U2, “Sing Your Heart Out Amsterdam” (Rattlesnake RS 300/01)
Disk 1; Sunday Bloody Sunday / New Year’s Day / Bad – Heroes – Where Are We Now? Pride (In the Name of Love) / Where the Streets Have No Name – California (There Is No End To Love) (snippet) / I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For / With or Without You / Bullet the Blue Sky – War – America (West Side Story) / Running To Stand Still / Red Hill Mining Town / In God’s Country
Disk 2; Trip Through Your Wires / One Tree Hill / Exit – Wise Blood – Eeny Meeny Miny Moe / Mothers Of The Disappeared / Miss Sarajevo / Beautiful Day / Elevation / Vertigo – Rebel Rebel / Mysterious Ways / Ultraviolet (Light My Way) / One – Hear Us Coming
Recorded at the Johan Cruyff ArenA, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, July 29th, 2017.
The ‘Joshua Tree’ anniversary tour has been heavily documented throughout it’s initial run and mainly through IEM recordings sported by Empress Valley and Xavel, there have also been the rather excellent audience recordings from the Eat A Peach label. Rattlesnake have decided upon recordings from Amsterdam, two shows captured at the Johan Cruyff ArenA using unique IEM and audience matrix mixes and that special touch that Rattlesnake apply to their releases. If you’ve had the pleasure of the previous EV releases, these captures sound just as good. The show itself sounds punchy and revived, the nature of the Dutch, throwing good audience, that drives the band along (A couple of times they threaten to out-sing Bono) but it’s the band behind the force that’s always going to drive things and they do it splendidly tonight.
‘Sunday Bloody Sunday’ boldly begins the show with it’s mechanic drumbeat mashing out it’s presence, ‘New Years Day’ follows, moodily sonorous, shot through with it’s shattering guitar lines.
Prior to the next medley, Bono thanks the crowd before announcing his brother Norman who is in the crowd (Mr. Norman Bono, imagine that!), the man who gave Bono his first LP, David Bowie’s ‘Hunky Dory’, the singer also goes on to thank the people, friends and family, who helped the band get to such a point. ‘Bad’ is easily twinned with ‘Heroes’ and a short rendition of the later day Bowie, ‘Where Are We Now?’, achingly emotive after David’s passing.
‘Pride (In The Name Of Love)’ is also now securely on point after the past couple of years issues concerning global affairs. A fast ballad moment, raising a tear and a fist all in the same moment. It takes on another meaning at Amsterdam’s own Pride week, which our vocalist also alludes to. The harmonies from the crowd trail out in to the sky. This is quickly followed by ‘Where The Streets Have No Name’, the repetitive chime of the glossy guitar lines shimmering beatifically as the band whip up more enthusiasm.
Things slow a small pace for, ‘I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For’, sensing the audience are in that kind of mood tonight, Bono sings the first line then allows the rest of the chorus to be carried along by the crowd. An expensive karaoke ticket maybe but an amazing experience to listen back to and it just can’t fail to make you smile.
‘Running To Stand Still’ is another one of those elegant moments from the night, suffering slightly as Bono’s voice cracks slightly in the first quarter but it also fields his first harp solo of the night, deeply affecting and warm, the feeling continues through ‘Red Hill Mining Town’ with the happy-sad filmic piano line prominent throughout.
A clincher next, dedicated to Antoijn Corbain, and his work, ‘Trip Through Your Wires’ is a dizzying stormer, prompted by the harp (Which is never as bad as Bono suggests he plays it. Dedicated to Greg Carrol and Friso, a prince of the Netherlands, ‘One Tree Hill’, is another glorious spine tingler, the Edge’s rough, buzzing guitar cutting groove towards the end.
‘Mothers Of The Disappeared’ joins hands with ‘Miss Sarajevo’. Both simpatico in measure and tone, the audience are given space to stand and reflect on these immersive tracks after the bottled anger of ‘Exit’ has driven slowly over us.
A short call and response precedes a bombastic, ‘Beautiful Day’ which twins itself through ‘Elevation’ which itself works to try out punch it’s brother. Two tracks that scatter sparks through the audience (Though I’d dispute the labels inference that Bowie’s ‘Starman’ appears anywhere throughout ‘Beautiful Day’, I don’t hear it at all). ‘Vertigo’ quickly follows after, the rapidly choppy, shattering effect close to a chugging glam riff and so it’s only right that Bono throws in a snippet of ‘Rebel Rebel’ towards the end.
Paying tribute to the women in the bands lives, ‘Mysterious Ways’ and ‘Ultraviolet’ are perfect endings to the concert, holding love aloft, empowering and soldering the lines between the sexes, these crowd pleasers hit the right notes.
Finally, the band close the concert with ‘One’. If you had to choose a finale, you’d be spoiled for choice but using the same technique that he used on ‘I Still Haven’t Found ..’, Bono sings alternate lines for the audience to sing back to to him, skipping from his own lines to the ones sung by the audience.
Another great package, along with the full colour covers, thick,12 page booklet, full colour disks and excellent and authoritative liner notes, this is not just a souvenir of a show but an awesome addition to the collection – If you’re finding the EV CDs a little difficult to come by, this is a perfect addition to your collection in perfect sound too.