Wide Awake In Dublin (Godfather Records G.R. 427/428)
Croke Park, Dublin, Ireland – July 27th, 2009
Disc1: 78:46, Intro: Space Oddity/Kingdom, Breathe, No Line On The Horizon, Get On Your Boots, Magnificent, Beautiful Day, New Years Day, I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For/Movin On Up, Stay(Faraway, So Close), Unknown Caller, The Unforgettable Fire, City Of Blinding Lights, Vertigo
Disc2: 75:46, I’ll Go Crazy If I Don’t Go Crazy/Relax/Two Tribes, Sunday Bloody Sunday/Rock The Casbah, Pride, MLK, Walk On/You’ll Never Walk Alone, Desmond Tutu Speech, Where The Streets Have No Name/All You Need Is Love, One, Bad/Fool to Cry/40, Ultra Violet (Light My Way), With Or Without You/Shine like Stars, Moment Of Surrender.
Bonus tracks: Dublin, Ireland, Croke Park, July 24, 2009. Elevation, The Auld Triangle, Until The End Of The World/Break On Through
There are some bands, affiliated with certain venues or cities that make a fan go through great expense or tribulations just to go and see as if it’s a holly pilgrimage. Like Led Zeppelin in L.A., or The Who at Madison Square Garden for example. With U2, it’s Dublin. Bono even talks about this on disc one, stating “Dublin is the best place in world to see U2”. When asking for any visitors in the crowd to raise their hands. Apparently, there’s a lot of hands in the air judging by his reaction. Sometimes all the hype can be too much for anyone to live up to. Unfortunately, July 27, 2009 in Croke Park is one of those times.
Bono’s voice is shot. He can barely speak, let alone carry a tune. He does talk a lot of the words while trying to sing. The band overall sounds tired. They could be feeding off their front man though. The music really doesn’t sound very inspiring.
I’m having a hard figuring if this is a soundboard or a superior audience recording from Godfatherecords. There is no crowd interference at all, and when the massive crowd sings along, which is always, it naturally adds great and balanced back round vocals. The recording itself is very balanced with all instruments coming through in perfect stereo, but times Bono’s vocals are distant, but this could be just due to him being away from the mic. At times The Edge’s guitar does sound a bit thin like on New Years Day, Sunday bloody Sunday and Pride. The set list is relatively the same, heavy on new material. Something I do like about this band. The new songs are played the energy and intensity, but limited due to the weak vocals.
Before MLK, Bono talks about Ang San Suu Ky, and says he has the honor of announcing that she has been named an ambassador by Amnesty International. Well, it’s great he brings these things out into the open, but what good is an ambassador who is under house arrest?
There are moments of musical high’s. I’ll Go Crazy If I Don’t Go Crazy, is played in a very danceable rhythm, with Larry Mullen’s drumming pounding and thumping that be jumped around to. For some reason Bono starts singing some Frankie Goes to Hollywood. But, it’s all in the moment.
Fortunately, Godfatherecords, with their excellent attention to detail provides us with three bonus tracks from the Dublin, July 24th. show. Elevation, an Irish tune, The Auld Triangle and Until TheEnd Of The World. These are very obvious audience recordings, but they are very good, and the band is in prime form for these three songs. If Godfather has this whole show on tape, they should release it, if the whole show is of the same quality. I see no problem with that.
Overall, an excellent recording from Godfatherecords. Unfortunately, not a quality performance from U2.