U2 Newcastle Mayfair 9th October 1981

U2 Newcastle Mayfair 9th October 1981
u2mayfair81Support from the Comsat Angels.
This gig came a couple of months after we had seen U2 deliver an incendiary performance at the Rock on the Tyne festival at Gateshead Stadium, where Bono clambered up the lighting towers, played the part of the rock star and generally got everyone onside. The Mayfair was packed to the rafters. Everyone wanted to see this new band. U2 had just released their second album “October” and the excellent single “Gloria”. There was something very different about U2; something that it was difficult to get a handle on, or describe in the same terms as any other band of the period. To put it in some sort of context, U2 were coming up alongside The Teardrop Explodes and The Bunnymen; both excellent bands. But there was something almost intangible about U2 that seemed to set them apart. Their music came through new wave, but its roots lay deeply and squarely in the 60s, beat, The Beatles, Stones, soul, religion, spirituality and, of course, Van Morrison.  Jim Green, writing in Trouser Press, in March 1982: “People haven’t asked U2 if they’re the future of rock. They’ve told them.” What I remember of this gig was a joyous, crazy night with Bono singing his heart out for us, and those great, powerful early songs: “Gloria”, “I Will Follow”, “Fire” and “11 O’Clock Tick Tock”. The U2 who played those club gigs was a raw, hungry, stunning act who were a million miles away from the stadium rock band that they would very soon become. A different time, a different band, a different place. It seems so far away now. But on the night, in the heat and sweat and volume and crush of the Mayfair U2 were shiny and young and Newark intense. And Bono ran around that stage and sang and sang for all of us. I know I have written this before about other bands, but on that night, in the Mayfair, as we all watched U2; they were simply the best band on the planet.
Setlist: Gloria; Another Time, Another Place; Rejoice; An Cat Dubh; Into The Heart; I Threw A Brick Through A Window; The Cry; The Electric Co.; I Fall Down; October; Stories For Boys; I Will Follow; Twilight; Out Of Control; Fire; 11 O’Clock Tick Tock

3 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Tony Poolan on November 21, 2014 at 8:58 am

    ….and look at them now – and pretty soon after – I think I’d rather throw up.


  2. Posted by Norman York on August 12, 2020 at 7:31 pm

    I saw them that night I am glad you said that about U2 it’s all true. After seeing what they became I thought I might have dreamed it.


    • Posted by vintagerock on August 13, 2020 at 11:26 am

      Bono was on fire in those days Norman pure class and pure energy and passion. Magic days and magic nights cheers Peter


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