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This being the substitute concert for Berlin two, Beautiful Day was a bit of a special moment.Powerful performance that lifted the audience of their feet, with a touching thankyou from Bono afterwards.
Personal highlight: Zoo Station in Berlin, plus the other AB songs. Here too, the band seemed more energetic than Amsterdam. Might be because of the DVD recording as well, but they genuinely seemed to be in high spirits.
13 finally got the crowd's attention it deserved, no-one leaving, everyone listening. Such a moving end to a rollercoaster evening. What a ride!
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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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So a bit of background, which will add or detract credibility from my review!
I’ve seen them 7 times (Zooropa / Zoo TV 1993 at Roundhay Park, Leeds - no overstatement to say that this was a life changing experience for me and one of my friends; we’d both choose that day if we could go back in a time machine to one point in time!), 2 Popmart (Leeds and Wembley), 1 Vertigo (Manchester), 2 360 (Sheffield and Cardiff), now MSG (and O2 London to come!).
I could listen to Achtung Baby every day, probably twice, without getting bored. Its my ‘need to cheer up or snap into gear’ music of choice!
I’d then choose Pop over Zooropa or Joshua Tree (I know…). It is just my era - I got into dance music at that time, I really enjoyed Popmart, and it didn’t seem over-produced; if anything the opposite. The remixes and reworking of some of those tracks on the Best Ofs and singles just seem overblown to me - and that’s probably my disappointment in a number of the albums since; they seem to have less rawness and are joyless in comparison. Hey ho.
I saw that tickets were on resale on Ticketmaster when I bought tickets for the 02 in London, and was looking to take my wife away for the weekend just after her birthday - she’s a fan too, been to a number of the shows I listed above, so was keen to indulge me if it also involved a trip to NYC too! I’d always wanted to go to MSG - box sports fan, and some of the bands who’ve played there, big sporting events and fights there make it a venue I’d always wanted to visit, and tickets on the front row of Section 210 pretty much dead centre middle were cheaper than nosebleed seats at the O2. Hmmm. Less said about that the better! However, what a bonus!
The venue is great - not as big as I imagined, but fantastic arena, and the seats were perfect. Great atmosphere (and unlike a typical Brit venue it wasn’t full of people totally hammered being generally annoying!) so thumbs up there! It didn’t seem totally sold out, at least to begin with - we both said ‘I’m amazed this hasn’t sold out, unless it fills up really quickly!’ minutes before Bono made his entrance at the rear of the venue; looking, I have to say, a bit comical these days! Its fair to say my wife’s not a fan of the new look… Good entrance though! Onto the stage and into the intro to Miracle. Loved the guitar intro - first few notes really powerful and get the crowd going. Sound quality is good, plenty loud enough and clear. If anything, the new speaker locations is a bit disorientating if you’re half way back… the sound coming from straight in front of you whilst you’re looking to the left / right to see the band. Maybe that’s just me!
Two Hearts took me by surprise, as I’d done my best to avoid setlists before the show, and sounded great - in fact the ‘punk’ / high tempo first few tracks all worked, and its a great start. Iris, with the screen kicking into life, underlined that the new songs sound much better live - I refer you to the ‘overproduced’ comment earlier, a bit of a bugbear of mine. Raw and loud, and with the narrative of the animations on the fantastic screen backdrops they really make sense.
For those asking / questioning ‘why is Bono spitting at the crowd?’ - its a watered-down (hmmm) punk thing; horrible I know, but the punk bands of the 70s (and the fans in return) used to spit at each other apparently. Nice. Its not full-on spitting in fairness, he’s spitting a bottle of mineral water out, which is a bit more upper class! Still odd if you don’t get the reference!!
Duds and goods then -
Dud (for me):
One sounds a bit tired now (which I know will wind people up) - not sure if its Bono’s inability to play guitar (its always been a 2 guitar setup), and his voice having gone by that point, but the singalong thing didn’t seem to work. Some may disagree - didn’t seem like the crowd really got it, and probably weren’t as familiar with the words as Bono hoped! You can’t win ‘em all.
Its a BIT staged / choreographed…but I guess it always has been. I genuinely don’t know how much is spontaneous any more! I’ll see in a few months at the O2 I guess!
Not sure about the getting people on stage thing; no idea who Amp was (I believe he’s been on stage earlier in the tour - can’t work out why they got him up again?), and the Chilean guy playing guitar. Sounds a bit joyless, but seems to break the rhythm up a bit and appears a bit clumsy, as Bono and Edge have to talk them through everything.
Sounds great, and new songs are really good with the visuals and the raw, stripped down (loud) production. 360 was amazing, but musically at times it sounded like U2 playing over backing tracks - I know its them, but it didn’t seem 100% ‘live’. This is way better and more like 4 blokes making a racket, which I always love, and where they’re at their best.
UTEOTW sounds (as always) amazing, and the screen interactions make it even better - same with Bullet.
Invisible performance and effects are fantastic.
Edge just gets better and better - fair play.
The screen and the band’s interaction and integration with it (will make sense when you see it!) is brilliantly inventive.
The narrative (from bedroom / lightbulb to Cedarwood Road to the Berlin Wall and beyond) is a tremendous idea - like U2 decided to put the Spiderman musical to bed by doing a real musical with real music.
Fantastic experience, and really enjoyed being in NYC to see it. It sort of had the feeling of a last hurrah - however they do it I hope they go out on a high, and this just might be it.
