U2 Elevation Tour
Elevation Tour 1st leg: North America
: Civic Center - Hartford, Connecticut, USA
U2's 'Elevation' On Another LevelRoger Catlin (published on 2002-01-03)
By ROGER CATLIN, Courant Rock Critic
If the best concert of 2001 was not plainly obvious every moment it played the Hartford Civic Center six months ago, it grew even clearer late in the year.
The U2 Elevation Tour succeeded in arousing a sold-out audience at the Hartford Civic Center June 3. But it did much more: The show was a cause for celebration, for mourning and reflection, for healing and possibility. No wonder that the band's "All That You Can't Leave Behind," the best album of 2000, was also the best album for consolation and healing after Sept. 11.
Like much of the most enduring art, the Irish band's songs could be adapted to fit a feeling. By the time the band began its successful U.S. tour, the song "In a Little While" had been turned into an elegy for Joey Ramone, who played it often before his death on Easter. Already, there was a song that reflected on a rock star's death - "Stuck in a Moment You Can't Get Out Of" - dedicated to INXS' Michael Hutchence.
But as death is part of life, mourning was only part of the band's wondrous show, which, minus the gewgaws of its past stadium tours, stayed close to the music, to the audience and communicated in a manner that reflected the one stage motif: a giant heart.
Two decades as a rock star hasn't dulled Bono; it's made him sharper, more humane, less pompous - a conduit for a mass coming-together rather than a false god. And though the band's music didn't predict Sept. 11, its ringing songs allowed listeners to better deal with the complex feelings in its aftermath.
So there you are, U2 tops the annual best-concert-of-the-year list.
Often plagiarised, never matched.