Opening Act(s): Garbage
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, Kite-My Sweet Lord, Angel Of Harlem, Please, Bad-Who’s Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses, 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, Peace On Earth-Walk On.
Bono dedicates ‘Please’ to Elvis Costello, who is in attendance tonight (Costello has covered ‘Please’ in the past). Bono wears an ‘I (heart) NY’ shirt for the entire second encore. Seats behind the stage are not sold for tonight’s show, and a cloth screen showing the male/female ‘Elevation’ symbol hangs behind the stage.
U2 Throws Emotional Lifeline To Fans
by Curtis Ross
TAMPA - Irish supergroup U2 left its emotionally distant 1990s personas behind Saturday night at the Ice Palace. The concert was as charged and heartfelt as anything the quartet has done since singer Bono’s white-flag waving days of the ’80s.
It was the ideal balm for souls battered by the events of Sept. 11 and, more recently, the passing of George Harrison.
Bono made reference to the latter with a verse of “My Sweet Lord” at the end of “Kite.”
The singer made more explicit reference to the terrorist attacks, telling the crowd that the United States now knew what the Irish had experienced for years at the hands of “religious fanatics who re-create God in their own image.”
During the encore, the names of those killed on the four hijacked flights, as well as the New York police and firefighters who perished attempting to rescue those trapped in the World Trade Center, scrolled on the video screens.
Those names gave added resonance to the tunes the band played, “One” and “Peace on Earth.” Two lines in particular stuck out:
“These are our sisters, these are our brothers” (from “One”) and “Their names are bigger than any big ideas” (from “Peace on Earth,” with Bono substituting “names” for the original lyric’s “lives”).
The staging was far less elaborate than the band’s past stadium tours. A heart-shaped catwalk surrounded the stage, which Bono and guitarist The Edge frequently used.
The band began the show with “Elevation” (the tune that provided the tour’s name). The house lights were still up as the band took the stage to launch into the propulsive number.
Bono announced that the concert was the band’s next to last on this tour (it concluded Sunday in Miami) and his voice was showing the strain of nearly a year’s worth of concerts.
His usually triumphant cry of “I will follow!” on the song of the same name was reduced to a humble declaration.
Still, Bono’s showmanship remained impeccable. He was spirited and still capable of the grand gesture, as when he tenderly embraced a two-sided flag (one side Irish, one side U.S.) handed to him by an audience member.
Bassist Adam Clayton and drummer Larry Mullen mostly stayed in the background, but provided the needed drive for the band’s most anthemlike material, such as “New Year’s Day” and “Where the Streets Have No Name.”
Opening act Garbage played minus drummer Butch Vig, sidelined by illness.
Tori Amos’ drummer Matt Chamberlain filled in ably, and the Shirley Manson-fronted outfit sounded especially fine on “Cherry Lips (Go Baby Go!)” and “Only Happy When It Rains.”
The Ice Palace did not provide an attendance figure but reported a sell-out crowd.
All images are © Jay Yankowy; © Jim Lawhead