This is very early U2.
It’s Nov. 4, 1981.
Guitarist Dave “The Edge” Evans and drummer, Larry Mullen are 20. Singer, Paul (Bono Vox) Hewson and bassist Adam Clayton are 21.
Their second album, October was released a few weeks earlier on Oct. 12. The music is still largely unknown to U2 fans. This Berlin crowd responds best (when they respond at all) to the material from the first album, Boy.
Never the less, the performances of the October songs are the highlight for me. The band comes out fired up with a searing rendition of Gloria, with Bono all a jitter. I Threw a Brick and the other October songs are crisp and strong. Their rendition of October is gorgeous.
Here’s the playlist:
Another Time Another Place
I Threw A Brick Through A Window
An Cat Dubh
Into The Heart
The Electric Co.
I Fall Down
Stories For Boys
I Will Follow
Out Of Control
11 O’Clock, Tick-Tock
I saw U2 in Portland on the night in July 1981 that a briefcase containing their new songs was stolen from their dressing room as they played (nobody in the bar knew this at the time, of course).
From the wikipedia page for the album:
“The band entered the studio in July 1981 to record October, but the album’s recording sessions were complicated when the briefcase containing Bono’s lyrics was stolen by fans after a show in Portland, Oregon. The band already booked studio time through the end of August and thus had to continue recording in spite of this, even improvising lyrics on some songs. Bono said of the recording process of October, “I remember the pressure it was made under, I remember writing lyrics on the microphone, and at £50 an hour, that’s quite a pressure.”
Two years later, I saw them in Portland again. Only this time, instead of playing an empty bar, they packed the 2,500 seat Paramount Theater.
The U2 of the empty bar played well, but the U2 at the Paramount was a monster.
Bono ran from one side of the stage to the other and appeared to be trying to make eye contact with every member of the audience. He luxuriated in stage space that he does not enjoy in this Berlin concert. But he dances and gyrates through the whole thing nonetheless.
Say what you will about U2’s religiosity, this is a good show.