May 14, 2017
Century Link Field
Take The Fucking Roof Off! / EVSD
02. Sunday Bloody Sunday
03. New Year's Day
04. A Sort Of Homecoming
06. Pride (In The Name Of Love)
07. Where The Streets Have No Name
08. I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For
09. With Or Without You
10. Bullet The Blue Sky
11. Running To Stand Still
12. Red Hill Mining Town
13. In God's Country
14. Trip Through Your Wires
15. One Tree Hill
17. Mothers Of The Disappeared
18. Beautiful Day
20. Ultra Violet (Light My Way)
22. Miss Sarajevo
23. The Little Things That Give You Away
24. I Will Follow
Recorded on the second night of the ‘Joshua Tree’ anniversary tour, the follow up to EV’s ‘Thirty Years And I Still Can’t Play Harmonica‘ is another of those brilliant audience / IEM matrix releases that we’ve become accustomed to over the past few years. The sound of this set is the same as the first set, the taper using his technical expertise and the best audience recordings to bump up the atmosphere in the playback. The playback is crisp and almost like listening to a digital radio broadcast maybe a little better! Effort has been made to stifle the count-in’s from the soundboard checking in the band to their parts – It was one of the things that took away from ‘Thirty Years ..’ for me but by squeezing these out, the taper has made a much easier listen. The ones that are left in just fit a little more naturally.
The set list doesn’t differ much from the first evening – it’s a pretty static list though ‘MLK’ is replaced by ‘Bad’ in the the first night starchiness has been shaken out and Bono returns to grabbing other’s lyrics from out of the air and bolting them on to the bands songs, vamping as he sees fit. You also know the role by now – The album is bookended by a various few greatest hits by the band with the mighty 1987 album being played out in full. Electronic advances and changes to eras being as they are, the sound of the band is a little less brougeish punk and a little more polished stadium rock.
Highlights from the set include Bono’s acapella rendering of Simon and Garfunkel’s “America” that bridges ‘A Sort Of Home Coming’ and ‘Bad’, returning at the very end to brush in an exhilarating ‘Pride’ which in turns leads in to a punching, ‘Where The Streets Have No Name’. The audience mix reveals a little too much before ‘With Or Without You’ as a female audience member shouts to her companion “You know this one?”, it’s either an in joke, a reference to the TV show “Friends” or a forehead slappingly behind member of the human race who has turned up not knowing this track, the rest of the audience certainly do and play with an aural mexican-wave following Bono’s vocals.
An most beautiful ‘Red Hill Mining Town’ where the crowd swoon along. ‘Exit’ twins itself with ‘Wise Blood’ and even a chant of ‘Eenie Meenie Miny Mo’ which Bono sets on fire with passion followed by a heart melting, ‘Mothers Of The Disappeared’ before which, Bono shouts out to Eddie Vedder who appears to be in the audience.
But after all this, we really can’t not include Bono’s giddy everyman attitude between tracks, his klutzy fumbling before ‘Trip Through Your Wires’ as he falls over his words and adds a little depreciation to his harp playing (Which is still brilliant) is still rather endearing.
The band return for their encores with a thrilling ‘Beautiful Day’ with a hint to The Who’s ‘Love Reign O’er Me’ before the sticky grunge-pop of ‘Elevation’.
‘Ultra Violet’ is announced as being dedicated to the women that the band know, their mothers, daughters and the women of the audience, while Bill and Melinda Gates are applauded at the end of the track for their charitable works, this also coincides with a tribute to the companies who have joined the fight against aids while, ‘One’ is dedicated in the memory of David Wojnarowicz.
‘The Little Things That Give You Away’ rounds of the show nicely, grand and cinematic, it paves the way nicely for the hyper-excitement chug of ‘I Will Follow’, giving the audience and band a chance to, as Bono requests, “Blow the fucking roof off’.
The 2 disk set is neatly tied in to the same aesthetics that also made ’30 Years ..’ a joy to hold, the colours and design remain the same but obviously the name has changed. Thick stock cardboard, gatefold sleeve with an Obi-Strip for authenticity (And, one suspects, to add a little touch of class).
I actually prefer this over the first night, the set seems a little tighter if looser with no let up to the energy from the band. It looses so many of those obtrusive count-ins too, which was the crux of the first set. Obviously U2 fans will want to collect the set but if you were (or are) waiting for that definitive show for your collection, despite the fact that we’re only the second one in, I’d strongly recommend this release.