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Review -  U2: LIVE THE ELEVATION TOUR U2 - Thursday April 19, 2001 @ San Jose Arena What better way to spend your birthday than to get to go to a show. For me I spent my Birthday in San Jose with U2.  Not bad at all. Add to that the three beers, a camera load of pictures, and one wife trying to get Bono to wish me a Happy Birthday, couldn't ask for more.  Oh yea, hey the band showed up.

Walking into the San Jose Arena and steaming through their set opener, "Elevation" with the house lights on, U2 made quite an entrance; giving themselves the opportunity to see who they'd be playing for.  Thank you very much for having me.

U2's Elevation tour is breezing across the states on the appropriate success of last years 'All That You Can't Leave Behind'.  The album cover depicts the band standing in an airport (Charles DeGaul in Paris) and various symbols of luggage and hearts grace the booklet. The Heart seems to be the predominant symbol for the tour.  The stage fits neatly into the top third of a massive Heart set onto the arena floor.  The remaining two-thirds (or bottom) of the heart is filled with people.  U2 had the foresight to make the Heart's outline about 3ft wide so Bono and The Edge can run around the arena greeting, singing, and playing to as many specific fans as possible. Thank you very much guys.

Gone from the show are all the TVs, cameras and assorted Zoo TV paraphernalia.  Not much here except the band and some monitor looking risers that go up and down at the appropriate times.  The only thing the band seemed to bring with them were some scrims that dropped around the heart once or twice during the show and allowed a light to create a 40ft Bono shadow.  All that's left was the music.

A band with as many great songs as U2 are bound to leave a pool of great songs behind in favor for new tracks that won't get played on upcoming tours and classics you'll be crucified for not playing; that's just a part of life all paying fans have to deal with but U2 put together a pretty good package. From the opener Elevation and so on: The End Of The World, Beautiful Day, Sunday Bloody Sunday, Stuck In A Moment You Can't Get Out Of, Even Better Than The Real Thing, New Year's Day, The Sweetest Thing, I Will Follow, Desire, Love Is Blindness, New York, Bad (w/40), Where The Streets Have No Name, The Fly, Mysterious Ways, The 1st Encore: Bullet The Blue Sky, Pride (In The Name Of Love), With Or Without You, and the 2nd Encore: One, Walk On.  And one other song I didn't recognize.  All in all a pleasing set.  Bono took time to dedicate two songs to Joey Ramone and one to Michael Hutchins (INXS).  Something I didn't expect.

The best part of the night was in noticing Bono had returned.  'The Fly' (Bono's alter ego from Zoo Station through Pop Mart) was not present and for that I was thankful and come the end of the night Bono graciously thanked the fans for giving himself and the band the kind of life they've been able to live.  Well Bono, you're welcome...We've been happy to accommodate you.


Turn Down The Lights, Turn Up The Sound.

Matthew Gilbert © 1999-2015 All Rights Reserved

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