Opening Act(s): The Nightcaps
Gloria, I Threw A Brick-A Day Without Me, Seconds, Surrender, New Year's Day, Sunday Bloody Sunday, The Cry, The Electric Co., I Fall Down, October, Tomorrow, Two Hearts Beat As One, Twilight, Out Of Control. Encore(s): Party Girl, 11 O'Clock Tick Tock, I Will Follow, 40.
New Musical Express
U2 in London
by Paul Du Noyer
Yeah, they were good, and maybe even gooder than good. If I had to express a reservation about U2's show this time around, it'd be something about how the intensity isn't what it once was. It's like U2 have won their war now - they've obviously won their audience - and it's time to celebrate more than fight. This was a show which cruised - where once it might have bruised.
"Gloria," raw and roaring, calls up thunder and shouts the odds and this is where it all starts. Being a noise we've all become accustomed to love, we duly love it, and U2 love us for loving it, so we love them back all the more and so on.
"Seconds" and "Surrender" follow in majestic procession; the latter song is the cue for giant white flags to unfurl somewhere above The Edge's head, and flutter in the wind machine. Jack the Laddishly, Bono takes his lyrics on a detour, diving into a sly slice of Michael Jackson's "Billie Jean." Later on, in "Twilight," he'll again go daft and happy with a few bursts of Kajagoogoo's "Too Shy" and the Bunnymen's "Cutter."
"New Year's Day" now, and now "an old rebel song, a song of disgust" - "Sunday, Bloody Sunday." But Bono doesn't sound especially disgusted; all that stark sadness and anger of the third LP is barely present in tonight's cheery presentation. The nearest we came to tragedy was Bono's precarious descent down a ladder than took him away from the cheap seats, up on the balcony, where he'd just made a dramatic spoilt appearance, the word made flesh and welling among us, so to speak.
The "Boy" backdrop is dropped on cue for "Tomorrow," to yet more loud acclaim. Jubilant fans punch the air (but with forefingers delicately extended, U2 fans being less aggressive than their clenched-fist HM counterparts) and The Edge punches the intro to "I Will Follow." We have a great time.
We really did. That was the style of it: blocks were busted, barns were stormed, hell was raised and sent back down again, and, whatever a humdinger might be, a good few hums were surely ding'd this night.
For all that, I hope this tour will close a particular book for U2. Next time, let's see danger again.
© 1983 New Musical Express magazine. All Rights Reserved.