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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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Here is my report from the two Amsterdam concerts. I am quite late and it is probably impossible to write anything that hasn't been written many times before, but I feel like I need to write it all down for myself. I wanted to write a short review of the two gigs, but it turned out a bit differently :-)
Okay, let's get started. I have to start with the Friday evening, when the half secret video shoot took place. I arrived in Amsterdam on Friday at 2.25 pm. When U2 landed one hour later, I was still at the airport, which felt like a nice coincidence. I have registered for the video shoot happening, but didn't get the invitation. It didn't bother me at first, since the first info said it would start at 3 pm, but then, when I got to know it would start at 5.15 and where it would take place, I just kept on thinking about whether I should or should not go there even without the invitation. In the end I decided not to and went downtown, which made me think about it even more - the weather was bad, which made even such a beautiful city look gloomy and it had no atmosphere at all this time. I thought I might just as well had gone to the studios, since I didn't enjoy the downtown walk at all. So I am walking along Amstel, passing the opera house, these thought spinning in my head. Suddenly I am lying on the pavement and my leg hurts like hell. I don't recall any falling down and I am slowly picking myself up. There are people staring at me, obviously thinking I am drunk or something. I say I am okay, turn my head and realize I have overlooked a sign "STOP" in the middle of a pavement sticking half a meter up from the pavement. I had to laugh - yeah, I should really better stop before something worse happens - it somehow calmed me down - even though I bared my leg and got a big bruise, I was really lucky I didn't break it.
If I understand it correctly now, the actual video shoot didn't start until 9 pm and people were actually queuing there since 5.15. I am sure it must have been a blast, but looking back now, I was really exhausted and having those two concerts with long queuing ahead, I think it all actually happened the way it should.
I stayed in a hotel 5 minutes of walk from the ArenA, so later that the evening I went there to check the queue, which I knew started the previous day - 2,5 days before the concert! There were people sleeping in tents on the pavement (it was currently about 16 degrees and raining) and I was told that 230 people were in the queue so far, coming for the calls every 3 hours. As much as I love to be up in the front, I wasn't able to persuade myself to take part in this...I am too old for this...stuff. Well, I was surprised that most of the people in the tents were ladies older than me. Anyway, I had a plan to visit the Rembrandt house downtown the next morning and then join the queue, come what may.
The next morning the weather was even noticeably worse and I was actually in no mood for the gig. But when you are 1,5 an hour of flight from home, you just do what you planned to do. I went to see the Rembrandt house, which was excellent and the weather got somehow better. I had an early lunch and went to the queue. There were a lot of people, but it was not quite as bad as I expected. When we were let into the stadium, where I got at about 5.15, I actually got a very nice spot, which got way better as we all stood up at about 6.30 and moved towards the stage - I ended up in some 10th row, facing the Adam's spot on the main stage, a better place than I have actually hoped for. I was used to be in the 2nd or 3rd row on the I+E tour, but here, at a football stadium and with all the madness with the queue, I was just happy and now I was finally in the proper mood.
Noel Gallagher started to play at 7. I have never seen him before and even though I have only a general knowledge of the main Oasis hits and don't know any of his solo stuff, I was curious and looking forward to seeing him. Support bands are usually something one has to struggle through and survive and so Noel's band was one of the absolutely best support acts I have ever seen, but it really did feel as a support act and not as a gig of a rather big star. I guess that if you get up on such a huge stage without actually using it (okay, the screen on the right side was used, but still..) with only very basic lightning, it must feel that way. But they played very well, Noel sung great and I enjoyed the songs. So it was absolutely fine, but I can imagine that seeing a proper gig on a proper stage with proper lightning must be even better.
Most importantly - the sound was really good. Being first time in the ArenA and having read all those negative reviews, all agreeing on the ArenA having the worst acoustics in Europe, I was a bit worried, even though I knew about the acoustic adjustments that were adopted for gigs. I don't know how was the sound further back and on the stands (I read it was still really bad), but in front of the stage it was as good as one can get in a football stadium. And it was loooud! I was perfectly happy with it.
