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U2 Elevation Tour

Elevation Tour 3rd leg: North America

: Joyce Center - South Bend, Indiana, USA

View all performances at Joyce Center, South Bend, Indiana, USA.

For U2 fans, it's message and music

Laureen Fagan (published on 2001-10-11)

Source: South Bend Tribune

Tribune Staff Writer


Outside the Joyce Center at University of Notre Dame, "New Year's Day" and "Sunday, Bloody Sunday" blared from loudspeakers Wednesday night as excited fans of Irish rock group U2 waited to see the band kick off its "Elevation" tour.

The band arrived by limousine at about 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, but some diehard fans preceded them by hours.

Notre Dame senior Carrie Nixon, 23, a Colorado native, had been waiting outside the gates since 2:30 a.m., bringing along tarps to protect herself and her friends from the intermittent rain.

"We are so ready!" said Nixon's friend, Cecily Shelton, a 22-year-old who flew in from Colorado to see the show with Nixon. "It's great just being here."

Shelton and Nixon have seen U2 before, but never like this, they said.

"It's great just being here, being with friends," Shelton said. "And they're my favorite group because they have meaningful lyrics, and they mean what they say. It's really heartfelt."

But if the pair thought they were U2's biggest fans, then Notre Dame senior John Heieck, 21, was there to prove them wrong.

And he was pretty exuberant about it.

"I'm here because I'm the biggest U2 fan on the face of the earth," said Heieck, who is from Nebraska. "I met Bono and The Edge last night after rehearsal. I got The Edge's autograph and I'm in a band back home, so I asked him if he'd listen to my CD, and he said he would."

Heieck was also happy about having his picture taken with Bono.

But even those who didn't share celebrity moments like his were looking forward to a great show. And for some, it was a family reunion of sorts.

Kitty Patel, 33, came from Springfield, Ill., to see her fifth U2 concert.

Her sister-in-law, Susan Patel, 31, came from Louisville, Ky., and they met in South Bend with other family members.

"It's our family excursion," Susan Patel said. "We'll meet again in Las Vegas next month." She said U2 cares about social justice, humanitarian causes, peace and equality -- and that's what her family appreciates most about them. The Patels also support Greenpeace, Amnesty International and other agencies the band promotes.

"It's the music, but it's really what they stand for," she added.

Further back in line, Kristina Coley and Sarah Volkoun, both 21, came from Bowling Green State University to see the show. For Volkoun, it was her first time -- and she couldn't pick a favorite song because she loves them all.

"It's just going to be the most amazing show of my life," she said.

With so many young fans in U2 attire, it might have been easy to forget that the band's been around for two decades. Jason Craft, an 18-year-old from LaPorte, sat on the sidewalk where he'd slept earlier and explained that U2's always been a part of his life.

"My dad was listening to them when they came out, and I grew up on the stuff," he said. "They rock. And they deliver a good message, too."

It's a message that Ann Van Tubbergen, a 46-year-old from Elkhart, has also loved from the band's beginnings.

"It'll be well worth the money," said Van Tubbergen, who had seen U2 only once before, in Chicago.

As some fans lined up two and three deep to buy T-shirts, keychains and other merchandise at the U2 tent near Juniper Road, others -- such as South Bend's Dan Yeakey, 22, and his 24-year-old wife, Amy -- milled about in a misty rain, hoping against hope for tickets. But even those who were disappointed seemed to be having fun, and there were no reports of any problems as the evening got closer to showtime.

"There's no problems here at all," said Cpl. Derek Dieter of the South Bend Police Department. "We are on high alert for any problems that may arise, but we have a normal complement of police officers."


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