Sportpark, Geleen, Netherlands

Set List of Show:

Main Set:

  • "The Ocean"
  • "11 O'Clock Tick Tock"
  • "I Will Follow"
  • "An Cat Dubh"
  • "Into the Heart"
  • "Another Time, Another Place"
  • "The Electric Co."
  • "Stories for Boys"
  • "Boy / Girl"
  • "Out of Control"

  • "Twilight"
  • "I Will Follow"

Additional Music

Snippets of Other Songs Performed by U2:

    "Cry" (U2) / "Send in the Clowns" (Stephen Sondheim from A Little Night Music) / "I'm A Believer" (The Monkees) /

Show Details:

U2 play a shortened show as part the Pinkpop Festival in Geleen, The Netherlands. For this performance they stick to the hits and tracks from Boy and don’t play the newer material they’ve slowly been incorporating into their shows.

The Pinkpop Festival is a large annual music festival. It is the oldest and longest running annual pop and rock music festival in the world having started in 1970. When U2 played the event it was still a one day festival, but today it is now a three day festival. The advertised headliner was Ian Dury and the Blockheads, and other acts on the bill included Pretenders, Michael Schenker Group, Madness, Fisher-Z, U2 and New Adventures (in that order.) Also appearing were T.C. Matic, and UB40, neither of which were listed on the poster. The Pretenders, although listed on the poster did not appear.

The weather on the day was cloudy with some rain. Admission was 37.50 but could be bought in advance for 30.00. 48,000 people were in attendance at the festival, and the festival was presented by John Peel. Pinkpop 1981 was not a sellout and Marij Somers part of the Pinkpop staff were interviewed in the press stating they felt the reason they struggled with sales was the lack of an artist that came to Europe specifically for this festival that had been done in previous years. The capacity for the venue was 50,000 for the 1981 performance.

U2 play on the Pinkpop stage under a sign that says Pinkpop ’81 in red on a blue, red and yellow background. The stage area is covered. U2’s performance, as well as that of the other performers is recorded and broadcast on Dutch radio on June 17, 1981. Two of U2’s songs are also aired on television as a presentation of the Festival. Both “I Will Follow” and “The Electric Co” are shown on TV.

Bono is impressed with the reception the band gets and tells the crowd “you’re not supposed to know who we are.” Earlier shows in The Netherlands have introduced U2 to the country and many are at the show to see them perform.” Later Bono mentions “we have some friends in the front, thank you very much. I think we’ve got some friends all over the field. Thank you. More than we expected. Maybe we should live here!” The crowd is loud, bouncing around and having a great time. “Cry” is included at the start of “The Electric Co.” and “Send in the Clowns” appears as well. “Stories for Boys” is introduced as “This is from a long time ago.” Bono includes a snippet of “I’m A Believer” during “Boy / Girl”. U2 briefly leaves the stage but comes back to do two final songs as Bono questions what he’s heard about the Dutch, “you’re supposed to be laid back around here I thought!”

The 48,000 strong crowd is the biggest audience that U2 have played to date. The performance and the later broadcast gain U2 many fans in The Netherlands, building on an already large fan base there.

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Officially Released Tracks