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"Edge is the 'head' of the group. Adam and Larry are the 'feet': the rhythm, the beat. Because I'm so emotional, people call me the 'heart.'" — Bono

U2, National Car Rental Center

- March 25, 2001

by Stuart Bailie


Apparently, if the average human being was injected with Bono's adrenalin levels, he would
die immediately.

That's not to say that Bono is super-human, but he does have the capacity to move energy
around, to communicate with masses of people, without completely blowing his stack. He's
had a bit of practice, and he's still the best at the job. So it's a joy to see him in this massive
arena at the start of the 'Elevation' tour.

You always suspected that 'Beautiful Day' and 'Stuck In A Moment…' would only really
start to crackle in front of a massive audience. And sure enough, they judder into life,
tremendous notions of positivity in the face of mean times. It's an inspiring thing to witness.
Likewise with 'Sweetest Thing', as Bono reveals his piano-plonking expertise and Edge
plays those soulful, ragged guitar lines.

The start of the last tour, 'Popmart', was over-complicated and under-rehearsed. This time
around U2 are ready for the deal, with just enough messy edges to make it matter to them.
So 'The Fly' has been converted into a weird kind of a ballad and 'Discotheque' has a new,
trancey facelift.

Even the old faces like 'New Year's Day' and yes, 'Sunday Bloody Sunday' have some extra
import. Bono is using the top end of his voice to fine effect, and so he converts 'In A Little
While' from a decent song into a proper soul belter.

The hold off their 'Joshua Tree' song until the end, which is a luxury few bands can afford,
but 'Where The Streets Have No Name' and 'With Or Without You' are fierce, even now.
And somewhere in the course of the tumult, we heard 'One' and 'I Will Follow', also topped
up with contemporary juice. The stage set was in the shape of a giant heart, reconfirming
U2's reputation as a band with soul and purpose. They didn't make those claims lightly.
And they still get the blood pumping like no other.

Stuart Bailie

U2, National Car Rental Center, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, 24.3.01

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