Polytechnic, Coventry, England

Set List of Show:

Additional Music

Snippets of Other Songs Performed by U2:

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U2 return to Coventry to once again play the Polytechnic, for the second time on this tour. Set list and attendance is unknown. Support is provided by Medium, Medium.

James Henke, an American reporter, who was an early supporter of U2 through his articles in the music press got an offer from Warner Brothers (who were distributing U2’s album in the USA) offering to fly Henke to the UK to meet the band for two shows in London. Henke accepted and managed to see the band in Coventry, England.

Henke spoke about the show with U2.Com in 2003: “It was around Thanksgiving, so I figured I could use my holidays and go check them out. At the time, U2 was based in a London apartment, while they ventured out for a series of gigs around England. The day I arrived, their PR guy from Island invited me over to meet the band. I was immediately taken by how genuine and polite Bono, Adam, Larry and the Edge were. At the time, which was early on in my career at Rolling Stone, I was covering a lot of punk and New Wave bands, and, for the most part, they all reeked of attitude. Either they wanted to shock you with how weird they were, or they were totally obnoxious. The members of U2, on the other hand, weren’t trying to impress or shock.”

“It turned out that the band was playing a show in Coventry, England, the next night, and they invited me to tag along. The date was November 24, 1980, and we headed out in a van from London to Coventry. It was just the four band members and their road manager, who served as the driver.”

“Looking back, it’s funny to think how young the members of U2 were at the time – some of them were still teenagers. Bono and Adam were both 20; Larry and the Edge were 19. As we drove along, we discussed music – I remember the Edge going on about Tom Verlaine and Television – and talked about religion, politics and the weather. Occasionally, when things got boring, they’d pull out a Bible and read.”

“The Coventry gig, at the Polytechnic, was akin to seeing a band in a high-school gymnasium: crappy acoustics, crummy environment . Even so, it immediately became clear that U2 was special. It didn’t matter where the concert was taking place. Their sheer power and passion, coupled with Bono’s ability to break down the barrier between the stage and the audience, completely knocked me out. I thought they were amazing.”

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