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I wasn’t originally going to this concert due to the similarity to the 2017 JT tour and the poor venue but managed to get a general admission ticket. I arrived at about 6pm in the rain and battled the crowd trying to buy food and drink from the limited stores available. The SCG is the worst venue in Sydney due to its location, lack of space, poor acoustics and unsatisfactory organisation.
Noel Gallagher stirred up the crowd in his unique way while playing in the rain. He predicted the rain would stop once U2 came on and he was right. It took too long to clear the stage, dry it and prepare it for the main act. U2 didn’t start til 9pm.
Concert was better than I expected and definitely better than the 360 tour 9/10 years ago which lacked energy in comparison. Playing a seminal album gave the concert meaning.
Getting out of the venue at 11pm was tiresome with long queues that also moved slowly.
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We made our way to the concert way too early, but the rain had stopped, and we had little else to do in the time available. We had to mosey all the way around the building to get in, like the night before, but there was much less of a queue. Inside, we bought a couple of cold drinks, from which they removed the caps, and made our way to our seats; the usher sternly advised us to make sure we had the right ones, as it was completely sold out.
Firstly, a shout out to the guy in front of me, who obligingly stayed standing for most of the concert, which gave me the excuse to do the same when I wanted. Mind you, our section was pretty good- they hadn't got the idea at the start of I Will Follow, but soon more and more stood, and when they started to stand near me, up I went. Which set off both the guy in front, and the excitable guy beside me, who'd been jiggling in his seat from the beginning. You're welcome.
Secondly.. what happened to Bono today? It did occur to me that perhaps he had a great night's sleep.. later in the show, he mentioned having met some fans today, and I do wonder whether that had anything to do with it. He crossed himself during Lights of Home- I hardly ever remember him doing that in a show. He shared with us a hilarious anecdote about Adam, who as a teenager had an argument with the bus conductor when he didn't have the fare. "Would you possibly take a cheque?" "You don't have a chequebook, and I don't need your autograph." "My name and address are legal tender, and as for the autograph, give me time.."
Mr. McPhisto described himself and "The Don" as being inseparable. Mind you, he remarked, he's more like the Burger King.. serving up an extra dollop of white supreme sauce. And as he stripped off the makeup, he noted that he'd scared himself by looking in the mirror that morning and seeing his father- whom he described as a showman, too.
During Pride, he asked us to sing out loud, so they could hear us across the Atlantic. Like the night before, he reminded us how many Irish had availed of American hospitality. "Caravans of crying children- is this the same country they went to?"
Conversely, he was full of praise for Irish politicians, who, as he said, worked across party lines to support the poorest. Apparently, Micheál Martin and Brendan Howlin made it tonight.
You could see Bono at the side of the stage toward the end, willing the crowd on - he let us sing practically all of One. And as he walked off at the very end, he wouldn't stop singing, instead egging us into the intro for The Miracle! It felt as though he didn't want to leave..
Neither did I. I'm marking this as the concert of the tour for me so far. It has the edge over Manchester, which I didn't think could happen. Two concerts like that in one tour.. Bono, whatever you're on, take more of it! Take care, see you soon.
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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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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 Magnificent birthday
My third U2 gig, still in France stadium but this time we were far away from the stage. We were in A9 block. Like the previous time there were me, my father, my mother and my brother but also an uncle and two friends. We left Belgium in direction of Paris. After getting in the stadium and found our seats we bought usual tee-shirts and drinks and the waiting started. Oh by the way this concert took place six days after my 18th birthday so it's a nice birthday gift I had.
About setlist songs I never had in live before and that I got at this show were : "Return of the Stingray Guitar", "I Will Follow", "Mysterious Ways", "Until the End of the World", "North Star", "Mercy", "Miss Sarajevo" and "Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me"
The opening act was Interpol and well I didn't really appreciate them. I prefered Snow Patrol or Kaiser Chiefs. Stage and stadium were still very huge. At 20:45 we can hear "Ground Control to Major Tom" so the song "Space Oddity" of David Bowie. It meant showtime.
