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22 members have voted

  1. 1. Which show would you like to watch ?

    • U2 Live at Red Rocks
      1
    • ZOO TV Live from Sydney
      4
    • Elevation 2001 - Live from Boston
      1
    • U2 Go Home - Live from Slane Castle
      8
    • Vertigo Live from Chicago
      0
    • Popmart live from Mexico City
      6
    • U2360 at the Rose Bowl
      1
    • U2 iNNOCENCE + eXPERIENCE Live in Paris
      1

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  • Poll closed on 04/17/2020 at 06:00 PM

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Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, dmway said:

This is a good quote to begin recollections about this tour.

 

From the start, this tour was different. How do you outdo the spectacles of ZooTV and PopMart, the two tours before this one? You can't, so you don't make that mistake - you do something else. You go back to arenas for the first time in 9 years, you strip back the sound closer to its fundamentals, you even pare back the visuals a little bit (not completely, though - you don't unlearn the lessons you picked up over the past decade either). So, the Elevation tour ultimately uses a "less is more" philosophy. You revisit your roots to a degree too, but it's U2 - so, you break new ground as well.

This was the first tour to have all GA on the floor, something that hasn't changed since. They had many individual GA shows on previous tours, but never a full-tour floor GA. This is new. They innovate the b-stage idea to make it even better - they create one they can fully walk around (the next two tours keep that idea too). Bono's concert hyperactivity doesn't have to be linear now; he can run laps. Regular clothes too (well, for the most part - it's still rock and roll) - no uniforms/costumes this time around; simply U2 in the raw for your viewing and listening pleasure.

As I said in the pre-DVD-showing post, this tour had sharply different halves too - the pre-9/11 shows and post 9/11 shows. The first were celebrations of the newly-christened arena U2 promoting ATYCLB; the second half was a music-driven effort for psychological healing for the USA and the planet after the unspeakable occurred. In a way, I'm glad that both official tour DVDs are from the first half - those are the more ebullient and joyful shows.

Well, the performances on the DVD have been very well chronicled by many above, so there's no real need to continue there. I have a few memories of the shows I saw that seem noteworthy, so I'll share some of those here.

 

June 12, 2001 - Philadelphia, PA

Wonderful opening set from PJ Harvey (U2 always got great opening acts then; PJ's new album at the time was excellent too). As I wrote in an earlier post, many people wanted to be inside the heart on the floor, but the point of the heart on the outside was really the best spot - lots of good sights from there. One person was jealous of my spot too. Unlike me and many all around me, he didn't come nearly early enough to the show to earn such a vantage point; however, he thought he was entitled to have it just because he felt like having it, despite arriving much, much later. I saw him in my peripheral vision worming his way ever closer from the edge of the crowd. Then, he employed the ever-cringeworthy "oh-please-let-me-go-in-front-of-you-so-I-can-be-with-my-friends" ploy. Sorry, random stranger...the people all around me and I have been together since the doors opened and for a long time before the doors opened. We have talked for many hours - heck, we're basically quasi-family now. The very few people in front of me aren't expecting late-arriving friends - they would have mentioned it. You're not telling the truth. Therefore, you're not coming in front of me, and that's that. He kept trying to come past me, but we all were so tightly packed together, there  was no space. He then thought he would be "clever" and create a path with a diversion. He backed up a little bit and "accidentally" spilled his beer on my back while emitting an overly exaggerated "Oops!". I learned a thing in this instant: this fellow is really dumb. How would potentially upsetting someone make him more likely to let you by? It wouldn't, and it didn't. Also, the day was very hot and humid. The arena had air conditioning, but, on such a day, even good AC can't keep a GA pit cool for very long. In short, the beer felt great on my already sweat-drenched back. I gave him the worst thing that someone looking for a fight can get: compassion and understanding. I shouted, "It's ok! Don't worry about it!" He was flummoxed. He didn't know verbal ju-jitsu, so he retreated to other areas, one $10 beer lighter and still further back.

The moral of the story: if you want to be close in GA, do what you need to do to be close in GA, just like everyone there else does. It's not rocket science.

