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Is there a man alive that could look as cool as Adam Clayton in that illustrated trench coat? I very much doubt it. 'Cool' was the thought for the evening on a perishingly cold Trafalgar Square and it felt a very long time since that sunny and warm July day at Twickenham.
Even so, the set list had a familiar feel to it, with Sunday Bloody Sunday and Pride opening proceedings, followed by a brace of new songs. Get Out of Your Own Way came across very well with shimmering guitar bolstered by powerful drums and bass and a rousing chorus. You're the Best Thing About Me's distinctive riff sounds like it has been around for years.
Things warmed up considerably during the trio of Joshua Tree Tour encores Beautiful Day, Elevation and Vertigo before One closed the main set in typically contemplative fashion. This was not a normal U2 show, however, and what followed was a re-run of Get Out of Your Own Way for a video shoot complete with protest signs in the radical spirit of Trafalgar Square demonstrations past. It's a great song and I felt very priviliged to see both its first and second live outings. It will surely be a staple in the 2018 setlist.
All in all an odd, non-gig, but great fun and well worth braving the elements. With the new record just weeks away, and a new tour just over the horizon, these are great days to be a U2 fan.
Eternal thanks to redpanda27 over at Zootopia. Go raibh míle maith agat, J.
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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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Well, what a difference it makes to arrive early! The corridors were practically deserted, and I was soon able to scooch over to the merchandising stand, where there was practically no queue. I actually couldn't believe it, standing at the counter, when the guy behind it came up to me almost straight away to ask what I wanted! Easy-peasy, I now have a Dublin 2015 t-shirt.. I also see they come in a variety of colours; the day before, I saw one in vivid green, mine is red (which I prefer), and I saw another chap admiring one he'd obviously just bought, which was in a light grey. All with the same pattern - the outline image from the cover of the Boy album on the front, the Dublin dates on the back. By the looks of it, they were all sold out again when I was leaving..
With nothing else I wanted to do, I took my seat - there was practically nobody in the auditorium at this point. My row turned out to be a bit higher up, and I had a touch of vertigo (of course) as I passed the end of the railing, climbing up to it. Anyway, I made it, and noted the locations of the rear stairs - the ones with handrails - for coming down again. Some entertainment was provided during the long wait, watching the individual spotlight operators being hoisted into the rigging - especially when one of them got stuck, suspended in midair, for about 30 seconds.. there was no-one to help; I think the pulleys are self-controlled.
As the house filled, the tension grew - helped no end when they turned off the lights in the upper levels, for some reason. I came to know the people sitting beside me, a little - a couple, not young: she had never seen them before, he had, in McGonagle's, way back in '76/77. Well, it came to that moment; People Have the Power started, and I jumped up. And as happens, it went on a bit and there was no sign of anyone. Next thing I know, I'm being tapped on the shoulder. The guy behind me wanted to know if I wouldn't mind sitting down - he'd stand with me in a minute. Eh, ok - I'd hate to block your view of an empty stage. After a minute or so, there was some excitement on the floor, and I jumped up again.. only to have the guy behind me wanting me to sit again.. I was spoiling his view! I guessed he thought they'd come on via the i stage, and didn't want to miss their entrance.
Well, I hadn't been sitting for 10 seconds when Bono did appear, and I jumped up again, and this time was left standing - third time lucky, eh? Along with the whole house. I have to hand it to them, this crowd - with the obvious exception of the (insert expletive here) behind me - were the crowd of the tour so far! The guy at the end of the row, who'd seen them all those years ago, was particularly blown away, and plagued his poor wife with exclamations of how good the band were! He was greatly impressed when Bono seemed to spot someone in the crowd, near the stage, that he recognised. He turned to The Edge - "Hey, d'you remember that guy in McGonagle's, years ago, who heckled us with 'More punk than The Monkees'? That's him!!" Later, we discovered that the President was also in the house.. a good mix, then!
And so they took us through a blistering first four numbers, the poor guy at the end of my row thinking he'd have a break after the third, only to find himself on his feet again.
And so I was up again at the start of the next song, and down again in the middle of it, when the people in front of me got bored of standing - again - and I got a tap-tap-tap again. I see the shredded pages of poetry are back for that song, though - great, it's a terrific effect! Even if I couldn't stand to show my appreciation.
