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Old 02-06-2006, 08:58 AM   #1
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Edge - guitar heroics in Rotterdam 1990

I don't post to the forum that often, but I really felt the need on this occasion. Was just listening to a Lovetown Rotterdam show for the first time (9th Jan 1990), and was totally blown away by an unusual version of Desire - unusual to me anyway, as I haven't got that many bootlegs in my collection yet.

Anyway, the song plays out pretty much as normal, then there's snippets of Not Fade Away and So You Want To Be A Rock And Roll Star, then... Edge plays a proper guitar hero solo, at last! He starts with the basic Desire chords, then plays a bit faster... I was thinking 'Go on, you know you want to'... Then he launches into some proper fast shredding, unfortunately not for very long, but still fantastic.

This is obviously a totally pointless and partly incoherent post, but I still felt like sharing with my fellow U2 fans. I guess the point I'm trying to make is that U2 are frequently accused of being rather conservative with their arrangements, setlist choices etc. So it comes as a wonderful surprise to hear something totally new that actually works. Desire has been subject to some rather poor arrangements over the years (I personally dislike the Zoo TV version especially), but this Rotterdam effort is maybe the best incarnation of the song I've ever heard. I think it's because it seems totally spontaneous, rather than being contrived beforehand. I've often wondered just how good a guitarist Edge actually is, in terms of his shredding ability. I don't doubt his genius as a sonic and technological innovator, but sometimes I just want to see some old-fashioned showing off! At least now I know that he can do this, I just wish he'd do it more often!

The question I have is therefore: to the best of everyone's knowledge, was Desire ever played like this again, or was it just lucky that there was a taper present that night? I've heard a few other Lovetown shows, but Desire is played very similarly to the studio version in all of them.
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Old 02-06-2006, 09:38 AM   #2
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As much as i know, Desire was played few times with that solo, sometimes longer, sometimes shorter
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Old 02-06-2006, 12:42 PM   #3
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Nice post. Desire was definitely played the way you describe at some of the Australian shows in autumn 1989. I know because I used to have the video of them playing that song in (I think) Sydney, but it might have been another city. Edge really let rip on that performance, and yeah it was awesome. But I understand your confusion over whether they did it otherwise, because they didn't play it as such at the famous Dublin Point Depot shows at New Year's 1989/90.

Totally agree that I wish he would wank the guitar into some nasty solos more often, just because he seldom does. I get the feeling, from hearing him talk over the years and in things I've read, that Edge is very "post-punk" in his approach -- i.e. he dislikes the whole culture of the rock guitar solo and actively tries to avoid it. Too bad, in a way...
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Old 02-06-2006, 12:43 PM   #4
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it was always played whenever that "so you wanna be ......." snippet was present.

BTW, check out my site below, i made my own little recording of that solo.
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Old 02-06-2006, 03:37 PM   #5
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Oh man, that solo rules a lot.

It was done a few times on Lovetown; the best, in my opinion, was on 27 September 1989 in Sydney. There's film of that with the cameraman right on stage, focusing on Edge as he plays the solo. Great stuff.

(I suspect 65980 is referring to the footage of 18 November 1989, Sydney, though, as that's in wider circulation. And people, people, November is SPRING down here, not AUTUMN! Southern bloody Hemisphere!)
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Old 02-06-2006, 04:27 PM   #6
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Is that footage actually in circulation or acquirable?
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Old 02-06-2006, 06:05 PM   #7
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Guitar Solos can be quite boring. I think guitarist that rely on guitar solos to be considered "good" are pathetic. People talk about Kerry King like he is some sort of god. i don't know how playing a bunch of random notes(since alot of his solos are chromatic scale) makes you a 'god'.

Other 'shred' guitarists are simply overrated. I would way rather hear an atmospheric guitarist or one with soul and feel when they play. To me thats alot better. My 2 favourite guitarists besides The Edge are Andy Summers(the Police) and John Fruciante (RHCP) because they have feel.

But it WOULD be amazing to see The Edge shred... just to see how he would do it... wish I could hear Desire around that era... watching the "Rattle and Hum" DVD recently for the first time... incredible.
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Old 02-06-2006, 06:08 PM   #8
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His solos on One Tree Hill during JTree and/or Lovetown were phenomenal too. At least on the boot I have (The Fly Boxset). And once they refined All Along The Watchtower, he kicks out the jams during that a bit, IIRC.
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Old 02-06-2006, 06:21 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by Sting

Other 'shred' guitarists are simply overrated. I would way rather hear an atmospheric guitarist or one with soul and feel when they play. To me thats alot better. My 2 favourite guitarists besides The Edge are Andy Summers(the Police) and John Fruciante (RHCP) because they have feel.

Would you describe Steve Vai, Joe Satriani or Shawn Lane as having no emotion?

I agree with you however that Kerry King is nothing but a useless chromatic wanker and I much prefer Edge, Frusicante et al to the aforementioned guitarists but it’s still ill advised to make blanket statements like that.

Great performance of Desire it is though.

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Old 02-06-2006, 07:22 PM   #10
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It's not ill-advised, the guy just gave his own opinion, he wasn't saying 'this is the truth', lol. If you like something, you like something. I realise there are probably lots of guitarists people would pick over Edge but for me, he's the one.
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Old 02-06-2006, 07:28 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by chickadee
It's not ill-advised, the guy just gave his own opinion, he wasn't saying 'this is the truth', lol. If you like something, you like something. I realise there are probably lots of guitarists people would pick over Edge but for me, he's the one.
Well it was an ill informed opinion at least in my own opinion.

