Providence2 Elevation was and is my favorite U2 show ever. I doubt there will ever be another night like it. That was Larry’s 40th Birthday show, so obviously it was special to me. Larry walked over to me twice during the show. First to give me the champagne the band had been drinking and then to take the birthday card and gift I had for him. If that wasn’t enough, Providence2 was also a great concert in itself, for the rarities U2 played that night. “Slow Dancing” was played for the first time on Elevation, and only the 11th time ever. “Party Girl” and “Wild Honey” were played for the first time on that leg of Elevation – and I’ve only heard those songs a couple of times ever. Larry’s 40th Birthday show on October 31, 2001 on the Elevation Tour in Providence, Rhode Island at the Dunkin Donuts Arena was an obvious choice for my favorite ‘L’ U2 concert. Here is what I wrote after that historic night:
This was the best show ever! There will never be another one like it! I woke up outside in the GA line around 8am – pretty good sleeping outside in 30 degrees for 5 hours. Then I went up to the warm hotel room until about 10am and had some breakfast. I went back to the GA line and stayed there all day without leaving, except to take a shower around 3:30. I got everyone in the GA line to sign the big orange birthday card I made for Larry. I put my name and email address on the back just in case. U2 did not arrive until after we were inside the arena. Tasha, Paola and I wore our Larry Mullen Band shirts. We got our spots up front at the rail – center between Bono and Adam. I held up my birthday card for Larry as U2 walked onto the stage, but he didn’t notice it. There were many, many signs including one saying, ‘Bono let Larry sing.’
During “Elevation,” Bono sang, “Celebration” then said, “Happy Birthday.” After “Stuck in a Moment,” Larry’s 40th birthday celebration truly began. We sang “Happy Birthday” to Larry. A birthday cake was brought out and Larry pretended to throw it out into the audience. Larry took the microphone and came to the front to talk while Bono sat behind the drums. Larry said, “Bono couldn’t play drums. It took me 40 years to get up front. I’m glad I’m spending my birthday with 18,000 of my closest friends. I feel like I could borrow money from you.” Then Bono asked for a bottle of champagne, which he shook up and sprayed the audience a la ZooTV. Bono took a sip, Edge took a swig, then Larry drank and continued to drink for the next few songs. After “Kite,” Larry got off the drums and made a b-line for me. I got my card and shirt in hand so I could give it to him, but that’s not why he was there. He gave me the champagne bottle – with champagne still in it. I drank some and shared it with Paola and Tasha. Larry wanted to share his birthday with ME! He wanted ME to have a drink on his birthday. I was SO excited I didn’t even know U2 played “Wild Honey.” I thought it was “Staring at the Sun.” I didn’t really come around until “Please.” After “Pride,” Larry came back over to me so I could give him the birthday card and Elvis tee shirt. I said, “Thank you. Happy Birthday.” He smiled and said, “Thank You.” He looked into my eyes, just like he had in Jersey. Later on, Bono noticed our ‘Larry Mullen Band shirts, shook his head and smiled.
I was so elated after the show – walking around hugging the champagne bottle. I told my story on video for this women making a U2 GA documentary. I’m sure I made a fool of myself, but I was just VERY excited. Paola, Tasha and I went up to our warm, comfortable hotel room, ordered pizza, watched tv and went to sleep. What an amazing Larry night!
Providence 2 set list 10.31.01: Elevation, Beautiful Day, Until the End of the World, New Year’s Day, I Will Follow, Sunday Bloody Sunday, Stuck in a Moment, Happy Birthday Larry, Party Girl, Slow Dancing, Kite, Wild Honey, Please, Bad / 40, 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, When Will I See You Again, Walk On
To see my pictures from Larry’s 40th birthday in 2001, please click here.
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 ‘M’ U2 show.