Opening Act(s): The Waterboys
11 O'Clock Tick Tock, I Will Follow, Wire, MLK, The Unforgettable Fire, Surrender, Two Hearts Beat As One, Seconds, A Sort Of Homecoming, Sunday Bloody Sunday, The Cry, The Electric Co., Bad, Indian Summer Sky, October, New Year's Day, Pride (In The Name Of Love). Encore(s): Party Girl, Gloria, 40.
The atmosphere in the venue is hostile, and Bono's attempts to connect with and pacify the crowd do not prove successful. During the first verse of Pride, Bono stops the song to try to talk to the crowd more as fights break out. He then restarts the song.
By Patrick Bastow
Wow, its seemds a long time ago now. I was 16 at the time and had already seen U2 once at Christian Rock Festival, Greenpeace.
I think the tickets were £2.50 or something stupid. I brought the tickets of someone who couldn't go for £5. Sounds a bargin against the £40 for the Elevation tickets doesn't it!!
Brixton at that time still had a bad press, after the riots. I come from a very conservative family and asked my Mum if I could go up to Brixton to see U2. 'Ask your Dad', so I did, he said 'Ask your mum', so I just went to the concert anyway.
The Brixton Academy is the probably the best venue in the UK, simply fantastic. U2 were just getting big in the UK and this was pre-Live Aid. Looking back it was the last opportunity to ever really see U2 in a relatively small venue in the UK.
I can' really remember the concert. I was right up front, in the mosh pit. Bono seemed quiet short really and they were just getting into the long hair phase. I remember Edges guitar just sounded fantastic and Larry's drumming was world class.At that stage in their career it really was a ROCK concert, very loud and non-stop. Probably for a gig, the best stage in their carreer for me.
My overiding memory is being asked if I wanted drugs by a gut who opened his flasher mac up to reveal a whole array of drugs and being a naive 16 year old shocked me no end.
The other main memory was the mosh pit. I jumped into the air during one song and my feet didn't touch the ground for 10 minutes. I was right up against the stage barrier and as the stage was set back a bit got an amazing view of the band.
I remember that the lights and effects were extremeley basic. I been to quite a few gigs by then and I was struck by how simple everything was. The one 'effect' was the lowering of some Japense banners on each side of the stage. One of the banners wouldn't drop and remained stuck, bit of a Spinal Tap moment really. Perhaps the stage sets of the Zooroopa tours were a reaction aginst such simplistic staging? I was also amazed at the lack of staging went I saw the band during the Joushua Tree Tour at Wembley Stadium.
Having said that the music was ROCK music and due to Bono's elecltric perfromance didn't really need flashy stage sets or effects. But this was a tiny venue in comparison to what they play in now. If Bono's needs stage effects in a 50,000 stadium!!
Thats it really. I played U2 non stop for about 10 year after that and i've seen every tour apart from Elevation (couldn't get tickets) since. But this one stood out becuase I was so close to the stage and it still is probably the last 'small' gig U2 ever played in the U2.
A few weeks later U2 played Wembley Arena and have never been back to a small venue in the U2 for a 'normal' gig. This is why I think Brixton Aceademy was such an important gig, the end of a U2 phase for UK fans, good bye to small gigs, hello to Arenas and stadiums