On with the show. One hour after Noel, at 9 p.m. U2 hit the stage. Since the first 4 songs are played on the B-stage, one doesn't get to see much from the place where I was, since one sees the band from behind and the B-stage is quite low, so it is difficult to see anything at all. But it is just time to jump up and down during Sunday Bloody Sunday and Pride, to enjoy New Year's Day and Bad (I have only heard Bad once before live, so this one was magical) and to wait for the band to move to the main stage, for the show to start properly :-) That happens really soon and we get the full Joshua Tree album. Now, it is impossible to write something new about it, so I guess I will just repeat what was said and written many times bore. One word - amazing. The live presentation of this 30 year old album is just amazing. It is such a consistent peace of music that holds together so well and the band does it a great justice 30 years after they recorded it. The songs from the first side have been played on most of the shows during the past 30 years, those are the "greatest hits," but hearing them in sequence and with those totally amazing Anton Corbijn's films on that huge and absolutely fabulous screen is something that makes you forget you have heard Streets, I Still Haven't Found What I am Looking For and With or Without You thousand times before, and you are just happy that you are at that precise place at that precise moment. Then comes the second side with all the "gems." Red Hill Mining Town - never played live before this tour, the most anxiously anticipated song - I though it was great, I loved Bono's vocals and even though I agree that it is somehow too clean and I would love The Edge to play guitar rather than keyboard, I enjoyed it a lot. Exit - probably the song all people love the most on this tour. I admit (don't throw stones at me) that I never cared much for this track on the album, but is amazing live and it was definitely one of the absolute highlights of the show. In God's country - that was the song that caught my ear most when I first bought the album 20 years ago. I never thought I would hear it live. Beautiful. Mothers Of Disappeared - Edge's guitar work, the stunning screen background, Bono's haunting vocals. Just...wow.
The band leaves the stage and comes back for the encores - well, 7 songs, so pretty much the last third of the show. They start with Miss Sarajevo and continue with Beautiful Day. One fan I talked to said he found it strange to play those two songs back to back - to play Miss Sarajevo with this heavy mood and message and then just kick into the party mode. Well, yeah, Miss Sarajevo comes before Beautiful Day, but it also comes after Mothers of Disappeared. There is the break of course, after MOD finishes, since it is the end of the Joshua Tree, but I think that it is more like with MS they say: "Okay, here is one more thing we need to get off our chest before the party starts." I think that the MOD - MS combo is really great and I disagree with all those who wrote, that Miss Sarajevo didn't work on this tour. It does. It does big time.
After Miss Sarajevo until the end of the show it is one big party. It starts with the Beautiful Day - Elevation - Vertigo sequence. Three songs that have been played to death, three songs most fans (including me) would agree that need to be put to rest at least for a while. I would not believe how those three songs would actually work on this tour. They all somehow got new energy. Beautiful Day in a new arrangement sounds great. The fans-organized balloons on the first night we beautiful and it obviously touched Bono. Elevation - everybody jumps. The Edge smiles and jumps - priceless. Vertigo - such energy, I guess the Vertigo Tour-like visuals play a big part in that.
In the end comes the Achtung Baby sequence - Mysterious Ways - Ultraviolet - One. The Edge finally plays the Mysterious Ways solo after 20 years! While the PopMart version still remains my favorite, this present one comes close second. As much as I love this song (the guitar part is absolutely out of this world), I thought it somehow didn't work on the I+E tour. It was such a pleasure to see this amazing version now. The first night closes with One. Again, one of my all-time-favorites. And again, the I+E stripped-down version mostly sung by crowd didn't do much for me, so it was nice to hear this "proper" version, which works perfectly even without Bono playing a guitar. And yeah, with the Hear Us Coming snippet!
