fourth row so pretty close and we had a very good view on The Edge, Bono and Larry Mullen Jr.
It was the first U2 concert for my two friends, the fourth for me and the fifth for my father (he saw them in 1985 in Werchter). Not much to say about the before show. We just wait there, talked, drank, ate and bought memories. No opening act this time. Stage, especially the screen is massive.
Songs I never see live before this show were : "The Miracle (of Joey Ramone)", "Iris (Hold Me Close)", "Cedarwood Road", "Song For Someone", "Raised By Wolves", "Invisible", "Even Better Than The Real Thing (Fish Out of Water Mix)", "Angel of Harlem", "Every Breaking Wave", "October" and "Zooropa".
"People Have the Power" can be hear on the arena it's mean showtime. Everyone is looking at the B-stage and finally Bono is there. He walked to the main stage and the crowd repeated after him "Oh, oh" while the other members came on main stage. All lights are on and after the intro drumming of Larry Mullen Jr arena is in dark except stage lights wich were in red and guitar is starting so is "The Miracle (of Joey Ramone)". Nice song and Rock atmosphere is there even if crowd is a bit calm.
"Out Of Control" followed and crowd awaked and became wild. I already heard it live but it was in 2005 so it was nice to heard it again especially seeing The Edge making his solo at 3 meters from us. Like usual Bono throwed water bottles in crowd. He then introduced Adam Clayton as the jazzman of the group, said about Larry Mullen Jr "The man who give us our first job" and about The Edge he said something like he won against Univers because he surrendered to music.
For the fifth time in four show I had "Vertigo". Well the song has energy, it's not a bad song and crowd reacted good. The start of the show is wild and it's a good thing but if the band would skipp that song for another I would be happy.
When I was talking about an energic start of the show well the next song was a part of it "I Will Follow" made the people jumping so do I. Classic song and maybe overplayed but it's only the second time I heard it live so it was good to me and when I saw the crowd jumping I think it was good to the majority of them. During the song The Edge walked playing for the back of the arena and Bono sung for them too before walking in direction of the B-stage.
Time for the first quiet moment of the gig wich came earlier than before. In my previous U2 show they used to play six to eight energic songs before a first speech and here it was only four songs. I don't blame them thought they were older than "Vertigo" or "360°" tours.
Bono did a speech to introduce "Iris (Hold Me Close)". Screen turned on and an old short movie of the wedding of Bono's parents was on it. I like that song which show a good exemple of U2 sounds. Especially guitar parts. And visual on screen were pretty too.
The screen became even more impressive in the next song "Cedarwood Road" as Bono went inside it and the visual showed the street but also Bono walking in it as he was inside the screen. Great visual wich went along with a nice intense song. And since we were in front of The Edge on the fourth row we also had a good view on the screen but also on other members even if The Edge walked to the B-stage for that song and his guitar solo.
"Song For Someone" followed and I really appreciate that song and the guitar in it as well as the visual on the screen. A classic song but in a new version came next "Sunday Bloody Sunday". Like I said classic song, crowd was happy and sung the song. It was a different version wich was good to have some change. It was more quiet. Larry Mullen Jr was below the screen on the long catwalk between the main stage and the B-stage while drumming as well as all members. Song ended on the BBC news announcing three explosions wich I learned later was actually about Dublin and Monaghan bombings in 1974. Larry Mullen Jr was still drumming while we can hear news and witness and it's lead to "Raised By Wolves". Guitar parts in that song are just great really so are bass, keyboard and drums parts. Bono sung it quiet good too. The genius guitarist was back in front of us while Bono was still standing alone on the catwalk but at the end of the song he was on the B-stage reading a book (the bible ?).
"Until The End Of The World" started then for my great pleasure. As a guitarist myself I just love this song wich is truly a Rock song. Crowd was jumping on it. The Edge made his guitar solo inside the screen while Bono was joking his image on the screen spitting water on the guitarist. My eyes were on The Edge but then I turned my head back to the main stage as Adam Clayton came saying hello to our side of the stage. End of the song was wild and energic with incredible guitar parts and an impressive visual on screen while thousand of papers were falling from the ceiling in the arena. I kept a few ones as memories. Arena then has been divided in two by the screen but also a kind of wall coming from the ceiling. Visual was like a giant Berlin yellow wall. All of this still under end of guitar solo. First part of the gig ended on that under a torrent of applause.
"Everything You Know Is Wrong" was written on the wall and so during the break "The Fly" was played not by the band but in speaker and it was a remix version made by Gavin Friday.
Second part started with "Invisible" with band inside the screen. Visual were good. Song was nice even if U2 can do better than that I liked some guitar parts.
"Even Better Than The Real Thing (Fish Out of Water Mix)" followed, still inside the screen with a nice visual. I never heard that song live so I was quiet happy to saw the band played it. I would prefer to have the album version instead of the remix thought. For all those songs played inside the screen or on B-stage my view was not the best because I was in front of main stage The Edge side in fourth row so I had to look in my back with a weird angle but I still appreciate the gig. At the end of the song the band left the screen to go on B-stage.
