December 21, 1981 - London, England - Lyceum Ballroom

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Gloria, Another Time Another Place, I Threw A Brick-A Day Without Me, An Cat Dubh, Into The Heart, With A Shout, Rejoice, The Cry, The Electric Co., I Fall Down, October, I Will Follow, Twilight, Out Of Control. Encore(s): Fire, 11 O'Clock Tick Tock, The Ocean.


Tonight's concert featured the final performance of With A Shout. Its only subsequent performance is on May 15, 1982 for the TV show Something Else.

Media Review:

Record Mirror

They'll lead, will you follow?

by Gill Pringle

U2 played the gig of 1981 and words fail me. Everyone is hugging each other as they stumble outside and the night air is ringing with snatches of song.

As the opening chords of "Gloria" went up, arms were raised in dream-like unison, restin only when the persistent blare of the disco spelled out the end.

Without pulling any tricks or twists, the band had the audience with them all the way - surely a magnificent achievement considering their inauspicious beginnings. The Lyceum was heaving with a capacity crowd, every one of them clapping in time, regardless that the group had abandoned the stage to drummer Larry whose beat competed and lost against the cries and cheers.

The set boasted not a single new number, but sheer inspiration had transformed many favourite songs almost beyond recognition. "I Threw a Brick" had received such treatment and benefitted enormously, along with the wonderful "A Day Without Me."

Bono whispered and yodelled and coaxed the audience into hypnotic submission as they watched his form dart and flicker about the stage. Fans who managed to crawl on to the stage were not thrown off, instead he clasped their hands and danced.

U2 have progressed in leaps and bounds, not only in the popularity stakes, but in musicianship - The Edge should rate in anybody's top five guitarist list, while confidence has entrusted Adam Clayton's driving bass lines with an individualism and style.

The best of everything the band has so far released on vinyl was included in tonight's performance - "Rejoice," "I Fall Down," "Electric Co.," "With a Shout".... The band may well have felt no small sting of pleasure to find that numbers such as these were welcomed with the same enthusiasm as their better-known tracks, like "Fire" and "11 O'Clock Tick Tock" which brought the show to a jubilant close.

It's impossible to label U2, either by the period they emerged from or by their style. This places them in the enviable position of forever being able to develop without their past clawing them back. Lines from other people's songs were stolen here and there. "Give Peace a Chance" may have seemed cheeky from anyone else, but here its sincerity couldn't be doubted. Anyone who saw their show must realise that this is to be the beginning of many peaks, for such a deserving band.

© Record Mirror, 1981. All rights reserved.

Media Review:

Sounds magazine, January 2, 1982

Embraced by passion

by Karen Swayne

What can I say? That U2 were an experience that defies the written word? That the atmophere was one of sheer jubilation? Or maybe just that if you missed them live, you missed one of the most joyous and inspiring events of the year.

Imagine the Lyceum transformed into a hall of celebration, where U2's followers could gather to pay tribute to the band they know should have been much, much bigger in 1981. We were overwhelmed by their music, and lifted by their feeling, and the world outside seemd a million miles away as we were carried into a land of passion and beauty.

U2 are striving for, and almost reaching, perfection. The audience had expected something special and what they got was an evening to treasure, an evening of such emotion that only those with no heart or soul could have failed to be moved. We danced, waved, and smiled, and Bono smiled back. At times he looked surprisingly like Rod Stewart, especially in profile, but unlike Stewart, his humanity shines through. It was obvious that he just couldn't quite believe the reaction - he looked out with awe at the seething mass of people - but he responded magnificently, rising to the occasion with the ease of one who believes implicitly in what he is doing.

The band opened with "Gloria," a hymn-like song performed with such intensity that I wondered if Bono's voice would be able to take the strain if he carried on with such force throughout the set. There was no problem however, for although the vocals became huskier, the power and purity were still there, soaring above the haunting, sliding guitar which provided the ideal backing.

U2 played all the songs I love best. "Another Time, Another Place," "Out Of Control," "I Will Follow," and "I Fall Down" and so many more, played with warmth and feeling, and for one fan at the front it was all too much.

He clambered onto the stage to embrace Bono, who grabbed his hand, danced a little jig, then walked him off to the wings before a bouncer could eject him more forcibly. This sounds a bit of a non-event in print, but if you could have been there and seen the expression of pure delight on the faces of the crowd you'd understand how important an unselfconscious act like that was to them. It confirmed their trust in him.

I hope I've conveyed even a fraction of U2's strength and brilliance because it's hard to analyse and almost impossible to describe.

"What can I say but thank you," murmured Bono, lost for words after a particularly rapturous response. I know exactly how he felt, because I felt the same way about them.

© 1982 Sounds magazine. All Rights Reserved.

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This page contains a single entry by Jonathan published on December 21, 1981 12:24 AM.

December 20, 1981 - London, England - Lyceum Ballroom was the previous entry in this blog.

January 23, 1982 - Galway, Ireland - Leisureland is the next entry in this blog.

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