March 6, 1981. U2 plays the Paradise Rock Club. It’s their very first Boston date on their very first U.S. tour and it’s an instant classic.
For years, this gig was considered a “Holy Grail” of sorts for both U2 bootleg collectors and Boston rock historians. Originally broadcast on the legendary and now-defunct WBCN, fans of rock music in Boston were treated to U2 in their nascent form: their first tour away from home to support their first full-length album. Thanks to early airplay here in Boston, fans new what they were in for, and what they heard was a performance from a band that was destined to be legendary.
The excellent U2 Songs blog has the full background on the gig: how it was originally broadcast then released as a radio show on vinyl, how many of the songs ended up on future U2 singles as B-sides, and how the gig was finally made available to the masses as part of the 2004 release of The Complete U2.
Live From Boston 1981, 40 years on. And it still sounds timeless.