Before Twilight Bono points to the 'Boy' backdrop.
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I was born in February of 1999 and basically ever since then i have been listening to this band, especially the Joshua Tree album. My parents were U2 fans so i got my interest from them and once i learned how to work the CD player, i would listen to them non-stop. So when this tour was announced i decided to do as many shows as possible, meaning crossing the pond and heading over to Auckland.
I came alone and had no idea what to expect. I was told at a fan meet up about the check-in system and the 8:00 wrists band so i made sure i got to the ground early. After getting the wristband and and getting some rest, at 1 i headed down to the stadium to line up, buy merch (which i bought everything there was) and great ready for a great show. i got to know some people and found that socializing with U2 fans was easier than people i went to high school with. We got let in at 5 and went straight for the Tree stage, that way i had a good view of the screen and could still be close to the band.
at 7 Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds came on, i was not an oasis fan but i did know Wonderwall and Don't Look Back In Anger, i had bought Noel's latest album, but hadn't listened to it much so i wasn't really aware of his solo stuff either. "Wow" i said at the end, it really surprised me how good he was and his interactions with the audience was nothing i had ever seen before. He made a real good impression on me and i was looking forward to seeing him at the other Australian shows.
8:45 rolls around and The Whole of the Moon starts, which was cue that U2 were about to start. Finally after waiting 9 years i finally get to see my favourite band and also i'm seeing them in a different country, this idea was ludicrous to me just a few years ago and yet here i am in Auckland waiting for Larry to walk out and launch into Sunday Bloody Sunday, which he did. I'll never forget when the syth to Bad started, i lost it, this was one of my favourite U2 live songs, i have never heard a version of Bad that didn't stop me in my tracks and made the world disappear, and this was no exception; this was amazing, i still struggle to find the words for that moment, you could have come up bend me and stabbed me as many times as you like and i still wouldn't have paid attention to you, i was going to live in this moment for as long as i could.
After Pride had finished the intro synth to Where the Streets Have No Name started, again i was gone. This wasn't like any other concert where U2 were about to play streets; They were about to start The Joshua Tree. One by one the songs came along, Still Haven't Found, With or Without You, Bullet the Blue Sky and on and on. Bullet is one of my favourite U2 songs, but i though version was a bit flat (there would be better versions to come); Running to Stand Still, however, brought me to tears again, except this time it was unexpected. I'd always loved the song but in that moment something happened and any emotions i was feeling just came out, love, anger, joy, remorse, it all laid bare to see. The album continued on, i enjoyed every minute, but once was got to One Tree Hill, things got serious. Part of the whole reason i came to NZ was to hear them play One Tree Hill in that country, and it didn't disappoint. Exit was next that was amazing, the Trump reference and Bono playing the character of this dark, mysterious cowboy was fantastic and how he adapted to stage movements to the dynamics of the song was amazing to see, he truly is one of the great front-men. Finally ending with Mothers of the Disappeared was just perfect, however that didn't end the main set, they decide to celebrate Rattle & Hum and the Lovetown tour by playing Angel of Harlem, which was fantastic, no complaints here.
The encore was a reference to the eXPERIENCE + iNNOCENCE tour from last year, it had a short version of the show from when the intermission ends. Bono came on in his MacPhisto get up (from the e+i tour) and they did Elevation, Vertigo and Even Better Than the Real Thing. they then went into Every Breaking Wave, returning to the proper tour setlist for the first time since the end of the iNNOCENCE + eXPERIENCE in 2015. Then did the feminist section with Beautiful Day, Ultra Violet (so happy to hear that, love that song) and Love is Bigger Than Anything In Its Way. That was rumored to be the end of the show but i noticed out of the corner of my eye, while the band was bowing, Dallas put Edge's Les Paul on the Guitar stand. Bono gave a speech about the terrorist attacks in Christchurch earlier this year and how it was great how NZ responded with such grace, then Edge begun the riff for One. On the screen behind them they had a Muslim symbol and then slowly all the names of the victims appeared on the screen. This was the perfect way to end a great concert.