Another random memory: The Sixers (Philly's basketball team) were playing the LA Lakers in the NBA Finals at the time. We had just lost Game 3 at home two days before, so the Lakers were up 2-1 in the best-of-7 series (we won the first game in LA, then the Lakers evened up the series in the second). Bono brought up the finals from the stage, saying repeatedly "Sixers in 7" - he said this probably more in the way of a pun (the Sixers' full nickname is the "76ers") than out of any psychic ability - the Lakers eventually won the series in 5 games (it's ok - they were the better team; they were in the middle of winning 3 consecutive NBA titles at the time). Still, I like it when Bono (and any act) pays attention to what's going on locally - it's a classy touch, and we appreciated it.

How about something about the show too? During "The Fly", Bono let his inner smart-alec while holding himself in place on the light screen at the end. After he does his laps around the heart just before the end of the song, he runs to the screen and adopts a fixed posture while leaning against it. Due to the flashing of the lights, he appears to become a two-dimensional image on it while the real 3D Bono is nowhere to be found. It looks like magic (and very convincingly too - I kept trying to see the moment where he disappears in future shows and I never could)! However, he played with our heads a little more  - as he was vanishing, he jokingly rubbed his hand against the screen, leaving a smeared trail behind. It was his "ha-ha-I-disappeared-and-you-can't-figure-out-how-it-happened" signal to the crowd. Or, Bono knows real magic; I'm still not sure. 🤷‍♂️

Of course, The Edge's altering how he played his guitar on this song for this tour as well made the song extra potent. Instead of being the clever prick-of-the-conscience song it normally is, this version is almost brutal, but very wonderfully so. No little phrases at a million miles an hour here; the band is just going to blow you away this time. Even the visuals are more powerful, despite being more minimalistic. I remember walls of sound just reverberating palpably from the stage during it. This was one of the few occasions where one can use the word "awesome" without irony. It was awesome.

 

October 25, 2001 - MSG, NYC

No Doubt opened tonight - I didn't expect them to be the opening band, but they did a good job. Strangely, I think these appearances are part of a "farewell tour" for them, which make everything a bit more surreal during a time and place that feels nothing but surreal (it's only 6 weeks after that fateful day, and nerves are still very raw).

The band were in top form in the middle of their 3 shows at the Garden. Setlist here:

https://www.u2.com/tour/date/id/4306

Both song selection and snippets are fitting for the times. As I said earlier, one of the most touching moments of the show was when the band members invited the police, firefighters, and other first responders on to the stage after the show to be acknowledged by the crowd. Very moving moment.

One performance that really stuck with me was the song "New York" itself. It was great every time it was performed on this tour and tonight was no different. I always loved how, on the original studio version, The Edge created a perfect sound for his guitar - it sounds the way a loud guitar would sound if its playing were resonating and echoing down the concrete canyons of Manhattan. The tone just sonically creates that visual image. An amazing piece of six-string alchemy.

I also loved how it was performed live. The large pieces of fabric hanging down from above and then the lights shining on the band members themselves from below made them look like shadow skyscrapers projected onto the fabric. A stunning image made relatively simply. Along with the guitar effect, and the rhythm section thundering loudly with it, it was truly awe-inspiring.

 

Yet another successful reinvention for the band. A true high point in a series of high points.

 

Love your after thoughts on those shows man. Thanks for sharing with us! 

Edited by Madfl3a
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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, Madfl3a said:

Love your after thoughts on those shows man. Thanks for sharing with us! 

Oh, thank you very much for saying so too!

There are a few reasons I have been posting these longer reminiscences on these tours. First, they are quasi-apologies for not being able to participate in the live threads for the DVDs in the normal way. For the foreseeable future, mid-to-late afternoons on weekends are going to be very tricky for me to be here. So, I've been making pre-show/post-show posts to make up for it.

Second, seeing all of the new and younger subscribers post originally on the ZooTV live stream thread, it made me think that there would be some who would appreciate a first-hand perspective of all these tours. Frankly, I'd like to see more people share their memories of their shows from the various tours, since we are watching them one by one; your thread here is an ideal place for such posts. Nothing brings back all the memories from a particular tour more than seeing a show from that tour.

Third, I get enjoyment reliving the tours myself because I remember details that weren't in the front of my mind until we watch the DVDs again. Also, let's face it - we all have more free time on our hands right now; thus, I have enough time to attempt to describe the experience of these shows, hopefully well enough so that those who saw them and those who didn't can more easily visualize/relive the events.

