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Fans are arriving and the band rehearsing, ahead of Wednesday's opening show of the final leg of Elevation 2001.

'Last of the rock stars
When hip hop drove the big cars
When new media was the big idea...'

Excitement is mounting in Notre Dame, Indiana, just hours ahead of U2's return to North America.

On Tuesday fans began gathering in numbers outside the Joyce Centre, location of Wednesday night's show, as U2 returned to spend more time in rehearsals for this opening night of the final leg of Elevation 2001.

Arriving early paid off for Stacie Green, 21, a student at Notre Dame, who showed up early Tuesday morning in the hope she might catch sight of the band arriving. By mid afternoon she was chatting to Bono, along with a small cluster of other student fans who struck lucky.

None was more lucky than Monica Gonzales, 23, a student of Managment Information Systems, who was celebrating her birthday.
'I was hoping to get a glimpse of Bono and then he just showed up. I couldn't believe it.
'I was converted to U2 about three years ago and there's no other band like them for originality.
'Bono wished me a happy birthday, kissed me on the cheek and asked me what song I'd love them to play. I said that I love U2's cover version of Everlasting Love but Bono said it was pretty difficult to play.'

Meanwhile, as truckloads of U2 merchandise arrived to be unloaded, inside the arena, U2's production crew were undertaking final checks before Larry, Adam, Edge and Bono spent the rest of the afternoon in rehearsals - including, we can reveal, at least one song, they have never played live before.

In the evening, the four band members completed a mini-dress rehearsal for the new tour, experimenting, we understand, with a number of songs that have not yet made an outing on Elevation 2001. This was also a rehearsal for Wednesday's webcast, with additional cameras in position and a pair of gleaming satellite-dish topped trucks taking a live feed. But none of this will play a part in what songs make it into the final set list - until late on Tuesday evening the band were still in discussions with key members of the production crew about the likely set list for Wednesday's show.

'We probably won't know exactly what the set list will be until the band talk before the show on Wednesday,' said Bruce Ramus, Lighting Director. 'But it looks like there will definitely be some changes from the show they were playing on the earlier part of the tour.'

Check the special U2 webcast microsite at u2.tiscali.com

Remember, you will need Real Player to join in the webcast.

LIVE WEBCAST TIMES ARE:
10th Oct '01 8.45pm - Notre Dame, Indiana
10th Oct '01 9.45pm - Eastern Standard Time
10th Oct '01 6.45pm - Pacific Standard Time

(In Europe the live webcast will be at 2.45am, 11th Oct (GMT) and 3.45am, 11th Oct (CET).

LIVE EDGE WEBCHAT TIMES ARE:
10th Oct '01 5.30pm - Notre Dame, Indiana
10th Oct '01 6.30pm - Eastern Standard Time
10th Oct '01 3.30pm - Pacific Standard Time

(In Europe the live webchat will be at 11.30pm, 10th Oct (GMT) and 12.30am, 11th Oct (CET)

European fans will be able to watch the Elevation Webcast in its entirety on 11th October at 8pm (GMT) / 9pm (CET).

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