Bono - lead vocals; The Edge - guitar, piano, vocals; Adam Clayton - bass; Larry Mullen Jr. - drums
When Bono stepped up to accept the Album of the Year Grammy in 2006 for U2's How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb, he commented that "there's nothing like the feeling of being onstage with a tight rock 'n' roll band on a great night." He probably felt that exact sensation the night this show was recorded at the Orpheum Theatre in Boston, back in 1983, for the King Biscuit Flower Hour radio concert series.
While in high school in Dublin, Ireland, the quartet formed under the name Feedback in 1976 and got their start as a cover band doing mostly Beatles and Stones songs. They changed their name to U2 and began writing their own material in 1978. After winning a talent contest sponsored by Guinness Ale, they were brought them to the attention of Paul McGuinness, the manager for The Stranglers.
By 1981, the band had signed with Island Records and quickly started riding up the European charts. They were writing songs that combined the edgy brashness of U.K. punk with more adult, lyrical concepts that often embraced everything from the New World Order to modern Christianity. The Edge's textured guitar delivers a signature sweeping sound and the rhythm section maintains U2's defining propulsive edge. It was their third album, War, which focuses on the struggles of the Catholic-Protestant conflict in Ireland, and especially the hit single "Sunday Bloody Sunday," that established the band as a superstar act. Constantly reinventing themselves both musically and philosophically, U2 has endured for nearly 30 years and is certainly one of the biggest bands in the world today.
This concert was recorded on the tour that promoted the War album and features many songs that have since become U2 classics, including the foreboding "Sunday Bloody Sunday," "New Year's Day," "October," "Gloria" and "I Will Follow."
For U2 fans especially, well worth the listen.