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On the morning of 28.10.2018 I was with my family in the Titanic Museum and therefore drove past the SSE Arena. There was nothing big to see except the trucks of U2 and some employees of the SSE Arena. When we drove back to the city center I saw a big crowd with cameras near by the trucks and saw the guys from U2 - but it was to despair, because I did not get out of the bus and it felt like the next stop was 200,000 Kilometers away. Of course, then no one was there when I went back to the trucks.
I had sold my seat ticket for half price and got a GA ticket from a friend. I was so excited, I lined up at the GA queue, where everyone stood peacefully and chatted with each other. Then, all of a sudden, I saw Remy talking to a young lady, thinking he looked the same as in the interviews. Of course, he did not recognize me, but it was nice for me in my still moment to see him.
Then it started slowly that we came bit by bit way to the inlet. The inlet itself was unspectacular, very different than in Berlin. Inside, it was still relatively empty, so we got a great spot at the baricage, very close to the main stage. I was able to watch the crew's preparations, the final soundcheck, checking the drums from Larry, the guitar from Edge, the bass from Adam and of course the microphone from Bono, Technik Check ...
The four boys then came through a passage below the stage and went upstairs. The show started and it was breathtaking from the start. It was well thought out, the songs very well matched, the mood increased. It was nice to see how the boys enjoyed their game, how they interacted with the audience. I like all the songs from Innocence and from Experience but with the “new” songs from AB it’s more fresh, more enthusiastic.
When it was over after the encore, it is sorted outside, no scramble. Outside, huge crowds went over the pedestrian bridge, causing it to wobble. There were many taxis ready, but they were already occupied. At this time drove no more buses. This little town of Belfast stood by the U2 concert head. There was a hunt for due taxis. - And finally, after an hour, completely frozen, happily intoxicated by the U2 concert, I found the taxi driver Patrick, who drove me to our apartment. It was a great show and I'm excited. I'm looking forward to the final show in Berlin.
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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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I'm french and I do not write properly in English, sorry.
Paris, Sunday, December 6, 2015. A fabulous concert, amazing, energetic and full of emotions. Although the sound was too loud, it will be a great memory. When will the next. More details below.
2015, I know and listen to U2 since the beginning of their adventure but I have never seen them in concert. WHY, when I've seen dozens of live bands ????
I am a musician (trumpet). Around me, I was proud to announce that for the first time in my life I was going to attend a U2 concert.
On the evening of Friday, November 13, 2015, around 22:30, after a repetiton, I received a text message from my sister who wrote : "Watch the news on television, this is very serious."
In front of my TV, I was at first incredulous and then I realized that the situation was terrible in Paris. People were killed at random in various public places in the capital. I could not go to bed before knowing the outcome of the hostage-taking in "Le Bataclan". Late at night, it was the horrible announcement ; dozens of deaths were reported. I cried.
Then I thought about the U2 concert which I had to attend on November 14. I thought : "I can not go. I can not partying. I have to respect the victims. U2 will definitely cancel his upcoming concerts in Paris. How to go on stage the day after such a tragedy ?"
Soon after, U2 decided to cancel the concerts on 14 and 15 November. My first time at a U2 show was compromised. Yet it was not that I care about. I can still see them again as dozens of victims of the attacks will never be able to attend any show.
A few days later, I thought : "Life must go must go back to the theaters".
The week after the attacks, U2 provided postponing concerts in the 6 and 7 December. While containing my joy (always a thought for the victims, some of my region), I was looking forward to the announcement.
On December 6, at 12:30, with two friends and my wife, we take the road to Paris. We reserved parking in the basement that we find easily.
14:15, my friends decide to go directly to the Bercy Arena take their place in the queue. My wife and I go to "Le Bataclan" and "Place of the Republic" to recollect us. It was a very intense and very emotional moment.
16:30, we finally join our friends who are in the queue, doubling the spectators who kindly let us pass.
