U2 Live at Red Rocks: Under a Blood Red Sky

4 out of 5 stars

Time Out says

4 out of 5 stars

One of the very first home video concert films, Under a Blood Red Sky is, for U2 fans, an invaluable document of a key moment in the band’s career. Recorded at the famous outdoor arena in Denver in 1983, the set, drawn from U2’s first three albums, represents the peak of the Irish group’s days as purveyors of political “football-chant rock” (as some have called it) before producers Brian Eno and Daniel Lanois took U2 in a more ambient direction with The Unforgettable Fire.

Highlights of the video (which has twice as many songs as the eponymous album and draws on one concert instead of three) include “An Cat Dubh/Into the Heart,” a journey from the apocalyptic into the transcendent from 1980’s Boy; “October,” one of the band’s most sincere (and least dogmatic) Christian numbers; and an exhilarating rendition of “Gloria.” Many of the performances of songs from War (released a few months earlier) received heavy MTV exposure as de facto videos, which built anticipation for The Unforgettable Fire and paved the way for the band’s graduation to global-superstar level the following year.

By: Andrew Johnston



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