Band arrived on the still massive and impressive stage. It's seems simple to say but as simple their enter was it was quiet amazing. Imagine a full stadium of 96,540 people becoming wild and throwing white ballon when the screen showed U2 walking to the stage with all lights on. They then started to play a new song "Return of the Stingray Guitar" and Bono did his showman walking on the B-stage circle, jumping and talking to the crowd and screaming "Allez c'est parti". He then made the stadium screaming "Oh, oh" and all the stadium turned the light off (Willie) at the same moment "Beautiful Day" began. Classic song but nice effect and good show introduction. Bono ended it on a "Edge is beautiful".
I knew then that it would be either "I Will Follow" or "New Year's Day". My father was hoping for "New Year's Day" as it's one of his favorite one. Both of them would be fine to me and the band played "I Will Follow" wich was the first time hearing it for me so I was happy and I jumped like lot of people in the stadium. "Get on Your Boots" followed then and well quiet energetic but not my favorite song. A much better song has been played then "Magnificent". I like that song and guitar parts as well as bass and drumming parts are really good. I remember that Adam Clayton walked off behind the stage and played for the back of the stadium. Bono did a quick look to see where was he and said "The magnificent Adam Clayton" at the end of the song and was close to him in the next song. I also remember watching the solo of The Edge with my binoculars.
A song I never saw in gig before followed it "Mysterious Ways". I did appreciate to heard it for the first time live. Bono who was energetic since the start of the show played with the crowd on one of the two bridge and made the people waves with their hands. He then sung the song on the same microphone as The Edge, nice moments.
Band energy, crowd playing and Bono show was still there for "Elevation" with a Bono full of energy who took a ballon to change his voice and played with it before doing the same with a hat from the crowd. "Until The End Of The World" followed for my great pleasure as I like this song and never saw it live before. Light show was amazing so was the bridge moves. Bono played to annoy The Edge and Adam Clayton for fun. Guitar solo was great and I watched it with my binoculars. Band was in playfull mood.
"I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For" was the next song. Before it there was the first calm moment since the start of the concert. Bono thanked Interpol in French before introducing the band. "Je vais vous présenter le groupe, à la basse, le renard d'argent, Adam Clayton, à la batterie, notre beau gosse, Larry Mullen". When he saw Larry Mullen didn't get it Bono told him "I'll explain later" and both laughed. "À la guitare", the crowd already applaused strongly. "Le mystérieux, énigmatique, le Louis Pasteur du Rock 'N' Roll, le père de Hollie and Arran pour n'en citer que quelques-uns, The Edge". Bono then introduced himself as "Votre humble serviteur, le Bossu de Notre-Dame" and the song started. People sung the first verse with a bit help from Bono and the chorus.
Two next songs were unreleased new songs and so people listened them and kept quiet. "North Star" was a quiet one played only by The Edge and Bono while "Mercy" has been played by the whole band and has more energy.
"In a Little While" and "Miss Sarajevo" were the two next. Two good songs and nice to hear them especially the second one which was the first time for me. On the first one Bono took a lucky girl on stage and layed down his head on her legs. He then made her a walk on stage and ended dancing with her on the bridge. Frank De Winne apperead then on the screen saying the last lyrics of "In a Little While" and during that the first note of "Miss Sarajevo" started. Bono received applause after his scream during the song.
Screen growed for "City of Blinding Lights" and we had the same sequence as in 2009 show with "Vertigo" "I'll Go Crazy If I Don't Go Crazy Tonight" "Sunday Bloody Sunday" with a nice snippet of "Get Up Stand Up", "MLK" and "Walk On". Songs were nice, band full of energy especially Bono and crowd reacted positively. Only change between 2009 and 2010 band skipped "Pride (In The Name Of Love)" wich was a good thing. I love that song but you can't hear it each time you see the band because if you do then you have less chance of hearing a song you never heard before.
Time for first encore (I remember my brother asked me if the gig was over. Not yet I told him) with the same Desmond Tutu speech that lead us to "One" who started with an improvised small guitar solo from Bono. Classic song with nice guitar parts and all lights from mobile phone from people gave a nice visual.