There will be tours where all I will be able to discuss is the DVD itself - e.g., I didn't see the "War" tour or the i&e tour in person for different reasons. However, especially for the former, I can discuss how much that concert and tour made an impact on music fans in the early/mid-80s - the UABRS show probably should have been charged rent by MTV for how often it was shown on the channel at the time. Its constant presence there made a massive impact on the music-consuming youth then.

Well, thanks again for your kind words. I'm enjoying writing these too.

 

Edited by dmway
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18 hours ago, dmway said:

I have enough time to attempt to describe the experience of these shows, hopefully well enough so that those who saw them and those who didn't can more easily visualize/relive the events.

 

Next show is a very special one for me. I may share a number of thoughts about it beforehand, trying to provide some interesting context for it.... hopefully 😜

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6 hours ago, Madfl3a said:

Next show is a very special one for me. I may share a number of thoughts about it beforehand, trying to provide some interesting context for it.... hopefully 😜

I, and the rest of us, are looking forward to that!

If I have divined what the next show is from your indirect hint correctly, you would have insight that many of us would not. (However, since I can't be certain that I am guessing correctly, I/we will have to wait for your revelation in a day or two.)

I hope others do the same too. We are all U2 fans here - it would be nice to read more perspectives. Thank you in advance for yours.

 

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1 hour ago, dmway said:

If I have divined what the next show is from your indirect hint correctly, you would have insight that many of us would not. (However, since I can't be certain that I am guessing correctly, I/we will have to wait for your revelation in a day or two.)

 

I think you know exactly which one it is 😜 sorry for the spoilers! 

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On 4/27/2020 at 4:51 PM, Madfl3a said:

I think you know exactly which one it is 😜 sorry for the spoilers! 

Don’t worry about it! 😄

Before you make this week’s post, I have to thank you again for picking the Boston DVD last week. As I said when you picked it, whenever I am in the mood to watch an Elevation tour show, I almost always watch the Slane show (which, of course, is also great).

However, I forgot how good these pre-9/11 Elevation tour shows were - to be honest, it’s probably 9/11 that put them in the back of my mind. I worked in the town that had the most deaths in the US outside the 5 boroughs of NYC itself. It left a mark. I remember Sept-Dec. 2001 more than August and before of that year.

So, thanks again for reminding me that 2001 had good times to recall too. 👍

 

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There's a time to cry 

There's a time to pray

There's a time to shout.... 

And there's a time to hold onto that light that tomorrow will be better 💡

Join us Sat 2nd at 9PM (UK) for a trip down memory lane back to iNNOCENCE !

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Posted (edited)

As I said th other day, there's a few thoughts I'd like to share beforehand about that particular show. It's something I wrote a while back when the DVD came out. That live in Paris is for sure the most special one for me. Because I was there. Because I was supposed to be there. To that show that was postponed. 

It's a long read and i'm very sorry in advance, but I hope it can help you see that DVD as I see it... and understand how so very special it is.

It wasn't an easy one to write, still not an easy one to share.. but there you go. 

----------

The day has finally come! Worldwide celebration for the U2 fans and loads of happy dances spreading all across the globe, as the DVD U2 Live In Paris is released. We’ve been waiting for it for quite some time now, and even though we got a fix with the HBO edition, I think we’re more than happy to finally get the final cut into our houses. We will be able to relive those moments til the freakin disc breaks and enjoy all the sweet memories attached to the #U2ieTour.

Well, as far as I’m concerned bitter sweet memories let’s say. To be completely honest with you - even if it was probably one of the best show I ever went to - I wish it had never happened. I wish things had gone as planned. I wish that DVD would say “Live in Paris 15th of November”. Reality catches up unfortunately, and I am still really glad to get that DVD today, because it’s not just any DVD. For starters, it’s a U2 DVD so of course I’m thrilled! – but it’s way more than that… I have been willing to write an article about what happened in Paris for a while now. And yet, the words wouldn’t come out. Writing about those 2 last shows in Paris also meant writing about what led to them. I guess I was not ready, and I doubt I will ever be – but has Bono put it “There’s a time to cry. There’s a time to pray. There’s a time to shout” and the time has come to write and open up about it.

