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U2 Elevation Tour

Elevation Tour 3rd leg: North America

: Frank Erwin Center - Austin, Texas, USA

View all performances at Frank Erwin Center, Austin, Texas, USA.

U2 just what fans ordered

Anne Miller (published on 2001-11-08)

Source: San Antonio Express

By Anne Miller
San Antonio Express-News

Web Posted : 11/08/2001 12:00 AM

AUSTIN — During the past two decades, U2 may have lost its way occasionally, but never its faith in the saving grace and rebellious deliverance of rock 'n' roll.

Faith, grace and deliverance have seemed sorely lacking yet keenly necessary since mid-September. Lyrics such as those of "Sunday Bloody Sunday" — "I can't believe the news today/I can't close my eyes and make it go away" — carry additional weight.

And so Monday night's sold-out U2 show at the Frank Erwin Center became a moving two-hour catharsis for 18,000 fans.

The 1,200 lucky souls with general admission tickets worshiped eagerly at the musicians' altar, waving ecstatic hands and bowing toward lead singer Bono as he pranced about a heart-shaped catwalk, encouraging and reveling in the adulation during the opening songs from the band's latest album, "All That You Can't Leave Behind."

Among the band members' charms is that they do not take themselves too seriously as they ply their mega-star status. Midway through "Wild Honey," Bono forgot a few lyrics, depending on the crowd's help to get through.

"I belong in the home for befuddled rock stars," he said.

But it was the older hits that received the loudest response. Songs such as "Pride" and "New Year's Day," with their heroes and quests, resonated as they could not have during previous tours — Pop and Zooropa — that were more show than music.

Monday, a handful of lights and the catwalk were the only gimmicks. Drums, guitar, bass and vocals sufficed, at one point stripped down to Bono and Edge's acoustic guitar. The lack of electronica restored the songs' power.

Since Sept. 11, a list of the names of those who died in the attacks has scrolled across the stage for the final encores, with "New York," from the latest album, as the coda.

Pacing the catwalk, Bono borrowed a hat from a fan. He had previously turned his black jacket inside out to show the American flag sewn within — an Irishman in a cowboy hat and the red, white and blue singing about Manhattan in the middle of Texas.

It was a perfect fit.


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