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"There's a haircut I had in the mid '80s which launched a thousand second-division soccer players." — Bono



Superterrestrial Bono Descends in Miami

- March 26, 2001

by Anonymous

SUPERTERRESTRIAL BONO DESCENDS IN MIAMI

World Opening Performance of U2's ELEVATION TOUR 2001 in Florida.

People who have tickets for the U2 shows in the Antwerp Sportpaleis should start gloating.They own tickets for the best concert of the year, possibly for the next few years. I don't say this without good reason, because I had the opportunity to attend the World Opening Performance of the "ELEVATION TOUR" in Miami last Saturday for this newspaper.

In front of 19,000 hysterical Americans, U2 performed twenty-two tremendous songs,
and put on a show that will not soon be forgotten. Be sure to be in Antwerp the 5th or 6th of August!

After the last few gigantic tours, playing in stadiums and grasslands sometimes, BONO (singer), THE EDGE (guitar), LARRY MULLEN (drums) and ADAM CLAYTON (bass) haveagain concentrated on what they do best: make music.

"MIAMI: fantastic"

Four years have passed since the start of "Popmart" in Las Vegas and the start of the "Elevation Tour" in Miami. Why Miami? "Got the sun, got the sand, got the batteries in the Handicam," Bono sings in "Miami" on the album "POP" in 1997. "Miami is not a bad place, a great place to start the tour," Bono explained before the tour began. Coincidentally, most of the songs of "Pop" were recorded in this city.

In the National Car Rental Center, a marvellous indoor arena, 19,000 fans and musical heroes including Lenny Kravitz, Elvis Costello, Daniel Lanois, and Pearl Jam attended a big party last Saturday with this opening performance. Bono and Co seemed to be much stronger than ever and proved themselves to be THE super group of the beginning of the 21th century. Beside The Rolling Stones, there's no other band in the world at this moment who equal U2.

Casual perfection

What I saw and heard Saturday night verged on perfection. Sound, lighting, and show were impressive. U2 choose a perfect combination of small-scaled venue (arenas with a capacity of 15,000 to 25,000 people) and a unique shaped set, in which the perfect austerity of the 80s (with albums Boy, October,War, and The Joshua Tree) and the bombastic of the 90s (Achtung Baby, Zooropa, and Pop) didn't contradict themselves for a second. The fact they choose six songs from their first album of the 21th century "All That You Can't Leave Behind" wasn't a coincidence.

Hurricane

The band immediately struck the right note. With the arena lights still on, Bono, The Edge, Mullen and Adam casually walked onto the stage. They immediately got a standing ovation, after which "Elevation" began. What followed was a hurricane that couldn't be stopped for two hours. One highlight followed the other. There was only one negative point: the confusing end. Bono stage dived into the public during a chaotic "The Fly" and disappeared. This was supposed to be the beginning of the encore, but nobody understood it that way. What followed was a painful silence, after which the band appeared on stage again for "Bullet The Blue Sky."

Among the fans

The "Elevation Tour" is almost perfect. There is a brilliant light show, which compliments the songs. Sometimes the lights are black and white, then psychedelic in color and variation. Conspicuously overhead were four huge black and white video screens on which our heroes constantly appear. Also conspicuous is the catwalk around the stage which is used by Bono and occasionally by The Edge. Nestled between the stage and the catwalk are about 300 fans.

U2 really gives you the impression they give their fans all they've got. The setlist is
ingeniously put together. U2 again have proven that pop and rock in their proper style can be extraordinary. And Bono, he's not walking across the stage. No, he's floating! He just doesn't simply sing. No, he sings messages. He's leading and he's suffering. And next to this chief, The Edge played very remarkable ruthless guitar solos.

Highlights

It was very clear that the "Elevation" concert was building up to a climax. After one or two songs, the climax was already reached and a two hours standing musical orgasm was experienced. The feeling to stand among 19,000 fans during "I Will Follow" is difficult to describe. The absolute highlights? "Beautiful Day" was really a top song. "New York" put in a rough sense. "I Will Follow" -- the first and timeless U2 single. "Sunday Bloody Sunday"-- because it was so beautiful switched over in Marley's "Stand Up, Get Up". "The Sweetest Thing" -- because Bono was sitting behind a piano for the first time and this song has never been played live before. A moment of monumental perfection: the introduction to "Where The Streets Have No Name." Those who were doubting about it can be sure: U2 is alive and how!!

U2, expensive? Very expensive!

The opportunity to see the World Opening Performance of one of the world's most famous bands doesn't happen every day. You have to put down a lot of money, which became clear very soon. My ticket for the concert, a very good reserved seating ticket, cost $131.50, or almost 6.000BEF. To see U2 in Antwerp will not be so expensive. A beer before the concert cost 225BEF.

U2 things

And then--of course--there's the U2 merchandise: A t-shirt for 1.350BEF, a sweatshirt for 2.925BEF, a programme for 1.350BEF, and a jean jacket for 4.050BEF. Those who wanted a poster or a mouspad had to pay 450BEF. We sometimes harp on a parking ticket, but last Saturday I payed 450BEF for a open air place. America, land of dreams.

The Setlist

No thirty songs, as suggested here and there, but almost two dozen highlights from the last two decades of U2 history. Good stuff for more than two hours of fireworks. The Irish band choose these songs to start their "Elevation" tour in Sunrise, Miami:

Elevation
Beautiful Day
Until the End Of The World
New Year's Day
Stuck In A Moment
Gone
Discotheque/Staring At The Sun
New York
I Will Follow
Sunday Bloody Sunday
The Sweetest Thing
In A Little While
Bad
Where the Streets Have No Name
Mysterious Ways
The Fly
Bullet The Blue Sky
With Or Without You
One
Walk On


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