So after the magnificent first show I felt like the second one would be a great bonus any way it would turn out. I kind of expected the queue for the second show not to be that crazy (though is started right after the first one ended, or was it even before?), but when I came to the stadium the next day at 3 p.m., I was really taken aback by how relatively few people were there. It was soooo easy. I went straight into the fence barrier, sat down and waited. Once inside the stadium I got a great spot of course, which again improved substantially once we got up - 4th row facing The Edge at the main stage - that's the dream :-)
The show itself was very similar to the first one in all aspects - setlist-wise, the performance, the atmosphere, I can't really say which one I enjoyed more, I really loved both. The setlist changes were scarce and predictable - we got A Sort Of Homecoming instead of Bad - the first and probably the last time I have heard this song live, so I was more than glad, since it really is one of my all-time-favorites, and while it is not as well known and so not such a crowd pleaser as Bad, it was fabulous. Of course, the price one has to pay is not having Bad in the setlist. Anyway, during the encores we didn't get Mysterious Ways, which is a pity, since I would have loved to hear it again, but then it was somehow given that there would be another song after One. I hoped for The Little Things, but when I saw Dallas bringing The Edge the Explorer, it was obvious that they would end with I Will Follow. I must admit, it was a little bit of a let down, since as much as IWF is a great song, I have heard it on several shows and felt like The Little Things would be way more special. Well, that was how I felt before the band kicked into the song. They stayed on the main stage and the whole place went totally nuts. The atmosphere was amazing during the whole show with the crowd singing and dancing all night, but with the first notes it shifted two gears up. The whole stadium was jumping, I can't recall whether I have ever witnessed a stronger crowd reaction. It was a magical ending really.
I stayed in Amsterdam the next day - went to the Anne Frank house, which was fantastic, I have stayed there for 3 hours, then walked around the town and in the afternoon I went to the Van Gogh museum, which was great as always (my 4th visit). When I went to the museum, I got off at the Weesperplein underground station, which is pretty much right next to the Amstel Intercontinental, where U2 had stayed. I passed it 3 or 4 times during the weekend, always stopped for 5-10 minutes. I didn't feel like waiting for hours for the band, I thought that if it was meant to be, then 5 minutes must be enough :-). Well, it was not meant to be. I thought the band left on Sunday after the concert, so this time I was surprised there were about 20 people outside the hotel. I went there and was told that they got a glimpse of The Edge just a while ago. It was half past three and I was about half an hour early for the Van Gogh Museum, so I decided to spend that time there, being sure, that there must be a reason why I set so early on my way to the museum. But again...it was not meant to be :-) Later somebody posted that The Edge was seen outside the Anne Frank house between 4 and 5 pm...
So during those 4 days I finally didn't get to meet anybody from the band (unlike Marcello - a Brazilian fan I stayed with in the hotel - who got his T-shirt signed by Bono and Adam and during the second show Bono gave him the harmonica he played on Trip) . True, I didn't put much effort to it, but... they landed before I left the airport, I was downtown when they did the video shoot, I passed their hotel several times (yeah, I would have to be really lucky if that happened without my waiting), I have visited the Anne Frank house before The Edge. Nevertheless I had a splendid time in Amsterdam and those two concerts...just WOOOWWW!
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Hello, hello.. last U2 concert in Britain this year! After an amazing show the night before, I was hoping for great things.
Once inside, it was busier than the night before - I'd left an hour later. Unfortunately, this meant a really long queue for my burger, during which they started announcing that the concert would start in x amount of time, and would people please take their seats. I knew they were fibbing, but it was still unnerving, since I hadn't had a chance to order yet. Even when I had got my burger, they were still at it, so that I gulped it down and dashed in search of my entrance.
This time, I was seated on Level 2 (of 3 in total). There are escalators, but not many, so stairs it was - I found my entrance door, and asked the nice man where to go for my seat. He gestured upwards. Row T, it seemed, was third from the back of this section. But my seat was on the other side of the row, so rather than push past everyone (most people had taken their seats by now, it was well after 8), his advice was to go up to the walkway just at the top of that section, walk across and take the steps down on the other side.
Sensible advice, and up I went - a bit dubiously, as it was both high and steep, and I have a problem with steps. And these places never, never have handrails. Well, I made it up to the walkway, hurried across to the next steps.. and froze. A phobic's nightmare - I had to descend a steep flight of stairs, with no rail, and a long, uninterrupted view in front of me, not even a barrier at the end. "Oh shit!" I groaned, audibly. Well, the nice lady at the end of the back row heard me, understood the problem, and grabbed my arm to steady me - which got me down the first row. I managed to clamber - undignifiedly - down two more, and with no small amount of relief, excused myself to the people at the end and climbed into my row. Kicking over a drink container in my haste - I hope it was empty..
