North Star Over Paris (Godfather Records GR 573/574)
Stade de France, Paris, France – September 18th, 2010
Disc 1 (69:52): Intro Space Oddity, Return of the Stingray Guitar, Beautiful Day, I Will Follow, Get On Your Boots, Magnificent, Mysterious Ways, Elevation, Until the End of the World, I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For, North Star, Mercy
Disc 2 (79:35): In A Little While, Miss Sarajevo, City of Blinding Lights, Vertigo, I’ll Go Crazy If I Don’t Go Crazy Tonight (remix) – Two Tribes – Relax, Sunday Bloody Sunday, MLK, Walk On – You’ll Never Walk Alone, One, Amazing Grace – Where the Streets Have No Name, Hold Me Thrill Me Kiss Me Kill Me, With or Without You, Moment of Surrender. Bonus tracks, Olympia Stadium, Munich, Germany – September 15th, 2010: Mothers Of The Disappeared, Ultra Violet (Light My Way). King Baudoin Stadium, Brussels, Belgium – September 23rd, 2010: Angel Of Harlem / Don’t Stop ‘Till You Get Enough, Bad / Singing In The Rain
North Star Over Paris is another Godfather effort documenting U2’s 360° tour. Like their other tapes, they use an excellent stereo audience tape with very good atmosphere capturing the enormity of the show.
A review of the Paris show started with an interesting comparison when it says: “The problem with U2, like Jesus, is the fans. U2 fans are single handedly a terrifying prospect. And after three decades of this, it’s become an instinctual, second nature to the band: Bono is acting on muscle memory, not even thinking as such, just knowing – I do *this* and then the crowd do *that*. Every time. Like Schroedingers Rock Star. Put a crowd in front of him and off he goes. A perpetual show-off.”
The author continues: “At some point the music becomes almost irrelevant : well, to an extent, because the public will scoop up almost any old shit from U2 and love it, apart from they try to sound like a weirder version of Coldplay. With no album to plug and no real reason to tour, U2 instead are just going out there, and playing – for the first time – a tour that doesn’t seem centered on promoting a record: a set has been subtly reworked from last summer, and the nearest thing as such to a greatest hits package as such, whilst still over half of the songs performed come from the last decade of their 34 year career….It’s a confident and powerful set, greeted with the most enthusiastic audience I’ve seen in a long time: for tonight is, as much as there is one, a homecoming show for 2010, and the audience have come from far and wide. For some, it’s some kind of sacrament.”
The set begins with the Bowie “Space Oddity” taped intro leading into the unreleased “Return Of The Stingray Guitar” and the opening set is a good example of the author’s assertion of the audience’s enthusiasm.
Bono throws in many interesting references during the evening. “Mysterious Ways” has a short snippet of Wings’ “C Moon.” Bono referenced this song last year in North Carolina during “Beautiful Day,” but this is the first time on this tour in this particular song. There is also a very quick reference to George Harrison’s “My Sweet Lord.”
“I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” references “Many Rivers To Cross,” a song Bono would reference many times five years ago during “Beautiful Day.”
Two unreleased songs are played afterwards, and the reviewer observed: “There’s new songs – the delicate ‘North Star’ and the thumping ‘Mercy’ (the latter being almost legendary in the bands canon) are as strong as anything else. Which makes me wonder, just how many more songs the band are sitting on out there. How many songs as meaningful and potent as anything they have done sit on hard drives and await cynically plotted release schedules?”
The Wizard Of Oz makes an appearance with “Follow The Yellow Brick Road” during “City Of Blinding Lights.” The best part of the show is the disco set. Paris seems to rival Italy in their love for dance music, and Bono is especially enthusiastic as he throws in two Frankie Goes To Hollywood references with “Two Tribes” and “Relax.” He also thrown in “I Gotta Feeling” since David Guetta of the Black Eyed Peas was in attendance.
The bonus tracks contains songs from the Munich and Brussels shows including the first perfomance of “Bad” in 2010. Overall this is another strong U2 release on Godfather worth having.