All I Want Is You/Where The Streets Have No Name, Slane Castle (2001) - The Slane Castle concert is one of U2's most highly regarded shows. They seem to be in such a loose mood at this show, possibly because it wasn't originally going to be released as a DVD. Streets, with its slow building intro, is enough to deliver goosebumps to even the most jaded person. If you're looking for a top quality performance of the song, Slane Castle is one of the better versions you can get.
Beautiful Day/MLK/Where The Streets Have No Name, Super Bowl (2002) - A few months after 9/11, U2 were tasked with putting on the first Super Bowl Halftime following the tragedy. And they delivered on a grand scale. It started with the soaring & energetic "Beautiful Day". Once the somber "MLK" kicked in, the giant screen with the victims' names rose to the roof and created the greatest moment in Super Bowl Halftime history. This eventually leads to the building "Where The Streets Have No Name" that ends the set on a high note that left everyone feeling that things were going to be alright.
Surrender, New Year's Day, & Sunday Bloody Sunday, Red Rocks (1983) - While their Live Aid performance is what launched them to mainstream status, Red Rocks (Under a Blood Red Sky) is what made U2 known amongst music fans as one of the best live bands in the world. Red Rocks is a famous outdoor amphitheater in Colorado, and on this particular night the rain was coming down, while torches lit the amphitheater. The red lighting & smoke from the fire amidst the mist and rain created quite the stunning visual and a fitting backdrop to the powerful music coming from the stage. MTV (back when they played music) put many of the song performances into rotation, and the video became a best seller. The rest is history, as the show solidified their presence. You could really pick any song, though those three are my personal stand outs from the show.
Bad, Live Aid (1985) - After the success of "Red Rocks" on MTV & video, U2 found a new venue to showcase their live performance, this time at a music festival headlined by some of the biggest acts on the planet at Live Aid 1985. The band played a 14-minute version of "Bad", which took up most of their set forcing them to cut a song. Bono jumped into the crowd and danced with a girl, who was close to being crushed by fans who were pushing towards the stage. Bono saw it and made his way to her to save the day and create a memorable moment. He just can't help himself! The performance put them on the map in a mainstream way for the first time.
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With or Without You, Live in Paris (1987) - "With or Without You" is their signature song, and pretty much any version during the late 1980s is a gem. The live version occasionally is longer and adds the line "We'll shine like stars in the summer night/We'll shine like stars in the winter light/One hope/One love" which is simple yet adds so much to an already perfect song.
The Fly, ZooTV Live from Sydney (1993) - "The Fly" launched U2 into the 90s when it was released as a lead single from Achtung Baby, showing their versatility. The live version is a highlight from the ZooTV DVD, as the band tears through the track and Bono sings into a mic that distorts his voice. The track was thankfully resurrected on the U2360 Tour in 2011.
Vertigo, Glastonbury Festival (2011) - "Vertigo" is one of their most energetic songs, and the live version adds a nice intro that builds up to the pulsating guitar courtesy of The Edge. The crowd at Glastonbury provided some nice background vocals for Bono, as the rain fell down which was reminiscent of Red Rocks. This Glastonbury version also has a nice little snippet of The Beatles' "She Loves You", which is always great to hear.