Monday, October 22, 2007


I woke up this morning and decided that ROCKTOBER had to be kicked up a notch. So here's a video of "October/New Years Day" by U2, live at the Red Rocks Amphitheater on June 5, 1983.

The book U2 BY U2 contains a lot of interesting background information on the band, especially this legendary concert that put them on the map. The weather leading up to this show was heavy rain and fog, and everyone in the Denver area assumed it was cancelled. But they had brought in a camera crew and had a lot riding on this show, they didn't want to postpone it. Although the rain let up just before show time, it wasn't well attended.

EDGE: "You might notice if you watch the Red Rocks video, there are very few crowd shots. The reason for that is the place was only a third full."
They pulled it off, thanks to clever editing using tight shots and amplified crowd noise that made it seem like a packed house.

Every time I see clips from this show all I can think is, "My god, it looks freezing." If you notice, Bono actually changed the lyrics to "under a thundercloud and rain", commenting on the adverse conditions. This performance is not on the Under A Blood Red Sky album, though it is on the "Live At Red Rocks" video which is only available on VHS (I would suspect U2 has this DVD re-release in the pipeline, to fund their retirement).

Interesting fact: on the initial release of this album in 1983 (on vinyl and cassette), Bono sings portions of "America" from West Side Story, and "Send in the Clowns" during the middle of "Electric Co." But because of copyright issues, they cut it out of subsequent pressings; I don't think it's ever appeared on CD. I actually own the original vinyl version of the album that has his ad-libbing intact (soon to be auctioned off on EBAY). Here's the Red Rocks performance of that song, including "Clowns" and Bono's "white flag routine" (essentially the Irish flag with the green and orange stripes removed).


U2 by U2 (Paperback) (

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