"Mysterious Ways" has been played then. Second time I heard that song live but still a nice one with nice guitar parts and it put energy in the crowd. Bono took a girl called Helene on B-stage to dance. Cool moments and song. He kept Helene on B-stage to record the next song with a smartphone for livestream. Band played "Desire" in an electric version wich I really enjoyed. I saw the band playing it in 2009 but it was in an acoustic version so seeing them playing it in electric one was a good thing. Crowd reacted quiet good too especially when Bono started to sing "Love Me Do" from the Beatles. Next song has been "Angel Of Harlem" with a fan pulled on stage to play guitar. As a guitar player I wanted to be at his place. First time I saw this song live so good memory of course. Band played it on B-stage and my father was like "I hope they will be back on main stage soon" because of course they were far away for us. Crowd sung the song too and was jumping for some of them. People on seats place were almost all standing so yeah it was a good song.
Then we had a more intimate ambiant with almost no light at all. Bono and The Edge were alone on B-stage and the guitarist became a pianist. They played a quiet version of "Every Breaking Wave". I know my friends appreciated this version but my father and I would prefer the album version. I had feeling Bono just wanted his moment when he can show his voice and he doesn't need that. Song is much better in album version rather than this quiet one. Anyway "October" followed and this is the first time I heard it live and so I was glad they did it. Then we had "Bullet The Blue Sky" wich my father and I appreciated. We also appreciated to see the band coming back on main stage to be able to see them better. It was the second time I saw "Bullet The Blue Sky" live, first one was in 2005, so it was a nice one to listen. I also really like that song, the atmosphere it create and the guitar parts and solo. Pictures of war were visible on screen. I prefer when Bono sing in his microphone instead of in a megaphone because we can hear better what he is singing. Anyway the effect was not the best but it was decent and the song was good to hear. I talked about guitar parts but drumming and bass parts are also nice such as Bono singing and lights show.
"Zooropa" was next song in a version quiet different than the album version and I really liked it and prefer that version to the album one. It was calm but atmospheric with guitar sounds quiet like U2 sound and well for a first time hearing it live I really loved it as well as the transition to the next song "Where The Streets Have No Name". Transition that crowd could feel by the sound and the red lights and screen. Before first note of The Edge the crowd was already getting excited. About "Where The Streets Have No Name" well it's the song that made everyone in the crowd alright about the show and the band. I heard it to each U2 gig I saw so far but if the band play it at next show I would still be happy to hear it. Crowd was excited and happy, some were jumping and nobody in seats were actually sit. What I liked about it it's the fact the introduction and the first guitar parts seems to me lasting longer than in 2010 were the introduction seems too short for me. I think part of the magic in that song is the introduction and if the band do it too short it's less good and so that live version was great with a longer introduction than 2010. I also appreciate the visual of the Joshua tree on screen at the end of the song.
U2 then played "Pride (In The Name Of Love)" and well even if I like that song, even if I found it's a great one, even if it make the crowd happy and put a nice atmosphere, even if it's a classic one and even if I was not unhappy to heard it I was not happy to heard it too. I like the "Oh, oh" parts of the crowd and like I said it's a good song but I'm tired to heard it live at each tour. I saw it in 2005 and 2009, not in 2010 but here we go again in 2015. It has been played at each tour since 1984 so yeah I would prefer that the band play another one. Why not "A Sort Of Homecoming", "Wire", "Bad", "Elvis Presley and America" or even a song not from the same album like "A Day Without Me" or "An Cat Dubh" and "Into the Heart" or "Van Diemen's Land", "Heartland", "All I Want Is You", "Tryin' to Throw Your Arms Around the World", "Acrobat", "One Tree Hill, "Please", "Kite", "Fez — Being Born". I just said a few songs from a few albums but I could say more songs. But just to say that I liked this gig, I love U2, I liked to heard "Pride (In The Name Of Love)" and I do think it's a good song but instead of playing same at each tour when you have so much songs and a so large catalogue of great songs they could play different stuff and do better. "With or Without You" followed and I could say the same about that song. My fourth U2 gig and fourth time I heard it. I like the song really and I was glad to hear it again but if the band would play another one instead it would be good too. For my friends it was different, it was their first U2 gig and so hearing "With or Without You" was a good moment for them especially because they are a couple and they danced and kissed each other during the song, it was their romantic moment of the night.
