U2 are my all time favourite band . I absolutely loved the band as a teenager in the early 1980s . I`ve gone off them slightly as their musical direction changed in the mid 80s and beyond . This is by no means a criticism of their musical progression , they`re a band who pride themselves on progression and never get into a musical rut . In the early 80s they were about the only major act who wore their guitar sound on their sleeve . In the 1990s when the musical world was polarised between American grunge and Britpop Bono and the boys were banging on synths . Not quite dance music , not quite guitar rock but something idiosyncratic and unique . But the fact remains in creative terms I rate their early stuff as their best.
I bought UNDER A BLOOD RED SKY as soon as it was released on video in Britain in the Summer of 1984 , but never got round to sticking it in the VCR on the day of purchase due to a power cut . Anyway the stuck it in my video the next day and UABRS starts with cut shot of Denver where the concert almost never took place . A massive torrential downpour spoils the occasion , roadies with brushes sweep excess water from the stage and the audience look like they`ve just been swimming with dolphins
" Bob Dylan did it and they called it hard rain and this is what you`ve got here so you`re all part of history " says a man addressing the audience . Seeing as he puts a brave face on a bad climatic situation no doubt he`s now working as a spin doctor
So Bono and company come on a launch into Surrender . This is what I love about this video today , here we see tracks that don`t get played anymore like Seconds , A Day Without Me , I Threw A Brick and 11 O` Clock Tick Tock. And there`s two classic tracks , Sunday Bloody Sunday where Bono rightly proclaims " This song is not a rebel song " and my all time favourite U2 track I Will Follow . This song always used to get played at the under 18 disco when I was a teenager and it was the one song guaranteed to get everyone up on their feet dancing . If you`re young and have a pulse this track will make you feel alive .
My one criticism of the video is that it`s rather poorly directed by Gavin Taylor . The Red Rocks amphitheater has burning torches and everytime the camera cuts after there`s been a long shot of the stage there`s a very irritating flame after image on the next shot . In fact the cutting between scenes is very very haphazard and we often get a close up of Bono`s bottom ! Maybe some people think that`s a good reason to buy the video but I don`t . Likewise much of the camera work is very shakey , oh and seeing as the concert was filmed during a downpour more often than not the camera lens has raindrops and condensation covering it . But that`s not a big enough criticism for not watching UNDER A BLOOD RED SKY . If you`re a casual fan of the band you`ll love this concert . Hope to see this on DVD soon with the omitted tracks lke Out Of Control and Twilight included
On a trivia point the track Gloria differs slightly from the version included on the album of UNDER A BLOOD RED SKY . Compare the bit where Bono says " This is Red Rocks . The rocks " and the guitar blast when he says " This is the Edge " to see what I mean
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