This was my first time seeing U2 since the second Sydney show of the 360 tour and it easily topped that show. Everything was great so far, the people were awesome and i had a great time talking to every single person and then seeing this show feed an appetite i had been working up for the last 9 years. Although there were better shows to come, this night, still, was amazing and a night I'll never forget.
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Love this band, these shows, and my experience.
We had seats for night 1. After relaxing and enjoying dinner and listening to The Joshua Tree tribute band at Hurricane’s across the street, we walked into the arena and to our seats around 7pm. Once we realized that security wasn’t really paying attention and people without wristbands were just walking onto the floor, we did the same thing and ended up center of the screen on Adam’s side, second row off the rail.
Thinking I could do the same thing again the second night, I bought a cheap balcony seat the morning of the second show. But security was a lot tighter – there were only a few entrance open for floor access, and there was one guard at the top of each entrance and two at the bottom, and they were each checking the wristbands pretty diligently. So I enjoyed night 2 from the very top row of the arena, which was a totally different but still awesome experience. I sat next to and chatted with a wicked nice family from Texas; the husband told me he had seen them on every tour since Joshua Tree all over the country, and now he and his wife were bringing their daughters to see them. This was their first show in Boston. Even though we were in the seats, our entire section still got into it and stood up for a lot of the concert. A super fun, casual, but enthusiastic vibe all around, and it seemed that way for most of the entire arena, both nights.
The opening is perfect. LIAWHL with just Bono underneath the screen is great. Blackout is killer. The images, the reveal of the band under the screen, the song itself – unbelievable opener. I wish they played the strings part and Edge’s guitar up way more during Lights of Home, but that was still amazing.
From my vantage point both nights, I Will Follow got the biggest crowd reaction of the night. Insane feeling to scream and jump along with an entire arena and to see the band love playing it so much. I think Gloria got a bigger reaction than ABOY, but both are great high energy songs. I get now why Beautiful Day follows there – to keep up that energy. It’s needed, because The Ocean then kills every last ounce of it. It stopped everyone dead. I understand that it’s the start of the innocence narrative, but wow is it a buzzkill. Even going straight into Iris would be better.
Seeing this version Sunday Bloody Sunday up close was more intense than I thought it would be – the entire band still get really into it, even though it’s not the regular version. Edge and Adam had their eyes closed for a lot of the song.
Until the End of the World is still my favorite song live. It can stay in whatever incarnation it’s in for every show from here on out and I would never get sick of it. I didn’t miss Streets, but I would’ve missed UTEOTW.
The HMTMKMKM comic on the screen is fucking awesome. Even better would be the band actually playing the song live while they show it…
Acrobat. Acrobat. ACROBAT. I thought I died last year when I heard Exit live. Nope. That was last night. I’m so glad they’ve never played this live before. It’s a fucking monster. My favorite live performance of the show.
I love SATS but I think in every way – thematically, musically (acoustic) – it could be replaced with Please. Or even rotated with SATS.
When I had seats the second night, I had full view of the screen, and I got the clearest sense of the narrative of the show from here, way more than in being in GA and more than listening on the mixlrs. The images of the current KKK and pure filth going on in America right now was stark, and I expected those to be the most impactful on me. But nothing made me scream louder during both shows than those images immediately giving way to Pride and images of MLK and protestors. There’s no other song that could come after those images (angry songs like Bullet or whatever) – the feeling of being lifted up by love after seeing that was unreal. By far, my favorite part of the show is Pride – GOOYOW – American Soul – COBL.
One is a crowd pleaser, but I really wish it was rotated with something else. I was way more excited to sing along to Love is Bigger, which is fresher. 13 is as gorgeous live as it is on the album, but it ended so abruptly that it ends the concert on a weird, very mellow note. I get that it’s the end of the narrative – but still…
Since this was definitely a Bono album, it’s definitely a Bono show. I understand it’s the story, the journey, the narrative, etc. – but it seemed that this was more tipped towards Bono’s storytelling rather than four men playing together on a stage, and I was left missing more of that balance between the four of them. I think the narrative can still come through even without a lot of the inter-song stuff, like Bono’s “phone call home” as he’s taking off Macphisto’s makeup, and The Ocean, which the way it’s played is not even a song. Even just one more rotational song spot would make a difference.