"Stephen Hawking Global Citizen" made the interlude before the encore with pretty visuals on screen. "City Of Blinding Light" has been played then followed by "Beautiful Day". Nice songs even if it's the fourth time in four gig I heard them live. I was happy to heard them because it's good songs but if the band would play another I would be fine too. Crowd reacted good and visuals and lights were great especially on "City Of Blinding Light" with flashtube of lights everywhere on stage it was good and guitar parts were cool. Let's be honest even if I heard them for the fourth time I enjoyed them. "Beautiful Day" can put lot of energy in a gig and it's a great song. It's like a bridge song to me, the kind of song able to linked an 80's song to a 90's song, a good transition song. Then we had a speech of Bono and him and The Edge played "Mother And Child Reunion" with explanation on screen about HIV in Africa and about medication. Then I knew band would either play "One", "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For" or "Bad" with "40". My favorite song is "Bad" and I never saw live yet. I haven't see "40" live as well. So of course I was hoping for "Bad". I'm a guitarist and I can play "Bad" and I was in front of The Edge in fourth row and had a good view on him and his guitar and I saw him putting his fingers on the way of playing the first chords of "Bad" but without the sound and he did it just before starting "Mother And Child Reunion". So at this point I was happy and thought I will hear "Bad" and maybe "40" as well, what a great end of a wonderfull night. But then the band played "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For" as closing song. Well I had a little bit of dissapointment but only because I knew there were a chance they would play "Bad" and only because I saw The Edge ready to play it. I honestly wasn't dissapointed to heard "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For".
This song is a great one and most of the crowd sung it, The Edge had his eyes closed while playing it, people clapped their hands and it was a good moment to close the night. Band left the stage one by one by walking on the catwalk and going on B-stage and then leaving stage in the middle of the crowd like Bono made his enter two hours and 15 minutes earlier. Band left the stage under the crowd singing "But I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For" and under their applause. Bono sung "People Have The Power" from Patti Smith while leaving the arena, same song as introduction one, circle is closed. In conclusion, it was a great night, good show, nice visuals and stage, good moment with friends, energic band, nice songs and on twenty-five of them eleven was first time hearing them live so no complainng about them. Of course if the band would skip some of them like "Pride (In The Name Of Love" to play another one it would be better and of course if the ending would be "Bad" and "40" it would be better but everyone in every gig of every band has preference and would like to hear that song or that song so for tonight show I would say it was still a wonderful gig and I enjoyed it with my friends and my father close of The Edge with a nice view so yes great memories no doubt about it.
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A family Oddity
My second U2 gig. Like the first one it was in France Stadium, like the first one my father was there too, like the first one we took the road from Belgium but this time my mother and my brother were with us.
The first one I saw U2 I knew the band but not all of their songs and I had no idea wich song they were going to play. It was my third gig ever and the first one outdoor and I was only 12. This time was a bit different. I knew almost all of their songs (not very much the album "October" and "War" except the hits). It was my 8th concert ever, my third time in a stadium, I was 16 years old and I knew what songs they were going to play, thanks to internet for that. In a way I like when you have no idea what song the band will play and in another way I can't wait until the day of the gig because I want to know everything about a tour.
Anyway after the road, the U2 music and discussion on car, the stop on highway (to heaven ?) we finally arrived in Paris. Like the first time it was a huge U2 party around the stadium. The first time we were on GA and here we were on seats in K9 so behind the stage and Adam Clayton side. Since we have reserved seats and not GA we arrived shortly before doors opened this time. We bought tee-shirts, drinks and a poster and then we wait. I remember when I went to buy a tee-shirt I went near doors for GA just to have a view from the floor on the massive stage. It was impressive. Opening act was Kaiser Chiefs and they were super good, very energic and lot of motivation. Usually an opening act doesn't receive lot of attention from the crowd but this time the crowd were enthousiastic. I remember singer screaming after each song "Nous sommes Kaiser Chiefs". Like the first time, there were a good ambiant and crowd made some ola.
But then "Space Oddity" of David Bowie began and crowd applaused as it was the opening song. It's a change since the first time I saw U2 in 2005. In 2005 not everyone knew the opening song or the setlist but seems in 2009 almost everyone knew them. There were almost no phone or camera in 2005 but much more in 2009. Right after "Soon" of U2 started and we saw the four Irish guys coming but only one was on stage. Larry Mullen Jr walked alone on stage and started to play "Breathe". The Edge and Adam Clayton came shortly after on stage and finally Bono too. I started to play guitar in 2006 so I really appreciate the solo on "Breathe". I always appreciate guitar parts and solo but between 2005 and 2009 I became a guitarist and so I was appreciating guitar with a different view.
"No Line On The Horizon" followed and crowd was singing it and then "Get On Your Boots" arrived. I like the first one but I think "Get On Your Boots" is like the band wanted to make another "Vertigo" and so it's not really my favorite song. But we could see Bono jumping on it. Actually I could see the whole band much better than the first time. I was still not very close but view was good. The Edge and Adam Clayton went on B-stage circle using the two bridge during "Get On Your Boots". After it "Magnificent" has been played and it's a good song. Crowd reacted positively and sang the "Oh, Oh". Guitar parts and solo were great. Bono was on B-stage circle for this song. After those four energic new songs, U2 decided to play "Beautiful Day" with a special introduction "Paris mon amour" also knows as an unreleased song "We love you". Both songs were appreciate by the band. They seems to be full of energy and in a good day. I could see Bono jumping, playing with the crowd and doing the show. He probably did the same in 2005 but I was too far and too small to saw it. This time however I saw him giving all he had.
