U2 – RDS Arena 1993 Night 1 – Unbroadcasted (Golden Eggs EGG 163/164)

RDS Arena 1993 Night 1 – Unbroadcasted (Golden Eggs EGG 163/164)

RDS Arena, Dublin, Ireland – Friday, August 27, 1993

Disc 1 (63:47) Intro, Zoo Station, Fly, Even Better, Mysterious Ways, One / Hear Us Coming, Unchained Melody, Until The End Of The World, New Years Day, Numb, Trying To Throw Your Arms Around The World, Angel Of Harlem / Dirty Old Town, I Will Follow, Stay

Disc 2 (59:20) Satellite Of Love, Bad / Irish Heartbeat / The First Time, Bullet The Blue Sky, Running To Stand Still, Where The Streets Have No Name, Pride, Encore Break Intro, Desire / You Make Me Feel So Young, Ultraviolet, With Or Without You, Love Is Blindness, Can’t Help Falling In Love With You

U2’s massive tour to support the Actung Baby release dubbed Zoo TV was a nearly year long jaunt spanning 5 legs with an attendance of over 5 million fans, staggering to say the least. It’s been twenty years since the band undertook this tour, it featured an over the top multimedia presentation which was completely new at the time, interesting on how this presentation has become a way of life for many. There are numerous recordings and bootlegs from this tour, perhaps one of the most circulated was the second performance in U2’s hometown of Dublin, Ireland on August 28, 1993. The concert was broadcast on FM radio and recorded for later use most notably by the Westwood One Radio Network with a reported 700 million listeners. This new release from the folks at Golden Eggs presents the lesser known first night in Dublin, a performance many consider an equal, if not better than its more famous counterpart. The liner notes for this release state “the previous evening deserves to be remembered for the real band homecoming”, a poignant statement if there ever was one.

There are two known audience recordings from this concert, the recording featured on this title is an excellent recording. The sound is detailed and well balanced, it favors the middle and upper frequencies, a common by product of recording in the open air environment of the 38,000 capacity RDS Arena. The taper was well positioned close to the stage and captures the performance and excitement of the event as well, the ambiance being well captured. The second source was taped much farther back and is quite distant in comparison. I added just a tad bit of bass and turned this sucker up, it sounds incredible and atmospheric. The performance is excellent, the band are certainly very happy to be playing at home, Bono alters the lyrics of Zoo Station stating he is sleeping in his own bed. It’s been a year since I reviewed the Mike Millard recording from a Los Angeles date during the first leg so it is nice to revisit this tour once again.

This recording gives an idea of how relaxed the band are with the stage show by this time, the more rigid structure needed to pull the event off is not felt, the music naturally rolls from their finger tips. The clarity of this recording picks up the detailed multimedia introduction perfectly, Zoo Station seemingly gets the audience up and moving yet certainly many are transfixed on the visual presentation of the event. After The Fly Bono greets the crowd “Well watching the television at home with some friends…what else you gonna do on a Friday”, the audience is transfixed as he changes the channels yet really come alive when the band start Even Better Than The Real Thing. Really good version of One is followed by a Bono Edge version of Unchained Melody that is simply wonderful, the crowd quietly sings in the distance, its tranquility broken by the Third Reich and Until The End Of The World.

Numb is an interesting inclusion into the set for the European and Australian legs, it certainly has the cold feeling that music originated in Berlin seems to have, perfect prelude to a melancholy Trying To Throw Your Arms Around The World. It’s amazing that in a crowd of 38,000 you can have an intimate experience but Angel Of Harlem is just that, it’s like the band playing in a small club feeling, audience is totally into it having a great time clapping and singing along, they follow instantly as Bono sings a snippet of Dirty Old Town, they know the lyrics too and sing them back to him. Bad seems to bring the best out of the band and audience, Bono gives off his most passionate vocals of the evening, the crowd sings along echoing them back to him. The quiet ending is blasted by the bombs of Bullet The Blue Sky which catches the audience by surprise, Edge’s guitar work on this song is the heaviest of the night but also the most interesting.

The concert builds to a dramatic ending, beginning with Running To Stand Still. The crowd clap, cheer, and sing in euphoria when the band kick into Where The Streets Have No Name, Pride seems to double the energy and features Bono’s best vocal of the evening. The crowd boos loudly as Bono says goodnight at the end of the song, the taper takes this time to switch tapes. More channel surfing leads to Desire and the band gets into a long string of encores, Bono gets into a funny phone call skit in between songs and the audience eats it up. Ultraviolet is almost funky and reeks of Soul, a perfect lead into With Or Without You. Bono does an Elvis impersonation just before a brilliant version of Can’t Help Falling In Love that ends the performance proper…”Elvis is still in the building”.

Golden Eggs have adorned their tri gratefold sleeve with pictures from tour tour featuring Bono in his many guises, the interior features great liner notes and the tour dates of the Zoo TV 4th Leg: Zooropa, typical excellent packaging. The sound quality and performance make this an easy title to enjoy, another great title from the Golden Eggs label, their love of U2’s music is obvious from their presentation.

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