Still, yet another awesome live U2 experience I will never forget.
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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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Hello, hello.. last U2 concert in Britain this year! After an amazing show the night before, I was hoping for great things.
Once inside, it was busier than the night before - I'd left an hour later. Unfortunately, this meant a really long queue for my burger, during which they started announcing that the concert would start in x amount of time, and would people please take their seats. I knew they were fibbing, but it was still unnerving, since I hadn't had a chance to order yet. Even when I had got my burger, they were still at it, so that I gulped it down and dashed in search of my entrance.
This time, I was seated on Level 2 (of 3 in total). There are escalators, but not many, so stairs it was - I found my entrance door, and asked the nice man where to go for my seat. He gestured upwards. Row T, it seemed, was third from the back of this section. But my seat was on the other side of the row, so rather than push past everyone (most people had taken their seats by now, it was well after 8), his advice was to go up to the walkway just at the top of that section, walk across and take the steps down on the other side.
Sensible advice, and up I went - a bit dubiously, as it was both high and steep, and I have a problem with steps. And these places never, never have handrails. Well, I made it up to the walkway, hurried across to the next steps.. and froze. A phobic's nightmare - I had to descend a steep flight of stairs, with no rail, and a long, uninterrupted view in front of me, not even a barrier at the end. "Oh shit!" I groaned, audibly. Well, the nice lady at the end of the back row heard me, understood the problem, and grabbed my arm to steady me - which got me down the first row. I managed to clamber - undignifiedly - down two more, and with no small amount of relief, excused myself to the people at the end and climbed into my row. Kicking over a drink container in my haste - I hope it was empty..
So yes, I was higher than the night before.. I found myself seated with two girls to my right who had Yorkshire accents by the sound of it, and were just thrilled to be there. You could tell by the spontaneous shrieking. One of them was examining the celebrity section with her zoom lens - and how gratifying it was that the celebrity seats were side-on to the vidiwall: worst seats in the house, for this show! Anyway, she spotted Jim Kerr through her lens, and was good enough to point him out to me - he was the one who was waving at the crowd, it seems. Those on the floor had spotted him too, and were waving back.
When People Have the Power started, as usual, I jumped up - well, rather carefully, given my elevated position! Yes, it did make me a bit woozy at first.. it was gratifying to see the people on both sides of me in my row do the same: particularly since ours seemed to be the only row nearby that was standing. Cue a night of terrific audience participation - hang the rest of our section, we in Row T inspired each other!
It was nice, particularly for the video sections, that the people in front of me didn't stand. I say this just as an observation - I'd have had no objection if they had, it was just handy if they didn't - but even if they had, the rake was so steep that you still had a good view. Actually, the girl behind me asked the woman behind whether she'd mind if she stood, and received the reply that why would she, when she'd be standing herself! In parts, it would've been nice if the people in front of me had stood.. when I was standing and they weren't, I was suffering some serious vertigo - and for once, I was glad not to be on the aisle.
The girl pulled onstage for Mysterious Ways was Elena, from Italy. During Bullet the Blue Sky, Bono has developed a habit of making paper planes and throwing them into the audience. During Pride the night before, someone threw one back at him. No such efforts tonight. :-)
During City of Blinding Lights, Bono - for the first time in ages - pulled a guy out of the audience and exchanged jackets with him, giving him his sunglasses. This impressed the girl to my left no end, who looked at me in amazement.. he returned his jacket to him later, remarking that the guy's phone was ringing.
Highlight of the night for me, and others, was Bad. They tend to finish their run in any given city with that, and 40 - this was obviously news to the girl with the zoom lens, who broke down when she heard the opening chords of Bad. She set me off not long after - it's a song with a lot of meaning for us longterm U2 fans. Towards the end of the song, Bono started collecting flags from the audience, finally clutching them all together in his fist - I hadn't realised before that that line went "like a burning flag". I saw Ireland, Poland, Argentina, Brazil, Belgium.. they were throwing them at him. I'm sure none of the owners took it personally when he flung them from him at the end of the song - he's never been one for flags, and we know it.