"I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For" was special to me because it's the first song I ever learnt to play on guitar. Before playing it the band took their first calm moment after a solid 30 first minutes of full energy. Bono did a speech in English wich has been translated on the screen. It's always an impressive moment when you see 93.000 people singing a full verse and the chorus of a song. "Movin' On Up" snippet was also very good.
After that I got four songs I haven't saw on my first U2 gig. "Desire" wich was sung by the whole stadium with a special "Billie Jean" and "Don't Stop Til You Get Enough" snippet. Michael Jackson died on 25th June 2009 and it was the 11th July 2009. Anyway a nice song with full of energy. During "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For" and "Desire" Larry Mullen Jr was in front of the back of the stadium for our great pleasure.
"In A Little While" was the second of those four songs. The rest of the band played it like Larry Mullen Jr did, in front of the back stadium. A quiet song but a good one. Back in front of the stadium for Larry Mullen Jr and the rest of the band for the third song which was "Unknown Caller". That song has been preceded by a talking with ISS and the Belgian Frank De Winne. The conversation has been recorded before the show but Bono acted like if the conversation was in live. Translation in French were on the screen. "Unknown Caller" was good despite a bit too much "Oh, oh" but the guitar solo was very cool.
Last of the four was "The Unforgettable Fire" wich was a great one to hear and the crowd really appreciate it. I particulary appreciate guitar parts. The screen began to grow and to grow and it was pretty impressive. Bono played with the crowd on the bridge. It has been followed by "City Of Blinding Lights". Good song and nice guitar parts and once again the screen effects was amazing. "Vertigo" followed for the pleasure of the crowd but less for mine since in two concerts I heard that song three times but I participate to the party with the crowd and sung it too. "I'll Go Crazy If I Don't Go Crazy Tonight" followed. I prefer the album version to the one they did in live but it was nice to hear it, after all I never heard it in a gig before and it was like a giant discotheque. It was also the chance to see Larry Mullen Jr walking on the stage. And to be honest it was pretty energetic and I did appreciate it. Larry was back in front of us for "I'll Go Crazy If I Don't Go Crazy Tonight" and "Sunday Bloody Sunday"
"Sunday Bloody Sunday" and "Pride (In the Name of Love)" were playing right after. Not much to say about them. Classic songs, crowd appreciate so do I and at the end of "Pride (In the Name of Love)" crowd sung the "Oh, oh" wich lead us to "MLK" that I haven't see live before so it was a pleasure to hear it. I can say the same for the following one "Walk On". I love that song and guitar parts in it. I really appreciate to hear it. Lights on stage were pretty and people walking on stage at the end made that pretty nice.
Time for first encore with a Desmond Tutu speech that lead us to "Where The Streets Have No Name". What can I say about that song ? It's incredible. The giant stage all in red, the organ pipe introduction with the bass, the crowd who knew what was coming and finally the first note from the guitar wich lead the people to madness. The song gave even more life to the show. The Edge was running on the stage while playing and came in the back of the stage saying hello to us. Magic moment. The only less good thing is that the guitar introduction was a bit too short.
"Sexy good looking crowd" said Bono. Then he did a speech before "One". It was another magic moment. Stage and stadium in dark with only 93.000 mobile phones as lights (and some people used actual lightfire). I remember I used my mobile phone at that moment. Nice song, nice "Hear Us Coming" snippet and nice memories. Bono ended the song by saying in French "Ce soir ceci est pour vous, bonsoir".
Second encore was there. A video introduced us to the song "Ultraviolet (Light My Way)" that I didn't know before that tour and that I heard for the first time that night. A nice discover. Bono and his red light jacket and microphone was a nice visual. I don't remember if the red stick we received at the gate before the show were for this song or for "Where The Streets Have No Name" but many people used them for this song. White lights coming from the stage like a mirrorball for this song and for "With or Without You" gave a real nice effect in this giant stadium. "With or Without You" was nice to hear especially when the crowd made the "Oh, oh" while the light show them. Concert ended with "Moment of Surrender". This is not my favorite song but it was nice to see it for the first time live. Band then left the stage under lot of applause. It was a real good gig with a good crowd, good visual effect, good songs and band had energy like often and seeing so many times 93.000 people singing togheter was truly magic moments.
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An impressive bloody Sunday
I remember that day, I was 12 years old and I was going to see my favorite band. Four years before it I already tried to see them during their Elevation Tour but I couldn't have ticket. This time my father got two tickets by doing queue at a real shop (not on internet) and on the D-day we took the road from Belgium direction Paris. The night before I had difficult to sleep because I was so much excited and on the morning of the concert I woke up with a headache but I was still very much happy. We took the road and I was so excited that I couldn't stop talking and we listened U2 music during all journey. It was not my first concert ever. I already saw Peter Gabriel in 2003 and 2004 but my favorite band of that time was U2 and so being able to see them in concert seems nearly impossible for me (We tried twice in 2001 and in 2005 we didn't have ticket for Brussels or for Paris 1). So it was nearly impossible for me to see them and however I was on the road to the gig.
