11 July 2001
Live in Copenhagen, Billboard Review
U2 wanted intimacy with its worldwide Elevation tour and it certainly got just that in Copenhagen, writes Charles Ferro of Billboard.Com.
U2 wanted intimacy with its worldwide Elevation tour and it certainly got just that in Copenhagen -- hot, sweaty, human-funk intimacy. The band kicked off the European leg of the tour with the first of two shows (which sold out in five minutes six months earlier) at the Copenhagen Forum, the smallest venue on the schedule. It will probably also prove to be the hottest spot on the quartet's journey as the audience and U2 battled oppressive heat in a country known for cool weather. To be sure, a spot that heralds itself as the Danish capital's main indoor concert venue warrants some sharp criticism for its poor facilities. You simply can't have 10,000 people in an arena on the hottest day of the year and let vendors run out of bottled water. But that's almost trivial beside the fact that there was apparently no ventilation system. It was well over 90 degrees an hour before the show, and the peak temperature during the concert was estimated to be above 120 degrees! It was pure torture for the audience; just imagine the band. But hats off for U2 -- they quickly got all 10,000 people bouncing for every second of the two-hour show. With all the house lights on, the band strolled on stage and greeted the sauna-sweaty crowd. The first song, "Elevation" was more or less an intro number, but the crowd immediately ignited when it heard the first few notes of the next song, "Beautiful Day." Bono ventured around the heart-shaped ramps surrounding the stage, and with the exception of a couple of thousand people in the balcony, the audience was within 50 yards of the stage. "It feels great, the first date of our European tour," Bono told the crowd. When the Edge followed him out, he got a kiss. About 300 fans -- the ones who spent the previous night and next day waiting at the venue to be the first through the doors -- were corralled inside the heart. From most angles it appeared the two front figures were performing atop the crowd's heads. For most of the 20-song set, the crowd acted like a fifth member of the band, singing along with the Irish lads.