Opening Act(s): PJ Harvey
Elevation, Beautiful Day, Until The End Of The World, New Year’s Day, Stuck In A Moment You Can’t Get Out Of, Gone, Even Better Than The Real Thing, New York, I Will Follow, Sunday Bloody Sunday, The Sweetest Thing, In A Little While, The Ground Beneath Her Feet, All I Want Is You, Where The Streets Have No Name, Mysterious Ways, The Fly. Encore(s): Bullet The Blue Sky, With Or Without You, Pride (In The Name Of Love), One, Walk On.
Twice The Elevation
By Mike Bell
Another night, another Beautiful Day.
Yes, it was deja vu all over again inside the Saddledome last evening as monstrous Irish rock act U2 took to the stage for the second of two sold-out Calgary shows, and the ninth of its current Elevation tour.
For those in attendance who hadn’t caught Monday night’s event — and the band’s first performance ever inside the city’s limits was an event in every sense of the word — it was an opportunity to see the world’s biggest rock band in a slimmed-down performance that hearkened back to the glory days of The Joshua Tree.
For those lucky enough to be seeing the band for the second time in two nights, it was an opportunity to have reaffirmed the fact that at this point in their career, with nothing left to prove to themselves or their fans, U2 are at the top of their game.
The band turned in yet another real rock show, as equally energetic and entertaining as the previous night’s.
(That’s surprising, really, because if you believe every one of the umpteen reported U2 sightings, the band members spent all of yesterday drinking and eating and shopping at local establishments — not to mention partying at a half-dozen different nightclubs on opposite ends of the city after the Monday show.)
Musically and in the basic structure of the show, Bono, The Edge, Larry Mullen and Adam Clayton pretty much stuck to the same script as the night before, waltzing onto the modest heart-surrounded stage to a recorded version of All That You Can’t Leave Behind’s Elevation, before launching into it live with the houselights on full.
From there, it was again on to Beautiful Day, Until The End Of The World, Discotheque and Staring At The Sun. But if the set list seemed predictable, the performance itself was far from it. There were some wonderful memorable moments of honesty that made last night’s show unique. Bono taking a white flag from the crowd during Until The End of the World and carrying it Christ cross-like on his back.
The Edge and Bono playing with one another like two friends who know each other so well.
And the black leather-clad frontman — who was somewhat more talkative than the previous night — pulling a young girl from the audience and slow-dancing with her during New Year’s Day.
They may have been small differences, but they made all the difference in the world.
All images are © Calgary Sun; © Otto Kitsinger