One World. All Of Us (Mainstream MSBR-070)
US Festival, San Bernardino, CA – September 3rd, 1982
Voices Inside My Head/Message In A Bottle, Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic, Walking On The Moon, Spirits In The Material World, Hungry For You, When The World Is Running Down, The Bed’s Too Big Without You, Do Do Do Do Do Da Da Da, Demolition Man, Shadow’s In The Rain/I Burn For You, Bring On The Night, Driven To Tears, One World, Invisible Sun, Don’t Stand So Close To Me, Can’t Stand Losing You, So Lonely
The Us Festivals in 1982 and 1983 were the biggest musical events of the decade after Live Aid in 1985. The first, held over labor day weekend in 1982, was a financial flop (although not as much as the more famous one held over memorial day weekend the following year), but produced some incredible performances.
The Police, who were one of the highest paid acts on the bill, closed out the second of three days on a bill that included Gang Of Four, The Ramones, English Beat, Oingo Boingo, B-52’s, and Talking Heads. The festival was organized and financed by Steven Wozniak, co-founder of Apple Computer. The festival delivered one of the best outdoor sound system (400,000 watts) ever constructed and two fifty-foot-high video screens that flanked the stage. “The only problem with these screens is that you can’t pick your nose,” said Sting as he did just that during the set.
Very clear and powerful stereo soundboard recording that is missing “Roxanne” which should come after “Invisible Sun” and is cut between many of the tracks. They play their Spirits In The Material World set with Ranking Roger (of English Beat) joining the band during One World.
During Can’t Stand Losing You: “I think I can speak for all of the groups here tonight. You are the biggest audience we’ve ever played to at one time. That doesn’t mean much, unless you act as one. Unless you have cohesion. 140,000 people doing something joyful. No, not that. I mean singing”. The recording is rich and well balanced with some hints of fans in the front in the left channel. This isn’t one of the dry boards but sounds professionally mixed.
An audience recording of the event has been released on Three Ghost Caught In The Act Blue Knight Records (BKR 016) along with 1983 Synchronicity Tour reheasals. This is a nice release although it would have been an essential own if Mainstream used the audience recording to complete the show and issue it on two discs.
They set that precedent with the Dylan release The Great Resurrection so it’s not clear why they didn’t here. As it is it’s good to finally have this soundboard fragment of this almost forgotten festival today and The Police’s sound pumped up and on fire. Even the backing horn section augments the sound nicely.