So yes, I was higher than the night before.. I found myself seated with two girls to my right who had Yorkshire accents by the sound of it, and were just thrilled to be there. You could tell by the spontaneous shrieking. One of them was examining the celebrity section with her zoom lens - and how gratifying it was that the celebrity seats were side-on to the vidiwall: worst seats in the house, for this show! Anyway, she spotted Jim Kerr through her lens, and was good enough to point him out to me - he was the one who was waving at the crowd, it seems. Those on the floor had spotted him too, and were waving back.
When People Have the Power started, as usual, I jumped up - well, rather carefully, given my elevated position! Yes, it did make me a bit woozy at first.. it was gratifying to see the people on both sides of me in my row do the same: particularly since ours seemed to be the only row nearby that was standing. Cue a night of terrific audience participation - hang the rest of our section, we in Row T inspired each other!
It was nice, particularly for the video sections, that the people in front of me didn't stand. I say this just as an observation - I'd have had no objection if they had, it was just handy if they didn't - but even if they had, the rake was so steep that you still had a good view. Actually, the girl behind me asked the woman behind whether she'd mind if she stood, and received the reply that why would she, when she'd be standing herself! In parts, it would've been nice if the people in front of me had stood.. when I was standing and they weren't, I was suffering some serious vertigo - and for once, I was glad not to be on the aisle.
The girl pulled onstage for Mysterious Ways was Elena, from Italy. During Bullet the Blue Sky, Bono has developed a habit of making paper planes and throwing them into the audience. During Pride the night before, someone threw one back at him. No such efforts tonight. :-)
During City of Blinding Lights, Bono - for the first time in ages - pulled a guy out of the audience and exchanged jackets with him, giving him his sunglasses. This impressed the girl to my left no end, who looked at me in amazement.. he returned his jacket to him later, remarking that the guy's phone was ringing.
Highlight of the night for me, and others, was Bad. They tend to finish their run in any given city with that, and 40 - this was obviously news to the girl with the zoom lens, who broke down when she heard the opening chords of Bad. She set me off not long after - it's a song with a lot of meaning for us longterm U2 fans. Towards the end of the song, Bono started collecting flags from the audience, finally clutching them all together in his fist - I hadn't realised before that that line went "like a burning flag". I saw Ireland, Poland, Argentina, Brazil, Belgium.. they were throwing them at him. I'm sure none of the owners took it personally when he flung them from him at the end of the song - he's never been one for flags, and we know it.
40 finished the night, with the crowd in fine voice. Even after the lights came up, and Simple Minds started to play over the pa, the crowd took up the refrain of 40 again. And the girl to my left turned to me, and the Yorkshire girls to my right, and in an American accent, thanked us profusely for being so enthusiastic - she'd thought she'd be the only one. Turned out this was her 21st U2 concert. She was lucky - this was the concert of the tour so far, for me at least. If the night before had been special, this was transcendent. Made by the size of the venue, as well as the devotion of the crowd.
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Overall a good show, not as good as the 2nd night though. EBTTRT from this night appears on the From The Ground Up album. New Year's Day was a nice change in the setlist and the crowd loved it. I'm not a fan of this remix of Magnificent, so I have to put this one as a lowlight. The best part of the show is the middle part, with Bono introducing the band as Adam "el galán" (the ladies man), Larry "el macho", Edge "el nono" (sic) --he meant "el ñoño", or "the nerd". Since this is an IEM, you can hear Edge laughing when he learned the meaning of his nickname. Bono called himself "el mil usos" (jack of all trades) and the audience kept shouting "mil usos! mil usos!"
All I Want Is You was fantastic. After that, we had Love Rescue Me. This song does nothing for me, sorry, but still a highlight for mixing the setlist. During Pride Bono gave a speech about the smuggling of arms into Mexico and he changed the lyrics a little bit because of this. This time for the intro of Beautiful Day a girl said the first paragraph of a speech by Javier Sicilia. He's one of Mexico's principal peace activists (check Wikipedia for his touching story) and the actual song is another highlight of the day, love the Blackbird snippet. During Vertigo, a crazy chick tried to run into Bono but she was tackled and carried between 4 bodyguards back to the crowd. The band kept playing like pros. Streets had a lovely intro and it was the climax of the show, as usual. At the end of MOS, Bono started a snippet of Cielito Lindo and the crowd continued it for quite some time (it is our '40'). Thanks a lot for these 3 concerts, lads!