A dream was coming true. I remember how impressive I felt when I saw the France Stadium from the highway for the first time. The building seems huge to me. We drove the car under the stadium and after some security check on the car and on my father and I (three day before there were the London terrorism attack) we walked to the Z gate of the stadium. It was about 2pm and I remember I was feeling impressed by all small shops selling U2 articles and U2 music could be hear anywhere (in each bars, each shops) and everything, everywhere was like a huge U2 party. It's something that even now make me think that atmosphere at a U2 concert is particular. Now I saw about one hundred of gigs and even if we could hear some music of the band near the concert place, it's never as huge and impressive as we could see or hear around a place where U2 will play a gig. It's different, more intense, more shops, more bars, more music, more excitement. I remember that before that day I already hear some comments saying that atmopshere around a U2 concert is unique and I can say that on that day when I was walking around the France Stadium those comments hitted me and seems really appropriate. I was impressed. Then We reach the Z gate and just sat down waiting for the opening. I remember my father calling my mother and brother to tell them we were arrived safe. As a big reader I started to read my book "Bono by Bono" written by Michka Assayas and I was not the only one reading that book. A little bit before 4pm excitation was there for everyone. Everybody just stand up and rush near doors which were still closed. It was my first experience as an outdoor concert and I was impatient to come in but false alerts like my father said came often.
Then a bit after 4pm doors opened. I remember climbing steps and steps and I was almost in top of the stadium while going inside and I had my first view of the whole empty stadium and my first view of the stage. It's difficult to express the feeling I had when I saw that stage. I was 12, it was my first outdoor gig and there is a massive stage in front of me and it's on same time massive and impressive but also just like normal like the stage is just quietly there. It was a mix of the both feeling. I think seeing the whole stadium from the inside for the first time also astonished me. We walked down the stair to join the ground and tried to went as close as we could to the stage. Unfortunately there were two GA categories and we were not in the front one. Also as a 12 years old boy I was not tall and so couldn't see things very good but I didn't care I was there. After a while of course we wanted to buy a tee-shirt, drinks and need to use the bathroom wich where in the back of the GA. Since my father didn't want to let me go there alone (I was only 12) we lost our spot but when we went out of bathroom and walked to the front I realised that since there were less people in front of me my view was better on the stage. So we still went to the front but not as close as before and like that with less people in front of myself my view was correct. Even if we were not particulary close of the stage.
I don't really remember the first opening act, The Music. I have some memories of the second opening act, Snow Patrol. After that stadium was full and excitement was there. Some ola in the seats but also in the GA. It was the first time I was seeing that and it was huge to me to see so many people connected between them.
Then the song "Wake Up" of Arcade Fire has been played. Time for U2.
"Larry Mullen Jr, Adam Clayton now, say hello, bonsoir, hello hello" said Bono and immediatly the crowd repeated the hello, hello. "Un, deux, trois, catorce" and the show began. The band already caught the crowd in their hands, I was jumping and screaming lyrics of "Vertigo" in a bad English (I didn't speak it at that time). I also remember I phoned my mother and brother at home to let them hear the first song of the concert.
"Out of Control" when Bono kicked a glass of water in the crowd has been followed by "The Electric Co". It's during the solo of that song when The Edge came on B-stage that I saw him for real with my eyes for the first time. A few seconds later I saw Bono on the other B-stage. Seeing them in real for the first time was like a dream coming true for me.
After that very energic start band began to play "Elevation" and the crowd immediatly started to sing the "Ooh, ooh, ooh". Bono didn't need to lauch them. Right after "New Year's Day" started and my father pressed my arm and made me a wink and a smile because he loves that song (so do I). Adam Clayton walked on the B-stage during The Edge solo and I could see him for first time. "Beautiful Day" followed and it was indeed a great day for me and my father.
"I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For" was also a good moment. At the end of it seeing and hearing for the first time a whole stadium singing a song togheter while seeing Bono walking on B-stage is kind of impressive for a 12 years old boy.
I learned a few years after that the band scheduled to play "Bad" at that moment but didn't. When I learned that I was dissapointed because it's one of my favorite song. But during the show I never been dissapointed and when "City Of Blinding Light" has been played I was still very happy. Screen turned on and it was very pretty.
"I want to say an happy birthday to my godchild who is here tonight, Hollie, it's her 21st birthday, happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you, happy birthday dear Hollie, happy birthday to you" said Bono before asking to the crowd "En Français" wich the crowd answered by singing "Joyeux anniversaire" to Hollie who is The Edge daughter. This cute moment has been followed by "Miracle Drug" and "Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own" (when Bono made an appareance on B-stage). Great songs, nice singing by Bono and The Edge and of course nice guitar parts. I remember the giant character on the screen.