I was actually scared to stand during Invisible, since no-one in front of me was. Halleleuja, they decided that Even Better Than the Real Thing was worth the effort, and I got to my feet at last. And at least I was getting a rest. And so into Mysterious Ways, where a guy was brought onstage to dance with Bono - only the second time that's happened, that I know of! I'm not surprised - he was dressed just like Bono at the start of the concerts on the Popmart tour, as a boxer with large shades and a fake "torso" t-shirt. As Bono remarked, "You're not from around here, are you?" Nope, he was from Brazil..
Introducing Angel of Harlem, Bono revealed that the very first time it was played live was in '89, on this same spot, when it used to be the Point Depot..! Jeez, and I was there.. I was happy enough to sit for the next couple of numbers, along with the people around me. One man was moved to jump to his feet at the end of Every Breaking Wave, just briefly, to applaud, though - well, it is memorable. And then we all jumped up for Bullet the Blue Sky.. and then my section unbelievably got bored of standing halfway through it, and sure enough, tap-tap-tap from the guy behind, wanting me to sit down..
Fortunately, that was the end of my woes. For the rest of the show, either I didn't feel like standing, or everyone did. So my nemesis had nothing to complain about. At the end of the second set, the guy on the end of the row - who'd been so enthusiastic all night - wanted some reassurance that they'd do one more. "Three!" said I.
They've included identifiable images of Dublin in the visuals for City of Blinding Lights, in these Dublin shows - well, this night they also included some of Paris, and Bono sang a snippet of a French song to finish. Beautiful Day saw flags being flung onstage - Bono finally chose a large Irish one to drape over the drum kit. And It was lovely to see his face in closeup on the big screen, because he was beaming.. he'd sensed what I sensed, that this crowd was (pretty much) at one. Concert of the year so far, for me. And as a reward - they didn't do three encores, they did four. Bad and 40, usually reserved for the last show in a city, got an outing last night. Well done, gentlemen!
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Loved it.A great way to end the 360 tour for me.The band played a great show this night.They were all in great spirits.Bono,reading the setlist,from a show in Jersey,circa 1981 ,was amusing.Larry actually smiling.Adam and Edge were alos having alot of fun onstage.
Ending with OOC was brilliant.MOS, is just not a good way, to end a show with.Its an ok song.40,AIWIY,WOWY or Bad are classics.MOS isnt in their class.Alot of the stadium, started to exit,once the band started MOS.I waited it out,and was rewarded with a great version of OOC.They should have done that more often.The stadium,went nuts.
I couldnt have asked for a better ending.Who knows, when this great band will be on tour again ? 3 or 4 yrs, maybe longer ?
I will remember this one.
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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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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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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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One of my favorite 1st leg shows, second only to the Boston Saint Patrick's Day show.
Even Better than the Real Thing - Bono introduces the band; "This is the Edge, Adam Clayton, Larry Mullen Jr...and I don't know who the f**k I am tonight" and during the song goes into his loudest "TAKE ME HIGHER!" ever. It'll startle you if you're not expecting it. After the song, he tries (unsuccessfully) to make a call to buy a diamond ring he sees on TV, in the style of the Auburn Hills pizza-for-everyone concert.
Mysterious Ways - great extended solo from Edge; my favorite version ever.
One - Bono improvises the last bit, and it almost makes sense: "One love. One life. One life. One wife. One love. You get to share her. If you give it away, [kids?] have gone astray. You can push it up. You can buck it up and get it all mixed up. Knockin', knockin', knockin' up, love!"
Until the End of the World - extended ending
Bad - Bono gets into it and leads the audience in screaming "no!".
Bullet the Blue Sky - I think it's because of the recording, but it's a lot faster than usual, which is fun to hear for once.
With or Without You - "We will shine like stars in the summer night. We will kick the darkness 'till it bleeds daylight. One hope. One blood." Everything's extended, from Edge's solo to the Shine Like Stars snippet to the last chords Edge strums. The highlight of the whole concert, and that says a lot.
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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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A must-have. Excellent quality bootleg, probably the best I've heard from the early tours.
