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"What a city! What a night! What a crowd! What a bomb! What a mistake! What a wanker you have for President!" — Bono, in Paris, on Jacques Chirac, 1995



Elevated to the best of the best

- March 28, 2001

by Paul Rose, drummer with Nova

It's a funny old game, this music lark. Saturday, March 17, finds me playing drums for Nova (rock band) at The Kings Arms in Swindon and seven days later I'm looking into the eyes of Bono at the National Car Rental Arena in Ft Lauderdale as U2 prepare to kick off their Elevation Tour.

Talk about going from one extreme to the other!

As we speak, Sharon and Andrea Corr float about, ethereally, in the background. Yep, those Corr girls (er... and boy), a top band if ever there was one, tonight are just the support band. This is big league for sure. "Sum it up in three words,'' I ask Bono, trying to put him on the spot. He laughs. "I can but I'll write them down,'' comes the reply. He takes my pen and scrawls three words: "Get set, GO!'' This band is seriously up for it tonight.

They march bullishly on to the stage and launch straight into Elevation. Funny how they swagger on just like we did back at the Kings! The rest of the show is perfect, the setlist comprising the best of the new album and the choicest cuts from their 20-year back catalogue, all played out on a simple-looking, heart-shaped stage that throws up more and more gadgets and gizmos as the show progresses. Suddenly, Nova's light rig seems very uninspiring!

To sum up, I can honestly say that everyone who joined the mad scramble for tickets for the UK dates will not be disappointed. The look on people's faces as they leave says it all. They've got their money's worth.

Actually, I'm sure I saw that look on a few faces as they left The Kings Arms last Saturday! Maybe we're all the same - the only difference being one of scale? I don't know but that's what I'll keep telling myself. I might even start to believe it. I just know that, if you're looking for
a yardstick, why not measure yourself against the best in the world?

U2 play at: The Manchester Evening News Arena, August 11 & 12; Birmingham NEC, August 14 & 15; London Earls Court, August 18, 19, 21 & 22.

Nova play at the famous Ale House, Rodbourne, Swindon, on April 6.

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