November 30, 2001
Philips Arena
Atlanta, GA



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Once upon a time, rock and roll mattered. Tonight, it did again. To be a rock star balancing pure entertainment with weighty political matters (especially right now) can't be easy. Bono dealt with the American situation with taste instead of pandering. A perfect example was evidenced early in the show when he took a U.S. flag from an outstretched arm. Bono didn't wave it defiantly like every other act I've seen since 9/11. He simply leaned over and embraced the flag for several seconds before delicately handing it back. Especially on this day, when George Harrison's death was announced, U2 used their talents for healing. After commenting that the sky had "one less star in the sky tonight," Bono led the group through an obviously unplanned  and touching run-through of "My Sweet Lord." Unlike their previous over the top tours, this one focused on the four personalities that make up U2 and their songs. From the classics "New Year's Day," "Pride" and "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For" to the brand new "Stuck In A Moment You Can't Get Out Of," "New York" and "Beautiful Day," the band pumped out what everyone was craving. They were stripped-down airtight rock and roll..."the last of the rock stars." During "One" a blue screen rose from the back that simply listed the names of the victims on the planes that were crashed on September 11. After that, it listed the NYPD and FDNY members that were lost. The scope of it all kept building with the song. Even though they had to ignore the people lost in the towers and Pentagon due to sheer logistics, the names still kept rising like an endless list of credits from the saddest disaster movie ever. It was endless. The sheer number was heartbreaking. Even after the song finished, the names still rose skyward. The power of the performance underscored it all. This night took us back to those dark times and to a glorious place of "Elevation." This show was everything a concert should be. No wonder it attracted famous audience members as diverse as Jermaine Dupri, R.E.M. and John Rocker. Maybe John learned something from these real rockers. U2 proved their love for what they do and for their audience. We should all be as thankful as they appear to be.

Chris McKay/concertshots.com


U2 Set List (11-30-01):

1. Elevation

2. Beautiful Day

3. Until The End Of The World

4. New Year's Day

5. Out Of Control

6. Sunday Bloody Sunday

7. Stuck In A Moment You Can't Get Out Of

8. Kite

9. My Sweet Lord

10. Angel Of Harlem

11. People Get Ready

12. Please

13. Bad/Who's Going To Ride Your Wild Horses

14. Where The Streets Have No Name

15. I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For

16. Pride (In The Name Of Love)


17. Bullet The Blue Sky

18. What's Going On

19. New York

20. One

21. Peace On Earth/Walk On


I chose U2's show as my #1 favorite of the year 2001 because there was really no other choice. It was a perfect night.