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U2 love Paris: Live releases from the city

A french translation can be found here.

Tomorrow U2 play the first of four concerts in Paris this tour. On 14 November, the date of the third concert, HBO is broadcasting the concert special U2: iNNOCENCE + eXPERIENCE Live in Paris in Canada and the United States. This special will incorporate footage from possibly all three concerts performed to that point, and it is speculated (but not confirmed) that this broadcast will be the basis for this tour's concert release like the "U2ube" stream from Pasadena was for the 360° tour. This is not the first time that material from a show in Paris will have been released; in fact, on multiple occasions U2 have selected songs from the city for their various releases. Taking a look at our database of live U2 releases, here are the times the band have considered their performance in Paris so special it had to be shared with the world:

  1. 4 July 1987, The Hippodrome. This concert from the second leg of The Joshua Tree Tour was filmed and broadcast on British television as part of the 25th birthday celebration for Island Records. It was then largely forgotten by the fanbase, though poor quality VHS rips circulated on YouTube and other websites after video streaming became feasible in the mid-noughties. It was therefore a great surprise and delight when U2 announced that this concert would be included in the The Joshua Tree's 20th anniversary remastered boxset in 2007. It was then subsequently (and very quietly, with no announcement by the band) released in audio form as a digital release on iTunes later in the year.
    The concert was notable for several reasons, the first being the absence of Where the Streets Have No Name. Though it is a set staple today, it missed twelve concerts on The Joshua Tree tour and this is one of them. The other notable event was the regrettable release of tear gas during the performance of With or Without You, causing Bono to stop and then restart the song once the incident had been sorted. Both releases of this concert are incomplete as they omit covers of Stand By Me, C'mon Everybody, and Help. On a side note, as the first two of those covers opened the concert it means that poor Breathe from Pasadena was not the first time that the opening song of the night did not make the final release. To date, this concert contains the last live release of October and the only live release of Trip Through Your Wires.
    Songs: I Will Follow, Trip Through Your Wires, I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For, MLK, The Unforgettable Fire, Sunday Bloody Sunday, Exit, In God's Country, The Electric Co., Bad, October, New Year's Day, Pride, Bullet the Blue Sky, Running to Stand Still, With or Without You, Party Girl, 40.
  2. 19 October 2000, Manray Club. While on the promo tour for All That You Can't Leave Behind, U2 made a stop at the Manray Club. They performed nine songs (two of which, Beautiful Day and The Ground Beneath Her Feet, were played twice). Most of their hits were avoided with only four songs from older albums being played. Two of these four songs, All I Want Is You and Even Better Than the Real Thing, were later released as b-sides on the Stuck in a Moment You Can't Get Out Of single. Other b-sides on the album's singles are taken from the Irving Plaza concert in New York, showing the group's love of the intimate venues they had visited on their promotional visits.
  3. 11 July 2009, Stade de France. Many fans look back with fondness at the time U2.com allowed them to vote for the songs they wished to see on the next fanclub release. Many of the selections available came from the first leg of the 360° tour. Among them was a roaring version of the I'll Go Crazy If I Don't Go Crazy Tonight remix the band had been showcasing mid-set. One of the highlights of the tour for many fans, and a more daring reinvention of a song than anything attempted on PopMart, many considered it a lock for the U22 release. But it wasn't. Why? Well, U2 have a history of releasing the same live song multiple times. Though it is said among fans that the band records every concert that they perform, B-sides on singles are usually taken from a concert release or television broadcast. Crazy Tonight live had already been released three times; a performance in Dublin could be found on the Artificial Horizon fanclub album and the Wide Awake in Europe EP, and then there was the Pasadena performance on the tour DVD. As U2.com allowed fans to listen briefly to each clip but did not state where each performance came from, fans were hesitant to use one of their 22 votes on a performance that they might already own twice over. Why get the same Crazy Tonight a third time when you could vote for One Tree Hill instead? And so it was avoided on U22 and rescued by The Edge as part of the fanclub release the following year: the Edge's Picks CD inside the From the Ground Up book.
  4. 12 July 2009, Stade de France. Ah Paris. U2 must have surely enjoyed their two nights in the city on this tour, for not one but two songs in those two first leg nights were available for the U22 fan selection. Angel of Harlem from the second concert was one of the options fans could pick from, and though it did not receive enough votes to make it one of the 22 selections on the release U2.com kindly made it available as a digital download for subscribers of the U22 package; a fate that was unfortunately not also extended to Mothers of the Disappeared and Return of the Stingray Guitar.
  5. 18 September 2010, Stade de France. U2 must have considered their 2009 Paris shows to be very strong indeed to offer live material from just the fifth and sixth concerts of the tour. Rust? What rust? In 2010 they returned for their third and final stop in the city, and made it 3 for 3 by releasing a live song from each of their concerts. On this occasion it was a powerful Moment of Surrender that was picked for a very limited release, the Wide Awake in Europe EP. Only 5000 copies were manufactured, and as each of them was on vinyl it is probably the hardest of the five Paris releases to legitimately obtain. U2.com streamed the track for a brief period and people managed to find ways to download it and share from there, but it is a pity that the haunting concert closer is not more widely available.

Posted on by Matkin

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