We met with youngs of Lyon. We share with them our different musical tastes, different experiences of concerts, our impressions of the quality of concert halls ... We eat our sandwishes.
18.30 Finally, the queue advance ; we lose sight of Lyon. The Arena "swallows" gradually spectators. We are among the first to access the pit. We sit on the edge of the "Red Zone" on the side "Adam Clayton."
While my friends and my wife will buy a souvenir T-shirt, I discover the facilities for the show. U2 machinery is worthy of Arras Main Square Festival or a show of Pink Floyd (or almost). Is the promise of a great show ?
I spotted the t-shirt "Nous n'avons pas peur - Paris" but the French flag is printed upside down. I give up to buy it, I will draw one myself.
We drink a few beers while listening to the background music, the sound is too loud. I protect my ears with plugs. Our tip to buy beer without queuing is to ask a Spanish viewer installed in the "red zone" order them. He accepts, it's very nice of him, his girlfriend sulks a bit anyway.
The pit fills up much faster than the seats that remain for a long time almost all empty. The thought crosses my : "people have requested reimbursement of places after the attacks." But no, it was not until the approach of the beginning of the concert that people take up their seats. In the distance, we recognize Mireille d'Arc among the VIPs.
Before the U2 concert, on stage, "models" (spectators?) Are positioned to help technicians with sensors to perform calibrations cameras to capture the spectacle.
Other technicians, those for the lights, are winched to projectors to fifteen meters above the pit. These are Americans. We discuss with them just before their climb.
The background music does finish more. I do not notice that "People have the power" by Patti Smith is introducing the show. When it becomes obvious that public clamor announces the arrival of Bono "At the other side of the Stage".
It is 20:30. Bono begins : "Vive la France ... Vive l'Europe." It gives me chills. And THE SHOW begins with "Miracle" in chorus brilliantly taken by a public impressive. It rallied as one man is unique, indescribable, unforgettable, stunning. Bono is moved, I feel this. I am happy to be here, I'm in show ("Merde aux cons").
The following titles continue to set an amazing atmosphere in the arena. Everyone is standing, claps hands, sing ... takes part in the show. Bono becomes the leader of the audience. "Bonjour Paris ... Ce soir nous sommes tous parisiens … Si vous aimez la liberté, Paris est votre ville". This day is special for spectators and for which U2 had announced a few days earlier, "We will give the best on 6 and 7 December in Paris."
The show is beautifully orchestrated and offers different atmospheres : energy, strength, memories, melancholy, anger, rebellion ... hope.
Brigitte, a spectator invited by Bono on stage, is to the height of the show. She is in harmony with the scene : black jeans, yellow sweater, yellow flower in her hair and a small French flag. She impresses the audience and Bono by her boldness (she gives a kiss to the four guys), spontaneity ("I'm from Paris, the best city of the world"), her joy to be there (she dances and films the show).
The success of the show is also based on visual effects and very successful lights. The giant screen, through which Bono and the rest of the group walks, gives him a unique dimension. This is unheard of. Bono does not mince words, does not hide his ideas. He illustrates "Welcome to The Refugees" by a very strong image : the stars of the European flag are replaced by drowned wearing a yellow vest floating in water.
The most moving tribute U2 in memory of the victims of November 13 happens to encores. The huge central screen, which crosses right through Bercy, becomes blue, white, red, shows the logo of peace and the names of 130 dead people on 13 November. Bono sings in French a few verses of "Ne me quitte pas" by Jacques Brel.
Bono also invited at the American rocker Patti Smith, has since Friday in Paris for two concerts in connection with the climate conference for a "People Have The Power" in energetic conclusion of a concert rich in color, and videos decibels.
Bono on stage and his three buddies actually give the best of themselves. I feel them very concentrated, very applied. They exchange glances with each other to play better together. They are very friendly and close to their audience. Bono appreciates the clamor and sometimes he does not know what to say. He is sincere. U2 is a very large group.
