Aug 18 1992
Saratoga Springs, US / Saratoga Racway
with Primus, Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy
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I was there!
My first U2 show - and still right up there as the best concert I've ever seen, rivaled only by the 360 show. I was 22, had a summer job with a production company to build concert stages. I was part of the local steel crew that built this stage (along with the "practice build" at the Washington DC Armory earlier that summer). During the practice build, I spent countless hours soldering wires for the Nocture guys, who provided the video wall that was such a fantastic part of the show and is a stand out in most of my memories of it. The day of the Saratoga show, I was fortunate enough to be on-stage earlier in the afternoon while U2 played a few songs for a sound check. I have zero recollection of what they played, however, b/c I was mere feet from Adam Clayton and Bono and completely stunned. Because I was working the show, I had a backstage pass which allowed me to move around the crowd and backstage freely, which was incredible. We watched the show from the mix - the best seats in the house. The stage was gigantic - huge towers with hanging cars and a massive wall of video screens upstage, center. Primus opened before the sun went down. U2 didn't take the stage until after dark, and being mid-summer it was somewhat late. The visual of the opening song, "Zoo Station" featuring Bono's dancing figure in front of a huge video wall of snow is something I remember very clearly. The stage was dark but for the video wall and Bono appeared as a dancing black outline - it was all you could see of the stage in the large venue - incredibly cool. "Mysterious Ways" was a great performance - the belly dancer and Bono dancing together on a huge screamer platform that jutted way out into the audience. Another fabulous use of the video wall happened during "Bullet the Blue Sky," with a stunning visual of burning crosses rising up behind the band. I remember seeing the running buffalo on the video during the performance of "One" and was psyched to see it again, though briefly, on the video during the 360 show. It took another 17 years before I saw another show to rival this one, and that was U2's 360 show in Raleigh on 10/3/09. I can't believe I let 17 years go in between shows.
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