You can’t really say that such and such a guitarist has no emotion, it’s a purely ridiculous statement and indeed Edge is easily one of my favourite axe men ever.
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Old 02-06-2006, 09:36 PM   #12
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I love on the Chicago DVD when he starts going a bit nuts during the solo for "Electric Co." Wow.
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Old 02-06-2006, 10:32 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by Flying FuManchu
Is that footage actually in circulation or acquirable?
yes, on my site
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Old 02-06-2006, 11:05 PM   #14
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http://s51.ysi.com/d.aspx?id=02VH51C1P133C0HOCSFI67KXM5

go to my site if you are too lazy to copy and paste and type.

i have the complete footage, however the file is like 1.4 GB.

the TV footage:

Hawkmoon 269
Desire
All Along the Watchtower
Angel of Harlem
When Love Comes to Town
Pride

This is the 2nd best footage of the lovetown tour (that i know of), the 1st being the lovetown "documentary".

If anyone has other decent lovetown footage that i dont know about, please share.
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Old 02-07-2006, 02:55 AM   #15
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The Lovetown tour was the closest U2 has ever come to being "traditional rock." Edge really let loose in terms of guitar solos, playing some amazing solos during God Part II, AATW, Desire, Hawkmoon, One Tree Hill, etc. Even though most of these solos are relatively short, (in comparison to most "rock" solos), they are still pretty fast and difficult to play, especially some of the solos at the end of God Part II, which some he plays like 8 notes per second, which is reaaal fast.

The Lovetown tour is unique in that it was the only tour that Edge really showed off his technical guitar skills, other than using effects. During the early tours, Edge played some pretty good guitar stuff then, however most of that was on the album. The solos heard on the Lovetown tour were mostly fabricated for the tour and inprovised, so the solos were mostly different each night.

Also, Bono played guitar on the majority of the songs each night, and his guitar can clearly be heard in each song. This contributed signifigantly to the "rock" theme of the show. Also, it was the only tour to not reach North America (why?!!!)

The Lovetown tour is probably my favorite U2 tour, due to the variety and the Edges guitar work. I have lots of decent bootlegs of the shows, but I wish there was more video footage, and maybe a full show.
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Old 02-07-2006, 04:00 AM   #16
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Hmm

Thanks, I'm downloading that now... I think it's the one I saw before.

Well, I still don't think Bono "plays" guitar---even on the Lovetown tour---so much as he strums a few chords to introduce a song here or there.

Actually, one of the reasons Edge probably soloed (is that a word?) more on that tour is that the song-structures of the Rattle & Hum tunes are simpler. This is why Bono can strum along with them (sometimes). I mean anybody can learn to play All Along The Watchtower in 5 minutes, and the original songs like Desire and All I Want Is You are really easy too. But good point about God Part II -- it is not so easy and he did go pretty ballistic on it.
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Old 02-07-2006, 04:50 AM   #17
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Re: Hmm

Quote:
Originally posted by JMScoopy
Also, it was the only tour to not reach North America (why?!!!)
Because the JT Tour DID. The JT Tour was meant to begin in New Zealand and Australia, but delays in recording JT meant it had to begin in the US instead. Therefore, Lovetown was scheduled to make up for this, and as they were nearby, they went to Japan too before finishing the decade with a few European shows, originally intended to culminate with the New Year's Eve gig in Dublin. (As it turned out, Bono's vocal problems in Amsterdam meant the four early January 1990 shows in Rotterdam were scheduled.)

Quote:
The Lovetown tour is probably my favorite U2 tour, due to the variety and the Edges guitar work. I have lots of decent bootlegs of the shows, but I wish there was more video footage, and maybe a full show.
I know all three shows on 17, 18, and 19 November 1989 in Sydney were filmed. If only they would be released! I'd give a metaphorical arm and a metaphorical leg for that.

Quote:
Originally posted by 65980
Well, I still don't think Bono "plays" guitar---even on the Lovetown tour---so much as he strums a few chords to introduce a song here or there.
And you would think wrong. He clearly solos during some performances of All I Want Is You and All Along The Watchtower.
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Old 02-07-2006, 05:24 AM   #18
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Great posts guys, glad to have started up an interesting debate. The Lovetown tour is my favourite, in terms of setlists, performances and enthusiasm I guess. This was a band basically having fun, rather than directly promoting an album. I know that U2 came up with lots of great songs in the 1990s and beyond, but when I'm listening to Lovetown or JT era gigs, somehow I don't miss them that much. Watching R+H on DVD reminds me that, back then, U2 didn't rely (maybe that's too strong a word) on huge stage sets and imagery - it was just four guys on stage. Now, the four guys are still on stage, but they're almost dwarfed by the huge lightshow and visuals above and behind them. Don't get me wrong - my experience at Dublin 1 last year was fabulous, but a small part of me would probably rather have been lucky enough to have witnessed a Lovetown show in person!

Back to my original topic then - which other shows did Edge shred out on Desire? A post above mentioned Sydney (27th Sept 89), but are there any others that people know of? Also, which is the best?
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Old 02-07-2006, 05:49 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally posted by Morgoth321
Back to my original topic then - which other shows did Edge shred out on Desire? A post above mentioned Sydney (27th Sept 89), but are there any others that people know of? Also, which is the best?
All of these shows: http://www.u2-vertigo-tour.com/song373.html

(That snippet always preceded the solo.)

That list isn't exhaustive - I haven't checked every Lovetown show. I'm pretty sure the solo was done on opening night, 21 September 1989, Perth.

And I totally agree about Lovetown's greatness, but everyone knows I'm a totally biased Lovetown fanlad already.
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Old 02-07-2006, 06:38 AM   #20
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Thanks for the link JMScoopy. I've forgotten the fact that Edge had hair.
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