For Your Weekend Listening Pleasure: U2 at Reunion Arena in 1985. And, Again, in 2001.

U2 at Reunion Arena on November 25, 2001. You were there once. You can be again.
U2 at Reunion Arena on November 25, 2001. You were there once. You can be again.
Flickr user: drewesque

And, while you're at it, throw in the May 12, 1997, Cotton Bowl show from the Popmart Tour and the October 29, 2005, Vertigo-go at the American Airlines Center. Really, all we're missing is the April 2, 1981, Bijou debut; the February 16, 1982, gig at Cardi's; and that immortal June 13, 1983, pit stop at the Bronco Bowl. (Though there is this.) The last one may be my first "best ... concert ... ever."

For now, those early '80s gigs exist solely as memories; fine by me. But I do recall fondly the '85 stop at Reunion in support of The Unforgettable Fire. It wasn't my favorite U2 album -- that was (and is, most days) War -- but those songs were custom-made for an arena; even this kinda-sorta-but-not-too-muddy audience recording fills up a room. And the set list back when was still full of early- and non-album cuts, among them "The Electric Co.," "11 O'Clock Tick Tock" and "Party Girl."

And, of course, the band had yet to grow weary of playing a song like "Sunday Bloody Sunday," which still seethed with a fresh urgency -- unlike, say, the version they brought back to Reunion during the Elevation tour in 2001. Which isn't to say those shows were a drag; far from it. Those were triumphant appearances in support of All That You Can't Leave Behind, a late-date masterpiece performed in an arena that now seems quaintly intimate. Went to the April and November trips through; loved them both. Except I never heard 'em through Bono's earpiece.


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