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Here it is, the first Vertigo show. Technically not the debut of the songs (there was a rehearsal in L.A. a few days before), but it was fresh for all the audience there and they enjoyed it a lot. Same for me. The band did their homework and practiced for the show and songs like COBL and Vertigo are already in top form. Then the band really surprised everyone with an Electric Co. full of energy like in the old days! To top that, the always powerful An Cat Dubh/Into the Heart combo. The setlist was still a work in progress and some of the songs do not flow well (Elevation to close the main set?), but there are no big mistakes like other tours. Beautiful Day had a great outro, and Bono was happy to be in San Diego. Another good thing about this show is that there are no tired speeches, no "Edge is from the future". For the same reason, SBS and Bullet are very good, without killing the vibe with long speeches in the middle of the songs. Zoo Station and The Fly had some problems, but Bono improvised complete lyrics for both songs and it more than make up for the mistakes. Elevation was also not very good, and its place in the setlist was not the most appropriate one. The now standard interaction with the crowd didn't work well, but that's ok, it's the first time.
The encore was very good, particularly Streets. Some people don't like Yahweh, but it's one of my favorites from HTDAAB. The final surprise of the night is 40 returning as the closer. Bono said they haven't played since 1993 but it was actually 1998. By the way, thank you Bono for acknowledging Mexico! We love you too! He must had seen a Mexican flag, being in San Diego.
Overall, a more than solid start of the tour, with the band happy to return to their natural habitat. No long speeches, which makes the experience more enjoyable. Check it out.
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Maybe I’m too biased about this night. Some issues don’t ruin at all what was a perfect special magic night, with a band composed by 4 guys on the stage and tens of thousands around it all in an unique Heart, Soul, Love (and not money). Indelible night till death. Always grateful I was part of it.
It should be A Must for every U2 fan and not.
Highlights: just to name some .. Sunday Bloody Sunday - Bad – Wake Up Dead Man - Where The Streets Have No Name - Kite –The Fly - New York – Desire – Out Of Control
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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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At that time, I was overwhelmed by the sheer size, dimension and loudness of the event. It was my first and still only concert of that size, and it was incredible, but I also remember thinking they shouldn't make such a fuzz and just play the songs. Today I see it differently, I love the Sidney Concert film of the tour.
But I also realized that I'm not the type to got to these kind of events. Too many people in one place. I dont feel comfortable.
Strangely, the Dublin-Show that was broadcasted on Zoo Radio shorty after that, managed to be more memorable too me. Therefore, 4 Stars.
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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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When the Where The Streets Have No Name organ sounded over the 125k people on the stadium and lights went up, Bono appeared with a soccer balloon and shot it over the crowd. The first point of the night was amazing. After that, (just at the end of I Will Follow - which was awesome too) Bono gave some gifts to the mad spanish crowd. "Este es un lugar GREANDE, pero U2 y vosotros somos MUCHO MAAS grandes!!" ("This is a huge place, but U2 and you, we are MUCH bigger!!" ***Crowd went nuts***...
I'm not commenting every single detail, because it'd be so long. The whole show was spreaded with pearls. The Edge was also joking with some audience members, and Larry went off twice of the drumming-kit to wave and salute the audience (this anecqdothes are obviously not in the recording, but my parent was there and he knows it). Great.
The Electric Co was another great point. Bono climbed up to the stage once again (for the last time) and there (over 30 meters up the crowd) holded (for the last time! What a unique moment) the U2 White Flag. Awesome. After that (crowd went nuts again) he sung the best snippet done ever into that song: Break On Thru (To The Other Side). My father's throat went of on that moment .
And of course, Spanish Eyes was the absolute highlight of the night. As the first performance of a song, it was raw and not pulished, but how great it was. The crowd loved it and sung along (although they didnt know the song! how weird!).
And ''40", the closer song. Probably best version of the song ever. Amazing. Crowd thown the few energies they had left on this song. Amazing. My father once told me that people went out of the stadium singing out loud the "Hooooowww looooong... To sing this song?", and that verses were heard for hours at some points of Madrid... So great!