I don’t mean to get depressing and it might get a bit intense – but as a good friend pointed out to me, it was intense. I always let my emotions as a fan take over my writing, and it’s important to me to recall how important that show was – for all of us. I won’t mind if you don’t read it. I just need to write about it – As a U2 fan, as a music lover and as a French person. I hope a little insight will allow you to see through my eyes why those shows in Paris really meant so much for many of us.


November 13th, early afternoon. What a beautiful day that was. We were strolling around Parisian landmarks with my friend Dawn, who had come all the way from California to attend the U2 gigs in Paris. Some sense of bliss had taken over our minds. We had been waiting for that moment for so long. We were together in Paris, the sun was shining and we had great numbers in the GA line. We kept talking about how blessed we were at that very moment, and how amazing life could be – all because of U2. Obviously, we had no idea that the whole dream was soon to turn into the worst of nightmares…

And the night came. Probably one of the worst nights of my life when I think about it. Our fellow friends of U2 Achtung had thrown a U2 fan party and we were all there having fun and getting ready for the wondrous night to come with the guys the next day. I went out for a smoke and received that first message from a friend in the US, just a few words “Be careful, there’s some bombing in Paris” – what the hell? Dammit Paris, you s*** tonight.

I had just lit up my cigarette when one of the barmen grabbed my arm yelling like a mad man “Everybody inside! There’s some shooting a few streets away”. My only reaction was “Oh god’s sake, I just lighted this up! Lemme have my smoke eh?” – yeap. That’s the thing, you can’t realize what’s happening because it’s so unreal. You were partying a few seconds ago, and your brain can’t process anything. But soon, you start hearing the sirens blaring, people running and you get kicked out on the streets. Then it strikes you. You have to get the f*** out of this place as fast as you can. Run for your life, literally.

You still have no idea what’s actually going on but the increasing messages from your friend and family let you know that it’s not good at all. You try to go on the opposite direction of the police cars and rescue teams… but soon enough, there’s no opposite direction anymore. You’re just stranded in the middle of the mess. No metro, no taxis, no nothing… All you have to do is walk, really fast. Walk away anywhere else but here.

At this point, we had no idea what was going on. We only had heard about the first shootings and thought it was an isolated event – we realized the next day that we were actually walking right into the heart of the attacks. And we walked. On and on. Reading the same messages over and over again, ”I hope you’re ok. Get to safety.” It took us 4 hours to get back to safety. But we were far from ok – we had just found out about the Bataclan. And then, the longest hours started. Waiting for news from our U2 friends, other friends, family… basically everyone I knew that was in Paris – until I passed out from exhaustion.

And the dream faded away…

I woke up the next morning sobbing like a baby. I’m not even sure I stopped crying while I was sleeping. So many mixed feelings from glad to be alive, to the sadness of it all. I felt like an empty shell, staring at the wall, trying to process what had happened and was still happening. We had to check out of our hotel and ended up on the streets again. Empty dead streets. I often go to Paris since part of my family lives there and I had never seen the city so empty. As if time had stopped. Fear had taken over and paralyzed every single thing around. We stopped 3 times for a coffee, and we were sent away 3 times because of bomb scares. We met a few U2 friends around the arena, same look on our faces, hardly able to talk. No words. Just waiting for a confirmation that the shows were cancelled so we could get away from the center of Paris as quickly as possible. I just wanted to go home, I just wanted to hug my baby girl and tell her I loved her. F*** all this. It felt like I’d never smile again. Nothing good could ever happen after that.

That’s what those terrorists did. They didn’t just take lives that night. They took families and unfinished stories. They took our hopes, our joy, our dreams away. They took everything that was good in the world. And the “what if” started. What if we had taken the wrong turn on that street? What if we had gone to that restaurant a day later than we did? What if it had happened at the U2 show? What if, what if… The darkness taking over. No strength to fight back. Too hurt to get back on my feet. And yet, something was to happen that night. Something that helped me beyond words.

As always U2 rescued me and gave me that beacon of light I desperately needed. When I saw our four guys showing up at the Bataclan, standing there unafraid, a spark lighted up in me. I had to stand up too. I had to fight back. I’m French for god sake. We don’t go down that easily. The fact that the guys showed up there made me realize how lucky I was to be alive and that there was no way I would live in fear. They gave me a hand and raised me back on my feet. Once more, this band turned on the light when all I could see was darkness. A light holding a promise – they would be back.

