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A beautiful concert at Slane Castle
An Irish Homecoming Celebration for U2

by Timothy Tilghman

    U2's Beautiful Day - Live from Slane Castle aired on the CBS television network Friday, November 29, 2002. The Thanksgiving weekend holiday program presented live concert footage of U2 on stage from two performances in Ireland. A voice-over from actor Woody Harrelson adorned the introduction of the program.

    U2 appeared at Slane Castle for two concerts on August 25 and September 1, 2001. Bono had buried his father, Bob Hewson, only the day before the first date. A second date was added because of an overwhelming demand for U2 tickets. U2 actually recorded portions of The Unforgettable Fire in the castle's ballroom in 1984.

    "Elevation" pumped up the hometown crowd. The staggered leaping of the audience resembled a human sea of bobbing heads before the massive stage. Cheers erupted as U2 launched into "Beautiful Day". Hyper visuals spliced shots of U2 on stage with their ecstatic fans and the majestic castle bathed in spotlights.

    Bono introduced the band members and reminisced about recording their first single. He commented, "I wanna thank my old man for 500". He also acknowledge the immediate family members of U2 for their support and the audience for their participation and contributions. That 500 loan secured their recording deal, negotiated in London.

    Bono shared the loss of his father with the army of fans by remarking, "I buried my father yesterday. In a way, it's still a send off". He let loose with an intense wail, which segued into the vocal for "Where The Streets With No Name". Motivated by the powerful energy of the band, Bono sprinted around the heart-shaped stage.

    U2 performed "Walk On", which Bono dedicated to Bob Hewson by proclaiming, "Spirit's in the house!". Bono discarded his electric guitar as U2 rocked the castle crowd. The outpouring of love and support for U2 was impressive. The Irish fans have their Prime Minister to thank who acted to approve the second appearance.

    U2 had been on tour to promote All That You Can't Leave Behind. The Elevation Tour stops in Ireland were the group's first performances at Slane Castle in two decades. The broadcast included behind-the-scenes footage and backstage interviews with U2. Cyber fans of U2 fans have begun circulating online petitions to encourage an expanded DVD release of the dual Slane performances.

Slane Castle program:
Elevation * Beautiful Day * Out Of Control * Where The Streets Have No Name * Pride (In The Name Of Love) * One * Walk On

RockonTour   Issue #15
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