Opening Act(s): Fashion
11 O’Clock Tick Tock, Twilight, Another Time, Another Place, Stories For Boys. (incomplete setlist)
Record Mirror, April 30, 1980
Sense of Ireland
by Chris Westwood
I just had a letter from the Virgin Prunes and I just caught U-2 bopping in the moonlight spotlight, the sense of Ireland is creeping under my skin, so I’m feeling happy and excited for the moment.
Springing from behind a dormant, buzzy house PA into graceful full-tilt, U-2’s second Brit tourdate was the kind of remonstration I’d hoped for, all loose wires and sound swamps, flawed and gorgeous.
The fact that this was bulging with faults, humorous little cock-ups, mikes falling over, cigarettes refusing to light, etc., won’t bother U-2, because that’s what they’re all about. Line them up with The Fall and you’ve two examples of people attacking pop with vengeance, thriving on all they leave askew or out of place, forcefully questioning all the myths, rules, and plastic regulations of rock and roll “discipline,” and conversely making the most valuable rock and roll there is.
Th Edge (guitar) always appears pretty vacant, often stationary and blank; he also uses the guitar — as opposed to playing it — with numbing agility and spontaneity, never slipping into the kind of indulgence U-2’s looseness could allow. Bono (vocals / arms / energy) never stops. He’s the manifestation of all thigs good about U-2, writhing, striving, reaching, jumping, dipping, virtually the visible outlet for all that should be seen and felt and understood about U-2.
And they’re not hard to understand, they’re writing about you and me, the people around us, the people inside us — they’re writing about, and for, young people in the only way I, or they, could understand.
Tag on Adam (bass) and Larry (drums), a tight, insidious rhythm section, U-2 could be playing instrumentals; their music laps into so many cracks and crevices it’s almost solely responsible for drawing me back toward pop music. Now I see bands like The Teardrop Explodes, The Distractions, Pink Military, and so on and so on. And I wonder why our charts aren’t bulging with these people.
“11 O’Clock Tick Tock” mightn’t be chart fodder, but it’s a gem, cutting and cruising along, a sort of instrumental with lyrics. “Twilight” sticks out, too, tangle-torn and viciously sensitive. Or “Stories for Boys,” or “Another Time, Another Place,” or….
I could list a set and it wouldn’t make much difference. I could tell you that this was probably a poor U-2 set … and that should make a difference.
The PR in me tells me to tell you to see U2 if at all possible. The journalist in me agrees wholeheartedly. Those who care will see; that’s enough from me.
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