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Old 06-13-2007, 11:18 AM   #1
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Thoughts About The Lovetown Tour

For such a short tour Lovetown was pretty eventful wasn't it? Playing with BB King and his band, Bono losing his voice, shows being cancelled, Bomb scare in Sydney, director Richard Lowenstein filming three nights which still haven't seen the light of day the legendary Point Depot gigs, the New Years Eve Nights radio broadcast and finally Bono's 'dream it all up again' speech. Coming before the multi-media extravaganza of Zoo Tv its easy to forget just how important it was.

You can see the development of Bono's voice throughout the eighties, every tour his voice was becoming better and better, but it's also constantly changing, always evolving into something else, finally reaching it's natural peak with Lovetown. It had real warmth, richness and depth, clear as a bell, there's so much clarity to it, something he has never completely recaptured. He was such an explosive singer during this tour, so much raw power and emotion, he could have blown the audience out the stadium, a microphone was virtually optional for him his voice was so loud. The band seem better musicians too, they seem tighter than they did on JT, more in sync, one unit gelling.

Nowadays the band appear uncertain what to think about this tour, I think they feel it was a bit of a dead end, a cul-de-sac they went down they came back right out of a minute later. In U2 By U2 they devote only a half a page to it and don't even refer to it by name.

The 4 Dublin gigs plus the 4 Rotterdam gigs in early 1990 may be the best series of bootlegs in the U2 canon, they're incredible. Anyway I just thought I'd post some thoughts about it as it can get a bit overlooked.
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Old 06-13-2007, 11:39 AM   #2
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It was a great tour, but U2 commented shortly after that they were miserable on it. I think thats why they dont look back at it with fondness. Some of the Sydney footage is out there obviously from the Lovetown documentary. So part of it has seen the light of day.

Bono's voice may have been at his peak (some here disagree) but he was also destroying it in the process. He was told after he lost his voice again at the Amsterdam show that if he continued to push his vocal chords the way he was he may not be able to sing period eventually. So he had to change the way he sings live. So he didnt really lose it, he just changed it so he wouldnt lose the ability to sing at all. That being said I think Vertigo he had the strongest vocals he has had since the 80's.

Like I said great tour, one of my favorites bootleg wise. I think it gets a tad overhyped by diehard fans like us. Probably because it was so short and so few people actually had the oppurtunity to see it. Gives it more mystique if that makes sense. Plus some of the setlists were great. But U2 has a couple great setlists just about every tour at some point. U2 have had alot of great tours and it was simply one of them.
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Old 06-13-2007, 04:43 PM   #3
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To be honest i prefer the Joshua Tree Tour to it.
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Old 06-13-2007, 06:09 PM   #4
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Best performances in U2's history? Check.
Best vocals in U2's history? Check.
Best setlists in U2's history? Check x17,217.

Best tour in U2's history? Why yes, yes it is.

And I'm sure no-one saw this post coming from me!
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Old 06-13-2007, 06:48 PM   #5
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Bono where incredible on that tour, sure he had some problems, he where a bit shaky, unstable and had trouble holding and hitting high notes, but he didnt care and he gave his all on that tour, he had so much energy, he pushed his voice to his maximum. One of my best moments are:

1989-10-20 - All I Want Is You/Bad:
He gives so much energy on this one, All I Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaant

Australia Pro shot video - GPII
Another energy one, runs on the stage and gives his all with his voice.

1989-12-18 - Amsterdam - GPII
First time when he are going to sing the scream part he failed and then get frustadet and aksed the band to try it one more time, and then wow! He get so frustadet about his voice problem on that night, but instead of holding back he pushes it.

1989-12-26 - Dublin - OTH
Amazing beautiful version.
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Old 06-13-2007, 06:53 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by Axver
Best performances in U2's history? Check.
Best vocals in U2's history? Check.
Best setlists in U2's history? Check x17,217.

Best tour in U2's history? Why yes, yes it is.

And I'm sure no-one saw this post coming from me!
See my diehards overhyping this tour comment.

Best performances is the only one I disagree with quite a bit. They had some great ones, but every tour has. I cant say Lovetown had the absolute best over all of them.

Best vocals, maybe, I think Unforgettable Fire would give it a run for its money though.
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Old 06-13-2007, 06:55 PM   #7
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I think Lovetown was a very special tour because it was the last time the band played organic, personal shows. Static setlists and effects would bring in end to that. It was the band's last breath before leaping into supergroup status and breaking away from a certain connection to the fans.
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Old 06-13-2007, 07:11 PM   #8
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Screwtape, I agree entirely with that post. I remember an interesting review I once read of ZooTV Christchurch, remarking that while at Lovetown Christchurch, the show seemed very personal and there was a strong connection with the crowd, there seemed to be a gap, a lack of connection on ZooTV. It was like watching a show, not experiencing a show.

Quote:
Originally posted by Blue Room
See my diehards overhyping this tour comment.
Somehow I suspected that comment referred in part to me.

Quote:
Best performances is the only one I disagree with quite a bit. They had some great ones, but every tour has. I cant say Lovetown had the absolute best over all of them.

Best vocals, maybe, I think Unforgettable Fire would give it a run for its money though.
As far as my logic goes for best performances, I view Lovetown as the best of the eighties, and none of the subsequent tours have lived up to it, so the statement isn't a hard one to make from my perspective. I'm sure Vertigo could have at least been competitive if Bono's voice was still half as good as it used to be. He sounded great on Vertigo, don't get me wrong; I just don't think it compares to how he sounded 1984-1993.

