Video, Vintage Video — January 1, 2010 at 1:32 am

Vintage Video: U2 rings out the 1980s with New Year’s gig at Dublin’s Point Depot

For a lot of us, the go-to New Year’s song is, somewhat unimaginatively, U2’s “New Year’s Day.” Yet while I’ve always associated U2 with New Year’s, it’s for a very different reason: my nearly worn-out bootleg of the band’s Dec. 31, 1989, concert at the Point Depot in Dublin, which was broadcast live across Eastern Europe as the Iron Curtain slowly collapsed.

I’ve listened to that tape, recorded off the radio when San Diego’s 91X broadcast it some months later, more than any other bootleg I’ve owned. The only reason I haven’t worn it out completely is that the concert was released on iTunes some years ago as part of the massive The Complete U2 digital box set. And while I know that concert inside and out sonically, until this afternoon, I’d never actually seen it. I stumbled across some footage on YouTube, and it’s just amazing to finally see the images that go with the sounds that, for 20 years now, have been so thoroughly ingrained in my memory.

Posted above is the opening song of the concert, “Where the Streets Have No Name,” which was performed just after midnight. It’s arguably one of the greatest live versions of one of U2’s greatest songs, and it’s only that much more thrilling to see the performance, with the house lights on, the balloons and confetti falling on an ecstatic crowd. As Bono preaches to the audience: “Here she comes… the future. Happy Christmas and happy New Year to you all. It’s 1990. Forget about the past, we’re going to celebrate the future… where the streets have no name.”

Here’s to a great 2010. Thanks for reading, and happy New Year from Slicing Up Eyeballs.

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4 Comments

  1. This is awesome! Brings back memories because I was at this show! It was the trip of a lifetime! Never forget being there, sneaking back in after the show was over… then coming out the front where the limos were! LoL! Edge was just getting in his limo. After we got booted from that area, we met Bono later and he autographed my jean jacket! I’ll never forget that day!

  2. Steve Matejko

    I found this page by typing into google ‘it’s 1990 forget about the past..’ just to see what came up. This concert was at the height of my obsession with u2, I can virtually remember word for word even the Radio 1 build up with Annie Nightingale before the countdown, the anticipation from everyone was immense. I rushed home from a family party to get to the radio just before 12, with tape ready in the hi-fi stacking system. Made me laugh when you said about the worn out tape. I was so worried about that at the time I made back up copies on other tapes. I’ve still got the original. A purposely bought good quality metal BASF tape or something just because of the seriousness of the occasion. Was probably the best version of Bad they’ve ever done that night. Must have listened to that gig a thousand times. Very interesting to see the video footage ’20’ years later, how time flies, seems like yesterday. Cheers, Steve, Swindon, England.

  3. Diego Marqueta

    Steve, your lines are terrific! You write it in a way i could feel i was placing the tape in the recording device and feeling the good mood and excitemente while the event was aired…

    I’m also delighted with that show, tyhough i just discovered it not so long ago. Everytime i listen to this “Streets” It gives me goosebumps.

    Pure positive energy.

    Happy 2011, dear unknowns!!!

    Diego

  4. Ian Goodier

    I stayed in that night to listen to and record the concert just the same as you Steve, and glad I did.
    About 15yrs ago I transferred the recordings onto minidisc and have just stumbled across them in my collection this afternoon :-) New day coming round, new day coming round
    NEW YEARS DAY…………….YEAH.

    Happy days those were and I recall non of my mates had that broadcast recorded.
    Happy 2017, it will soon be 30yrs since that concert past.
    Ian, Staffordshire England.

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