Wembley Station (Godfather Records GR 488)
Wembley Stadium, London, England – August 15th, 2009
(77:25): Intro: Kingdom, Breathe, Get On Your Boots, Magnificent, Until the End of the World, I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For, City of Blinding Lights, Vertigo, I’ll Go Crazy If I Don’t Go Crazy Tonight (remix), Sunday Bloody Sunday, Ultraviolet, With or Without You. Bonus tracks: Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame 25th Anniversary Concert, Madison Square Garden, New York, NY – October 30th, 2009: Because The Night (w/Bruce Springsteen and Patti Smith), I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For (w / Bruce Springsteen), Gimme Shelter (w / Will.I.Am, Fergie, and Mick Jagger), Stuck In A Moment You Can’t Get Out Of (w / Mick Jagger)
Wembley Station contains the hour long U2 BBC broadcast from their Wembley show on August 15th, 2009. This radio broadcast dates from December 21th 2009 and contains the dj’s comments at the beginning of the broadcast. Godfather use an excellent recording with no trace of its origin. And it’s in excellent stereo.
The Wembley gig was the first in the UK on the 360° tour and a record 88,000 filled into Wembley Stadium for the show. This is a show which was described by Richard Cohen writing for Daily Express as: “DESPITE 30 years together, countless hits, a dozen albums, and millions of tickets sold around the globe, U2 embarked on the British leg of their Tour with something to prove – that they’re still the best live act in the world. But U2 are nothing if not brave, and they open the 360° tour with four songs from the new album. It’s a gamble that mostly pays off. Breathe proves a rousing opener, but Get On Your Boots is surely U2’s worst single for a decade, and the only strong feeling it provokes is relief that we won’t have to endure it on their next tour.
“Similarly, on a balmy night in London the poorly conceived dance re-mix of Crazy Tonight leaves the crowd cold. They vote with their feet, by tramping to the bars and loos in their thousands. But the lowlights are few and far between. Passionate performances of Vertigo, Where The Streets Have No Name, Bad, One, Ultraviolet and With or Without You, and a rip-roaring rendition of New Year’s Day demonstrate why U2 deserve their reputation. And Bono turns Wembley Stadium in to the world’s biggest gospel choir, as he invites the crowd to sing I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For. This is U2 at their best – uniting vast swathes of people in moments that transcend what anyone would expect from a stadium gig.
“Despite the size of the stadium and the scope of the production, by the time the band return to play an emotional encore, it feels more like an arena gig. It is a mighty achievement indeed to make an 88,000 capacity stadium feel intimate. To borrow one of Bono’s own lyrics, the band appear ‘faraway,’ yet ‘so close.'”
The bonus tracks include for songs from the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame 25th Anniversary ceremony. It features interesting versions of “Because The Night” with the song’s author Bruce Springsteen and the one who popularized it Patti Smith. “Gimme Shelter” is a great version with Mick Jagger and the fragment concludes with U2’s own ” Stuck In A Moment You Can’t Get Out Of.” Overall this is a good U2 production from the Godfather label.If you liked this review, buy me a cup of joe. (Suggested: $3 a shot or $7.5 for a double)