My favorite U2 concert that begins with B is without a doubt Baltimore Elevation on October 19, 2001. It is probably one of my top ten favorite concerts ever. The Baltimore show was my hometown show, which is always special, and it was my first Elevation show that leg of the tour. The concert was amazing and so full of emotion being just over a month after 9/11. But more than anything the Baltimore Elevation show is one of my favorites because it was the day I finally met Larry Mullen – after waiting 14 years. In fact, it was the first time U2 ever played Baltimore and all four (Larry, Bono, Edge and Adam) came out to talk with the fans and sign autographs before the show.
We camped out on the cold streets of Baltimore the night before the show, getting in the GA line at 1:30 am. Around 3:00 pm, we went over to wait for the band to arrive. U2 finally drove in 4:30 pm. Then Bono walked out, then Edge, then Larry, then Adam and all of them started signing autographs. We could barely believe that they were all four outside signing autographs and talking with everyone. This was the first time U2 played Baltimore, so I guess all four of them wanted to come outside to meet the fans. I talked to Bono quickly, but didn’t get his autograph or a photo with him because I had already done that on ZooTv. I was just interested in meeting Larry. So when Larry walked up to me I said, “I don’t have anything for you to sign, so can I have a hug?” Larry looked at me a little strange, then smiled and said, “Yes.” That was our entire conversation – the only one I’ve ever had with him. We hugged and it was a nice, strong hug. After, I cried like a baby because I was so overcome with emotion.I had been waiting to meet Larry for 14 years!
The concert itself was so unreal! We stood at the tip of the heart (the catwalk) on the outside. Garbage was supposed to open, but the drummer got sick, so Graham Parker & the Figgs filled in at the last minute before heading over to their own show. As soon as the Beatles’ “All You Need is Love” came on, the crowd went wild, and even crazier for “St. Pepper’s” because we new what was next. U2 took the stage and “WOO-OOH-HOO! ELEVATION!” During “New Year’s Day,” we held up an American Flag my friend had brought. Bono took the flag from us, hugged it, and then looked at me and said, “You take it back.” Bono handed the flag back to me so gently, with the utmost respect, emphasizing its importance. Bono said, “Thank you,” then I said, “Thank you.” Bono started walking away, turned to me, gave me the peace sign and nodded. That was probably the best Bono concert moment for me. Song highlights of the Baltimore show for me were as follows: “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” (I cried), “Pride” (with MLK’s speech on video a la ZooTV), “Out of Control,” “Staring at the Sun” and full band “Please,” which was the first time it was played on the Elevation Tour. A guy behind us was pulled up on stage to play “Knocking on Heaven’s Door” with U2. During “One,” all of the names of the passengers on the flights from 9/11 were displayed – and then they went right into “Peace on Earth.” I cried through all of this. U2 ended the show with “Walk On.” It was the most emotional and spiritual and uplifting U2 show and I have ever been to!
Elevation Baltimore 10.19.01 Set List: Elevation, Beautiful Day, Until the End of the World, New Year’s Day, Out of Control, Sunday Bloody Sunday, When Will I See You Again / Stuck In a Moment, Kite, Angel of Harlem, Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door, Staring at the Sun, Please, Where the Streets Have No Name, I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For, Pride, Bullet the Blue Sky, What’s Going On, New York, One, Peace On Earth / Walk On.
This is part of my Blogging from A to Z Challenge about ‘My U2 Concerts A to Z.’ Thanks for stopping by. Please come back tomorrow as I write about my favorite ‘C’ U2 show.