Forever In Fever, Forever In Heat (The Godfatherecords G.R. 846/847)
Boston Garden, Boston, MA – September 18, 1987
Disc 1: (52:48) Where The Streets Have No Name, I Will Follow, I Trip Through Your Wires, I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For, MLK, The Unforgettable Fire, Bullet The Blue Sky, Running To Stand Still, Sunday Bloody Sunday, Exit, In God’s Country
Disc 2: (56:35) Help, Helter Skelter, Bad, October, New Year’s Day, Pride(In The Name Of Love), One Tree Hill, With Or Without You, Spanish Eyes, Out Of Control, 40
U2 released their fifth LP, The Joshua Tree, on March 9th, 1987 and embarked on a massive tour that would take the band through the United States twice separated by a two and a half month long European leg. The first North American leg started on April 2nd with two dates in Tempe, Arizona at the Arizona State University Activity Center and would come full circle by the end of their second trip through North America finishing up in Tempe, Arizona again with two dates at Sun Devil Stadium on December 19th and 20th.
Forever In Fever, Forever In Heat from Godfather is from the second night in Boston during the second North American leg and features a near perfect soundboard recording of U2’s Garden performance. The recording captures a great balance between the instruments with a bit of crowd mixed in giving it a nice live feel and definitely rivals the quality of an official release.
The keyboard intro for “Where The Streets Have No Name” sets the stage as The Edge soon joins the fold with his signature “rhythmic echo” guitar filling the Boston Garden. His guitar sound takes on an almost magical feel. This is an exciting start to the concert and the band sounds like they are in fine form. The song has an anthem like quality to it that no doubt brings the crowd to their feet. A quick “thank you” and into “I Will Follow” they go. The rocker from their debut LP, Boy, proves that Bono is in excellent voice and the rhythm section of Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen Jr. are locked in.
The Garden erupts when Bono says “what would you say if I told you that the Mayor has just made us honorary citizens of this great city”. “We really hit the big time and now we can come in a limo, Boston” he jokes. He gets in his political plug about immigration laws just before the band gets into “I Trip Through Your Wires”. Bono is featured on harmonica during this one.
The Edge flubs the first couple notes of “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” prompting Bono to tease “Have you forgotten how to play this one Edge”. It is remarkable to hear the massive crowd clap and sings along with Bono throughout. It’s amazing how much weight a mellow tune like this can actually carry. “The Unforgettable Fire” follows the tranquil “MLK” with a more up-tempo danceable feel and shows the influence that producers Brian Eno and Daniel Lanois had on the band.
“Bullet The Blue Sky” (easily my personal favorite U2 track) captures a nice steady drum and bass groove that allows Bono and The Edge to vamp over. The song offers some nice slide guitar from The Edge with Morrison like spoken word poetry from Bono. He continues to get intimate and gets a rise from the crowd when he mentions going down to The Channel, a small club on the Boston waterfront that gave many a band their start coming to town. The audience instantly recognizes the first few notes for “Sunday Bloody Sunday” and joins Bono for another massive sing along. He engages the crowd with chants of “No war!” during the break.
About midway through the show, things get really interesting where a few Beatles songs make their way into the set. They embark on a slower very mellow version of “Help” like the previous night but continue on into “Helter Skelter” tonight. They stick to The Beatles arrangement for this one and play an excellent yet slightly slower version of the White Album track. Bono nails the vocal while the rest of the band drives their way through an aggressive version.
Without pause The Edge leads into “Bad” (amazing how many hits they actually had up until this point) and once again the crowd reacts to the first couple of guitar notes. “October” segues into “New Years Day” and sounds larger than life with its distinctive bass and piano lines. The Edge would switch back and forth from piano to guitar when performed live and the track has been in U2’s setlist since its inception.
Bono says “I think in memory of last night, where the lights broke down; we should turn the house lights on again”. He continues telling the audience that The Edge’s guitar broke down tonight before introducing “Pride (In The Name Of Love)” to great applause. The track sounds beautiful with The Edge’s crystal clear guitar tone and the track brings the main set to a close.
The encores start with the programmed “One Tree Hill” sequence. “With Or Without You” follows and has the crowd clapping along in time as Bono delivers one of his most emotional lyrics. “Here’s a song we haven’t played over here before, it’s called “Spanish Eyes”. This was the B-side to “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” and was played only about a dozen times during the tour. They include a snippet of The Stones “Satisfaction” at the songs conclusion. It goes by really fast but is cool that they referenced it. “40” winds down the night spectacularly, ending with the audience singing a cappella after the band has finally stopped. They obviously can’t get enough.
In 1987, U2 were not only continuing to make their mark in the music industry but were forging a musical direction for others to follow and whether you liked them or not, you can’t deny the impact they have had on popular music. Forever In Fever, Forever In Heat is packaged in a tri-fold paper case with several live shots of the band. This is a superb sounding Godfather title from a defining period in U2’s career definitely worth owning even for a casual fan like myself.