Talk about.....U2's Live Aid Performance

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Talk about.....U2's Live Aid Performance
« on: October 02, 2018, 03:31:30 AM »
Number 2 in our 'Talk about' series of threads....

Arguably U2's most famous live performance - Wembley Stadium, London, 13th July 1985.

Talk about U2 at Live Aid....

If you missed the first in this series you can catch up and join in here:

http://forum.talku2.com/index.php?topic=2328.0


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Soloyan

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Re: Talk about.....U2's Live Aid Performance
« Reply #1 on: October 02, 2018, 07:55:22 AM »
i think that show was an indication of things to come for U2, what their place was among the superstars of rock and, eventually, their potential.

I'm pretty sure a lot of people, including the band, realized at Live Aid what made them different from the rest. So, after that show they were able to build on that : the ability to connect with people...
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Codeguy

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Re: Talk about.....U2's Live Aid Performance
« Reply #2 on: October 02, 2018, 11:48:01 AM »
Loved it. I was too young to appreciate it at the time, but U2 was certainly the second best performer (Queen was definitely #1) but the best part was that U2 was not an established act, they were newcomers. They'd had hits (Pride, NYD, SBS) but they were not yet megastars, yet they outshone the megastars on that day. The conversation next day wasn't about the Led Zep reunion, it was about U2.

Of course, it should have been about famine - or perhaps arguably about the naivety of the entire exercise. But you can't blame a bunch of 20-somethings for the failures of the western world to deal with its worst (man-made) famine in decades.

As for the famous moment of Bono reaching into the crowd and costing the band their opportunity to perform Pride? A worthy casualty. 11 minutes of BAD was far better.
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JTNash

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Re: Talk about.....U2's Live Aid Performance
« Reply #3 on: October 02, 2018, 12:02:37 PM »
I was young and this is where I fell in love with U2!

Bono looked like a prince to me and it was just the coolest thing I had ever seen.

Being an American, but being an Irish Catholic American I was taught anyhting Irish was cool anyway.  U2 was the coolest Irish thing ever!
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Shank Asu

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Re: Talk about.....U2's Live Aid Performance
« Reply #4 on: October 02, 2018, 01:06:08 PM »
I've never seen the performance but have obviously heard about it.
Who was better though, U2 or Queen?

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MPare1966

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Re: Talk about.....U2's Live Aid Performance
« Reply #5 on: October 02, 2018, 01:28:46 PM »
I've never seen the performance but have obviously heard about it.
Who was better though, U2 or Queen?

I lived it exactly like Rising Sun mentions. It sealed the deal for me, even if I had been preaching the U2 religion for a couple years before that.

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Here's Bad:
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acrobat62

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Re: Talk about.....U2's Live Aid Performance
« Reply #6 on: October 02, 2018, 02:23:17 PM »
I was watching from the bleachers of JFK Stadium in Philadelphia, the U.S sight for Live Aid.  Large screen resolution in those days was not what it is today, so while I was "there" I think I missed out on the magic of the performance.  Subsequent viewings and listens have certainly proved this, along with Red Rocks, o be their coming out party.

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Codeguy

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Re: Talk about.....U2's Live Aid Performance
« Reply #7 on: October 02, 2018, 02:51:19 PM »
I've never seen the performance but have obviously heard about it.
Who was better though, U2 or Queen?
Queen. But had live aid taken place a few years later, U2 would definitely have been best. They were just finding themselves as a stadium rock band at the time
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Shank Asu

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Re: Talk about.....U2's Live Aid Performance
« Reply #8 on: October 02, 2018, 04:18:23 PM »
I've never seen the performance but have obviously heard about it.
Who was better though, U2 or Queen?

I lived it exactly like Rising Sun mentions. It sealed the deal for me, even if I had been preaching the U2 religion for a couple years before that.

Here's SBS:
Here's Bad:
oh cool, thanks for sharing.

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an tha

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Re: Talk about.....U2's Live Aid Performance
« Reply #9 on: October 02, 2018, 04:20:06 PM »
I've got the TUF deluxe box set tucked away somewhere - sure i recall the live aid performance being on a dvd in that set...