Very impressive, extraordinary. Why didn't i ever attended one of their concerts ?
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This was my 1st GA show for any U2 show, i'll say that this was my greatest concert experience ever. I went with my mother early to start lining up. i remember it was hot outside. We heard U2 rehearsing. I heard the bass line for The Fly, I remember thinking "No way, don't tell me they're going to play this right?" I was thinking, it must be Ultraviolet's bass cause it was the 2nd night since HMTMKMKM was played yesterday, then it went to EBTTRT, COBL and Zooropa. I remember taking a nap after the band/crew stopped soundchecking, i heard cheering, they were letting people in. So i remember running to the 360 stage, all of us were running ignoring the security lol, but anyway we got in the circle on Adam's side underneath the bridge. I didn't care for Lenny, but what ever, it passed time. It seemed like a huge wait but i heard Space Oddity, i got excited. Did U2 started out with EBTTRT, i was jumping up and down, the crowd was hyper. After the song ended, i was expecting IWf, but something amazing happened. i Bono grab his guitar and immediately knew it was the fly. I screamed in laugher, this opening concert played 5 AB songs in a row. After when One finished, then the Amazing Grace snippet started and i knew something was weird and unexpected, Streets was the 6th song of the night followed by IWF. This was a completely different setlist. I was thing what was going on. The was a great twist to all of the repetitive setlist from the previous shows. Pretty much after that amazing moment, the setlist was the same but with Walk On finished the main set. Ultraviolet opened the Encore, the 6th AB song to be played. AMAZING, half the album. MoS finished this amazing show, with a Jungleland snippet. This show was amazing. this is 2nd place of my top 3 U2 shows.
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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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Review written on 22 March, 1998.
Saturday night i was rather deaf and got in bed @ 2am - but sooooooo excited. A dream came true. There’s this ultra marathon in South Africa - 90 kilometres (60 miles?). Once the winner commented looking @ the crowd still finishing in the heat 7 hours after him, that they experience the true spirit of the event. So was the U2 concert. 35 metres from the front or was it 50? Seeing the screen beautifully, but having to stretch to see the stars we wanted to thrill kiss, hold, &kill :-). Afterwards smelling from beer, nicotine, marijuana and dripping from sweat, but happy after a truly spiritual experience. It was the best worship of God I ever had (even better than church where I lead it) when we pleaded with God in 40 and throughout.
The event was broadcast semi-live over national television. Semi because the show started 9:30 and on tv @ 10 so they could squeze commercials in - so popmartish :-).
Looking 2 the show afterwards on tv I got the best of both worlds. Live the vibe and crowd…..tv the quality and some moments you missed in the crowd.
I taped it from my VCR to tape - great listen in the car. Anybody wanna trade? I need Achtung baby & Zooropa on CD.
What a mess afterwards. Interesting - selling beer in plastic bottles - good thing :-). Were there from 5:00. Tickets (ours) cost 170 rand each for me and my youngest brother - I made him the U2 fan year’s ago, so he bought the tickets. We sang “how long to sing this song probably for 5 minutes and heard some music and went wild!!!
But that wasn’t them. Just a cd. Then: looking for baby Jesus under the trash.
U2 - thanx for blessing us. We’ll pray for you guys. Peace to you and fans all around the world.
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A great Outside Broadcast show, just after the 92 U.S. Presidential elections. Bono talks about that before and after ISHFWILF.
Let me start with the bad: the sound is not that good during When Love Comes To Town, we hear the audience better than the band in that song. Bono also had some problems at the beginning of MW and then with the harmonica in RTSS. I'm not sure if this is bad, but Edge's solo in MW started in a weird way, but he recovered quickly.
Still, there are a lot of reasons to listen to this bootleg:
- It's ZooTV Outside Broadcast! All songs were performed quite good. Gotta love the Mirrorball Man and his "I have a vision" speech. It was particularly good that day, with the elections and B. Clinton becoming president.
