Before Twilight Bono points to the 'Boy' backdrop.
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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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This was my 1st GA show for any U2 show, i'll say that this was my greatest concert experience ever. I went with my mother early to start lining up. i remember it was hot outside. We heard U2 rehearsing. I heard the bass line for The Fly, I remember thinking "No way, don't tell me they're going to play this right?" I was thinking, it must be Ultraviolet's bass cause it was the 2nd night since HMTMKMKM was played yesterday, then it went to EBTTRT, COBL and Zooropa. I remember taking a nap after the band/crew stopped soundchecking, i heard cheering, they were letting people in. So i remember running to the 360 stage, all of us were running ignoring the security lol, but anyway we got in the circle on Adam's side underneath the bridge. I didn't care for Lenny, but what ever, it passed time. It seemed like a huge wait but i heard Space Oddity, i got excited. Did U2 started out with EBTTRT, i was jumping up and down, the crowd was hyper. After the song ended, i was expecting IWf, but something amazing happened. i Bono grab his guitar and immediately knew it was the fly. I screamed in laugher, this opening concert played 5 AB songs in a row. After when One finished, then the Amazing Grace snippet started and i knew something was weird and unexpected, Streets was the 6th song of the night followed by IWF. This was a completely different setlist. I was thing what was going on. The was a great twist to all of the repetitive setlist from the previous shows. Pretty much after that amazing moment, the setlist was the same but with Walk On finished the main set. Ultraviolet opened the Encore, the 6th AB song to be played. AMAZING, half the album. MoS finished this amazing show, with a Jungleland snippet. This show was amazing. this is 2nd place of my top 3 U2 shows.
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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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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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Very special concert because Bono screws up a lot but also makes it up by improvising, giving the songs something unique. Shame this bootleg didn't have more audience.
-- The Fly: Bono screws up the "Achtung y'all" part but in return, he improvises a rap and it's quite good!
-- Mysterious Ways. Very good intro by Bono
-- One of the best UTEOTW, Bono shouting "is this f***ing rock'n'roll?"
-- TTYAATW. The girl with Bono sings (badly) a few lines and Bono teases her a bit by singing "everything alright... a little off-key tonight", lol.
-- Angel Of Harlem. More improvised lyrics by the B. man.
-- Slow Dancing. I just love this song Sadly, it's a very short version.
-- ISHFWILF. This is the gem of the night. Acoustic, with a whole different verse in the middle, Bono sings the same line twice, it's almost like a new song!
-- BTBS. Again, Bono screws up a line but then he immediately improvises some weird lyrics with Alfred Hitchcock in them! Brilliant. He should have written 2 or 3 songs that day after this concert!
-- The MacPhisto speeches are always a treat. Bono was still figuring out his accent, so it sounds strange here. The first lines of UV were sung in that weird pitch.
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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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One of the most special UF shows and the best setlist of the tour! At the beginning Bono said they wanted to give something special to Massachusetts, and boy, they did. Last Brick, A Day Without Me and I Fall Down ever. A Day Without Me is a mess, Dear Prudence snippet included, but it's a fun mess. Even Bono says "sometimes you just forget". Unforgettable Fire was very special with the "Stay tonight in a lie" replaced by diff. lyrics and sounded very good. The show continued in great way, and Electric Co. was another highlight, as usual for UF shows. After that, Bono picks up a boy from the audience, his father explains in the mic that his name is Ever Peaceful (no kidding!). Bono says that's the best name he ever heard, then he wanted to give him a balloon but it pops, he says he wants an "Ever Peaceful Award" procured.
Bad is over 12 min long with great snippets. During NYD, Bono tosses the mic down, and you hear some cheering, so maybe he was doing his climbing thing around the place. Party Girl is 7 min long! All bets are off, some girl Bono calls Maid Marion is introduced to Ever Peaceful. Bono, as all the joking continues, says something like "We're a really serious political band, remember?" He then serenades Ever with the "Papa come home" snippet introducing Ever Peaceful into the snippet! The boy grabs Bono's hat and B. sings Auld Lang Syne for him. I Will Follow is great, The bootleg stops here, but you can add '40' from the other source because it was also special with many snippets.
Overall, a very special, fun show that you have to check.
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Classic.Just epic show.The band really found themselves at this time.Their live shows were so great.Just the band,the music was so powerful.The War songs took over.SBS,NYD,THBAO,Seconds and of course 40.This show has my favorite version of Tick Tock.I also loved the full version of Electric Co that was released on the vinal in 1983 from West Germany'83.Im dating myself I know.When the cd was released a few years later,for copyright reasons,the band cut out the "send in the clowns" snippet.I always loved that part of the song.You have that here in this recording from Denver.Nothing is cut.There is only a slight skip during I Fall Down.This is one of their great moments,that defIned U2.Grab this one.
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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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I love this show / recording. All the old, unreleased tunes are stellar Punk/New Wave and hint at what U2 might have sounded like if they had continued on CBS or work with Martin Hannett beyond the 11 o'clock single.
Everything's great about this gig. To understand and gauge U2 of today is to really get into the spirit of this show. At the very core, little has changed.
Someone mentioned Glad To See You Go as a U2 song - it's actually a Ramones cover. The Edge hints at this by playing a few bars in Mount Temple School during the documentary It Might Get Loud.
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WOW,wow,wow,wow! This is the best bootleg on this site. i know everyone's favorite show(s) is on you were at, but for one that you just download and listen to, this is the best...hands down. we all watched the show in the net, but that takes away from the performance because you subconsciously will compare it to the show(s) you were at. Download t and turn off the lights, get the best pair of headphones or speakers you have, along with whatever enccoutrements you favor, close your eyes and just listen to the show. It is the best sounding bootleg by far. Its also the best setlist of any 1 U2 show ever! And they deliver in the performance of the songs. The only show i can compare this to in terms of sound, performance and setlist is the slain cd. Every fan who listens to this show should write a review, let your thoughts be heard...thank you U2., you played brilliantly. this is the greatest rock performance, at least since Slain, and it will be remembered and enjoyed forever.
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