And soon enough, the announcement came. They were coming back to Paris and those stolen moments were to be given back to the fans. It all happened really fast, maybe too fast in my opinion back then. We had just barely got out of that nightmare and the guys were calling us back to it. A choice had to be made, but it never occurred to me not to go back to Paris. People called me insane, stupid and probably delusional for not realizing what had happened. But I actually did, and very well thank you.

To be honest, I didn’t want to go back; I truly didn’t want to be back in Paris – but I knew I needed to. I knew that attending those shows no matter how afraid I was, would be the only way to achieve some sort of closure. That it was the only way to get out of the funk, be “stronger than fear” and let go of the nightmare. And I was right. I won’t say it was easy, I won’t say I wasn’t looking over my shoulder every time I heard something weird and I won’t say that the mood in the GA line was the same as usual. We knew we were up for some very special shows, and partly because we were all in some sort of special place ourselves. We weren’t sure we were safe or everything would go well. And for every U2 fan back in that arena that night, it was truly a leap of faith.

And the miracle occurred. I have no words to describe the emotions I felt during those two shows in December, and how much they meant to me. I remember looking up at the arena during Every Breaking wave and seeing all those lights around. Instant crying. I remember the beauty of those piano keys and the purity of Bono’s voice – and I remember us all. We were all there, unafraid, singing at unison and that sense of unity was the most powerful thing I had ever felt during a gig. The show went on, and Bono gave us his speech about choosing love over fear while Streets was chiming in. Right back to ugly crying because that was it. That very moment was what I had come for.

This explosion of joy, that roar from the crowd and the power unleashed by Edge’s guitar was a true electric shock sending me right back to life. There we were standing up for everything that is good in human beings. Love, hope, art, creativity, music, friendship… Dreaming louder than all the evils we had gone through a few weeks earlier. That was our freakin victory. That was our freakin answer. A celebration of love and life. The sadness was still present but the fear was gone. Completely gone. And when the band started playing COBL and the emotions took over with the names of all of those who had lost their lives that night – I truly understood that Paris was the city of lights that night. And we were those lights.

It was our duty to be stronger than all this and use our voices to drown out the haters. We had to celebrate life in honor of all those people gone too soon. We had to live every second at its fullest to do them justice. And that’s probably one of the main reasons why those shows felt so intense for everyone I guess. It wasn’t just about music, it was about taking a stand against hate. It was about being the best of what humanity can be. Choosing love over fear. Letting hope and dreams guide us toward the light. Never surrender, and keep fighting for what is good in this world. If you want to make the world a better place to live in, then do it. Make a choice. Take a stand. We’re the only ones that can remind ourselves that life can be good and that positive attitude can take over any evil.

So that U2 DVD will certainly not be only a DVD to me. Unforgettable memories that I will hold dear for the rest of my life. A reminder of how proud and honored I am to have been there, more than music and memories – it’s a proof I overcame my fears. All thanks to U2 (and a little bit me I guess).

We all lost something on the night of the attacks. Someone, something, ourselves… and yet, I had never been more glad to be a U2 fan than then. Because no matter what I lost that night, some of it has been returned to me during those two shows. They gave me the strength to fight back and they helped me dare dream again. And more than anything else, they reminded me that as long as you chose light, you chose love – and that hope held within can help you win every battle you go through, and defeat all evils. Choose love over fear. Always.

It’s now definitely the right moment to let go of all this, because after months of waiting – it’s show time.


I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all the U2 fans around the world that supported us while we were in Paris. I received hundreds of messages that night and the days afterwards and I’ll never be able to thank you enough for those. All your kind words helped way more than you think. All of you were part of the beacon of light that helped me get out of the storm unharmed.

 

Edited by Madfl3a
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Gosh, I didn’t know that happened too you Jo, no wonder this show means so much to you.

I too had friends (non U2 friends)  that just happened to be in Paris  that terrible night,  they cannot speak highly enough of the French people who came to their aid and made sure they were all safe & sound in such an awful situation.

 

I’m not surprised that the U2 fan family looked after you too; I’ve always said U2 fans are the best.

 

And I truly mean it.

 

As our good Irish friends sing “(Oh love) love is bigger than anything” 

 

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3 hours ago, xrayjets said:

As our good Irish friends sing “(Oh love) love is bigger than anything” 

 

💜💜💜

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