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by KentK

Unbelievable!!! This was my second Elevation show after seeing them in Tacoma in April and U2 just blew the lid off the place. The Delta Center in downtown SLC is a beautiful venue. However, we were shocked to see the long GA line at 7:30am Friday morning-- we were #207/208 in line! Supposedly, 100 people were there by dawn and the first people arrived at 8:00am the day BEFORE! With U2 not being there in some 4 years and lots of college students, SLC really came out in numbers.

It worked out fine though as we still made it to the 3rd or 4th row right in front of Bono's mic inside the heart. We kept thinking "where are all the 206 people that were before us?". Anyway, the Delta Center was very friendly to the GA folks-- let us in one at a time to use the bathroom, walked around with coffee and snack carts. Their lone screw up in my opinion was not putting up barricades for the GA line. To just say "line up along the side of the building" made it too tempting for cutters to barge in late in the day. Fortunately a group of folks wrote down names and numbers and patrolled the line a few times throughout the day. There were several cutters who had to take the walk of shame. A cop at the front of the line actually honored our number system for about the first 150 or so.

I also kept running down to the back door entrance to keep an eye out for the band. There were about 20 fans waiting there. At 4:15 they still hadn't showed up, and I wasn't going to risk being out of line any longer.

The doors finally opened around 6:00pm. Ticket check, search, and wristbands were all done at once going in. Point and shoot cameras were let in. On the floor, we were told the heart was closed at 150 people (!!!), so we booked around and parked along the tip rail about 3 people from center. Then we saw that they opened the heart back up again and ran back over to the side entrance and got in. For those few seconds, the tip view looked like it would be pretty awesome, but I still think it's a better overall show inside the heart.

No Doubt was out of control, total high energy. They had the whole arena up and clapping by the end of their set. This one guy front and center in the heart left after No Doubt-- not sure if I'd wait 36 hours just for that...

U2 took the stage and the roar was deafening. Elevation, Beautiful Day, Until the End of the World and New Year's Day were like a 1-2-3-4 punch. I didn't hear Kite, Wild Honey, or Please in Tacoma and they all sounded fantastic. Bono mentioned his father passing away a few months back before Kite, and the lyrics of Please were hauntingly appropriate since 9/11.

There were gobs of signs on the floor-- I saw at least three "People Get Ready" signs, also "God's Country", "Knockin' on Heaven's Door", and others including my own "Me+Edge: Wild Honey" which at least Bono read. Bono asked the guy who got pulled up (David) if he played guitar, to which he must have replied "No, piano" and Bono then said something like "Well, all right, get up here". David was cool as ice up there-- great job! I think I do have one picture of you at the piano...

The end of the main set was a trip through the 80's-- Bad, Streets, Still Haven't Found, and Pride. I think the Streets organ intro got the biggest roar of the night. And then when the lit up all the arena lights-- too much! Bono had a lot of fun with the spot light during Bullet the Blue Sky-- the best being when he shined it at Edge from across the heart filled with a sea of waving hands. What's Going On sounded nice, but I would still trade a cover song for another U2 song any day.

The Peace on Earth/Walk On ending was very moving will the names of the airline and NYPD/NYFD victims scrolling on screen. The crowd cheered everytime a new list of victims would begin. Other highlights from the night:

* Bono playing rock-scissors-paper with fans outside of the heart. He held up three fingers and nodded his head up and down indicating he must have won.

* Bono reaching out for the seats to the fan with the huge BAD sign ("separation, isolation...").

* The gals in the front row who had a sign that said "Today's Olympic event: Adam playing the bass naked". That got a good laugh from Bono.

* The gal who got pulled up during Stuck. She was really hamming it up on stage-- dancing, singing, kissed Bono on the cheek. Bono smiled embarrassingly when she grabbed his butt, and then moved her hand up onto his shoulder. But then on the next rotation when her back was to us, he grabbed her butt. It was totally hilarious.

* Bono's speech about poverty in Africa and how zealots like Bin Ladin want to keep it that way. He said Bin Ladin "can kiss my royal Irish ass" and then gave this classic look over to Edge as if to say "I can't believe I just said that".

* The gal next to me who was holding a rose out to Bono the whole night, and finally during Walk On, he reached out for it with his mouth. He kept it there for a while and then strummed with it in his hand for the rest of the song. She was really excited.

Bono seemed taken back by SLC's enthusiasm and did return back to the stage to say only "Wow" at the end of the night. Also, Edge and Adam stepped way up to the front of the stage whenever Bono was out on the catwalk. They were definitely playing to the fans and seemed more interactive with the crowd versus in Tacoma.

After the show was over as the heart was clearing, we lingered a bit and then went over to Edge's side and called out to Dallas asking if we could have a pick. He nodded his head and walked out of the catwalk and gave picks to about 7 or 8 of us. Dallas is a very cool guy. I got a blue "Bono" pick, and my friend got a black "Edge" pick, both with their signatures in gold writing. Myself being a huge Edge fan, though, my friend was willing to trade with me-- thanks Bill!

Well, that's it for me and Elevation... see you all next time around!

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