As for best vocals, I'll agree that the UF Tour was pretty great. While I view the UF album with the two that followed it, I very much see the tour as more of a continuation of the ones that had gone before, and the UF Tour definitely has the best vocals of that era. I'd say Lovetown was better though, especially when Bono wasn't sick.
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Ian McCulloch the U2 fan:
"Who buys U2 records anyway? It's just music for plumbers and bricklayers. Bono, what a slob. You'd think with all that climbing about he does, he'd look real fit and that. But he's real fat, y'know. Reminds me of a soddin' mountain goat."
"And as for Bono, he needs a colostomy bag for his mouth."

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Old 06-13-2007, 07:20 PM   #9
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Am I recalling correctly that Adam had made some kind of comment regarding Lovetown about how continuing the tour would have been a bad thing? The shows would have killed them? Something along those lines.

I'm completely mangling the quote, but I know there was something he said during or after Lovetown to that effect.

Anyway, to what was he referring, specifically? The mixed-up setlists? Something else?
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Old 06-13-2007, 07:30 PM   #10
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Best thing about Lovetown? I saw it
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Old 06-13-2007, 08:44 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by corianderstem

Anyway, to what was he referring, specifically? The mixed-up setlists? Something else?
The abject corniness?
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Old 06-13-2007, 08:47 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by Peterrrrr

1989-12-18 - Amsterdam - GPII
First time when he are going to sing the scream part he failed and then get frustadet and aksed the band to try it one more time, and then wow! He get so frustadet about his voice problem on that night, but instead of holding back he pushes it.

1989-12-26 - Dublin - OTH
Amazing beautiful version.
That Amsterdam version you talk about is awful. It makes my throat well up just hearing it. Its painful to listen to. It is a prime example of what would have happened to his voice if he had continued to strain it like that. I guess I view it differently though. I see it as what the problem was with the tour, in particular Bono and one of the reasons he was miserable on that tour. Not what was great about it.

I agree the first Dublin show version of One Tree Hill is probably the best version of the song live they have done.
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Old 06-13-2007, 08:52 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by coolian2
The abject corniness?
What was corny about the Lovetown tour?
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Old 06-13-2007, 11:04 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by corianderstem


What was corny about the Lovetown tour?
The encore with BB King. I know i would have liked it if i was there, but while i enjoy listening to it, i cringe. I don't know why
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Old 06-14-2007, 12:39 AM   #15
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You lose coolness points for calling BB King corny.

( )
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Old 06-14-2007, 12:46 AM   #16
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you say corny, I say kickass.

Tomato, tomato.
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Old 06-14-2007, 01:27 AM   #17
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Old 06-14-2007, 02:01 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally posted by Axver
Screwtape, I agree entirely with that post. I remember an interesting review I once read of ZooTV Christchurch, remarking that while at Lovetown Christchurch, the show seemed very personal and there was a strong connection with the crowd, there seemed to be a gap, a lack of connection on ZooTV. It was like watching a show, not experiencing a show.



Somehow I suspected that comment referred in part to me.



As far as my logic goes for best performances, I view Lovetown as the best of the eighties, and none of the subsequent tours have lived up to it, so the statement isn't a hard one to make from my perspective. I'm sure Vertigo could have at least been competitive if Bono's voice was still half as good as it used to be. He sounded great on Vertigo, don't get me wrong; I just don't think it compares to how he sounded 1984-1993.

As for best vocals, I'll agree that the UF Tour was pretty great. While I view the UF album with the two that followed it, I very much see the tour as more of a continuation of the ones that had gone before, and the UF Tour definitely has the best vocals of that era. I'd say Lovetown was better though, especially when Bono wasn't sick.
His voice was realy amazing on Vertigo tour, the 5th leg was a bit Lovetownish He pushed his voice alot on that leg. And also how many tours does he hold HIGH notes fro 5-11 seconds("sing" 8 sec, trocuh 5 sec, l'amoure 11 sec...), use a falsetto like he did in the Highway to hell snippet on Vertigo(2006-11-18), hitting the high Don't you look back" note on WGRYWH and and I think he has never hold the high Wide Awake part for so long like he did on Vertigo tour(2005-12-04 - Boston). His vertigo voice was amazing.

And like you said his Uf voice was amazing. Yesterday I listend to Uf album and realised how good singer he is on that album, there are a lot of screams on the songs just like he used his voice on LT tour

But don't forget 1986-06-15 - East Rutherford
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Old 06-14-2007, 02:28 AM   #19
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Yes, yes, yes – but we/you have discussed this topic a zillion times before in this forum (How long did he hold xy?, how high did he sing?). Doesn't get this boring?
LOVETOWN surely was musically one of the best tours U2 ever had, with rather more changing setlists and Bono mostly in fine vocal form. On the other hand the setlists were much shorter than I personally like and even then, yes, there were staples the band played (nearly) every night.
But most important: Listen to the shows, celebrate the versions but that's all – because these days are gone forever. Nearly 20 years have passed since this tour: The band has moved on (as hopefully moste of their fans, too), has developed, has created much more great music, has played even better concerts –*so let's kiss the future.
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Old 06-14-2007, 02:28 AM   #20
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It was the last of U2's short duration shows. And that's a good thing. Even back in '89 for who they were and what they were charging for tickets their shows were too short. Every tour afterwards has had shows of approx 2 hours in duration. Lovetown shows tended to be 90 minutes, some less. So in this sense Lovetown isn't the best.
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