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by RodL

Elevation May24-25 Toronto Ont.

This is a brief summary on the two consecutive shows U2 played in Toronto May 24/25. With emphasis on the May 24th show.

Flew in from Winnpeg in Thursday morning May 24th

1. Pre-Show (24th)
The Air Canada Center was buzzing with activity the day we arrived to pick up our tickets for both shows. We left the ACC around 3:40 and proceeded to check out the GA lineup on the east side of the Arena. I must have seen well over a dozen people sporting "ZooTV" shades. As we approached the southend of the building we noticed 8-10 people mostly girls under the age of 20 waiting, holding a pre-made sign with cameras in hand. They were waiting for the band to arrive for their soundcheck. Sure enouph at 4 sharp two Toronto police motorcycles escorted a pair of executive dark blue sedans with a van following. As they made their way into the building the first car pulled up in front of the now frenzied crowd. Bono gestured the crowd from the back seat saying " Sorry we cann't stay we're running late for rehearsals" and moved on, following behind was another car with Larry waving from the back seat but not stopping. The girls were in hysterics, it was pretty amusing.

2. Opening act (7:25-8:35)
We were "lucky" to be sitting behing the stand row 21. All though I should add that the seats were not as bad as I expected coming from Winnipeg row 21 in our Arena usually requires a shirpa and an oxygen tank.

PJ Harvey put on a strong set, her vocals were impressive as was her band. Only down side was the painfully unresponsive crowd.

3 Intermission (ca. 8:35-9:10)
Preshow music was great , Jackie wilson, Stevie Wonder, Curtis Mayfield and some instrumental jazz that sounded like early 70's Miles Davis. I noticed that the set list was taped to the floor (where bono would take the stage) as well as what turned out to be lyrics to Dylans "forever young" on the center monitor. The setlist was also taped near Larry's well worn drum kit, opposite to his trash can and kleenex box. I also notice numerous water and styrofoam cups near the front of the stage and on the drum platform.

4. Show time (ca. 9:10-11:15)
The band hits the stage: Bono always the show man makes is enterance with the rousing elevation mix playing in the background. Many including the media have written about how the show commences, lights on, casual entrance ect, and how most people could almost miss the first 15 seconds of the show because the this. Well let me say, that night at the ACC, the intensity of the crowd that was building so high it nearly blew the roof of the arena when the Edge (first on) made his appearance. Unless you we blind, deaf and dumb there was no way in the world that you could have missed this.

Elevation-Light turn off after the "Love wont you take me from these blues" bit with Bono saying "Happy Birthday Bob Dylan. Once the stage lights on Bono ventures out to the left hand side of the " heart" walk for the first time were he belts out a vocal-chord renching verse from Dylan 65's Mr. Tambourine Man (sounded great!)

The rest of the show has been well documented by others (Including the numerous mentions of his baby boy): all I can add is that regardless of Bono's occational vocal problems the performance was electrifying. In between songs I noticed that Bono would be take what appeared to be a combination of warm and cold beverages in order to sooth his throat. At one point he gargled his drink and jokingly spit it up into the air near Larry.

set highlights include:
Till the end of the world
sunday bloody sunday
in a little while
where the streets have no name
Bullet the blue sky
Forever young was perfect.

Somewhere during the set (I think it was during Mysterious ways) I remember Bono adlibing a line from George Harrison's My Sweet Lord (I believe the line was " I really want to know....")

Personally I would give the first night 8/10

May 25th

Showtime (ca. 9-11)
slightly shorter show but arguably one of their best. Bono voice was perfect especially during Unchained Melody. The band was tight. We were sitting facing the stage at floor level, far superior seats compared to the behind the stage local. From this vantage point I did notice something real odd regarding the "band-cams". Seems like the camera personal shooting Bono and Adam were either tired, bored or drunk on both nights since the cameras consistantly kept slowly drifting down to film their feet?

The video screen showing the running bison during One was classic!

One last thing, on both nights they played GRACE over the speakers once the show ended. Really hope they concider adding this song to their set.

Overall the best U2 show I've been to date (seen popmart three times).


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