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"We have a long history of driving engineers and producers to the point of despair, because it's always 'I'm not sure about that.'" — Larry



U2 live in Glasgow 27/08/01

- August 28, 2001

by John Kilbride

On Thursday August 23 U2 announced they would would be playing at the SECC in Glasgow on Monday August 27. "I hope you didn't have plans, or there was something on the telly you wanted to see," apologised Bono. There didn't seem to be many complaints.
There was some doubt if U2's Elevation tour would fit into Glasgow's famous shed. It has been years since they have played at the SECC, and since then their stage show has grown to the elaborate side of spectacular. But the band were keen to play in Scotland, and if the show was in any way shrunk-to-fit its surroundings it remained one of the most innovative big budget rock 'n' roll spectacles ever to be seen in the city.

Giant screens, walkways, and projections all played their part. All bigger, shinier and more polished than anyone else. Bono didn't miss any opportunity to strike a pose and no dramatic opportunity was missed to ensure no jaw was left undropped and no spine left untingled. But the technology never distracted from what was essentially a straightforward rock show. Four very human blokes playing honest uncomplicated music.

There were plenty of old favourites in the set, but newer material sat comfortably with the more established numbers. Where the streets have no name and Sunday bloody Sunday provoked the kind of reaction normally associated with a dramatic opening number. But the actual show openers Elevation and Beautiful day instantly won over the audience as easily as any of their more familiar material.

Not that there were many doubters in the crowd. Queueing for gold-dust tickets for hours weeds out all but the die-hards, and they certainly got a show that made the monumental effort worthwhile.

"The day we play a bad show in Glasgow is the end of U2," said Bono during the show. At this rate they should be good for another 40 years or so.

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