U2 arrived in Notre Dame, Indiana today, Monday, two days ahead of the opening night of the final leg of Elevation 2001.
Immediately, the band, who have been on a month-long break since the acclaimed Slane Castle shows in Ireland, were up on stage and rehearsing material for Wednesdays show, which will be web-cast worldwide from 8.45pm US (EST).
The inside word is that there are likely to be songs included in the set list which have not yet made an appearance on Elevation 2001.
Such is the intimacy of the venue at Notre Dame that when Bono and Edge perform at the tip of the heart-shaped runway - which stretches out from the main stage - they are only five steps away from the sounddesk and tiered seating which rises to the rear of the venue.
'It's incredible, said Kate Camosy, 20, an English and Film student at the college. 'When we heard they were going to play here we thought it was an insane rumour but then we figured that we are the home of the 'fighting Irish' so maybe....'
Kate, with friends Julie Tatman, 21 and Tim Collins, 21, were the first fans to line up outside the venue to catch a glimpse of the band. Tim, a history student, even managed to sneak inside for a while - before he was kicked out again! 'I heard them rehearsing 'Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For' which is great because they haven't been playing that on this tour. I really hope it makes the show.'
Tim, like Julie, said U2's music seemed to have a heightened sense of relevance in recent weeks. 'There is so much depth to the lyrics, songs like Peace on Earth and Walk On seem to have been written for now.'
The 11,000 lucky fans who have tickets for Wednesdays show will find it both the most intimate date on the tour - and the most public. With the exception of some one-off club shows, this is the smallest venue U2 have played in North America since 1987 - and some 4,000 of the College's 8,000 students have tickets. But those at the show will be joined by a potential audience of millions on the web, and online concertgoers will have a unique opportunity: the multi-camera production for the webcast means net watchers will be able to to focus on any one member of the band during the show.
Meantime, back onstage, Bono is pleased with the the bands first rehearsals. 'We're getting a good sound here,' he tells Joe O'Herlihy, the bands veteran sound engineer. 'This is a great place, a great campus, it feels good.'
* Edge will be taking time out from rehearsals to join fans online and answer questions from around the world. We anticipate Edge will be online around 5.30pm (US EST) - so around half midnight Central European Time.
Check the special U2 webcast microsite at u2.tiscali.com
Remember, you will need Real Player
to join in Wednesdays 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).