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U2 Tours (formerly part of AtU2): A Comprehensive Guide To U2’s Live Performance History
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by Joe Williams

This was my third elevation show and it was, uncomparibly, the best one I've been to yet. Some people have said that if you aren't a U2 fan and attend a concert you'll become one. I've been a fan since the release of Zooropa and that night I was reminded why I was a U2 fan and why I flew halfway across the country, slept in car, and had the patience to endure hours of sitting and sleeping on cold concrete.

When U2 took the stage for Elevation the croud errupted into a defening scream of approval. The boys were back and they had something to say. The setlist remained relatively unchanged for this show but Bono made some moving changes to some of the lyrics. For me, the performance of Out of Control summed up the current state of the world. When Bono took the American flag from a fan out of the crowd and wrapped it in his arms in an embrace he told America how we were all feeling. Bono was visibly emotional, as were many fans, and held the flag in his arms until the lights went down.

Everyone got a kick out of the guy who was pulled up on stage by Bono to play and sing parts of People Get Ready. He was understandably nervous and forgot some of the notes so Bono had to show him what to play. Edge came down to the tip of the heart to play along-side the fan while Larry and Adam laid down the rythum. Aroon came through, playing and singing parts of the song to a stadium of fans who cheered him on. When Bono and Edge walked up the right side of the heart to the main stage, Aroon stopped playing, turned to the crowd, shrugged and then jogged up to follow Edge and Bono. The three of them sang and played until the end of People Get Ready. Aroon left the stage after shaking Edge and Bono's hands. Bono mentioned something to the effect that Aroon was half way there to being a rock star.

A double encore was a special treat for the fans who saw U2 in Hamilton. Bullet the Blue Sky started the first encore followed by What's Going On, Bono's suggestion to the leaders of the world about how to deal with terrorism. A modified version of New York followed by With or Without You finished off the first encore. Bono, Edge, Larry, and Adam came forward to shake the hands of some of the fans and waved to everyone in the stadium before leaving the stage. For a moment, everyone thought the show was over, until the boys came back on the stage. The video screen behind Larry's kit rose to display a list of the people whose lives were taken on the 4 jet liners for an especially poingiant version of One. A snippet of Peace on Earth followed and then transitioned to Edge's urgent and pleading guitar work for Walk On.

The Hamilton show was a very powerful one. I was at the Montreal show the night before and U2 must still have been riding on the energy from that show when they came to Hamilton. The set was very tight and their message of simple respect, love, and understanding was clear to me that night. I've always thought that going to a U2 show was good for the soul; It puts you through the wash and focuses you on what really matters in the world. Tonight was no exception to that. I can't wait to see them on the next tour!

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