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by Kumar Ramanathan

Hamilton, Ontario
October 13, 2001
U2 Elevation Tour

Recalling a conversation I had with a friend:
"Josh, it is going be really hard for U2 to top the last night of the Meadowlands on June 22, 2001."

I guess those words were meant to be eaten. I did not feel so much elevated as I did moved. The show was poignant filled with gritty, yet baldly sad moments. People who saw this show will agree that the names of the Sept. 11 airline crash victims gave "One" a deeper significance. From now until civilization ends, "One" is the kind of song that reaches permanent essences in our soul; it reminds us of the metaphors that unite and divide people. Most importantly, "One" teaches human beings to reach out to your fellow human. Not that I am an expert on the human condition, but I feel "One" captures the tension(s)of the human condition by pointing to its precious lessons (for the lack of a better term).

The transition of "What's Going On" into "New York" was simply remarkable. It's not that one song merged with the other. Let me back up for a second: The whole first encore told the story: "Bullet the Blue Sky," "What's Going On," "New York," With or Without You." Maybe, I am thinking too much, but to me at least, the positioning of these songs did a superb job of commerating the events highlighting the political and spiritual aspects of existence. What's Going On into New York seem to fit so well together. Whoever made that decision did an excellent job of considering questions of audience. Bullet and What's Going are two classic protest songs...New York and With or Without You commerate the losses the world faces despite growing sentiments for non-violent resistance and "peace on earth."

For me and many others, this was probably the best U2 show I have ever seen because it seemed more intimate than the other shows. U2 persuaded me at least that the urge to connect with others and the world around you is so important. The best thing about this band is that they can teach you things through music, push one into responsible action.

Of course, the lucky fan who got on stage was quite awesome to see, although I think everyone in the arena was jealous, but more power to whomever he was. I was really happy for him. Surprisingly, Streets did not do it for me this time round. It were the more mellow songs like Angel of Harlem, Kite, Stuck, One, Walk On, Still Haven't Found and Bad. Sunday Bloody Sunday did not do it for either this time. DOn't get wrong, I love both of these songs, but the urgency did not seem there.

New Year's Day and my songs of the night: 1. Out of Control had the whole place hopping. U2 sounds as tight as ever. If there was ever a time to see U2, it is now. These will be the best U2 shows of their musical careers, and I really think U2 knows it too.

2. Until the End of the World, a U2 song which should never be omitted off any U2 setlist from now until however long they keep on playing.

Is your name Kantoopolis or Parapoopolis?

Baltimore and two nights in New York City remaining and I can't wait.

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