"Love and Peace or Else" was the opportunity to see Larry Mullen Jr for the first time since he was on the B-stage. Actually the whole band moved on two B-stage during that nice song. I could see them and I enjoyed the song that I found good with a nice guitar solo. Followed by "Sunday Bloody Sunday". It was a pleasure to hear it, sing it, scream the "No more" and jumped on it. My father really appreciate "Bullet The Blue Sky" and I did too. I clapped my hands in rythm at the end of "Bullet The Blue Sky" like the majority of the crowd.
I didn't know "Running To Stand Still" at that time but I enjoyed it and tried for the first time to do like everyone using a light during a gig. I was looking around me all the time to see that spectacular view of thousand and thousand of small light. I remember I burned myself at the end because the light became quiet hot after a few use.
Then one of my favorite U2 song of that time "Pride (In the Name of Love)" has been played and I was jumping and singing. I was also screaming the "Oh, oh" at the end and was impressed by all the crowd singing and didn't really realise I was a part of them doing the same. I hear Bono talking in French "Mais ce soir, c'est un rêve Africain". And all the crowd kept doing the "Oh, oh" until the first notes of "Where The Streets Have No Name" started. I also remember all the African flags. The crowd turned crazy during "Where The Streets Have No Name" and I was not the only one then jumping and screaming the song. That moment definitely put a great ambiant during the show.
Just before "One" Bono did a French speech to the crowd. I remember me and my father applausing and thinking "well said, he is right". "One" was truly a great song that night.
The band then left the stage with a "Bonsoir Paris".
After a few minutes a screen divided in four turned on with Zoo TV era pictures. Then like a slot machine four faces of four unpopular people at that time appeared on the screen. I remember Michael Jackson was there. Crowd reacted badly to those faces. Then two faces were replacing with the Zooropa face and two other faces apparead and once again crowd reacted badly to them. Those two faces were replacing by Zooropa faces to make four Zooropa faces on screen. Crowd was finally happy and "Zoo Station" began with lot of positive reaction from the people. Bono on screen was acting like in the introduction of the Zoo TV show and came into the B-stage again (for my great pleasure since I could see him again even if it was far away from me). The Edge also came on the other B-stage.
When "The Fly" started both my father and I were happy because we loved the "Elevation Tour" version. Screen was a reminder of the Zoo TV era it was astonishing and song was energic, The Edge solo was good, crowd was happy and I was jumping and singing. I remember I was still jumping and screaming when "With Or Without You" started and I saw a woman looking at me with a smile on her face. She maybe thought this kid is crazy but I think she was more like smiling like an adult sometimes do when they see a child being very happy. Anyway "With Or Without You" was good. I used the light again and burned myself again. I remember Bono took a girl from the B-stage with him and leading her to the main stage. She said hello to each member and I thought she was lucky. I sing most of the song too and like all the crowd made the "Oh, oh". We learnt at the end of the song that the lucky girl was Fanny. Band left the stage and it was time for a second encore.
It began with "All Because Of You" which was followed by a wonderful acoustic song "Yahweh " who has been singing by the crowd too. Just before singing it Bono thanked The Music and Snow Patrol for opening the show. The last song of my first U2 gig was the same as the first one "Vertigo". It's weird to play twice the same song and I wished we could have another song to conclude but oh well I was happy to see that band. Words "The End" then apperead on the screen to conclude the show. Crowd of course applaused the band long time after the end of the concert.
My day dream didn't end yet. My father bought me a poster and I recorded some songs of the show on my old Sony Ericsson and listened them while talking about the show to my father on the way back home. I remember we paused on a highway shop. He took a coffee and I took a tea. There was a sign "Out of service" on the slot for money and I was so tired I didn't get it and removed the sign and was about to put my money in the machine but my father stopped me and lead me to another machine where I got my tea. I was exhausted but truly happy and it's on that funny little story that my review end.
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From the outside, this is simply the best Elevation concert and the most special one. It was way more important than a show but at the same time, it felt like everyone wanted to be a celebration of the little ordinary things that we called life. It was 2 hours to heal, to sing until you lost your voice, to cry for a loved one, to fall in love (there was a proposal after ISHFWILF!) and to be part of a group, a city, a nation. The band was the conduit, the catalyst, and New York did the rest. Many songs acquired a new meaning. Kite was no longer about Bono's children or his father, but it was a song for everyone that lost someone. Stuck was sung by everyone and it never felt more personal. Say what you want about ATYCLB, but there was some magic, some soul and something about the human spirit in those songs that, during some months, a nation took them as if they were written for them. A lot of special moments in the show: the debut of Please (best Elevation version) with Bruce Brody on keyboards, a guy proposing to his girl after ISHFWILF (and we never hear what she said!), Bono talking about the special relation between the band and NY, etc. but the most special moment is during Walk On, when firefighters and medical workers come up on stage, the band plays Out Of Control as a special gift for the crowd, and some of the people tell their stories about the people they lost in 9/11. It was as touching as the ending of the Popmart shows in Chile/Argentina.
This is a must have.
