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"About halfway through Pop, it occurred to us that as much as we enjoyed improvising with DJs and drum loops, we started to miss that quality that makes us U2." — Edge, on All That You Can't Leave Behind

by Popmartijn

After yesterday, this was my second Elevation concert. And I wanted it to be very special. Not only did I have GA tickets, my sister was also coming with me and this would be her first U2 concert ever. I had to get into the heart! Yesterday I'd asked some persons at what time they showed up and what number they had (#240 arrived at around 12:30) so I could figure out what time to show up today. Based on the answers and the fact that this was the second concert at the arena, I wanted to get there early. More persons would know about the heart situation and some would maybe camp out after the first concert. So I arrived at 9:00. At first there was some confusion as the entrance for the floor was moved (for the better), but then it became clear that we would end up in the heart (as I had #30 and my sister #31). The waiting during the day was not so bad as it was dry and we chatted with other fans (Hello Nina!). When the doors opened at 18:00 we rushed to the heart (and then the wait for 10 seconds as they check your bag and your ticket seems like an eternity). WOW! My sister and I ended up totally up front, right in front of Adam!!! Man, I've never been so close to the stage before in a U2 concert! It was perfect. And so was the show. From the moment Elevation began this was one big celebration. Again, everybody was jumping and the band was into it from the beginning. They started as they did yesterday, with Elevation, Beautiful Day and Until The End Of The World. But from that moment on, I couldn't say anything more about the setlist. They played new songs and regular songs in an other order. Everytime I thought: "I know this song from yesterday so now that song is coming," they played something else. Mysterious Ways as fourth song, the addition of Gone (only after yesterday's concert had I realised they'd played nothing from Pop), etc. Highlights for me were Kite (always beautiful, this time dedicated to Lola, the daughter of Herman Brood), Out Of Control (I'd never expected to hear this song live after so many years) and All I Want Is You (the roof was blown off when the band launched into the final All I Want Is You's with the full backing). Also notable was Sunday Bloody Sunday. During the bridge somebody threw a sign to Bono. Unfortunately, it fell between the stage and the audience, but Bono signalled a security guard to pick it up. The sign was a Please sign, such as the little girl has in the video to the song Please. Bono put it on and walked with it to the tip of the heart, seemingly hurt/upset by all the violence in Northern Ireland. A more lighthearted moment occured before The Ground Beneath Her Feet, as Bono wanted to dedicate the song to Wim Wenders (who apparently had his birthday). He was saying he wanted to dedicate the next song to Wim Wenders when he turned to The Edge and asked: "What song?" Edge strummed the first few chords of Stay, but Bono motioned to stop and after some discussion Edge started The Ground Beneath Her Feet. It was truly special to see these musicians changing their minds and improvising at the very moment. Bullet The Blue Sky started tonight with the segment about the five permanent members of the Security Counsel of the United Nations (US, UK, France, China, Russia) also being the five largest arms traders in the world. While this intro seems to need some more refining/reworking (as it was just white text on a black background) I did think it made a better connection with the audience than the NRA video clip. On tonight's version Bono did not do a lengthy rant about America being at war with itself, but the song still was very intense. Again, just as last night, I thought that tonight's version of With Or Without You ended too sudden. But as I explained, I don't mind hearing this song going on and on and on forever. As I was totally up front I had a good view of the other members beside Bono. What Edge can do with his guitar is unbelievable. And he really seemed to enjoy himself, playing to 18.000 people.Adam, being right in front of us, was just too cool to mention (and had very cool glasses according to my sister). He was smiling during almost the whole concert and was totally into every song (doing his Adam-swing). But the neglected hero was Larry. I don't know who is directing all those U2 live videos, but they always get the wrong shots of Larry. He was smiling a lot (though not as much as Adam) and you could clearly see he was enjoying every second of the concert. My favourite moment came at the very end of the show, during Walk On. At the finale, Larry was hitting the drums and the cymbals and smiling to the rest of the band with a mean smile that said: "I may hit the final note and you don't know when I'm doing that so you'd better follow me!" (OK, this is a very weak description, but you really should've seen his face, it was magical). And again, those are the only words I can use to describe this concert. It was magical. I still have four Elevation concerts left, but I know those will never surpass this experience. Front row, the dream of every fan.

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