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U2 Elevation Tour

Elevation Tour 3rd leg: North America

: Molson Centre - Montreal, Quebec, Canada

View all performances at Molson Centre, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

U2 hasn't changed since their last visit but the world has

T'cha Dunlevy (published on 2001-10-13)

Source: Montreal Gazette

Montreal Gazette

Saturday, October 13, 2001

Many wondered what would have changed in U2's show since the Irish supergroup last performed in Montreal. U2 played to a sold-out crowd of 20,000 at the Molson Centre last night, less than five months after accomplishing the same feat two nights in a row May 27-28. The answer: U2 didn't change at all. The world did.

It hit me yesterday afternoon as I listened to the band's latest album Elevation, specifically the whimsically penned ode turned poignant, poetic tearjerker New York.

It hit me again when they performed the song near the end of their two-hour set last night. It followed a surprisingly sensitive and distinctly U2-flavoured cover of Marvin Gaye's poignant and poetic wake-up call What's Going On?, the sugary lyric "War is not the answer / Only love can conquer hate" not failing to strike a chord.

The world changed, and so the show changed. The enormous, heart-shaped stage took on new meaning, as did the Beatles's All You Need Is Love, played over the PA before the concert.

U2's trademark epic sound served as a homing device. Bono's innate showmanship instincts - his physical interactions with the crowd and his bandmembers, particularly his affectionate relationship with guitarist The Edge - came across more genuine than ever. And the band's support of Amnesty International, Greenpeace and the Drop the Debt campaign all gained an added sense of purpose.

"Thank you for coming," said Bono, finally, after With Or Without You. "We had a special time last time. We felt we wanted to stay with it. I'm really glad we did.

"You know, since September 11, the work we were doing, and that you were doing, doesn't feel so left of centre. Somehow it feels ... (long pause) it just feels really right.

"This crisis has its roots in poverty - in the poverty of the continent of Africa, where people feel the world has abandoned them. We don't want to let crazy fanatics live off the poverty of these people."

It was just another arena rock show, just another stop on a continuing tour for perhaps the biggest band in the world in the aftermath of a major world crisis.

And amid all the political talk and the real-life war that gets related to us in scattered, mediated, spin-laden tidbits, the very human act of reaching out by four guys who don't have to care so much was genuinely touching.


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