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My brother and I started off with nosebleed seats and while Smash Mouth was playing we found the Ticketmaster girl and asked if we could upgrade our seats. We told her we were willing to pay. She refused money and gave us two floor tickets while warning us that they weren't the "best" seats in the house as the sight lines were obstructed by a speaker stanchion and they were about 40 rows back from the front.
Needless to say, we were elated and while Smash Mouth continued to butcher their one and only hit song we made our way to the concession in order to purchase this nice lady a pop and some chips just to say thanks.
We returned to her ticket booth and presented her with said food and said thank you and left to find our seats. Before we were too far away she hollered at us to come back and then proceeded to give us row 7 tickets right on the railing to the B-Stage!!!
What followed next was the most epic moment of that night as we made our way through the crowd towards our new luxurious seats and the sounds of MOFO starting to fill the arena. SO amazing!
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One of my favorite 1st leg shows, second only to the Boston Saint Patrick's Day show.
Even Better than the Real Thing - Bono introduces the band; "This is the Edge, Adam Clayton, Larry Mullen Jr...and I don't know who the f**k I am tonight" and during the song goes into his loudest "TAKE ME HIGHER!" ever. It'll startle you if you're not expecting it. After the song, he tries (unsuccessfully) to make a call to buy a diamond ring he sees on TV, in the style of the Auburn Hills pizza-for-everyone concert.
Mysterious Ways - great extended solo from Edge; my favorite version ever.
One - Bono improvises the last bit, and it almost makes sense: "One love. One life. One life. One wife. One love. You get to share her. If you give it away, [kids?] have gone astray. You can push it up. You can buck it up and get it all mixed up. Knockin', knockin', knockin' up, love!"
Until the End of the World - extended ending
Bad - Bono gets into it and leads the audience in screaming "no!".
Bullet the Blue Sky - I think it's because of the recording, but it's a lot faster than usual, which is fun to hear for once.
With or Without You - "We will shine like stars in the summer night. We will kick the darkness 'till it bleeds daylight. One hope. One blood." Everything's extended, from Edge's solo to the Shine Like Stars snippet to the last chords Edge strums. The highlight of the whole concert, and that says a lot.
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My very first U2 gig, was amazing!! But I've an even better story that I've been telling for years but never published it till now.
I'll cut it short. I befriended a Bono lookalike competition winner from Dooley's Irish Bar in the Valley the night before. He was the absolute spit of Bono with the wig and all the Joshua Tree era clobber on I'm not kidding you. I never knew his name except I called him Bono.
We decided we'd go around Brisbane City looking for U2's hotel. Made up a story that he was actually Bono, that he was drunk and lost his key, and could someone escort him to his room. Went to 3 different hotels till we found them at the then named Sheraton. Before that all the other hotels believed it was really Bono but said he wasn't staying there.
We went up to the check in desk at the Sheraton like we did at the other hotels and low and behold one of the managers believed us and said "yes sir I'll help you to your room, come with me". I said my goodbyes and the manager brought him to the lift... I was absolutely gobsmacked! Here was this guy who I'd never met before till that night heading for Bono's room!
I left him and went and sat down in the foyer. 5 minutes later they came back down and the manager and another staff member bundled him into a taxi.
I never ever saw him again after that. It all happened too quick. I didn't even know his name except I was calling him Bono all night.
Anyway the next night at the concert we're half way through the gig, don't know what song, but Bono starts talking about this geezer who knocked on his door in the middle of the night!! Says he opened his door half asleep looking at this guy who was the spitting image of him and saying WTF! He said he wasn't happy about being woken up but saw the funny side of it.
I couldn't believe my ears!! I was telling everyone around me that I was there! I never actually knew till Bono told the story whether he had actually made it to his room or not. And there was Bono confirming it the next night... unbelievable!!
True story I absolutely kid you not!!!!!!
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First concert I ever went to age 17. I haven't missed a U2 tour since. Listening to this was like traveling back in time. My girlfriend at the time and I went for $70 apice. Row 19 off to stage left rear. I still remember images and excerpts from the show. I sang every lyric. I remember he grabbed a kid out of the audience to play guitar on People Get Ready (at the next show in Philly on 25 Sept he brought out Bruce Springsteen). After the song he asked the kid where he was from and he said "Philly" but Bono thought he said "Hawaii." That always stuck in my memory. By the time the show was over I had no voice and my ears were ringing. I remember forgetting where the car was parked and it took over an hour to find it. Only disappointment was 40 because the recording cuts off way too early. The crowd sang it for over 10 minutes after the band left. Larry tossed his drumstick into the crowd behind him right before he left stage. The most memorable show I've ever been to.
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Everything I WASN'T looking forward to about this show, I loved. "Pride" and "Maggie's Farm", I wasn't all that cracked up about listening to. The former is on just about every show I ever listen to, and it gets tiring, the latter I just didn't care much about. They ended up both being phenomenal.
The "Norwegian Wood" intro to "Bad" is outstanding, and chorus gives me goosebumps. Listen to some recent shows (Vertigo, 360°), and then give this one a spin- Yes, folks- Bono DID used to sound like that
Everything about this show is simply gorgeous. Download it RIGHT. NOW.