-The new source has very good sound overall.
- UTEOTW was excellent. This performance later appeared in the Alternative NRG: Greenpeace Compilation album.
- Bono changed or improvised the lyrics in a lot of songs, like One, Satellite Of Love, BTBS. The intro of NYD is very unique, I loved it.
- WTSHNN was excellent, especially at the end with Bono singing the high notes beautifully.
- I'm not a fan of ZooTV SBS, but it was pretty good that day.
EDIT: I previously stated that this boot was incomplete, but it has been updated now and luckily for us, no song is missing.
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* The upside down setlist
* Bono playing audience cop as he was prone to do during this era. I don't know what was funnier, Bono getting angry or the mental picture of a Japanese crowd moshing to I Still Haven't Found...
It gets better in the middle of People Get Ready "Listen guy, one more piece of shit out of you and you're outta here. I don't care if you paid the front row. I'm tellin' ya. Leave him for one more and he's fuckin' outta here."
* One Tree Hill---->Streets. If that's not how Streets was meant to start I don't know what is!
* All I Want Is You and 40 close out the show nicely.
* One of the only occasions when Angel was not played leaving BB King's band a bit short. I guess something had to give with the inclusion of Slow Dancing. The BB King set would go on to become entrenched as the encore during the second leg.
* The setlist could have used With or Without You before 40.
* Three covers is probably one too many, but I suppose they added to the fun and I'm being picky now.
Overall, a show definitely worth getting and keeping. The Point Depot gigs and, to a lesser extent Rotterdams, are the yardstick for Lovetown boots and performances but this Osaka show isn't far behind. I got it a while ago and still enjoy listening to it every now and then.
4 stars overall.
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The atmosphere was very foul. It was my first U2 concert, but not my first stadium concert, and I remember it well. The rain had started in the afternoon, but in the morning and around noon it had been very hot. There was a terrible pushing and shoving of the audience waiting at the entrances for doors open, and many seemed to be well drunk and I did see many, many empty drinks containers, beer cans, wine packs and bottles outside. The doors open seemed badly organised. Some a few yards away opened before others did, the seemed to be little coordination. People were pissed off by that, they wanted an equal chance in the run to the centre stage spots.
The openers, I remember The Pretenders, Big Audio Dynamite and Lou Reed, were all booed and generally badly accepted, at least in the part of the audience I happened to be stuck in, which was third, second row, slightly to the right of centre stage. The place looked like an open battle for the first row and of course I participated first, being rather stoutly built and not one to back off easily. This concert had meant the world to me, after I had gotten hold of a ticket, through a multitude of different lucky concurrences.
I believe, I cannot be sure anymore about it, that The Daltons opened last. I might confuse that, though, with a show I might have seen on the internet of that time, after all, it's been 28 years.
When WTSHNN began with its droning synth-sounds and the guitar's delayed arpeggios, and the band appeared one by one, the crowd went mad and the stifling squeeze got worse. But when the bass and the drums joined and slowly built up the song's hard pushing, driving beat the crowd went berserk. I had a fight with an American, a GI by his crew cut and confidence, and the security did not notice. He hit me in the nose, but luckily he could not swing properly, for lack of room to move. I could not get my arms up enough, so I hit where I could. The security were highly unprofessional (I did that job later in life myself) and completely taken aback with the sheer violence of the crowd's pushing forward, the yelling and the screaming of girls who obviously were in acute fear. The waves of people’s shoving often moved me ten or more yards away from where I had been before. I remember the moment when the band jumped into the first song and the red lights flooded all over the rain-drenched crowd. The heat from the electric lights washed over the people and actually felt quite warm on the face. Seconds afterwards clouds of vapour of the drying rain partially took away the sight of the stage.
