The Prodigal Son (Godfather Records GR 558/559)
Olympic Stadium, Turin, Italy – August 6, 2010
Disc 1 (56:49): Intro Space Oddity, Return of the Stingray Guitar, Beautiful Day, Magnificent, Get On Your Boots, Mysterious Ways / My Sweet Lord, Happy Birthday The Edge, I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For, North Star, Glastonbury, Elevation, In A Little While, Miss Sarajevo, Until the End of the World
Disc 2 (71:44): The Unforgettable Fire, City of Blinding Lights, Vertigo, I’ll Go Crazy If I Don’t Go Crazy Tonight / Discotheque, Sunday Bloody Sunday, MLK, Walk On / You’ll Never Walk Alone, Desmund Tutu speech / One, Amazing Grace / Where the Streets Have No Name, Hold Me Thrill Me Kiss Me Kill Me, With or Without You, Moment of Surrender
U2’s 360° tour started its fifth leg on August 6th in Turin, Italy. Home to some of the most fanatical U2 fans in the world, almost any show they play in that country is met with a rapturous, wild response and Turin is no exception. On The Prodigal Son, Godfather utilize a very good, atmospheric recoding of the entire concert. The taper was a fair distance from the stage, but what is lost in clarity is compensated with fantastic dynamics of an unusual show.
While the basic structure of the set list remains intact, several additions and new songs make their way to the performance. After the opening “Space Oddity” introduction music, they play a new two-minute heavy rock riff called “Return of the Stingray Guitar” to start the show followed by “Beautiful Day” with the house lights still on.
Before “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” Bono sings “Happy Birthday” to The Edge, who would be 49 in two day. Bono also refers to himself as the “prodigal son,” inspiring the title. Afterwards, two new songs are played. Bono and Edge play a new acoustic song called “North Star,” which Bono warns could fall apart. “Glastonbury,” the second new song, is much louder and heavier. (Godfather has the distinction of being the first label to release these three new songs on disc).
Bono sings a bit of “Discotheque” at the start of “I’ll Go Crazy If I Don’t Go Crazy Tonight.” Also, “Hold Me, Thrill Me” is played for the first time since the last show of the PopMart tour on March 21st, 1998. David Fricke reviewed the show for Rolling Stone with the observation: “Bono, on stage for the first time since he underwent spinal surgery nine weeks earlier, strutting along the whole outer rim of U2’s giant stage. He often stopped to do boxing-dance moves, throwing punches like a fighter happy to be back in the ring. Bono’s restored energy was dramatic confirmation that U2’s world tour, now set to run into next year, was only interrupted, not derailed. But the band took that extra time to change the show in profound ways. U2 are still travelling with the most extravagant hi-tech spectacle in stadium-rock history.”
Like with all U2 releases on Godfather, they place as much care into the presentation as they do into the tape. The gatefold sleeve utilizes many photographs from the actual performance. A four page insert reproduces several reviews from Italian newspapers, and another insert replicates the concert poster. The Prodigal Son is essential for U2 fans as a fantastic document of the Turin concert.