"Amazing Grace" introduced "Where the Streets Have No Name". As soon as first organ pipe sound started while Bono was still singing "Amazing Grace" the crowd reacted. All was beautiful in that song. Guitar parts, bass parts, Larry had a powerful drumming and Bono had so much energy. The visual, the light, the stage and the crowd were amazing. Bono and The Edge came to the back of the stage playing for the back people. It was a really good moment and so much positivy in that song. At the end Bono thanked the crowd "Vous avez été formidable".
Second encore was there then. I remember my brother asked me "So now this is the end" and me "Still not yet". A video showing two extraterrestrial people in a small rocket travelling in space apperead on the screen. Then the claw (name of U2 stage) flyed over the two extraterrestrial people rocket and took their place on the screen. Baby Zooropa face apperead then asking "What's time is it in the world" and then singing something that I honestly can't remember. I know he said something like "Baby, baby, baby" but I can't remember the rest. Anyway that lead us to "Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me". A nice surprise to hear it. The band hasn't played it in a tour since the "Popmart" one so definitely a good song to hear live. Light show and jacket was similar than 2009 show for "Ultraviolet (Light My Way)". Guitar parts and Bono performance were great.
End of the show was the same as 2009 gigs "With Or Without You" and "Moment Of Surrender" closed the set. Similar songs, similar lights and visual. Crowd appreciated and phone lights were seen in stadium. Good atmosphere and people made the "Oh, oh". We could cleary see that U2 enjoyed to be there, enjoyed the show and the crowd. They were in a good day with lot of energy and happiness. The crowd also really enjoyed the show. At the end of the show Adam Clayton said "Thank you Paris, you have been great", Larry Mullen Jr said "Merci, au revoir, bonne nuit" while The Edge was laughing. Then the guitarist said "Thank you Paris, thank you" and for once Bono said nothing. They then took all their times to leave the stage and waves the people. End of a great night.
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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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As this was my first GA experience, I took the day off with my brother and stood in line in the early October weather. It wasn’t that cold out, but as we were in one spot for much of the day a chill could catch you. Fortunately, that was made up for by the wonderful experience that is a U2 GA line. I’ve had 6 GA shows and have only ever been disappointed in one of them. My brother and I have always loved U2, and somehow during our teenage years (late 90’s) ‘Out Of Control’ became our signature driving song. When we got in, the Heart was full so we parked ourselves just to the right of the tip of the Heart. So when they finished New Year’s Day and Out Of Control started thumping….well if you’ve experienced it, you know. To top it off, Bono pulled a fan on-stage old school (way to go Arun!), we got Angel Of Harlem, and my personal favourite, Bad. Hear Bad live that close on a GA experience is probably in my top 5 U2 moments. Again, if you’ve experienced it. A surprise cover of ‘What’s Going On’ followed in the encore which U2 just somehow made their own, and we were treated to the ‘Shine Like Stars’ tag on WOWY. Again, the GA crowd knew what a treat that was. I don’t know if U2 will ever come back to Hamilton, I don’t know if they know. This was to date, the only show ever in Hamilton. There were 18,000 luck fans who get to say they were there, and I'm proud to have been one of them.
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absolutely the best popmart gig in my opinion - there are a couple of other shows that might be considered equally as good but we've all seen/heard mexico 1000's of times and the other well known highlights from the final shows of the tour and of course sarajevo which were all great but this gig just has something else about it for me. the band seems to be relaxed but at the same time on TOP form, and refreshingly there are no serious moments, not even from bono who just seems to be having a great time.
every song is awesome but the (many) highlights are"
mofo-i will follow are the best you will ever hear them bar none, new years day is as good as it ever got in 97, miami-bullet will blow your face off (i have never heard a more brutal sounding first few bars of bullet). please is intense, discotheque with its whole lotta' love outro is my favourite version of this song ever, velvet dress has the extra verse, HMTMKMKM is perfect, mysterious ways is also my favourite version ever - the george harrison outro just works SO well!! and the the closing cover of rain is the icing on the cake.
if you're a fan of the popmart era this has to be in your top 3 MUST HAVE shows! you will listen to it over and over again
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My ratings were pretty much consistent 3.5's all the way across the board, and here's why. This show wasn't terrible. It wasn't painful to listen to. But there are two things about it that made me not want to revisit this show.
