Opening Act(s): The Waterboys
11 O'Clock Tick Tock, I Will Follow, Seconds, MLK, The Unforgettable Fire, Wire, Sunday Bloody Sunday, The Cry, The Electric Co., A Sort Of Homecoming, Bad, October, New Year's Day, Pride (In The Name Of Love). Encore(s): Party Girl, Gloria, 40
The crowd is overly enthusiastic tonight, and a fight breaks out in front of the stage during I Will Follow. The band stops playing and Bono and Edge try to stop the fighting. In doing so, Edge drops his guitar and it breaks. Tempers cool until the encore, when the rush pushes fans up onto the stage. The band stops Gloria and it takes 10 minutes for the situation to return to normal. When it does, U2 finishes their set and leaves the stage quickly.
New York Times, December 6, 1984
U2 at Radio City Music Hall
by Stephen Holden
RADIO CITY MUSIC HALL became a kind of rock -and- roll cathedral on Monday with the appearance of U2, the young Irish quartet whose Christian, antiwar anthems have earned them one of the most devoted followings in rock. That devotion is well- placed. Over the course of four albums and a live mini-LP, U2 has evoked a sternly apocalyptic mood with an impressive clarity, power and lack of histrionics.
Using the minimalist esthetic of punk as a starting point, U2 has evolved a distinctive style that is austere but passionate. The oracular lyrics of U2's exuberant lead singer, Bono Vox, convey the elemental terrors and joys of life in a lean poetic diction that the music elevates into a chanted rock prayer.
U2's dirgelike melodies strongly reflect the modality and incantatory quality of Gregorian chant. But there's also a more contemporary folkish element in their music. ''Pride (In the Name of Love),'' an eloquent tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, reiterates a sunny refrain against guitar textures that intermingle echoes of bagpipes and peeling church bells. Along with such other U2 anthems as ''Sunday Bloody Sunday,'' ''New Year's Day,'' and ''I Will Follow,'' the song conjures a majestic new fusion of sacred music, political concern, and rock.
When U2 began recording four years ago, its signature sound was a surging drone of pummeling drums and colliding bell-like guitar textures. Since then, the band has expanded its vocabulary to incorporate jittery funk rhythms and a stuttering high- powered rock beat that recalls the Who's 60's standards. The rhythmic broadening has helped turn U2 from a good into a great band whose passion is matched by its technical resourcefulness.
© 1984 The New York Times Company. All Rights Reserved.