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THRILLHO

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Re: Talk about.....U2's Live Aid Performance
« Reply #10 on: October 02, 2018, 04:43:04 PM »
I've never seen the performance but have obviously heard about it.
Who was better though, U2 or Queen?

it was essentially Queen's last hurrah AND their reemergence as superstars <the previous 2 or so albums were ignored by the mainstream> so it's not fair to compare them. this put U2 on the map and it was basically where the world said goodbye to the only version of Queen that matters, Freddie Mercury's era.

i love U2's performance as i'd only had the audio for years, then i saw the video and thought "oh god he has a MULLET?" plus i kinda agree with the bands frustration that Bono's showboating cost them playing their huge new hit single, Pride. i do love it but knowing how mad they were at Bono i def agree with Edge lol

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il_capo

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Re: Talk about.....U2's Live Aid Performance
« Reply #11 on: October 02, 2018, 08:58:25 PM »
I remember watching all of Live Aid, the marathon that it was, and I thought U2 were the best act on the day. Sure, Queen whipped the crowd up into a greater frenzy, but there was much deeper emotional resonance in U2ís performance, and that endured in the memories of those who saw it.  I think I read that U2ís album sales increased more than any other band after Live Aid (with the possible exception of Queen?) and every album re-charted in the UK.  Thatís the obscene contradiction of Live Aid Ė an event that was supposed to be about giving to people who were starving, but made those who performed richer and more famous.

Bono going into the audience and pulling out that small, shy woman, was part of that resonance.  He could have made it look a showbiz gesture had he picked a flamboyant and glamorous person, but he picked someone who looked uncomfortable amidst the crowd.  Back then U2 tried to engage difference, not the loud status quo.  Itís interesting that this audience-connecting moment played so well on TV as the other members of U2 have said how difficult it was for them on stage, as no-one beyond the first few rows could see Bono, not even his bandmates.  They were not sure if Bono was going to make it back, and felt uncomfortable playing for so long without his accompaniment.

Had they played Pride might it have been considered a greater triumph?  Possibly, but then the emotional effect of the elongated version of Bad would have been lost.  Bono said the band were furious with him and he was with himself, for losing the chance to play their big hit to the world.  But the bravery of the performance and what Bonoís actions symbolised made them.

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MPare1966

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Re: Talk about.....U2's Live Aid Performance
« Reply #12 on: October 02, 2018, 10:00:10 PM »
I've got the TUF deluxe box set tucked away somewhere - sure i recall the live aid performance being on a dvd in that set...

Correct Sir. I just checked the boxset, itís there.
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THRILLHO

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Re: Talk about.....U2's Live Aid Performance
« Reply #13 on: October 02, 2018, 10:00:25 PM »
I've never seen the performance but have obviously heard about it.
Who was better though, U2 or Queen?

it was essentially Queen's last hurrah AND their reemergence as superstars <the previous 2 or so albums were ignored by the mainstream> so it's not fair to compare them. this put U2 on the map and it was basically where the world said goodbye to the only version of Queen that matters, Freddie Mercury's era.

i love U2's performance as i'd only had the audio for years, then i saw the video and thought "oh god he has a MULLET?" plus i kinda agree with the bands frustration that Bono's showboating cost them playing their huge new hit single, Pride. i do love it but knowing how mad they were at Bono i def agree with Edge lol

At the time, it was Bonoís going into the audience and dancing with that woman that was all the talk amongst those who had seen the performance.  It had a profound effect when he broke down the barrier between the band and audience, even on me and my brother watching from the living room couch.  When he did that, we stood up and beat our fists in the air to the rhythm of the song.  It was incredibly moving.

We were also at the Los Angeles Sports Arena show on the War Tour where Bono went up to the balcony with the white flag and leaped down into the audience on the floor and also watched their US Festival performance on MTV where Bono climbed the scaffolding to the dangerous top of the stage as a way to reach out to the hundreds of thousands of people gathered into the distance.

The band might have gotten pissed at him for doing such stuff, but it had a profound effect on the audience, whipping their frenzy even higher.

That might not be something every U2 fan has experienced, the absolute frenzy of those early years audiences that hasnít really been present at shows for a long time.

There was a time when the singerís antics inspired curiosity and interest and not annoyance, and helped to increase their audience.

A friend of mine went to a J. Geils Band show where U2 was the opener.  He went to see J. Geils, if you can imagine that, but came away most impressed with U2, noting that ďthe singer went into the audience,Ē and described Bono going deep into the middle of the main floor and driving the audience wild.

Not sure how I didnít know about that show, as I was already a fan.  This was during high school.

i never really saw Bad as a jump up and pump your fists anthem but i understand what you mean about the barrier being broken. i pretty much expect something like that at all the arenas show i see now. i get the impact it had in winning the audience over though.

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Soloyan

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Re: Talk about.....U2's Live Aid Performance
« Reply #14 on: October 03, 2018, 07:15:56 AM »
Now that I've read all your posts... I think Live Aid is also the begining of the "U2=sellout" criticism.

The fact that the band was so succesful and got so much credit for an event that was supposed to be promoting a cause... It started the whole "Bono thinks he's Jesus" thing. And Joshua Tree kept feeding the narrative.

I'm not saying it's a bad thing. I mean, they HAD to pull a great show. Bono felt the need to connect with the crowd as only he knew how... But up until WAR I think U2's "street credibility" was excellent. They lost that innocence that day.
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