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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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In the late afternoon easily 4 or 5 hours before the performance I was riding my yellow bicycle past Ritchie Coliseum on the way back to my dorm room (246-6 New Leonardtown) when I saw the band's tour bus was parked alongside Ritchie Coliseum. I think there was a second bus perhaps for the equipment and such; it is a little fuzzy now as this was a long time ago. There were two or three fans standing around hoping the guys in the band would come out and chat. It was a cool damp day. One fan was a girl that went to high school with me, 1 year younger, and her first name was Marla. I stayed and talked with Marla for a while also hoping to chat with the band. Marla had her vinyl LP records with her from October, Boy, and War. She wanted to get the records autographed. My records were at home so that wasn't an option for me. After maybe half an hour I gave up and went on my way. A week or two later Marla told me that soon after I left the band came out from the tour bus, chatted with her and the other fans, and autographed her three records! Very cool. Sadly I missed it.
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This and Lido Beach are perhaps the best October bootlegs you'll find. The setlist is great and some songs had slightly different lyrics, like The Cry part in Electric Co. According to Bono, they were almost arrested that day for trying to get into the St. Patrick's parade!
Highlights: Another Time, Another Place, An Cat Dubh/Into The Heart, Rejoice, Tomorrow (not the best version ever, I prefer the early War versions. Bono lied to the crowd saying it was the first performance ever. Naughty Bono!), Out Of Control and 11 O'Clock (Bono talks about Irish stereotypes and does a great snippet of Give Peace A Chance).
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This is one of the best Boy tour bootlegs around and has all the songs you'd expect to hear at a Boy Tour show (10 Boy songs, 11 O Clock, 3 B-sides and I Fall Down.
I Fall Down - This version has no piano in it and slightly different lyrics and a miniature guitar solo not on the finished version
Touch - This song was not performed on any other tour in this form so it's a really good version (more polished than Trevor, the early version)
The Electric Co - With Cry and Send in The Clowns
Things To Make and Do - one very good version of a song rarely performed live. Better than the studio version
Great Boy tour bootleg. Best of the tour. There is a full video of this on youtube aswell and also possibly in the video pages but i haven't looked.
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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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Having seen a tweet late last Thursday afternoon from U2ComZooMods inviting a reply with just my name to maybe get tickets to the live broadcast of tfi Friday in London - I did just that.
tfi Friday launched the weekend for millions of fully signed up lads and ladettes back in the 90's. Brash and soaked in alcohol it was fast paced and at times funny, but always high energy.
Brought back off the shelf for a short run this year it jumped back into living rooms, now owned by the 90's lads and ladettes, on Friday past with U2 as the main draw.
So fast forward 20 hours and I am now stood outside a very small and now defunct theatre with a Production wrist band on my wrist and knowledge that the next two hours will be special.
The venue maybe had 150 in the performance area - a mix of 20 U2 fans, a handful of 40something women reliving their early twenties as Take That fans (for they were on the show as well) and I guess some members of the public. It was a strange crowd, but with the TV lighting it made for a hot sweaty club vibe.
Showtime - Raised By Wolves - the B Man is 6 feet away giving it everything. The sound was incredible and the lads played as if their very lives that night depended on it. I'm no writer, so there is no way that I can give you any understanding of how incredible it was to be in the room. Bizarrely, watching over the weekend on the extended playback, it came across as the worlds greatest live band did an ok job! By now you will have seen it for yourself, and I guess it plays back to way back when when U2 became the only band to ever go DOWN the charts after an appearance on Top of The Pops (UK TV chart show).
A very unenlightening interview later in the show away up on the theatre gallery was nothing more than swapping banter between host and band, and hosts Son and hosts Mother! That didn't matter the band weren't here to chat and we weren't there to listen to them talk!
They closed the TV broadcast with Vertigo. Edge's guitar sound taking our heads off! Song for Someone carried all the emotion and then the "This is our first single.." intro and a version of Out of Control that will be with me until I am no more. Just incredible. The room was too small to hold the energy! Bonotised with champagne and it was thank you, goodnight!
Dallas, Sammy, Jake and Stuart left to pick up the pieces as U" have left the building.
Insane evening - thank you to all who made it happen.
The venue was the Cochrane Theatre, London.
I was told that the tour will play indoors and outdoors next year, and then follow the yellow brick road to Aus/NZ in 2017........ Here's hoping!
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