Hearts + Minds
Leg 3: 1981/82, America
Garden City, US (Nassau County Community College Ballroom)
Nassau County Community College Ballroom
Show report coming soon
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19 March, 2012
Today is the 30th Anniversary of the U2
Nassau Concerts....a student activity funded group of entreprenurial misfits brought the young and very vibrant Irish rock combo U2 to their "ballroom' for a concert on this date, THIRTY YEARS AGO in 1982. I was the 19 year old 'chairperson' of the concert committee who helped iniate and book this show for our college. Some facts; we booked the date through the promoter in the spring of 1981, almost a year before the actual gig. At the time of the booking, manyt of my fellow committee members hardly knew of the band. U2 had one album under their belt, some airplay on WLIR and other college stations, and had played at some small-med locales in the city. By the time the band arrived for their gig months later, it was a completely different story, as they were way too big for this venue! The event cost $3500 and included sound and lights. This was extremely cheap, even by 1982 standards! I think we paid $4k for one David Crosby earlier in the school year (but that's another story). Bono and the boys arrived in some kind of tour bus, and as they entered the 'ballroom' (really a multi-purpose linoleum tiled cafeteria type facility) you could see the look of reluctance and disappointment in their collective eyes as they peered out the window of the room and spied the 'Nassau Veterans Memorial Colliseum' about 1/2 mile away. They would be playing to that concrete donut arena just a couple of months later! The 'boys' were cordial, however as they checked out the 'stage' which was indeed built from portable risers. Tickets for the event were $5 and only sold at the door. Yes, $5! The room had a max occupancy of 500. Needless to say there was a line wrapped around the building several times. We needed to call in extra rented security hours before the show. The police also made a visit to help with crowd control. We allowed about 450 ticket buyers into the show. Hundreds of fans were turned away. The opening band were a NYC combo called the Alleycats that evidently the band befriended after a recent gig in NYC. U2 did play most of Boy and October to a very enthusiastic and lucky crowd! Unfortunately I did not record a setlist, however there are photos of the show in the 1983 Nassau CC yearbook...I'll see if I can dig some up and post. I also believe that I still have a copy of the original poster...a b&w Psychedelic design .Needless to say, the show was a coup. Tiny college kids brings in rock group on the brink of super stardome! Speaking of 'tiny'...yes, I met Bono and he is atleast 2 inches shorter then my 5'6" stature! If you were at the show...feel free to comment!
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