09 July 2001
Elevation 2001, Globe Arena, Stockholm, Sweden
Ring those bells Edge, let those bells ring.......
U2 last played the Globe Arena on the Zooropa tour, all those years ago but they were also here for the MTV awards last autumn. The press need no convincing that the show will cook - before U2 have played a note. Headlines in today&Mac182;s Swedish papers include 'Almost Divine' (Expressen) and 'U2 are the Kings of Arena Rock' (Aftonbladet).
And the show tonight pretty much confirms expectations, right from the opening chords of Elevation when Bono does an unexpectedly early lap of the heart catwalk. 'Beautiful, Beautiful' he sings at the end of Beautiful Day and it is already turning into a beautiful night.
If the press were convinced before the show, one photographer gets a scoop within minutes of the set opening as Bono lays on the catwalk, holding hands with fans in the heart area and then pulls up onto the stage a snapper from Swedish photo agency Scanpix. First he is posing for him and then he is pushing him to the ground and standing astride him.. the photos should be interesting.
'Ring those bells Edge, let those bells ring, ' exclaims the singer as the guitarist unleashes I Will Follow. 'Twenty years ago we came walking down these streets, 20 years ago, same melody, same beats... down in the Underground, a club called the Underground, right here in Stockholm.'
Everyone love the local touch, cheering the reference to the rafters, but there is no going back now.
'We can never go back, can never go back,' he sings during Sunday Bloody Sunday as a fan throws an Irish flag onto catwalk and Bono steps around it. 'For better times, for better times,' he extemporises, as everyone provides backing vocals.
A snatch of In My Life introduces Stuck In A Moment before Stay and an introduction to 'the Edge ... or Mike Nesbitt.' 'This is a song we started in Berlin at a studio called Hansa by the Wall and this is the period where the Americans reckoned we went all arty on you but if you come from the northside of Dublin you can afford to get a little arty - and when you&Mac182;re floating out there you can pick up some interesting shit like this tune. 'This tune&Mac182;s a great tune, we wrote it for a Wim Wenders movie Faraway, So Close.'
Suitably, the closing lyric references 'London, Belfast Stockholm' and the audience are appropriately ecstatic. Bad is 'about ordinary addictions' and then Bono is on his second lap of the night for Streets and the fans are left singing Pride all alone after the band have left the stage.
Charlton Heston is back on screen tonight, a suitably sombre introduction to Bullet the Blue Sky, then With or Without You precedes a verse and chorus of Wake Up Dead Man before One which closes the night.
Expressen and Aftonbladet were right then...
What They Played
Until The End Of The World
I Will Follow
Sunday Bloody Sunday
Stuck In A Moment You Can't Get Out Of
Where The Streets Have No Name
Bullet The Blue Sky
With Or Without You
Wake Up Dead Man/One