U2 Newcastle City Hall 1st March 1983

U2 Newcastle City Hall 1st March 1983
u2cityhall83Support Act: The Nightcaps
In between seeing U2 at the Mayfair and this gig at the City Hall, I also saw them back at Gateshead Stadium, supporting the Police in 1982. I’ve written separately on that concert, when I covered the Police. It was another great concert and another triumph for U2. However it was The War album and that tour really sealed it for U2. They were now a major band. The City Hall concert sold out very quickly and a second night was added, three weeks later. You could feel the power in this band, and you also knew that the next time we saw them it would probably be in a big arena or stadium. This tour was the first and last time the band played the City Hall. It was an amazing show and we were right down the front. Bono, the rest of the band and the audience were all on fire that night. Bono ran around the stage waving a white flag during excellent new song ‘Sunday Bloody Sunday’ and climbed up onto the balcony during ‘I will Follow’.
Setlist: Gloria; I Threw A Brick Through A Window; A Day Without Me; Seconds; New Year’s Day; Sunday Bloody Sunday; The Cry; The Electric Co./Send In The Clowns; I Fall Down; October; Tomorrow; Twilight; Out Of Control
Encore: Party Girl; A Celebration; 11 O’clock Tick Tock; I Will Follow; 40
The next time I saw U2 was in Wembley Stadium at Live Aid, where they played a short two song set (Sunday Bloody Sunday and Bad) and were one of the highlights of the day. Bono famously pulled a girl from the crowd up onto the stage that day. Bono: “I don’t like the distance between stage and crowd. I don’t like the distance between performer and audience. So I’m looking for a symbol of the day, something I can hold onto. Melanie Hills: “Bono looked at the audience and suddenly looked towards me…I was looking around: me? me? And they were saying, yeah, you, you, get up there. Oh my God. And so the security men grabbed me….” A magic moment that truly cemented U2’s position as a major rock force.
After Live Aid, the next time I saw U2 was at a big stadium in Scotland.

2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Ian on October 17, 2015 at 9:30 pm

    My brother dragged me along to the later date (26th March ’83) at the City Hall, the support band were the Alarm, who I’d never heard of. I really enjoyed the Alarm, everything they played stood out,if a little anthemic but they seemed to be very sincere, playing music because they loved it.
    Then came U2: The War album was in the charts and they’d been on heavy rotation on “The Tube’ and elsewhere. Even then, I could see the Bono ego emerging: the big white flag, climbing up the lighting trusses and into the City Hall balcony trailed by a spotlight, every move calculated for maximum effect. Musically they were great: the Edge at the piano with the Explorer round his neck for New Year’s Day, Larry and Adam were a great rhythm section, but Bono was so overbearing – even back then.


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