On the Thursday night, two nights before the U2 Elevation show in Tampa, Florida on Saturday December 1, 2001, I had a little pre-U2 concert gathering at my house. My traveling companions for the weekend, Tasha, Jenny and Paola came over my house and we watched U2 videos, concerts and interviews until about one o’clock in the morning. Then with about three hours sleep, we were off to the airport for the final weekend of the U2 Elevation Tour. It was bittersweet. We arrived in sunny, warm Tampa around 11am. Our hotel was absolutely beautiful and it was right next to the Ice Palace, the venue where U2 would play the next night. While walking into our hotel, we noticed Back Street Boy Nick Carter also in the lobby. (This would be significant to me about 13 years later on the Nick and Knight tour) Before heading over to the Ice Palace, we had a lovely lunch outside at this beautiful waterfront restaurant.
We were in the GA line by 1:30pm, getting numbers 6, 7, 8, and 9. It was a long day in the hot Florida sun. For dinner, we ordered pizza in the GA line – as in they delivered it outside to us in the GA line. Around midnight, we got really silly, imagining a lamp post was Darth Vader. We watched the U2 trucks drive in around 7am. We went back to the hotel to shower and enjoy a nice buffet breakfast. We couldn’t try to greet U2 as they drove in because we weren’t allowed to leave the GA line once we had our wristbands. We heard Bono and Edge stopped around 6:30, so I least I didn’t miss Larry.
It got very chaotic when the doors opened with people pushing and running, but somehow we managed to get right up front on the rail between Bono and Adam – even more center than we were for Providence2. Our two days in the GA line had paid off. Paola and I were of course wearing our “Larry Mullen Band” shirts. Garbage again opened, and Shirley Manson looked at us and said something like “We have some fans of the Larry Mullen Band here. What else does your shirt say? It’s All About Drums. Yes, it is.”
That Elevation show in Tampa was as great as the Baltimore show – the same amazing energy! I was just REALLY into it! U2 played “Angel of Harlem” instead of Wild Honey, which was great. They played all of “Peace on Earth” for the first time. Bono sang “My Sweet Lord” at the end of “Kite” in honor of the passing of George Harrison a few days earlier. It was very touching. The highlight for me of course was when U2 played “Who’s Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses” during “Bad!” Just as special was when Larry walked right over to us and gave Paola his drum stick. (Larry had given me his drum stick back in June in Jersey). A much funnier moment was when Bono put on this way too tiny I Love NY shirt from a fan.
Elevation Tampa 12.1.01 Set List: Elevation, Beautiful Day, Until the End of the World, New Year’s Day, I Will Follow, Sunday Bloody Sunday, Stuck In a Moment, Kite / My Sweet Lord, Angel of Harlem, Please (B & E acoustic), Bad / Who’s Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses, 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.