40 finished the night, with the crowd in fine voice. Even after the lights came up, and Simple Minds started to play over the pa, the crowd took up the refrain of 40 again. And the girl to my left turned to me, and the Yorkshire girls to my right, and in an American accent, thanked us profusely for being so enthusiastic - she'd thought she'd be the only one. Turned out this was her 21st U2 concert. She was lucky - this was the concert of the tour so far, for me at least. If the night before had been special, this was transcendent. Made by the size of the venue, as well as the devotion of the crowd.
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I loved this show."The Manhattan skylin,The City Of Blinding Lights".Bonos great quote.Nothing like seeing the band band here.Your Blue Room was great.The spacestation sequence during this song was very well done.NLOTH sounded fantastic.I was happy the old classic NYD was played,even though Adam butchered it, while Bono was introducing him.Kinda a funny moment,the band get lost,and Bono calls from the Edge to solo.Im glad they have played it only here and there,and not every night.Ultra Violet,well done.I liked the red microphone.Bono was swinging on it and almost crashed into Edge.My only regret was not hearing Bad either night.As I have mentioned many times over,MOS is a weak song to close a great show with.Alot of fans walked out during the song.IMO All I want Is You or Bad or....ANY classic would be better fitting to close the gig.But the crowd was great for me,we loved it,great seats,great band,and of course, in the great Metropolitan area NY/NJ. See you in 2010.Cheers !!!!!
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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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One of my favorite 1st leg shows, second only to the Boston Saint Patrick's Day show.
Even Better than the Real Thing - Bono introduces the band; "This is the Edge, Adam Clayton, Larry Mullen Jr...and I don't know who the f**k I am tonight" and during the song goes into his loudest "TAKE ME HIGHER!" ever. It'll startle you if you're not expecting it. After the song, he tries (unsuccessfully) to make a call to buy a diamond ring he sees on TV, in the style of the Auburn Hills pizza-for-everyone concert.
Mysterious Ways - great extended solo from Edge; my favorite version ever.
One - Bono improvises the last bit, and it almost makes sense: "One love. One life. One life. One wife. One love. You get to share her. If you give it away, [kids?] have gone astray. You can push it up. You can buck it up and get it all mixed up. Knockin', knockin', knockin' up, love!"
Until the End of the World - extended ending
Bad - Bono gets into it and leads the audience in screaming "no!".
Bullet the Blue Sky - I think it's because of the recording, but it's a lot faster than usual, which is fun to hear for once.
With or Without You - "We will shine like stars in the summer night. We will kick the darkness 'till it bleeds daylight. One hope. One blood." Everything's extended, from Edge's solo to the Shine Like Stars snippet to the last chords Edge strums. The highlight of the whole concert, and that says a lot.
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My very first U2 gig, was amazing!! But I've an even better story that I've been telling for years but never published it till now.
I'll cut it short. I befriended a Bono lookalike competition winner from Dooley's Irish Bar in the Valley the night before. He was the absolute spit of Bono with the wig and all the Joshua Tree era clobber on I'm not kidding you. I never knew his name except I called him Bono.
We decided we'd go around Brisbane City looking for U2's hotel. Made up a story that he was actually Bono, that he was drunk and lost his key, and could someone escort him to his room. Went to 3 different hotels till we found them at the then named Sheraton. Before that all the other hotels believed it was really Bono but said he wasn't staying there.
We went up to the check in desk at the Sheraton like we did at the other hotels and low and behold one of the managers believed us and said "yes sir I'll help you to your room, come with me". I said my goodbyes and the manager brought him to the lift... I was absolutely gobsmacked! Here was this guy who I'd never met before till that night heading for Bono's room!
I left him and went and sat down in the foyer. 5 minutes later they came back down and the manager and another staff member bundled him into a taxi.
I never ever saw him again after that. It all happened too quick. I didn't even know his name except I was calling him Bono all night.
