U2 acted like a band with something to prove.
From Bono's judo kick as drummer Larry Mullen crashed into the opening of "Elevation" to the rousing finale of "Walk On," the four-man rock band stayed close to basics Thursday in the first of two sold-out shows at the Compaq Center in San Jose (formerly the San Jose Arena).
After the technological overkill of the 1997 PopMart tour, which surpassed even the extravagant staging and multimedia manipulation of the band's previous football-stadium juggernaut, "Zoo TV," there was some question whether U2 could stand in front of an audience and just play.
The answer is yes. From the opening chord, it was a towering performance by a monumental band -- emotional, painfully earnest and authentically inspirational. -- Joel Selvin