I had had enough by then. I withdrew to the seats ranks, found myself a place and watched from about a hundred yards away. I was deeply disappointed with the on-goings and felt betrayed and let down. I had thought that we had all been there together to celebrate the same thing. I had been wrong. U2 had become a phenomenon and had stopped being a rock and roll band. They were a sensation, not music to dance and sing the lyrics and to feel alive by, because the songs spoke to you about your life and you inner self. This was a spectacle, not a concert. No one danced. They all fought. No one sang. Everybody screamed. No one had fun. They all tried to hold on to their place or get a better one by being more brutal than the opponent, because that is what everybody was, an adversary and a rival in trying to be as close to the band as possible. Do not think that I was naive about it. I understood as I do now that people want to be as close as possible to their lucky stars. But I wasn't expecting the brutality I encountered, and it did not seem to make sense, and I was not prepared to put up with it, as I would not be today. I do not think that it was anything else but sheer good fortune that there wasn't anyone killed in the throng in front of the stage. It was brutal enough for that. None of my later U2 shows had that quality and quantity of ruthlessness and viciousness.
When 40 began I was on my way out, walking outside the stadium trying to hitchhike my way back to where I was due. I remember feeling like hell. It took me weeks to be able to enjoy the music again.
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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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This has quickly become one of my favourite U2 recordings. The crowd are wild and the show is excellent. All the songs shine; many of the performances here are among the very best for several of these songs. Bono improvises lyrics in The Electric Co (or else it has an unlisted snippet) and especially during the amazing performance of Trash, Trampoline and the Party Girl which runs for over five-and-a-half minutes and has Bono adding a couple of new verses at the end and the band freestyling, it sounds very much like Sting to me. "40" closes the show in a suitably epic fashion, running some 11 minutes.
Overall, possibly the best Unforgettable Fire bootleg out there. Get it immediately if you don't have it already. You won't be sorry.
- 11 O'Clock Tick Tock
- Seconds - probably the best
- The ninth, final, and probably best performance of Indian Summer Sky (my favourite TUF song!)
- The Unforgettable Fire
- Wire/Give Me Some Truth - probably the best
- A long The Cry/The Electric Co. - among the best
- New Year's Day
- Party Girl - probably the best, a greatly extended version with extra lyrics that seem reminiscent of Sting in style and substance
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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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Silver Lining is an early version of 11 O'Clock Tick Tock. Musically it's nearly identical (except a few neat little things at the end) but has very different lyrics. Speed of Life has lyrics, unlike the version that was eventually officially released. Trevor is an early version of Touch. Shadows and Tall Trees sounds quite different to the version on Boy.
Overall, a very solid show with great historical value. It's really something special to see the band at this early stage playing with all the passion and fire that will define their whole career.
- Life On a Distant Planet (one of my favourite of U2's early songs)
- Another Day
- Pete the Chop
- Cartoon World
- Out of Control
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I didn't have a ticket to this show and I got a single 5th row ticket as a return at the box office on the night of the show. There were several acts playing that night doing one or two songs including Ian Dury and the Blockheads, The Style Council, Mari Wilson and the Wilsations, Mike Peters and Dave Sharp from The Alarm and finishing the night were U2. The audience was littered with celebrities and I found myself sitting next to Paul Eddington (Yes Minister) and Michael Palin at one point. As U2 came on stage I ran down the front so had a perfect front row seat. After U2 had done Knocking on Heavens Door with Mike Peters (Mike taught Bono how to play the song) U2 burst into New Years Day. The next thing I know is Bono is bending down with his arm out to me and I take his hand and he pulls me up on stage. Wow!! I am onstage with U2. In those days it was customary for Bono to pull up a girl onstage during 11 O'clock Tick Tock so this was totally unexpected. Bono gets me to sit down on a monitor onstage whilst performing the song and then sits next to me, puts his arm around me and continues to sing. It is an experience I will never forget and is still the best moment of my life... Thank you Bono
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