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"The songs can hurt, and the songs can uplift. But they don't have to be reverent." — Bono



by George Bradford

If I live long enough, one day my grandchildren may ask me: "What was the greatest rock and roll band of all time?" If and when they do, I will vividly recall one band on one night in one place: U2 on April 2, 2001 in Houston, Texas.

The magnificence of this band cannot be overstated. Over the course of twenty five songs Monday night, U2 delivered sonic blast after sonic blast of musical brilliance and spiritual hope.

After opening with blistering renditions of "Elevation" and "Beautiful Day", Bono lead the Houston audiance in chanting: "The goal is your soul!" The band promptly responded with "Until the End of the World" and the Revival was on.

Cloaked in the guise of a "We're reapplying for the job" tour, U2's subversive ministry continued unabated during the ensuing two hours. Focusing upon their music and their audiance, U2's energy and message escalated relentlessly. The result was a beautifully delivered experience.

Larry Mullen, Jr. and Adam Clayton anchored the band with a powerfully charging rythm while the Edge unleashed a performance of technical wizardry that was beyond amazing.

And true to U2's history of blending the social and the political into their mix, a withering video indictment of Charleton Heston, the NRA and Gun violence was later answered by a kneeling Bono praying for salvation in the middle of the Houston audiance.

For those with tickets to future Elevation tour stops, take your vitamins and get your rest. You're going to need it. For those without Elevation tickets, get them. One day your grandchildren may ask you.

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