U2 – Wide Awake In Dublin (Godfather Records G.R. 427/428)

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. 

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  1. Eric, if you notice godfather has pressed u2 shows from Spain, Italy, France, Ireland and UK, all big countries, big markets and places with an old history for U2 and their fans, so I think that this is another reason for label’s choice further than setilists or single performance.
    U2 are on tour every 4 years, they are not like Springsteen or Dylan so as I am a collector and fan too I am very happy if they release as many concerts as possible.
    Some labels press several times same LZ shows on different editions, Godfather presses 7 U2 shows of current tours every 4 years…..I still don’t see why we should complain.
    I find also the sound quality of their 7 titles from 2009 absolutely or really high standards, I don’t feel that they have done one title just cause they have to do it or for simple greedy reasons. I think that all these U2 releases have sense in my collection even if I could find more or less inspired a performance.
    P.S. Floyd and LZ were inspired in very single perfomance of zillions silver cds available?

  2. Restart.. Reboot Yourself.. LOL!! J/k.. Personally I don’t see Godfather as a greedy label. They are quite reasonable for the quality and value of their releases. Just like some labels like to release and re release Zeppelin shows, Godfather’s main interests are U2 and Springsteen and their are collectors that want each and every show of both.

  3. I agree with you mojo, that documenting a bands whole tour would be great. I’ve said this someplace. But it does cost money to do this and doesn’t mean every CD will sell. I know these makers don’t have buying a new Ferrari in mind by doing this. If anything, they probably started out by doing this just for thrill of sneaking something into a show. I used to do it with a camera, and again, having a lasting memory instead of an expensive t-shirt that will shrink in the wash.

  4. A true collector and fan would want everything produced. I personally don’t collect U2, but I can understand and appreciate Godfather’s effort in documenting their current tour.

    Every collector knows that there are differences in each concert. Even when the setlist remains there same, there are subtlties in performance, interprestation and subtext that are fascinating to discover. And shows that are deemed “substandard,” which the reviewer labels the Dublin show, are even more interesting.

    Yes these titles serve as good souveniers for those who were there, but they are also valuable for any collector.

  5. As told I am not totally agree with Eric about the quality of the performance but this is just a matter of taste even if I don’t think that someone could be unhappy buying a release with this sterling sound quality. In my opinion one of the best even considering the big stadium venue.
    By the way I cannot really understand why Godfather records should restrain themselves with u2 titles !
    I hope they will press more titles as possibles giving the chance to purchase shows from different important countries. What’s the problem if you can choose to buy shows from Spain, Italy, France and Ireland or UK?? Nobody is obliging you to buy all.
    This label has done a big effort covering many shows of the tour and collectors can choose to buy one double for reasonable prices staying away from other ones.
    I really don’t understand this polemic.
    Would it maybe be better having just a couple of shows pressed? Then we would discuss about the quality of just 2 performances and we would not maybe be agree,,,,,
    This is nonsense….

  6. Thanks for the review. I agree with eric99: Some CD releases are best as a souvenir for fans who were at the show. For the rest of us, especially with so many shows already available from the tour and many more likely to come out, we would prefer a release to be a good recording of a good performance. GF will certainly releases more shows from this tour — let’s hope they can restrain themselves and put the greed on-hold so that fans who were not at the show are not disappointed with the quality of this purchase. Fans don’t have thousands of dollars/pounds/Euros available to purchase everything that is being released. I applaude eric99 for his thoughts about Paul’s voice.

  7. It’s great to hear from someone who was actually at the show. Glad you posted, but I have to call it as I hear it.

  8. Dublin july 27 is the only 3rd show in the same city during the entire 360° 2009 tour, so this could be the reason for a “tired” performance. By the way, I saw this concert and I don’t find the performance so uninspired as eric99 states.
    Bono’s voice was not good as usual but he was absolutely generous adding BAD during the encores which wasn’t marked on the setlist and there a lot of great moments.
    It’s true, many fans came from all over the world to see this gig, even if the real international shows were friday 24 and saturday 25 with at least the 30% of non irish crowd.
    The sound quality of this double set is absolutely stunning.

  9. I believe this is a excellent AUD source. The band does sound tired however there are some great moments as mentioned above. I still appreciate Godfather documenting this tour and hope they continue.


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