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We were all young. The place was crammed. U2 were already massive in Glasgow by the end of 1982 and had played bigger venues (the legendary Apollo). In 1984 it was a difficult ticket to get.
The Barrowlands is essentially a dancehall with a spring-loaded wooden ballroom floor but quite a low ceiling. This all made for much 'bouncy-bouncy' and the very definition of a sweat-filled room! Condensation was literally running down the walls and dripping from the ceiling (I even remember it dripping from my elbows !). You could wring it your t-shirt.
The Watherboys were support who were also very big at the time& they did sing of course All of the Moon !
The energy in the crowd and from the band was incredible. New songs from TUF and older songs went down a storm. Jim Kerr and Charlie Burchill (from Simple Minds, local Glasgow boys and friends with U2) were at the back and the crowd all spotted them & sung to them. (Bono a month later in January 1985 joined the Minds on-stage at the same venue for New Gold Dream which blew the roof off).
We only had tickets for the first night but it was so good we went back up the next day and queued up for on-the-door tickets with probably 100 or more others. I remember a scuffle broke out in the queue as some people started singing sectarian/Irish Celtic songs. They were quickly shouted down by others stating '...we are U2 fans, we are not here for that, the band would not want it, we are better than that'! We got in again having barely recovered from the previous night dehydration.
...and U2 brought the house down again.
A mere 7 months later they would conquer the world at Live Aid and everyone would know what all the fuss was about.
...and 34 years later I still want to get tickets for the next tour in 2018 !
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First of all, the FM broadcast is NOT from this concert, it is actually from the show next day, so I think this is the first proper review of the show. And what a show! The band feed from the Irish-Bostonian vibe in the house and they gave it all. The main highlight of this boot is the last performance ever of Tomorrow. If you are a Tomorrow "completionist" like me, you must get this. I don't know why it wasn't played regularly. Another excellent performance was Two Hearts, with the Let's Twist Again part extended. 11 O'Clock was excellent as well. I'm a sucker for the Drowning Man snippet and the final solo is amazing. In Surrender Bono invoked the spirit of Michael Jackson and it was great. I liked the Brick/ A Day Without Me combo too. There's an unlisted snippet of Send In The Clowns in Electric Co. Perhaps the only song I can't consider good is Party Girl. They were still playing with it and it's not the version we know.
Funnily enough, Bono did mistakes between songs, like saying "It's great to be back in NY" (WTF?) or introducing NYD as Two Hearts.
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U2 in the Netherlands. Enough said. There's always something in the air when the band plays here and this show is no exception. For the October tour, the band reworked some of their Boy songs and they sound better than ever. Another Time, Another Place, An Cat Dubh/Into The Heart, Stories for Boy are highlights of the show. The October songs are always better than their studio counterparts and the broadcast has great sound for them here. During 11 O'Clock Bono plays with the audience and it sounds incredible (he did that for the whole tour, I love these October versions). After Fire, they sang Happy Birthday to Larry. By taking pieces of all 3 sources of this show, you can form a great, complete bootleg for this show. This is the first great full October bootleg and one of the best.
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As I remember it, this was a free show or cost next to nothing to attend. It was held in the student union ballroom of San Jose State University. This room was built to be earthquake proof and the floor was suspended on something like springs. When the floor got packed and the music started and people started moving in time with the music the floor started to act like a trampoline. No kidding. If you timed your jump you could launch yourself 3 to 4 feet off the floor. They had to have crew guys hold the P.A. system in place as everything started to wobble. I saw XTC, Huey Lewis, Fabulous Thunderbirds and more in this room and all the shows were amazing with a very intimate vibe. I miss those days.
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The tracks that latter would be included on Boy have different lyrics or structures, so it's very interesting listening to this "kindergarten" version of the first record of the guys. The rare pieces are not that great hidden gems, maybe just Cartoon World. Even some rarely played songs, such as Shadows And Tall Trees or Another Time, Another Place, justify their exclusions from the setlists of the early days.
Highlights: Silver Linings (I adore the parts that later would be "say so, say so" - nice Edge's arpeggio), Cartoon World and Out Of Control.
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We were one the few radio station winners to win this contest. Each radio station only had one grand prize winner (SF, KC, HOS, MIL, DC, NY & BOS) but last two cities were able to bring more guests (NY+10 & Bos+20) but didn't get flights or 2 nights at 5 star hotel like the remote station winners. So there was probably around 50 radio winners and rest were radio people and sponsors of the show all of whom were very nice to us (probably less than 150 in all). Very intimate show with Bono being very relaxed and very talkative the whole time.
Having seeing six shows on the current tour I knew this would be a very unique experience. The morning of the show they transported us remote winners by train to Cape Cod and then by a luxury transport van. We were taken to a another beach house where we spent most of the day there until the band arrived at main beach house. I must say I was thrilled with the show and my entire time there. Special thanks to my friend Wendy for picking me to join her on this once in a lifetime experience.
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