Opening Act(s): Die Soehne Mannheims
Elevation, Beautiful Day, Until The End Of The World, Mysterious Ways, Kite, Gone, New York, Out Of Control, Sunday Bloody Sunday, Stuck In A Moment You Can’t Get Out Of, The Sweetest Thing, The Ground Beneath Her Feet, All I Want Is You, Where The Streets Have No Name, Pride (In The Name Of Love). Encore: Bullet The Blue Sky, With Or Without You, The Fly, One, Wake Up Dead Man, Walk On-Hallelujah.
By Caroline Von B
My first Elevation gig tonight, found myself in the heart, second row up, amazed with the proximity of the stage. This is how you’re supposed to see gigs - it definitely felt like a club up front.
Bono was sucking up to us, ‘you’re louder than the Americans,’ reading his German off a piece of paper as usual. ‘Ich bin Koelsch, wir sind alle Koelsch.’ Perhaps all the Dutch people up the front would care to disagree…
It took me a few minutes to get into the show, as did the band, it seemed. Edge was completely off (a full key?) for the first few bars of Until the End of the World but Bono just laughed it off.
Three songs in I went with the vibe and after Out of Control I just completely lost myself.
I can’t remember ever having seen the band up close like that, even all those times pressed up against the ministage on previous tours.
Having a permanent view of them all, being able to see the interaction - the winks, the smiles, the way Edge follows Bono with his eyes. Pure joy.
I took no notice of the set. What they played was irrelevant. I just floated with it and even found myself jumping up and down to ‘Pride’, a song I often tell myself and others I can no longer bare to listen to.
Sometimes it’s about the song and the moment. Sometimes it’s about the band and audience merging and coming out something larger, something indefinable.
‘Sell our songs, never our souls,’ Bono improvised during Out of Control, and ‘Daddy come home, daddy come home’ during With or Without You.
During Sunday Bloody Sunday, two people behind me threw one of their many signs on stage. It said ‘Please’ and Bono hung it around his neck, walking it down the catwalk to the tip of the heart, weaving a few lines of the song Please into the end of SBS.
I got goosebumps, shivers, chills, when the entire venue sang along to Ground Beneath Her Feet. Tears when Bono dedicated ‘Kite’ to Lola, Herman Brood’s daughter.
I distinctly remember a drop, a big drop of sweat that Bono shook from his hand as he went to strum his guitar for ‘One’. It seemed to fall down in slow motion.
For the last couple of songs Bono visibly basked in the wave of adulation directed at him, tripping on the audience’s energy.
‘You’re amazing,’ he said to the audience, and ‘we will never forget these two nights in Cologne.’
All images are © Matthias Muehlbradt/Elevation-tour.com