U2 Go Home - Live From Slane Castle
We did it! On 26 February 2003 Daniel and Didi from U2tour.de delivered a printed version of a petition to
Universal, signed by fans from all over the world, to bid for the release of probably the best concert of
the Elevation tour. Recorded professionally by Dreamchaser, this masterpiece was tucked away in the archives
somewhere, as initially U2 didn't want to release it. After the worldwide screening of the TV special in autumn
2002, however, we knew for sure: we want this concert on TV. Maybe the 211 pages (download as pdf) changed U2's
and their management's minds, we don't really know. Anyway, now we can look forward to this DVD, finally a
complete concert on DVD, fortunately Mysterious Ways is a bonus track.
Once again we are happy to present a (p)review to a new U2 release: "U2 Go Home - Live from Slane Castle, Ireland". Enjoy.
The first surprise is that the DVD is available in two different kinds of packaging. One version comes in the usual
digipack-cover as we know it from the Boston DVD. Inside you find the booklet in the usual DVD upsize format. The
second version, in contrast, comes in a suprising format: its a standard cd jewel case with a booklet in the same
format. A pretty unusual format for a DVD and day-to-day customers might easily mix up this version with a normal
audio CD. Neither on the front nor on the side the DVD logo is visible - in contrast to U2's earlier DVD single releases.
Only on the back the DVD logo is hidden between all the other trademark logos. Confusion about the release of the DVD
as an audio CD seems to be inevitable! The jewel case edition is mainly aimed at the US market but will also be available
in Europe. Nevertheless Universal Europe is focussing on the sale of the digipack version. The DVD discs itself are exactly the same.
Both booklets contain the identical text by Stuart Bailie, which describes the history of U2 and Slane Castle plus impressions from the two concerts. The pictures in both booklets are the same apart from the format of course. Just the pictures on the first page of the inlay are different. Some of the pictures are video screenshots in low quality, the already well-known press-picture (Link) is loacted at the centre.
The DVD contains the entire slane castle concert from September 1st. 'Mysterious Ways' is not part of the
concert, but listed as a 'bonus track'. The reasons for this are still unknown. The concert without Mysterious Ways
lasts 1:38h, the bonus track is 6:26 min long. Furthermore the DVD contains a remastered version of the 'Unforgettable Fire'
Documentary, which has been available before on the 'The Unforgettable Fire Collection' VHS
from 1985. Bonus-Features include the already mentioned Mysterious Ways track, a DVD-ROM section with screensavers, desktop wallpapers,
an elevation tour calendar and weblinks, plus - for the the first time ever - the possibility to view 3 songs from the show in a 360° perspective.
Tracklist: "U2 Go Home - Love From Slane Castle, Ireland"
The most noticeable fact about this concert is the perfect mood the band was in on this evening. What seemed somewhat artificial and
nervous in the Boston show, you can see much better here - the band enjoyed playing a second time in front of such a crowd at Slane Castle.
Maybe it's the fact that it was not planned to release this concert for sale. Some incidents before the shows made both Slane concerts
very emotional. The huge crowd brings a terrific spirit to the homes of all U2 fans, and the interaction with fans is much
better here than in Boston.
Between songs Bono tells stories, plays games with fans and makes other kinds of jokes, all this makes the recording and U2 on this evening so likable. We pass on a song by song review, as we think that each viewer has to make up his own mind about this concert. We just want to point out that U2's mood and musical performance is outstanding. In comparision with all the other live videos this is the one which transports the feeling of a live concert best. All other videos tend to be stiff in some way or too well prepared. U2 at Slane Castle 2001 is the band U2 we want to see, they act with their hearts and have fun.
The concert was recorded with many camera perspectives although Ned O'Hanlon said in an @U2.com interview that the expenses on that show were just a small fraction compared to the expenses for recording the Boston show. The spirit of the entire show is captured very well, shots from and of the audience are used very often and reflect its enthusiasm. The video format is 16:9, the pictures are sometimes very coarse, sometimes due to special effects, but this may have to do something with the light conditions during the shooting.
