Opening Act(s): Stereophonics
Elevation, Beautiful Day, Until The End Of The World, New Year’s Day, I Will Follow, Sunday Bloody Sunday, Stuck In A Moment You Can’t Get Out Of, Happy Birthday, Party Girl, Slow Dancing, Kite, Wild Honey, Please, Bad-40, Where The Streets Have No Name, I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For, Pride (In The Name Of Love). Encore: Bullet The Blue Sky, What’s Going On, New York, One, When Will I See You Again, Walk On.
Larry Mullen turns 40 today, and Bono leads the crowd in singing ‘Happy Birthday’ at tonight’s concert. After cake and champagne are brought on stage, Larry thanks the crowd from Bono’s mic while Bono briefly sits at Larry’s drums. A unique setlist includes ‘Slow Dancing’, which is played for the first time this tour, and only the 11th time ever. ‘Party Girl’ and ‘Wild Honey’ are played for the first time during this leg of the tour. Bruce Brody joins Bono and The Edge on ‘Please’ as he has twice before on this leg.
Superb U2 Gives Old Songs New Poignancy
by Roger Catlin, Courant Rock Critic
PROVIDENCE - When terror struck in September, the one indispensable disc for psychic consolation was U2’s “All That You Can’t Leave Behind.”
Within its remarkable songs were sorrow and mourning but also resolve, indomitable spirit and even a celebration of New York City.
So when the great Irish band returned to the United States for an extension of its “Elevation” tour, not much needed to change in its singular show to perfectly address our new sorrows.
In a superb show at the Providence Civic Center Wednesday, lyrics of U2’s thoughtful songs rang out with new meaning, of course. The pain in songs born of the constant state of attack took on new American meaning in “Sunday Bloody Sunday,” during which the charismatic lead singer Bono grabbed an American flag from the audience and bowed his head to it.
But few were prepared for the emotional flood of hearing “One” as the names of all of the victims of the Sept. 11 attacks rolled behind the band, an endless parade of names like those on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, that spilled over the backing screens and onto the walls and ceiling.
The names ran longer than the all-purpose elegy, with its lyric, “We’re one, but we’re not the same. We get to carry each other.” So Bono, alone with his guitar, mournfully sang a stark version of the Three Degrees’ soul oldie, “When Will I See You Again?” before blasting into “Walk On,” meant as a song of uplift and resolve to close the show.
Because of the events, “New York” was moved to a more prominent point in the encores; “Bullet the Blue Skies” lost its anti-gun-control message. Because U2 has such a distinguished catalog, the musicians were able to bring new resonance to old songs, such as one “we wrote a few years ago that could have been written a couple of months ago.”
“Please” had lines like “your holy war,” but also a segment that begins, “September: streets capsizing, spilling over, down the drain, shards of glass splinters like rain, but you could only feel your own pain,” and “October: talking getting nowhere.”
It came in an acoustic segment with Bono and guitarist the Edge in which they also played “Wild Honey.”
There was also cause for celebration in the show. It was drummer Larry Mullen Jr.’s birthday; he’s the last of the four to turn 40. He got a cake and a serenade. Bono sang “Party Girl,” and Mullen traded places with Bono, as if the drummer were going to sing. “The good news is that Bono can’t play the drums,” Mullen said before returning to his set.
“We’re so proud, so humble to be on tour in the United States at this point in time,” Bono said before “One.”
And America is lucky to have them back.
All images are © Jim Lawhead; © Paola Palumbi