U2 – buffalo,ny – 5-31-01
Incredible show. I don’t even know what to say. Carolyn and I had seats in 300 level behind the stage. We had a perfect view of the stage, even if it was from behind. The stage was heart shaped, with people inside and outside the heart. PJ Harvey played first. I dunno….I guess she was good. I don’t like chick singers, all the songs sounded the same, I so don’t like that kind of music, and it was boring. But if you like her, I guess she was good. U2 came on at quarter to 9 ish. They started “Elevation” with the house lights on, which was cool. After that they played um…”Beautiful Day”, then “End of the World” and then I think “Mysterious Ways”….ok so I totally don’t remember the set list, I’m trying to find one….They played a really good mix of old and new stuff I thought. I was only unfamiliar with 2 songs, that I guess were from Zooropa, which I’ve only heard once, and of the 2 songs I know from it, I don’t think I’d even be able to recognize them…
At one point in the show Bono started talking about how the 3rd show they ever played in the states was in Buffalo, opening for Tallas (Tollas?), and it was on the night that John Lennon died…then he started singing “In My Life” by himself. He dedicated “In A Little While” to Joey Ramone. I missed the dedication to Michael Hutchence, I don’t think he did one, but he has in every other show so maybe he did and I wasn’t paying attention.
They did 2 encores…one, maybe the 1st one, was “Bullet The Blue Sky” that had an intro (I was told, we couldn’t see the big screens) of Charleton Heston talking about guns, and a little girl picking up a gun…I think some people missed the point they were trying to get across, that guns were bad, cuz a kid was on the radio talking about how he agreed with the Heston thing…
Um…I dunno what to say. It was just an amazing show. Bono brought 3 people on stage at different points. During “The Fly” he brought this girl onto the catwalk and laid her down on stage. I couldn’t see this part too good, but what I saw, Bono was laying/sitting on her, and she was laying/sitting on him for a while. Then he stood up and stood over her laying on the cat walk. I’d have died…what a concert memory.
woo hoo I just found the setlist…
Until the End of the World
Even Better Than the Real Thing
In My Life/Stuck In a Moment
I Will Follow
Sunday Bloody Sunday/Get Up Stand Up
In A Little While
Where the Streets Have No Name
Encore(s): Bullet the Blue Sky
With or Without You
One/She’s a Mystery to Me
It was so worth the money…the hassle of not having tickets, trying to find tickets, buying shitty tickets LOL….it definitely places in the top 5 concerts I’ve ever seen. I don’t think it quite knocks off NIN toronto…it’s close tho…i think it doesn’t place in top 3 because the top 3 have alot more personal meaning to me, even though the concerts/shows themselves weren’t as good. Pure music/performance wise, this show is #2 after NIN….but overall, it’s probably #4….definitely need to see them again (from a better position haha)
this is the buffalo news review from buffalonews.com….
Bono and U2 deliver a message of faith
By CRAIG SEYMOUR News Pop Music Critic 6/1/01
Irish rockers U2 brought its blazing brand of secular gospel to the HSBC arena Thursday night, marking the first time the band has played Buffalo since 1987. The band was on a singular mission to restore the audience’s faith in the importance of rock, humanity, of life itself. A large chunk of the two hour show paid tribute to the group’s late friends and fallen rock icons. Bono paid homage to John Lennon, who was
murdered on the night of U2’s first gig in Buffalo, by singing a verse from the Beatles “In My Life.” He also worked bits of classics by
Marvin Gaye (“Sexual Healing”) and Bob Marley (“Get Up, Stand Up”) into the set.
The band performed “Stuck in a Moment That You Can’t Get Out Of,” from their latest album, “All That You Can’t Leave Behind,” which is
dedicated to ex-INXS fronman Michael Hutchence who committed suicide in 1997.
And the Southern Soul-inflected “In a Little While” was delivered by the band in recognition of New York’s own Joey Ramone, the former lead
singer of the seminal punk group the Ramones, who died from cancer last month. Bono stated that “In A Little While” was the last song that Ramone listened to before dying. “Now when I hear this song, I don’t hear it as a song about a hangover. It’s become a gospel tune. That’s
how cool Joey Ramone was.”
This song represented one of the night’s many moments that were devoted to the importance of people needing each other. “If I crawl/will
you be there,” he crooned like an Irish Al Green.
He introduced his bandmates before bringing them down front for a rattling version of “Desire.” And there was something touching about him
delivering introductions for people whom everyone in the audience knew. It served to represent another of the night’s inspiring themes: Don’t
take anything you hold dear for granted.
It was called the “Elevation” tour, and the band’s intent was to uplift and enlighten. (Although, given the $130 tickets, $45 T-shirts and $20 programs, the tour’s name had an unintentional double meaning.) Even the background music played before the show had a spirit raising theme: Jackie Wilson’s “(You’re Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher,” Stevie Wonder’s “Higher Ground,” and Curtis Mayfield’s “Move On Up.”
The stage had a breathtaking simplicity. It was a hollow heart made with curved red catwalks. You almost expected to see a fashionista strut down the stage, and indeed Bono did ape the moves of a male supermodel at one point in the show. The earnest set-up could have come off as corny, but the stylish design made it work.
Fans stood in the middle of the heart and also surrounded the stage. And the people on the floor seemed to enjoy being physically close to a band with whom they’ve felt such a close emotional connection.
Despite initial concerns about the show’s general admission seating policy, the crowd was very well-behaved. There were some body surfing incidents. At one point, Bono even had to tell a particularly hefty crowd surfer: “You weren’t designed to fly, friend.” But, overall, you’d see more pushing, shoving and beer-spilling on any given night on Chippewa.
The last time U2 played Buffalo, Bono was having vocal trouble, but he was in fine form Thursday night. He growled, crooned and even worked up some sanctified falsetto swoops. His voice has the intimacy of a storyteller. He doesn’t so much sing a song as weave a heartfelt tale.
The rest of the band was also in top shape, as evidenced by the Edge’s propulsive guitar licks; Adam Clayton’s throbbing, sometimes funky, bass; and Larry Mullen Jr.’s steady, unfussy drumming.
Opening act P.J. Harvey delivered several hard driving tunes from her latest album “Stories From The City, Stories From The Sea,” which is all about falling in love. “Do you remember your first kiss,” she sang on “One Line,” with her voice sounding as edgy and straight-forward as the music. And the black and white projection of Harvey on the overhead monitor only added to the raw power of her set.
A lot of the thrills in U2’s show came from the backdrops and light displays. Large drapes that evoked skyscrapers came down during “New York City.” Rays of light splayed like blooming flowers. And the video screens showed silhouetted dancers swaying during “Mysterious Ways,” and flickering images of gun violence and grief during the impassioned “Bullet in the Blue Sky.”
Although U2 played their other social change anthems “Sunday Bloody Sunday” and “Pride (In the Name of Love,” which was followed by an impassioned plea from Bono on forgiving Third World debt, the night wasn’t really about politics. It was less about changing the world than treating life and other people more preciously….