This is the first time a U2 DVD is released with DTS sound, in addition to the PCM stereo format and DolbyDigital 5.1. But we think that for a normal user there is no relevant notable difference. Bonos voice is transferred very clearly via the centre speaker. The instruments are mixed to the front speakers, from the rear speakers you can notice quiet echoes, which are sometimes irritating. The audience is well mixed into the rear-speakers. There is no crystal clear mixing as can be found on DVDs like 'Eagles - Hell Freezes Over', where each instrument can be heard on a different channel. But maybe it's not comparable, because the Eagles show was a club-gig especially prepared for this, U2 in Slane was an open-air show which was, at the time of recording, not scheduled for a release.
'The Unforgettable Fire' documentary
As mentioned before this is a remastered version of the 'Unforgettable Fire' documentary which follows the recordings of the album of the same name at Slane Castle in 1984. The video format is 4:3 and the documentary is 28 min long. Subtitles are available in English, French, Spanish, German and Portugese, the documentary itself is in English. The Documentary also includes the "Pride (In The Name of Love)" video. The picture quality is not the best, it's far away from DVD-quality. But this is of course of the source-material isn't better, the point is the content of this documentary - even though it takes some time you get used to the mullets ;°)
Bonus-Track 'Mysterious Ways'
Once the track list of the DVD became public, many fans were shocked as the same song which was already missing on the Boston DVD was once again cut out. For still unknown reasons the song was taken out of the usual running order of the DVD and instead placed as a bonus track. It is not as was rumoured (and feared) a so called "easter egg", but a normal track which can easily be accessed via the main menu. (Remark: Producer Ned O'Hanlon said in a recent interview that the song just didn`t really fit into the show).
In contrast to the rest of the show, this track is only available in PCM sound format. Striking is the different style of this track compared to the rest of the concert. Fast cuts, slow motion, digital zoom and effects are on offer. The track becomes a very personal note when Bono takes his then 10-year-old daugther Eve up on stage. As Edge's wife is not available any more for the job of a belly dancer, Eve takes this over in a very cool way. Which other kid aged ten would that easily dance in front of 80.000 people? This sort of coolness seems to be reserved exclusively for Bono's second daughter. The song ends after 6:26 minutes with a fade-out so it is technically impossible to integrate it into the rest of the set. The cut between 'Where the streets have no name' and 'Pride' is done perfectly, so you do not realize that 'Mysterious Ways' is actually missing there.
DVD-Rom Bonus Tracks
First of all it needs to be mentioned that this part can only be played on a DVD-ROM drive on your computer. CD-ROM drives cannot be used. In the booklet and in an info-file all MAC users are directed to an internet-site as this part is not MAC-compatible. Windows-users enjoy a flash-animated menue, which gives you access to all special features. The most anticipated special, the 360° view of the concert, ends up being a Quicktime video of the three songs Elevation, Beautiful Day and Where The Streets Have No Name. Users have the possibility to spin around 360° degrees in real time at the touch of their mouse. A real high-end-special-feature feeling unfortunately doesn't come across due to the lack of quality which reminds one of a cheap webcam . It's indeed fun to watch it the three songs, but even hardcore fans wouldn`t like to see the entire concert in this format and picture-resolution. Sometimes its even hard to differentiate between a pixel and Larry's head! Nevertheless you can enjoy Bono's run around the heart which is indeed not a daily experience. It also needs to be mentioned that we hear Bono saying at the beginning of Beautiful Day: Now it's two nil! Probably a remark towards the defeat of Holland by Ireland in the soccer world championship qualification which happened that day (despite the fact that the match actually only ended 1:0) and which meant that Ireland would fly to SouthKorea/Japan. This sentence is not included in the normal DVD concert.
The second special feature is the 'Elevation tour diary calendar and clock'. If you click it, a flash-file installs itself on your computer, which consists of a calendar and a clock. The calendar shows all the dates of the Elevation concerts but doesn`t include a link to Willie's Tour Diary as was available on U2.com. One can debate the practical use of this feature, espacially as possibilities to integrate this function are completely lacking.
Furthermore two screensavers in red and blue are available - their style matching the artwork of the DVD. Nice, but not really exciting.
Four desktop motives are available to polish up your Windows system. They are available in 1024x768 and 800x600 resolution. The bitmap-graphics are copied into the same U2 folder on the desktop where the Elevation tour diary calendar and clock are located and are immediately set to standard.
Finally the obligatory links to U2.com and NGOs that are supported by U2 are featured. Exclusive weblinks are unfortunately missing.