-Surrender (best performance, somewhat different than the album and later live versions)
-I Threw a Brick Through a Window (best performance, somewhat odd music)
-A Day Without Me (best performance)
-An Cat Dubh (probably best performance)
-I Fall Down (best performance, even though Bono says Julie once when he should've said John)
-Fire (best performance)
-A Celebration (best performance)
A few songs are missing, which is a real shame.
Definitely download this show immediately if you've not already. Right now. Go.
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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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I rediscovered this gig and it is truly fantastic. I listened to the old source a long time ago and didn't think much of it, but after listening to the upgrade, it really brings the show to another level. One of the best sounding Boy bootlegs and an extended performance with non standard songs like Touch and Boy-Girl. The latter includes a snippet of Let's Twist Again and segues into Out Of Control, a great highlight.
The band was trying to get a place in the U.S. and this show has the "innocence" feeling that they mention nowadays in songs like Twilight.
Perhaps the highlight of this show is a very early (and rough) performance of I Fall Down (at the time still called "When I Fall Down"). The band were writing new songs in the back of their van, as Bono says.
There are very funny moments too, like when Bono opens a bottle of champagne but is hesitant to drink it (not so shy later at ZooTV, huh?). Between Twilight and I Will Follow, the lights went out and Bono has to play the entertainer to the crowd. Luckily for him, the lights returned promptly.
Listen to the 2nd 11 O'Clock. The energy is incredible here. Another Boy show you can't miss.
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Nothing spectacular, fun but inexperienced performance and mediocre sound. The main selling point for this boot is the number of early songs that were not released until the 2008 deluxe edition of Boy or remain unreleased. Out of a 16 song set, half of the songs fall into that category.
-Silver Lining (early version of 11 O'Clock Tick Tock) has really good music but the lyrics are hard to hear
-Stories for Boys
-Shadows and Tall Trees
-Twilight (very good musically, especially the intro)
-Out of Control
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Having seen a tweet late last Thursday afternoon from U2ComZooMods inviting a reply with just my name to maybe get tickets to the live broadcast of tfi Friday in London - I did just that.
tfi Friday launched the weekend for millions of fully signed up lads and ladettes back in the 90's. Brash and soaked in alcohol it was fast paced and at times funny, but always high energy.
Brought back off the shelf for a short run this year it jumped back into living rooms, now owned by the 90's lads and ladettes, on Friday past with U2 as the main draw.
So fast forward 20 hours and I am now stood outside a very small and now defunct theatre with a Production wrist band on my wrist and knowledge that the next two hours will be special.
The venue maybe had 150 in the performance area - a mix of 20 U2 fans, a handful of 40something women reliving their early twenties as Take That fans (for they were on the show as well) and I guess some members of the public. It was a strange crowd, but with the TV lighting it made for a hot sweaty club vibe.
Showtime - Raised By Wolves - the B Man is 6 feet away giving it everything. The sound was incredible and the lads played as if their very lives that night depended on it. I'm no writer, so there is no way that I can give you any understanding of how incredible it was to be in the room. Bizarrely, watching over the weekend on the extended playback, it came across as the worlds greatest live band did an ok job! By now you will have seen it for yourself, and I guess it plays back to way back when when U2 became the only band to ever go DOWN the charts after an appearance on Top of The Pops (UK TV chart show).
A very unenlightening interview later in the show away up on the theatre gallery was nothing more than swapping banter between host and band, and hosts Son and hosts Mother! That didn't matter the band weren't here to chat and we weren't there to listen to them talk!
They closed the TV broadcast with Vertigo. Edge's guitar sound taking our heads off! Song for Someone carried all the emotion and then the "This is our first single.." intro and a version of Out of Control that will be with me until I am no more. Just incredible. The room was too small to hold the energy! Bonotised with champagne and it was thank you, goodnight!
Dallas, Sammy, Jake and Stuart left to pick up the pieces as U" have left the building.
Insane evening - thank you to all who made it happen.
The venue was the Cochrane Theatre, London.
I was told that the tour will play indoors and outdoors next year, and then follow the yellow brick road to Aus/NZ in 2017........ Here's hoping!
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