1)The performance is inconsistent. Some of the greatest highlights (and some songs truly were great- "Running to Stand Still" with an awe-inspiring outro, Bullet the Blue Sky just before that, and Until the End of the World) were just too far between. I felt like this show was very, very inconsistent. Perfect word to describe what I thought of this show.
2)Probably goes hand in hand with #1...but I just couldn't feel the ZooTV spirit. The satirical, party animal element of the first couple of songs just didn't seem to be as prominent, and the unenthused Bono didn't help much either. There just wasn't that aura of greatness surrounding this show, for whatever reason.
The ultimate highlight is the trio of Dirty Old Town (sung by Larry!!!), Angel of Harlem, and Tryin' to Throw Your Arms Around the World. This was the real excellent part of the show for me, when I found myself enjoying it the most.
Give this one a listen only if you're a serious ZooTV enthusiast. If not, you're better off searching for a better, more glittering prize of a show.
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Sometimes I wonder why I was born in December 1988, one year before this lovely concert in Rotterdam. I was probably in my cradle as a 1-year old boy when Edge hit the first tabs of Where the Streets Have No Name in Ahoy Rotterdam on that special 6th of January 1990, 90 kilometres from my hometown.
I often ask myself the question: what would it have been like to be part of the audience during a Lovetown-show. I fell in love with the Point Depot gigs in Ireland, and the Rotterdam-shows from early January were even better, some say. Lovetown:the name itself explains it, like BB King spells during When Love Comes To Town: L-O-V-E. Yes, I love rock, I love U2, but I especially love Lovetown. Don't get me wrong, because I know the Joshua Tour was enormous and awesome. And Zoo TV was one big happening, followed by Popmart, whether you like it or not. Also Elevation gives me special feelings and was my favourite tour for a long time. But Lovetown is top-notch. The mix of songs between the Joshua Tree and Rattle and Hum, performed in small places with BB King's Orchestra makes Lovetown the best tour for me. I didn't take long and U2 didn't even cross the world with it. But the modesty of it does it for me. Like Bono says at a Point Depot show: 'After all these big places, we wanted to play a small place'Â.
Lovetown also marked the end of a decade in which U2 finally showed itself to the world in full glory. Live Aid in 1985 was a very important turning point, sealed by the release of The Joshua Tree. But U2 felt that every end had a start. U2 was looking for a new direction and needed time.
The energy and commitment of U2 was awesome back then. Bono was at his prime. His voice was a mix between the Joshua Tour and the upcoming Zoo TV. And U2 really enjoyed what they were doing. Lovetown was not a show, it was no entertainment like Zoo TV or Popmart. It wasn't a show with political context, like Vertigo. It was based on music, pure music, pure rock and roll. And you can feel the excitement and joy of U2 trough these shows. I guess they enjoyed every bit, like the audience.
U2's first European success was actually founded in Holland, where the single I Will Follow became a giant hit. Bono mentions this during this Rotterdam show when they start Love Rescue Me, when he says: 'And this is also a good place to end, because we more or less started here ten years ago. You've been very good for us, thank you!'Â. The crowd was ecstatic.
This show is awesome. It has reached a nice spot in my top ten favourites, I think. It's equal to the Point Depot shows, with U2 really on fire. I missed New Year's Day and Bad, but I know U2 played 4 shows at Rotterdam. The Bad from the 10th of January is one of the best there is.
This show is quite memorable as The Unforgettable Fire was played for the last time. I listened to this show trough my Sennheiser CX300 and my eyes shut. I transferred myself to Ahoy, Rotterdam, 18 years ago, being in the audience. I felt the energy, I experienced U2 in their best days
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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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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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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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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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