Stephen Holden – “Irish U2, a Young Quartet, Plays at the Ritz” (1981)

January 4, 2011 at 7:44 am (Music, Reviews & Articles, U2)

A short March 9, 1981 concert review by Stephen Holden, taken from The New York Times, of when U2 were first making themselves known in America. Interesting to see what critics thought at the beginning of their career (making note of their real names), with only one album to their credit, at that point…

The Irish rock quartet U2, which has received extravagant critical praise in the British press, made a strong showing at the Ritz on Saturday. For such an accomplished band, U2 is unusually young.

Ranging in age from 18 to 20, its members met three years ago at a Dublin secondary school. Yet their sound, and eclectic hard rock with a mystically romantic strain, makes them one of the most harmonically sophisticated rock bands to emerge in recent years.

U2’s musical focus is its gifted guitarist, ”The Edge” Evans, whose extended lyrical guitar flights have a muscularity and an exotic flavor similar to Tom Verlaine. Mr. Evans knows exactly how far to push his mysticism Read the rest of this entry »

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