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by Jonathan Durynek

U2 buttons: $5
Elevation Tour T-Shirt: $47
Tickets for show: $139
Bono donning a cowboy hat and thanking "Cowtown" : Priceless.

Its fair to say that Calgary had waited a long time to see U2. After over 20 years of soul-stirring rock, the boys from Ireland finally made it to our city, and did not disappoint. Gone was the massive yellow arch over the stage, the giant video wall, and the mirrorball lemon. All that remained was a rock band, their fans and music to share with each other. Calgary didn't get Lovetown, or Zoo TV, or PopMart. But what we got was better than any shiny lemon.

The Elevation tour is about music. Its about feeling. Its about hearing the words and chords. No band on earth can do it better than U2.

From the moment The Edge took the first riff of "Elevation", this crowd knew they'd be standing in their seats for over 2 hours. An explosion of sound filled the Saddledome, and Larry, Adam and Bono all joined The Edge in showing Calgary what they are known for. Anyone who says Bono's voice is battered and bruised is a outright liar. From the chorus of "Beautiful Day" to being wide awake in "Bad" to getting the crowd to clap and sing during "Sunday, Bloody Sunday", Bono was magnificent the entire night. The Edge was no slouch either. He jammed his way through utter classics like "Where the Streets Have No Name" and "Mysterious Ways" and lent his voice to "Stuck In a Moment", which, by the way, is one reason Bono should let him sing a bit more. Its not too often Larry and Adam get any credit in any review for what they do, but the boys in the back have no shortage of talent from where they stand either. Opting to stay on the main stage and not venture out too often, these two magnify the importance of the music over the flashy colors and bright lights.

Professional reviewers often try and pick out the best parts of the show as "highlights" to showcase in their review. But, on this night, there are too many. Was it when during "Until the End of the World" when Bono was playing the part of a bull before being subdued by The Edge's guitar? or was it when Bono grabbed a sign from the audience that read: "I Dream Out Loud" in bold letters? or was it when after putting on a cowboy hat, Bono pulled out his trusty harmonica and my heart skipped a beat as he played what sounded like the ending of "Running to Stand Still"? The truth is, there was no highlight. A crowd of 18 000 strong took in a night that needed no such event. This was U2. They were here. In Calgary. Finally.

My only regret was that I wasn't the lucky young man who rushed the stage during the final song, "Walk On", and who wasn't carried off by security, but rather was given a guitar by Bono to help finish the song and to end what was a fantastic night of magestic music.

Thank you U2, for bringing cowtown an experience it will never forget.

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