MIAMI NICE

Bono and the boys' stripped-down, lemonless show beguiles the crowds...

U2 played the first date of their Elevation Tour last night before a sold-out crowd at the NATIONAL CAR RENTAL CENTER in MIAMI.

A small venue compared to the stadiums of the PopMart tour, the arena was devoid

of any superfluous props such as giant lemons and coktail olives. The stage was surprisingly simple and small, branching out into a heart-shaped catwalk, on

which Bono ran – literally, during ‘Where the Streets Have No Name’ – to his heart’s content.

The U2 frontman, accompanied by “the man who gave us our first job” (Larry Mullen) , “the man with the biggest instrument in U2” (Adam Clayton) and “the scientist of the band”

(The Edge), performed a two-hour set consisting of their most popular songs,

including some live rarities.

‘Elevation’ and ‘Beautiful Day’, the first two titles

off their last album, ‘All

That You Can’t Leave Behind’, kickstarted the show, pumping energy into the

crowd. The band went on to play several more songs from their latest opus, including the haunting ‘New York’ and the latest European single ‘Stuck In A Moment’. They

performed their first single (‘I Will Follow’) and their last (‘Walk On’) in a varied set that concentrated on ‘War’, ‘The Joshua

Tree’, ‘Achtung Baby’ and ‘Pop’.

The perennial ‘Sunday Bloody Sunday’, which was last performed in Sarajevo by The

Edge, got the biggest reaction, as the crowd chanted the chorus. Bono borrowed an Irish flag from a fan and held it high, in a scene reminiscent of the white flag he waved nearly 20 years ago. Bono’s wife Ali, present at the show,

was twice-honored as U2 performed ‘The Sweetest

Thing’, a B-side dedicated to her, followed by ‘In A Little While’, to mark her

birthday.

“So I am in Fort Lauderdale?…Yeah, we’ve been here before,” said Bono, cheeky as ever, before ‘Discotheque’. But U2 weren’t the

only ones to travel to Florida.

Some fans had travelled great distances to see their favorite band perform. “And it was worth every minute of the 17-hour drive from Washington,” said one fan, Sabrina.

Ivan from Panama was surprised by U2. “It was nothing like I’d expected. It was very, very personal,” he said, adding that: “Now I can

die happy.”

The complete set list was as follows:

‘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’

‘The 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’

U2 will play a second show in Miami on March 26

before heading off to their March 29 show in Charlotte, North Carolina. Click the film icon at the top of the page to see NME.COM’s report from the secret London Astoria show.