U2

Rock's Hottest Ticket [Disc 1+2]

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Rock's Hottest Ticket is considered by some die-hard U2 fans to be the band's best unofficial live recording. Until the subsequent release of official live material such as Hasta la Vista Baby, Popmart, and Zoo TV: Live From Sydney, it was also the best way to get a solid full concert. Beware, however: There are two bootleg releases called Rock's Hottest Ticket. This version was recorded in Chicago, IL, on April 29, 1987, at Rosemont Horizon. The other (inferior version) is from Croke Park on June 27, 1987, in Dublin, Ireland. That version is often labeled as "Rock's Hottest Ticket, Vol. 1" or "Rock's Hottest Ticket, Vol. 2" and only contains about half of a show. Check the liner notes for recording location to be safe.

The concert from Chicago is one of the best audience recordings out there, and this performance is one of the band's best from the early Joshua Tree tour (which would stretch for 18 months). At shows later in the tour, Bono's interaction with the crowd seemed rote, like he has only an average connection with the audience. In this show, however, the band seems very excited to have recently landed on top of the world. The set list is standard but excellent and includes a rare cover of Peggy Seeger's "Springhill Mining Disaster." Rock's Hottest Ticket is the best place to start collecting U2 live shows, and only a few others sound this good.

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