Anyway the next night at the concert we're half way through the gig, don't know what song, but Bono starts talking about this geezer who knocked on his door in the middle of the night!! Says he opened his door half asleep looking at this guy who was the spitting image of him and saying WTF! He said he wasn't happy about being woken up but saw the funny side of it.
I couldn't believe my ears!! I was telling everyone around me that I was there! I never actually knew till Bono told the story whether he had actually made it to his room or not. And there was Bono confirming it the next night... unbelievable!!
True story I absolutely kid you not!!!!!!
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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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In the late afternoon easily 4 or 5 hours before the performance I was riding my yellow bicycle past Ritchie Coliseum on the way back to my dorm room (246-6 New Leonardtown) when I saw the band's tour bus was parked alongside Ritchie Coliseum. I think there was a second bus perhaps for the equipment and such; it is a little fuzzy now as this was a long time ago. There were two or three fans standing around hoping the guys in the band would come out and chat. It was a cool damp day. One fan was a girl that went to high school with me, 1 year younger, and her first name was Marla. I stayed and talked with Marla for a while also hoping to chat with the band. Marla had her vinyl LP records with her from October, Boy, and War. She wanted to get the records autographed. My records were at home so that wasn't an option for me. After maybe half an hour I gave up and went on my way. A week or two later Marla told me that soon after I left the band came out from the tour bus, chatted with her and the other fans, and autographed her three records! Very cool. Sadly I missed it.
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U2 in the Netherlands. Enough said. There's always something in the air when the band plays here and this show is no exception. For the October tour, the band reworked some of their Boy songs and they sound better than ever. Another Time, Another Place, An Cat Dubh/Into The Heart, Stories for Boy are highlights of the show. The October songs are always better than their studio counterparts and the broadcast has great sound for them here. During 11 O'Clock Bono plays with the audience and it sounds incredible (he did that for the whole tour, I love these October versions). After Fire, they sang Happy Birthday to Larry. By taking pieces of all 3 sources of this show, you can form a great, complete bootleg for this show. This is the first great full October bootleg and one of the best.
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As I remember it, this was a free show or cost next to nothing to attend. It was held in the student union ballroom of San Jose State University. This room was built to be earthquake proof and the floor was suspended on something like springs. When the floor got packed and the music started and people started moving in time with the music the floor started to act like a trampoline. No kidding. If you timed your jump you could launch yourself 3 to 4 feet off the floor. They had to have crew guys hold the P.A. system in place as everything started to wobble. I saw XTC, Huey Lewis, Fabulous Thunderbirds and more in this room and all the shows were amazing with a very intimate vibe. I miss those days.
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Silver Lining is an early version of 11 O'Clock Tick Tock. Musically it's nearly identical (except a few neat little things at the end) but has very different lyrics. Speed of Life has lyrics, unlike the version that was eventually officially released. Trevor is an early version of Touch. Shadows and Tall Trees sounds quite different to the version on Boy.
Overall, a very solid show with great historical value. It's really something special to see the band at this early stage playing with all the passion and fire that will define their whole career.
- Life On a Distant Planet (one of my favourite of U2's early songs)
- Another Day
- Pete the Chop
- Cartoon World
- Out of Control
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A true raw outdoor performance. Engagement with the crowd takes place at some level on almost every song. Three significant points in this short concert (aka 'Save the Yuppies' in reference to the stock market crass of October 19th) occur during SBS, S&G, and Pride. During SBS Bono verbally questions a fans sign of 'SF+U2' asking the fan if the reference is for a girls name or is it in reference to Shein Fein of the IRA. He then verbally continues his questioning of Shein Fein tactics over the past week and the killing of 11 innocent women and children. During Silver and Gold, Bono again goes a little off topic discussing little Steven 'records against apartheid, the problems in South Africa, and why the song was created. Lastly, during Pride Bono leave the stage (leaving Edge and the rest of the band looking around!) climbs a concrete structure in the plaza and writes the famous ' Rock and Roll Stops the Traffic' in spray paint.
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