Sunday, September 12, 2010

U2 1992: Memorable Concerts Part 2

U2 was the first band that I fell in love with.  Growing up and sitting in my bedroom listening to Boy, The Unforgettable Fire and The Joshua Tree on a tiny cassette player - those were the songs that made me want to become a musician. 

In 1992, I was at Arizona State University studying Music and mayhem.  At this point, Achtung Baby had come out the previous year and they had already come through on tour with the Pixies in April '92, but I missed out since it had sold out in minutes.  The next leg of the tour was coming in the fall to Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, AZ on October 24, 1992.  I was not going to miss it.

September rolled around and my brother Carl got me 2 tickets for my birthday!  (Thanks Carl)  

On the day of the show, Bart (my other brother) and I were hanging out at ASU playing some good ol' rock music in the jazz practice rooms with our friend John and our other friend Robert.  John had run into this guy the night before at a bar called Bandersnatch (cool place).  His name was Siggi and he was a drummer.  They made plans to hang out the next day and play some music.  We hopped in the car and drove over to pick up Siggi at the Tempe Mission Palms Hotel.  It turned out that Siggi was the drummer of The Sugarcubes and they were opening for U2 along with Public Enemy.  Rad.  So we wait for Siggi in the lobby as a barefoot Bjork skips by us.  Out comes Siggi.  

We head back to one of the practice rooms for a jam session.  Totally cool guy and I remember him telling us the following: he likes Noble and Cooley drum kits, he and the bass player are married to twin sisters, and the specific microphone techniques they used to record 'Gold' and the rest of the tracks from Stick Around For Joy.  Soundcheck time is approaching, so we drop him off at the stadium and our car gets stuck in a huge puddle in the parking lot.  Siggi gets out and walks over to the stadium entrance.  We head back to ASU to hang out before show time.

The Sugarcubes were great.  Bjork was wearing a black cat suit.  Public Enemy played 2 songs and then walked off stage to boycott Arizona (it seems to happen a lot).  Our seats are in one end zone on the field, while the massive stage and elaborate TV screens are in the opposite end zone. The lights go on and they open with 'Zoo Station.  One of the many highlights was 'Bad' - one of the greatest U2 songs of all time - phenomenal.

At the end of 'Running To Stand Still,' the lights went dim and the sacred sounds that begin 'The Joshua Tree' album start up.  Bart and I take off running down the field as 'Where The Streets Have No Name' starts to build up.  Years of football practice allow us to evade the tackles from the linebacker security guards, as we made our way right up against the stage in front of Adam Clayton.  It was beautiful and I have goosebumps just thinking about it.  I was 19 years old and downtown Tempe, Arizona was a cool place to be in 1992.  Ah, memories.  

I tracked down the setlist from a U2 concert site, so here's what they played:

Zoo Station / The Fly / Even Better Than The Real Thing / Mysterious Ways / One / Until The End Of The World / New Year's Day / Tryin' To Throw Your Arms Around The World / Angel Of Harlem / When Love Comes To Town / Satellite Of Love / Who's Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses / Bad / Bullet The Blue Sky / Running To Stand Still / Where The Streets Have No Name / Pride / I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For.

Encore:  Desire / With Or Without You / Love Is Blindness


  1. Sounds great! Wonderful memories! And it's cool that you only had to damage your ears with 2 Public Enemy songs!

    Lew B.
    San Diego, CA

  2. Thanks for the comment Lew from San Diego. Please be sure to click on 'Follow' on the top left corner of this page.

  3. Hi Bret!
    First i want to say i love your site.. it's always a pleasure to read or watch your reviews. We have a lot in common (in music taste !). I ran some blogs too a few years ago (don't have the time anymore). maybe you heard about T.U.B.E. (The Ultimate Bootleg Experience) which i created in 2006 and The Spiral Staircase (a U2 bootleg blog). I'm a huge U2 fan since 1985. and a member of (translation team).
    If you're interested (in case you you don't have it already), here are the links for the Tempe 92' bootleg show you went.
    cd 1:
    cd 2:

    and a link to download the Book "U2 Live: A Concert Documentary" from Pimm Jal de la Par (in pdf format). it's THE Bible of U2's live shows from the early days to 2001.

    keep on rockin' man !!
    Jérôme from France