Levis Stadium, Santa Clara, CA, USA – May 17, 2017
Disc 1 (54:02) Sunday Bloody Sunday, New Year’s Day, A Sort Of Homecoming / America, Bad / America, Pride (In The Name Of Love), Where The Streets Have No Name, I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For, With Or Without You, Bullet The Blue Sky, Running To Stand Still
Disc 2 (66:35) Red Hill Mining Town, In God’s Country, Trip Through Your Wires, One Tree Hill, Exit / Eeny Meeny Miny Moe, Mother’s Of The Disappeared / El Pueblo Vencera, Beautiful Day / Do You Know The Way To San Jose, Elevation, Ultra Violet (Light My Way), One, Miss Sarajevo / The New Colossus, The Little Things That Give You Away
It’s a staggering thought that U2’s seminal record, The Joshua Tree, is thirty years old. I can still remember seeing the videos all the time on MTV as they were THE hot item back in 1987. If one would briefly consider, it was the record that would propel the band into the stratosphere of Rock and one could also surmise the reason they could produce a massive stadium tour to celebrate this much loved record thirty years later. It could also be said that U2 are the kings of stadium rock at this point, basically they have been doing it for thirty years and are one of the few bands still around who can deliver the goods, with only the Rolling Stones their only challenger to the title.
U2 has not seemed to have lost interest to the collectors market as well and there is a plethora of titles out documenting the dates, Empress Valley has a couple documenting the tours first two dates in Vancouver and Seattle with beautiful IEM / audience matrix recordings, now the folks at Eat A Peach have jumped into the ring with a recording from the third night of the tour. Recorded in Santa Clara, a beautiful city about 45 minutes south of San Francisco at the 50,000 capacity Levis Stadium, this new title features a superb audience recording. The sound is perfectly balanced with all instruments and vocals coming through clearly, somehow the taper found a sweet spot as there is virtually no audience noise even close to the recorder, this is a good and bad thing. While the sound is excellent and you don’t have chatter, it does loose some of the ambiance of the event, and being a stadium show there is a very slight swirling of sound from time to time, overall a beautiful capture of their performance.
The set list for the tour was pretty standard, the band would swap out a song or two and use a sort of chronological approach to the set, starting with two from War and three from The Unforgettable Fire to warm the crowd up so to speak. It is interesting to hear Bono sing songs like Sunday Bloody Sunday and New Year’s Day, in his younger days they were songs where he took a defiant stance, now he sings them almost in a reflective stance, especially on the former. Pride gives Bono a chance to talk about the MLK message, one of compassion.
Many people have said good music is timeless, The Joshua Tree certainly fits into that category. Whether it’s on this bootleg or on one of the many editions of this record, its sounds is timeless and does not sound its age. The questions Bono was asking back then, we are still asking now. Bono gives the Reverend Cecil Williams a shout out during I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For, a well know figure in San Francisco who is a Methodist minister and founded many diverse social services for the people. Back to the real world, Bono has some mic problems at the beginning on With Or Without You, and he gets a chance to show off his harmonica skills during Trip Through Your Wires, he declares America a sexy place and the Edge is a sexy man! I have always enjoyed the second half of The Joshua Tree, great to finally hear One Tree Hill live and they deliver a strong and poignant version of Exit.
After the last segment of the concert, the band play their more recent hits, Bono pays tribute to the empowerment of women with a nice intro to Ultra Violet and like the first two shows end the concert with a new song that is supposed to be on their next record, The Little Things That Give You Away. During a time where many bands are jumping on the bandwagon and playing an entire record (or in the case of Yes, three of them), U2 takes one of their most relevant statements and reminds us that while we are thirty years older, we may not be thirty years wiser.
The packaging is mini LP sleeve with visuals based upon The Joshua Tree record, save for the band are thirty years older (and wiser). There are a multitude of live shots, with many being from the actual event, the 8 page booklet is visually beautiful and also contains the lyrics to the song The Little Things That Give You Away, a typically beautiful package from the Peach folks. Excellent sound, excellent packaging, excellent release.If you liked this review, buy me a cup of joe. (Suggested: $3 a shot or $7.5 for a double)