Thirteen years ago today I was in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida for the start of U2’s Elevation Tour. Although I knew this show was going to be special because I had never been to the very first show of a U2 tour before, I had no idea I was about to embark on the greatest musical journey of my life. The Elevation Tour changed everything for me. Not only did I go to the first show of the tour, but I also went to the last show. From March 24th in Ft. Lauderdale to December 2nd in Miami, I saw 27 magnificent U2 shows, had my first encounters with Larry, traveled to 17 cities across the U.S., and met many great people whom I am still friends with today. And it all started on March 24, 2001.
I woke up on a bright, sunny Saturday morning in my parents’ condo in Ft. Myers, Florida. I left around 9am and drove two hours over to Ft. Lauderdale. Before going to the National Car Rental Center for the U2 show, I went to the Orioles Spring Training game, which they won, and then watched the Maryland Terps NCAA game, which they won sending them the Final Flour for their first time ever. It was a Beautiful Day for sure and about to be a beautiful night. Here is what I wrote 13 years ago about the Elevation Tour Opener:
The U2 Elevation tour began tonight – finally!! It was the best U2 show I’ve ever seen. The Corrs opened. U2 played the best mix of songs. They opened with “Elevation” and went into “Beautiful Day.” They played “Bad,” “New Year’s Day,” “Sunday Bloody Sunday,” “Gone,” “Discotheque,” “Staring at the Sun,” “Until the End of the World,” “Mysterious Ways,” “The Fly,” “Streets,” “With or Without You,” “Bullet,” “I Will Follow,” “Sweetest Thing,” “Ground Beneath Her Feet,” “New York,” “Stuck in a Moment,” “In a Little While” – not in that order. They closed with “One,” but then added “Walk On.” I did miss “Still Haven’t Found” and “Pride,” but it was an amazing show! My seat was on the first level side stage about 12 rows from the floor. Bono spent a lot of time on the catwalk, which he fell off of. His voice was amazing though. This will be the best tour ever!
I was right. Elevation was the best tour ever! Here is the complete set list for Elevation Opening Night in Ft. Lauderdale on 3.24.01: Elevation, Beautiful Day, Until the End of the World, New Year’s Day, Stuck In A Moment, Gone, Discotheque-Staring at the Sun, New York, I Will Follow, Sunday Bloody Sunday-Get Up Stand Up, Sweetest Thing, In A Little While, Ground Beneath Her Feet, Bad, Where the Streets Have No Name, Mysterious Ways, The Fly, Bullet the Blue Sky, With or Without You, One, Walk On.