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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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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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Maybe I’m too biased about this night. Some issues don’t ruin at all what was a perfect special magic night, with a band composed by 4 guys on the stage and tens of thousands around it all in an unique Heart, Soul, Love (and not money). Indelible night till death. Always grateful I was part of it.
It should be A Must for every U2 fan and not.
Highlights: just to name some .. Sunday Bloody Sunday - Bad – Wake Up Dead Man - Where The Streets Have No Name - Kite –The Fly - New York – Desire – Out Of Control
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My brother and I started off with nosebleed seats and while Smash Mouth was playing we found the Ticketmaster girl and asked if we could upgrade our seats. We told her we were willing to pay. She refused money and gave us two floor tickets while warning us that they weren't the "best" seats in the house as the sight lines were obstructed by a speaker stanchion and they were about 40 rows back from the front.
Needless to say, we were elated and while Smash Mouth continued to butcher their one and only hit song we made our way to the concession in order to purchase this nice lady a pop and some chips just to say thanks.
We returned to her ticket booth and presented her with said food and said thank you and left to find our seats. Before we were too far away she hollered at us to come back and then proceeded to give us row 7 tickets right on the railing to the B-Stage!!!
What followed next was the most epic moment of that night as we made our way through the crowd towards our new luxurious seats and the sounds of MOFO starting to fill the arena. SO amazing!
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At that time, I was overwhelmed by the sheer size, dimension and loudness of the event. It was my first and still only concert of that size, and it was incredible, but I also remember thinking they shouldn't make such a fuzz and just play the songs. Today I see it differently, I love the Sidney Concert film of the tour.
But I also realized that I'm not the type to got to these kind of events. Too many people in one place. I dont feel comfortable.
Strangely, the Dublin-Show that was broadcasted on Zoo Radio shorty after that, managed to be more memorable too me. Therefore, 4 Stars.
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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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First concert I ever went to age 17. I haven't missed a U2 tour since. Listening to this was like traveling back in time. My girlfriend at the time and I went for $70 apice. Row 19 off to stage left rear. I still remember images and excerpts from the show. I sang every lyric. I remember he grabbed a kid out of the audience to play guitar on People Get Ready (at the next show in Philly on 25 Sept he brought out Bruce Springsteen). After the song he asked the kid where he was from and he said "Philly" but Bono thought he said "Hawaii." That always stuck in my memory. By the time the show was over I had no voice and my ears were ringing. I remember forgetting where the car was parked and it took over an hour to find it. Only disappointment was 40 because the recording cuts off way too early. The crowd sang it for over 10 minutes after the band left. Larry tossed his drumstick into the crowd behind him right before he left stage. The most memorable show I've ever been to.
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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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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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A good friend of mine was at this show and was billed as U2's homecoming show in Dublin in January 1982. According to him Bono was at the peak of his game and so too were the other band members. My friend had a backstage pass too but actually declined the offer and thought getting his then girlfriend home that night was more important. Such a gentleman!
His brother did go backstage and just shared a buffet with all those who were there including U2. Both my friend and his brother had seen U2 as early as 1979 in Dublin at the Dandelion Market and Trinity College so seeing them live and meeting them was no big deal. I keep telling them to write a book.
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Excellent early show, with just about all the Boy Tour material represented. The band are energetic and really doing a great job; mastering their craft already. It's really interesting, listening to a lot of the early tour shows, how Twilight often seemed to be treated as a really key point in the show - which I think is great, as it's one of my favourite U2 songs.
Bottom line: the performance is incredible, tight, and passionate, the sound quality is brilliant, Bono is playing around with the lyrics, and many songs have some absolutely outstanding performances. This is one of the best early bootlegs I have ever heard. One common problem I have with pre-TUF tour shows is that many versions of the early songs all sound very similar - this show gives them a lot of sparkle and uniqueness. I'll be revisiting this show many times.
- 11 O'Clock Tick Tock (both of 'em, of course - but especially the second one)
- The early version of I Fall Down
- Stories For Boys with altered lyrics (one of the best)
- Boy/Girl/Out of Control
- Twilight with altered lyrics (one of the best)
- A Day Without Me
- the second The Ocean, with a little outro (one of the best)
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One of the earliest known bootlegs and a fun one to listen to. As many have said, only here you can listen to "demos" like King's New Clothes or a Ramones cover in Glad To See You Go. Fun songs but clearly they were going nowhere.
The versions of other early songs like Out Of Control or Stories For Boys are very similar to the 1980-02-26 Dublin show. Another Time Another Place was still in development, so it's interesting to listen to it.
Special mention to Bono interacting with the crowd and teasing them. He even asks a couple if a wedding is on plans. Awkward...
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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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