U2, Americal Idol, and Elevation DVD

Tour season is right around the corner and if you’re a fan you about jumping off the roof right about now. The band has been just kicking back, no major announcements. Of course lots of interesting rumors, should we pass them along? Well the only one worth throwing out is could it be possible that U2 allows the “artists” from American Idol to use their songs again? We asked the question last night on our Facebook fan page and course your welcome to throw up your comments too. Most say “Hell No”  

After watching a couple of minutes of AI we choose to dig into our DVD collection and attend a virtual concert.

U2 - Elevation Tour 2001: Live from Boston

After the huge, lavish spectacles of previous tours, U2  decided to tone things down a bit for Elevation, which accompanied their All That You Can’t Leave Behind album. Just as the album marked a return to a simpler more stripped-down sound, the live shows returned to smaller venues and a more intimate show, and from start to finish Elevation provides a welcome reminder of what a great band this is. Recorded in Boston, the show features a healthy mix of new and old songs, which were written over the course of two decades but sound as fresh and relevant as ever. From classics like “Sunday Bloody Sunday,” “Where the Streets Have No Name,” and “I Will Follow” right up to instant favorites such as “Beautiful Day” and “Elevation,” every track is stunningly executed. If you saw the concerts, this is a worthy and lasting souvenir; if you didn’t, watch this and you might be kicking yourself.

The disc does a great job of showing how straightforward the tour was. It was a big tour with a huge crew, but on stage the four musicians were pretty much on their own. The camera catches a few great close-ups of the members of the band in which you can really see their facial expressions. The Edge seemed quite preoccupied with playing the music. Larry Mullen and Adam Clayton seemed to be genuinely enjoying themselves. Bono played the rock star. There are a few great shots where you see The Edge looking to Larry Mullen for the rhythm. For a second they seem less like U2, and more like four guys in a band.

The setlist included songs from All That You Can’t Leave Behind, a few of the U2 classics, and a few refreshing unlikely choices (Gone, Bad, Stay (Faraway, so close), Until The End Of The World). The Edge used the set list as an opportunity to parade an amazing set of classic guitars including a full-bodied Gretsch, a pearl Telecaster, Edge’s classic Gibson Explorer, a Godin, a beautiful clear woodgrain finish Stratocaster, and a 12-string Richenbacher that The Edge kicks off the stage.

What we found most striking about the DVD was how great U2 is at putting on a rock concert. You can really see the experience of 20 years of touring. Bono plays the 20,000 strong audience like it was a percussive instrument. The Edge’s guitar and Bono’s voice alone can fill a stadium design for NHL hockey.

The album contrasts nicely with the material in the context of the concert. If Stuck in a Moment were a little more immature and unrefined, if would fit in perfectly on Rattle and Hum.

The live performances shed new light on some of what we had though where the weaker songs from All That You Can’t Leave Behind. New York, which always struck us as goofy (comparing the heat of New York to a “hair dryer in your face” just doesn’t hold up next to the biblical alegory of The End of the World- which Bono introduces this night with “this is judas”) and Walk On both shine make more sense in the live context.

Highlights include, the inclusion of Until The End Of The World and a great rendition of Stay (Faraway, so close). Introducing the band, Bono says “Even his mother calls him, The Edge”. The introductions to The Fly and Where the Streets Have No Nameare classic goosebump-inducing stadium rock moments.

Well how many more months away are we from the start ? 4 Months -