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"[M]usic has lost the personality of human beings and musicians. It's got so shiny that it's as if there's a surface of Formica over it. And it's something that doesn't let you in." — Edge

U2 Fans Rock the Hard Rock in Cleveland

@U2 pre-exhibit party draws more than 250 fans to Hard Rock Cafe
More than 250 U2 fans gathered Friday night at the Hard Rock Cafe in Cleveland to kick off what has become an unofficial U2 fan convention of sorts.

In town for this weekend's opening of In the Name of Love: Two Decades of U2, an exhibit of the band's artifacts and memorabilia at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, the weekend began with a party hosted by @U2 and the Hard Rock Cafe on Friday night.

The party included food and drink for those who wanted it, U2 trivia, music, and videos, plus a prize raffle. The marquee event was a 3-and-a-half hour concert from the U2 tribute band Elevation. The band took the stage at about 10:20 and didn't call it a night until shortly before 2:00 a.m. Their set had fans cheering and singing along, as they played the popular U2 live tracks, as well as plenty of early songs, b-sides, and even their take on U2's recent single, "Electrical Storm." The show included a belly dancer during "Mysterious Ways," and "Bullet the Blue Sky" featured lead singer Danno mimicking Bono's well-known routines with a spotlight as well as a U.S. flag umbrella.

Earlier in the night, the U2 fans in attendance were treated to a brief U2 trivia game hosted by @U2's Answer Guy, as well as a prize raffle of more than 50 items, including the grand prize -- an Achtung Baby inflatable trabant promo. Special thanks to all who donated prizes for the raffle, including David Greg Harth, Ron Hanson, Lynn Edelstein, Aaron Sams (of U2wanderer.org), Joel Tanner and Otto Kitsinger (of Interference.com), and @U2ers Teresa Cook, Steve & Sherry Lawrence, and Matt McGee. Great thanks also to George and the Hard Rock Cafe, who donated more than $300 worth of items for the raffle.

Thanks, also, to all the U2 fans who came out to make the @U2 Pre-Exhibit Bash such a success!

The weekend festivities continue with the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum's U2 exhibit opening tonight (Saturday) at 6:30 p.m. for a Museum members-only event. The exhibit opens Sunday to the general public.

© @U2, 2003.