Milkyway, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Set List of Show:
- "The Ocean"
- "11 O'Clock Tick Tock"
- "I Will Follow"
- "An Cat Dubh"
- "Into the Heart"
- "A Day Without Me"
- "The Electric Co."
- "Things to Make and Do"
- "Stories for Boys"
- "Boy / Girl"
- "11 O'Clock Tick Tock"
Snippets of Other Songs Performed by U2:
"Send in the Clowns" (Stephen Sondheim from A Little Night Music) /
U2 perform their first public show in Europe at the Milkyway in Amsterdam. The venue is known as The Melkweg in Amsterdam, and is a former milk factory converted into a club and cultural space after the factory closed. The venue holds about 500 people but isn’t sold out. Cor Schlösser, director of the Melkweg at the time, estimates that about 350 people attended the show, “It certainly wasn’t sold out, but it wasn’t bad for an as yet unknown band.”
On the way to this performance, U2 were able to hear their performance from the previous night at KRO Studios as it was being broadcast on the radio.
The show is met with a good response from the audience, and they play a strong set at the show. One fan in attendance said that even though the room was not filled, U2 got everyone going. And by the encore, the crowd were beating on the stage to bring them back for a song.
Bono included a snippet of “Send in the Clowns” in “The Electric Co.”
In the book U2 by U2 The Edge looks back on this first concert outside of the UK and Ireland as a great show. But at the time the band hadn’t felt the same. Erik Timmerman who met with the band after the show relayed, “They were slightly upset. Bono thought the public had been uninterested. When an employee of the Milkyway told him it had been fantastic, Bono said, ‘They just stood there.’ The employee related that ‘Normally they sit or even lie on the floor’ during shows. Timmerman said the show was really good, but suffered because “U2 was still searching and the audience did not know the music.” Schlösser, the director of the Milkyway thought the show was good, and that the band could be something, but “I really didn’t feel it was a future world act” as he had when he first saw Pearl Jam.
Speaking about the show a few days later in Belgium, Bono relates, “The Dutch are a very interesting people. They are very aware of British music,” claims Bono “We played the Milky Way in Amsterdam which is seriously in the sixties. It hasn’t changed. It’s a time warp.” Adam adds, “They’re surprisingly well informed. By no means at this stage, have we cracked England. Even for a band with our present status in England we’ve done surprisingly well. They know about us, they’ve heard our records, they’ve seen our pictures and they want to know more.” Bono finished, “I think they thought U2 were a post-industrial funk band, very arty, very cultural but when they saw us as an aggressive performance act, when they saw the explosion of our personalities and our instruments on the stage they were taken aback,” says Bono. The promoter said they were confused. They tried to compare us but we were just U2 and they had to make up their own minds and that’s what U2 are all about.”
Officially Released Tracks