U2: 12/3/1987

I know that this might draw down the wrath of U2 fans, but I have to be honest and say that this show was a little disappointing for me. It’s not that the band was bad—on the contrary, they were very good. The issue for me was that I had seen U2 twice on the Unforgettable Fire tour in a much smaller venue, which was mindblowing. But in a big stadium, I just did not feel the same connection with the band that I did in the smaller venue. It is difficult to pull off a good stadium show. Not many bands can do it well. I suspect U2 has gotten better at the stadium performance, but 30 years ago, not so much.

Anyway, Buckwheat Zydeco opened the show, and they were fun. Cool, danceable, New Orleans style music. I seem to recall that they had a hit on the radio at that time, but the song escapes my memory.

U2 came out and opened with “Where the Streets Have No Name.” I remember the sound being pretty good for the Orange Bowl, which was notorious for its God-awful acoustics, but still not that great. And since I had nosebleed seats, I spent the night straining my eyes, trying to see the miniscule figures on the stage. I was just a bad setting for a concert. Maybe if I were closer, I would have enjoyed it more.

I don’t have much more to share about this show, but I do have the setlist.


  • Where the Streets Have No Name
  • I Will Follow
  • Trip Through Your Wires
  • I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For
  • One Tree Hill
  • Gloria
  • Sunday Bloody Sunday
  • Exit
  • In God’s Country
  • People Get Ready
  • Bad
  • October
  • New Year’s Day
  • Pride (In the Name of Love)


  • Bullet the Blue Sky
  • Running To Stand Still
  • With or Without You
  • 40

6 thoughts on “U2: 12/3/1987

  1. Pretty cool to have seen this tour though….
    I did like it when on Rattle and Hum they filmed it in black and white….
    Speaking of which i still to this day dig that soundtrack…..
    Real cool you caught em before 87 when they really blew up….

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, was definitely fortunate. Had an opportunity to see them on the War tour in a really small venue (like 2500 seats) but blew that. Still, Unforgettable Fire was awesome. Nothing like live rock and roll. Cheers!


  2. That’s too bad – I’m a huge U2 fan, but have never seen them in concert. But I agree, a smaller venue is the best way to see a band/musician. That’s interesting that Bucwheat Zydeco was the warm-up. I saw them somewhere in DC during the 80s! Can’t remember where it was, possibly in Georgetown, but definitely a small venue. Hope you are well, Jeff!


  3. Nope, it wasn’t Buckwheat Zydeco — it was Los Lobos, and the radio hit was “La Bamba.” I remember b/c this was my very first concert and it’s forever seared in my mind. I also remember that Los Lobos (who is really a phenomenally talented band that can play any style music) got booed b/c they were playing for a long time. Not sure it was the best match-up for opener to main act, and that’s hit-or-miss at times. This was probably a miss. I remember joining in with the booing mob mentality and thinking it was funny at the time, but I regret doing that to this very day!

    When they opened with “When the Streets Have No Name,” it started with the keyboard drone and no one was on stage yet. It was so loud that I could feel it in both my chest and soul — loudest thing I’d ever heard at that point as a 16 y.o. kid. Then the band members each sauntered out one by one as the keyboard intro progressed and the crowd went progressively more bonkers as each one came out. I was on the field, which was all standing GA, probably dead center. Midway through the show, Bono did his “Who wants to play my guitar?” bit, and they pulled some dude up to strum along to a cover of “People Get Ready.” Dude had the Cheshire Cat grin the whole time, and I could see it plain as day. I’ve never forgotten that, and that dude’s moment is to this day my greatest fantasy: to get pulled up on stage to play with some of my heroes. I’ll tell you what . . . I’m a guitar player myself and I’ve been ready for some years, and I’d have bowled over a gaggle of nuns if the Allman Bros. had ever solicited someone to come up on stage from the audience, heh! 😀


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