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U2 War Stories

« U2 1983 War Tour

U2 at Memorial Hall, Kansas City, KS - Summer 1983

It was a brilliant show. The band was still young and hungry. Not so much for success, though I think they welcomed that possibility. They didn't have the lights, they didn't have the huge production spectacle of Zoo TV and PopMart. They had a vital and urgent energy that needed to be released. Bono climbed the support beams of the hall, swinging high above the crowd, fearless in voice and in spirit. Captivating and commanding the imagination of 4000 awestruck spectators.

That gig was when I first realized, U2 was a rock and roll force on the scale of an F5 tornado to be reckoned with. Reckoning never sounded or felt so good.

-- Lois (Kansas City, MO)

U2 War Tour - Chapel Hill, NC (April 23, 1983)

It was a rainy day in April of 1983 when U2 came to Chapel Hill for the first stop on their War tour. I think I was a sophomore in college (not at UNC). I have no clue how we got tickets (I believe it was Craig and myself, but honestly I would not bet money on who was there that day). I just remember it raining, the crowd not being overly large and the stage being too far from the seats.

I can't tell you one song they played, but I can tell you that I was blown away. I remember the rain, I remember Bono and/or the Edge walking out on this makeshift runway and slipping (close to falling). I remember Bono climbing all over the stage (and on top). I remember Bono walking back to the dressing room at one point during a song. And lastly I remember Bono making some comment about the rain and how it made them feel like they were home in Ireland.

Other than my fading memory, the only thing I retain is the concert t-shirt (all my other t-shirts from this period have vanished).

picture of U2 t-shirt from the 1983 War Tour

-- Gene Wicker, Jr. (That's This World Over)

U2 at the Atlanta Civic Center - June 25, 1983

Me and the fellows traveled to Atlanta to see U2 on that tour. The Alarm played as if they were tearing down some castle wall with their fuzzy acoustic guitars and big hair. U2 was of course huge in everyway. Afterwards Tim Fleming who was the Bass player in my first band The Right Profile got backstage and talked to the Edge at length about Springsteen. He had promised to come out with his backstage pass and let us in but never came out. I can't blame him and nor do I resent it. It did mean a lot to us as a young band and although we sounded completely different, I think we shared some of the starry eyed ambition of that version of U2.

-- Jeffrey Dean Foster (

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