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From getting in line at 6am to the end of Moment of Surrender, I'll never forget this first show. Bono ended the evening saying "What an opening night." Highlights included Breathe, Irish Boy snippet into Beautiful Day, Unforgettable Fire, Bad, and Ultraviolet. The opening sequence leading up to and including Breathe was just spectacular. I really wish they would've kept this song around longer. Bad was a great surprise, even including the glitch with Edge's delay at the beginning. And Ultraviolet still might be my favorite performance of a song in any of the 5 shows I've seen since. The laser jacket, the song performance itself, the encore intensity, just all so good.
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20 years of my life waiting to see them, and this is what I got.
The crowd was disappointing, even before getting to the stadium, maybe it's just anecdotal evidence, but there were a lot of people going because it would be cool to say "I went to see U2" even if they didn't know nothing but a couple of songs.
In the stadium, around me I was the only weirdo singing and screaming and jumping while everyone else just stared me from their own seats as if we were at some symphonic orchestra instead of at a U2 show.
In my mind it was just a "not-so-awesome" experience, but when I downloaded and listened to the bootleg it came back to me and no. It was not just "not-so-awesome". It was terrible.
The bootleg is even worse than reality with the few guys around the mic talking through the whole show.
Cielito Lindo was a bad choice itself for Bad, but it was worse that it was the only thing people decided to sing along. It looked like they didn't cared about Bad or anything else on the concert, oh but they can sing Cielito Lindo. I had forgotten how embarrased I felt at the moment (after the initial couple of seconds of "oh, that's cool!" when Bono started it), but the bootleg reminded it to me.
Finally, even after Love And Peace or Else had already started, the guys near the microphone in the bootleg are still discussing and betting that it's Desire what they're about to play.
I said finally because that's all that I could take and deleted it on the spot. Didn't even finished the song.
It was so bad I would find it funny if I hadn't been there.
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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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On Thursday, June 12th, 42,270 U2 fans were ready to welcome the band to the prairies. It was the Canadian debut for Popmart, and U2's first ever visit to Winnipeg, Manitoba. The weather was mild, and the sun was setting, into a bright orange sky, just as the show was about to begin at Winnipeg Stadium. Bono belted out the opening line of Mofo at 9:50 p.m. During the show, rumor was that Edge had the flu, and he didn't seem to have as much energy as previous shows.
At the time, Winnipeg (and southern Manitoba) was undergoing the worst flooding in over 100 years. Bono talked about the Red River Flood during ISHFWILF, to the surprise of many fans in attendance. Local newspapers and TV stations gave great reviews of the show. After the show, Bono, Larry, Adam, and Howie B were interviewed by Kim Clarke Champniss from MuchMusic at the Winnipeg Arena.
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A great Outside Broadcast show, just after the 92 U.S. Presidential elections. Bono talks about that before and after ISHFWILF.
Let me start with the bad: the sound is not that good during When Love Comes To Town, we hear the audience better than the band in that song. Bono also had some problems at the beginning of MW and then with the harmonica in RTSS. I'm not sure if this is bad, but Edge's solo in MW started in a weird way, but he recovered quickly.
Still, there are a lot of reasons to listen to this bootleg:
- It's ZooTV Outside Broadcast! All songs were performed quite good. Gotta love the Mirrorball Man and his "I have a vision" speech. It was particularly good that day, with the elections and B. Clinton becoming president.
-The new source has very good sound overall.
- UTEOTW was excellent. This performance later appeared in the Alternative NRG: Greenpeace Compilation album.
- Bono changed or improvised the lyrics in a lot of songs, like One, Satellite Of Love, BTBS. The intro of NYD is very unique, I loved it.
- WTSHNN was excellent, especially at the end with Bono singing the high notes beautifully.
- I'm not a fan of ZooTV SBS, but it was pretty good that day.
EDIT: I previously stated that this boot was incomplete, but it has been updated now and luckily for us, no song is missing.
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The band continued their epic residency in Melbourne with this 4th show and this is one of the best! This show is a lengthy one with 23 songs. The first 2 songs sound amazing together: Streets after Bullet. It worked! The show was just hinting to be one of the best Lovetown gigs of the 1st leg, with debuts of Gloria and Out Of Control. I am not a fan of the studio version of God Part II but in this bootleg it sounds amazing. It is then followed by one of the best Desire-> AATW combos, with Bono extending his harmonica part well into AATW. I heard a snippet of In God's Country at the end of AATW. Very powerful ending. Then we have something very interesting: an AIWIY/Bad medley that actually sounds very cool. It has the best of both worlds (they did this for a couple of other Lovetown shows). This is one of the first Van Diemen's Land performances and it still has the extended guitar part by Edge, which sounds very nice. WOWY is very powerful too. Check Bono's Shine Like Stars part: chills. BB King's powerful trio came early before the encore and it was as fantastic as usual. Love Rescue Me is dedicated to the victims of the Tiananmen Square massacre. The encore has still more surprises with Out Of Control and Stand By Me.
If you want great bootlegs of the 1st leg of Lovetown, get this, "Bad At Its Best" from the 8th and "Lovetown Power" from the 9th.
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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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This and Lido Beach are perhaps the best October bootlegs you'll find. The setlist is great and some songs had slightly different lyrics, like The Cry part in Electric Co. According to Bono, they were almost arrested that day for trying to get into the St. Patrick's parade!
Highlights: Another Time, Another Place, An Cat Dubh/Into The Heart, Rejoice, Tomorrow (not the best version ever, I prefer the early War versions. Bono lied to the crowd saying it was the first performance ever. Naughty Bono!), Out Of Control and 11 O'Clock (Bono talks about Irish stereotypes and does a great snippet of Give Peace A Chance).
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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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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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