U2 Elevation Tour
Elevation Tour 3rd leg: North America
: Copps Coliseum - Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
LIVE: U2Paul Gangadeen (published on 2001-10-15)
October 13, 2001
Reviewed by: Paul Gangadeen
The Elevation Tour 2001 has been sold-out at every stop making it THE event not to miss. By now, most fans already know the details surrounding the show but that aside, being present at this show had a deeper meaning: September 11, 2001.
U2 are famous for being a very politically and socially conscious band since their inception growing up amidst the religious conflicts and terrorism in their Irish homeland. Through faith and perseverance, they've realized their dreams of rock 'n' roll stardom and tonight they came to console, entertain and comment in these times of confusion and sorrow.
The pre-show music was an early indication of the messages to follow. The Beatles ode to world peace, "All You Need Is Love," stirred the audience to cheers and choruses before the band took to the stage. Bono knelt at the altar of his microphone stand, made a sign of the cross and launched into the sermon of "Elevation." Welcome to the church of rock 'n' roll. Every lyric stung with the reality of what was upon us — whether it was "Beautiful Day," "Until The End Of The World" or how all was quiet on "New Year's Day." The echoing words "How long must we sing this song?" left Bono standing on stage draped in an American flag before a segue into "Stuck In A Moment You Can't Get Out Of." The entire show, however, was not all sombre and doom-laden.
"Angel Of Harlem" led to a light-hearted moment when Bono pulled an enthusiastic fan from the crowd to half play and sing on Curtis Mayfield's "People Get Ready." Though the fan lacked star talent, Bono encouraged him by showing him the chords. "You can do it, I believe in you, we can get through 'cause we have faith!"
A sing-along during "Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For" prompted the observation that "this feels like church to me" from our singer in the pulpit.
The most powerful moments were the encores. "Bullet The Blue Sky" shrouded the stage in a dim blue light as an Arabic voice sang quietly before an eruption of red, white and blue light and an onslaught of sound. Bono spun around like a siren as he sang "outside is America" with a hand-held spotlight aimed at his head. Marvin Gaye's "What's Going On?" was a poignant lead-in to the darkness and distortion of "New York."
"Turn off those red laser things! [laser pointers] We don't like them. They remind us of something nasty, we're from Dublin, Ireland, alright?" A brief uncomfortable moment led to the chord progression of "One." Before the words came, a big blue screen appeared listing and paying tribute to each victim aboard the four fated air flights on Sept. 11, creating a very emotional moment. The first verse of an acoustic version of "Peace On Earth" led into "Walk On" and now the time had come to say goodbye.
"We're happy to see you, we hope to see you soon, keep yourself safe." As Bono took his leather jacket off, he turned it inside out and hung it on the mic stand to reveal an American flag. The words, "leave it behind" illuminated the walls of the coliseum after two hours of what could possibly have been the best U2 performance to happen in this area, especially given the times we're in. The lines from the exit music of "Grace" said it best: Grace makes beauty out of ugly things. Amen.
Often plagiarised, never matched.