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December 29th, 2005

Best Live Version of ... - First in an occasional series @ 12:03 pm

thanks4thefish:
I think any of us that have seen U2 live, either once or 50 times, will agree that their live performances are what make U2 the incredible band they are. I'm sure we have all seen concerts from bands and left feeling like we could have listened to the album and gotten the same effect. No risk of that happening with our boys.

There are a few songs that are signature live songs for U2. That really drive home just what an amazing treat it is to witness these four people playing on a stage.

So this is the first in a series of polls where I would like peope to share their thoughts on the best live performance of one of U2's signature live songs. For each song, I will list the most widely available recorded versions (through concert videos/DVDs or well known public broadcasts), and I invite your feedback on which version you think is best. Additionally, you can choose a particular performance you witnessed and tell us why it was the best. The only limitation for this choice is that you must have attended the performance.

So here we go...

Where the Streets Have No Name

It seems appropriate to start this series with the epitomal live U2 song. As Bono put it earlier this year, "it's the one song that, no matter what kind of night we're having, we know we can play it and God will walk through the room." I don't think anything more needs to be said on the topic.

So, which performance of Streets was best?

Rattle and Hum
New Year's Eve 1989 Broadcast
Zoo TV Live in Sydney
PopMart Live in Mexico City
Elevation Live in Boston (also shown live on NBC during the NBA playoffs)
U2 Go Home (Live at Slane Castle)
2002 Super Bowl
Vertigo Live in Chicago

I think that's all the notable live performances that have been officially recorded.

My choice:

They all have so much energy around them, but I'm going to go with the Vertigo performance in Chicago. It's unusually crisp and high energy (of course, they are all high energy!) and I've been watching it over and over again.

Comment away people!
 
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From:offside
Date:December 29th, 2005 06:15 pm (UTC)
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Zoo TV from Sydney followed closely by the Boston DVD. Both are just so so magical, especially with the lead in to Streets on both.
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From:corianderstem
Date:December 29th, 2005 07:35 pm (UTC)
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Yep. For me, it's all about the transition into the song. This tour's version was the weakest for me because the transition from Pride didn't work nearly as well as what they've done on previous tours.

So yeah, I'd go with Zoo TV followed by the Elevation versions.
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From:offside
Date:December 29th, 2005 07:48 pm (UTC)
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That's exactly it. I'm not a fan of the song Pride to begin with, but aside from that, the transition just wasn't what it could have been. They've always been awesome at that, but meh. This one just didn't work.

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From:thanks4thefish
Date:December 29th, 2005 08:03 pm (UTC)
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I'm with you on that...Pride was by far the weakest lead in. But I just love the way the Chicago version of Streets comes off.
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From:corianderstem
Date:December 29th, 2005 08:05 pm (UTC)
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Yeah ... Streets is such a high point for me that I can overlook the weak transition. I swear I saw god during Streets at my first show this year. ;-)

By the end of the tour, City of Blinding Lights had overtaken Streets for my favorite part of the show. But Streets was a very close second.
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From:offside
Date:December 29th, 2005 08:13 pm (UTC)
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Oh, yeah, I adore Streets off the Chicago DVD as well, that song is always amazing live :D
From:amerrydeath
Date:December 29th, 2005 06:16 pm (UTC)
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December 26, 1989 (I think all of the Point Depot concerts (26, 27, 30, 31) were officially recorded and broadcast so it counts. ;) Good idea, by the way!
From:achtungeternal
Date:December 29th, 2005 06:20 pm (UTC)
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I have to agree, the Chicago DVD always gets me, but Rattle and Hum and Boston are close seconds.
From:achtungeternal
Date:December 29th, 2005 06:20 pm (UTC)
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Oh, and let me add that your name makes me giggle.
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From:arcmorality
Date:December 29th, 2005 06:27 pm (UTC)

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London Aug 21st 01. The day Bob Hewson died. Very sombre show. But Bono just totally let rip during Streets.

Slane wasn't too bad neither!
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From:arcmorality
Date:December 29th, 2005 06:30 pm (UTC)

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btw this is a another great idea.
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From:leggy1979
Date:December 29th, 2005 10:45 pm (UTC)
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I love the staging for the Chicago show for Streets. It was simply magical, but since I haven't seen all the other versions, just a few of them... I am just going to say it was the best for staging.
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From:canadanne
Date:December 29th, 2005 10:58 pm (UTC)

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ZooTV Sydney, hands down. The transition from Running To Stand Still is one of the most tearjerking things I've ever witnessed (especially when it bursts forth with twinkly lights just as the guitar finally comes in), and the way it just builds up and explodes with joy... gah, I don't have the words. And Bono waving at Joshua Tree U2 on the screen... and the magnificent ending... oh, it's almost unbearably wonderful.

PopMart Mexico City isn't far behind, with the equally spine-tingling transition from Please... it's as if the intro to Streets is some kind of divine response to Bono's desperate falsetto pleas. So, so beautiful - I don't think it's possible to watch either of these performances without getting tears in your eyes and a lump in your throat.

Streets isn't even really one of my personal favourites on the album, but those two live versions are mindblowing!
From:stay_please
Date:December 30th, 2005 12:03 am (UTC)
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I'm the odd duck who doesn't think Streets is all that great. Not that it's OMGbad.... but... overplayed? Maybe I'm just easily annoyed.

Still, I get chills everytime I see/hear the Boston: Elevation version. While RTSS and AIWIY are great transitions... Bad trumps all. It happens especially when I'm watching it, when Bono wails, with his fists in the air, and the camera zooms and the lights are flashing and the background is somewhat focused and the crowd in the seats are just effin' crazy. Love.
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From:rockingthemike
Date:December 30th, 2005 04:00 pm (UTC)
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I'm with you. I can handle listening to Streets live, but the album version always gets skipped over. I find the song a bit overplayed, but honestly, that's the way it is with many of the older songs that still get played live. I'm sure I'll be saying the same thing about "Beautiful Day" in a few years (I already am saying it about "Elevation") ;)
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From:beatlette
Date:December 30th, 2005 12:09 am (UTC)
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Elevation Tour definitely, mainly because that was the only tour I've seen them and U2 performing Bad/WTSHNN was absolutely a religious experience.
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From:this_desire
Date:December 30th, 2005 02:58 am (UTC)
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2002 Super Bowl, for me at least. With Beautiful Day and MLK it just moved me to tears.
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From:mangoprophetess
Date:December 30th, 2005 05:33 am (UTC)
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I'm completely with you on this one. Talk about cathartic.
From:sabneraznik
Date:December 30th, 2005 05:34 am (UTC)
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Slane, definitely.
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From:ringlunatic
Date:December 30th, 2005 08:25 am (UTC)
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I personally really love the Popmart version. Especially how Please slowly turns into Streets is so beautifully done!
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From:joey788
Date:December 30th, 2005 01:10 pm (UTC)
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For me, It's a tie between ZooTv and Popmart. During both of these concerts, the transition into Streets is amazing. I love how Running to Stand Still fades out while Streets fads in and all of the video screens light up in red. For Popmart, I love how Bono's falsetto from Please just goes straight into Streets. Both are very emotional and energetic versions that the earlier and later versions just can't compare with for me.
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From:rockingthemike
Date:December 30th, 2005 03:58 pm (UTC)

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Hmmm, well considering I've only seen the Elevation Tour version, and witnessed the Vertigo Tour version, I'm rather limited as to which is the best.

I go with the Elevation Tour version. I know many people prefer the All I Want Is You/Streets combo, but Bad/Streets makes me weak in the knees every single time.

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