U2 – The Heart Is A Bloom (Apocalypse Sound AS196)

The Heart Is A Bloom (Apocalypse Sound AS196)

Joyce Center, University of Notre Dame, South Bend, IN, October 10, 2001:  Beautiful Day, Until the End of the World / Two Tribes, New Year’s Day, When Will I See You Again, Stuck in a Moment You Can’t Get Out Of, What’s Going On, New York, Pride (In the Name of Love), Sunday Bloody Sunday, Kite, Angel of Harlem, Staring at the Sun, Bad / Molly Malone, Psalm 116 / Where the Streets Have No Name, I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For, With Or Without You / Shine Like Stars, Elevation / Creep, Mysterious Ways / Sexual Healing, One, Peace on Earth, Walk On. 

BONUS FEATURES, Globo TV Studios, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, November 23, 2000:  The band & the fans, Beautiful Day, Rio’s Night & Interview, Elevation, Stuck in a Moment You Can’t Get Out Of.  MTV TRL, New York, New York. MTV Studios, October 30, 2000:  U2 Wait on Roof to Perform, Beautiful Day, New York.  MTV European Video Music Awards, Globen, Stockholm, Sweden, November 13, 2000:  Beautiful Day:  Top Of The Pops, October 20, 2001:  Walk On (w/Dave Steward)

U2 opened the third leg of the Elevation tour with the biggest rock and roll spectacle South Bend, Indiana, had ever seen.  Also being the first U2 gig after the 9/11 attacks on New York, they pay tribute to New York and America in several ways.  

Apocalypse Sound use very good amateur shot footage of the concert.  The taper was a distance from the stage which is very good at observing the intense spectacle.  There are very good shots of the lightshow and large screen with close ups of the action.  The taper also zooms in on occasion and is able to capture clear images of Bono and the action on stage.  He uses very slow and steady movements.  It is never jumpy or jarring.  Short of professional shot footage, this is the best and most clear document of an important how.

Major changes in the setlist include the show starting off with Bono repeating several times ‘The heart is a bloom, it shoots up through the stony ground” and the band playing “Beautiful Day” as an opener for the first time.  “New York” contains updated lyrics including “I lost my balance / you lost your wife” and Bono speaks at length about Drop the Debt prior to “One.” N.Y.C. police and firemen are brought on stage and walk around the heart at the end of “Walk On,” and stay on-stage to the end of the song.

Some of the reviews observe:  “The tour is anticipated to be the second most successful in music history. A sparse set, in contrast to the band’s high tech Zoo TV and Popmart tours of the ’90s, features a heart-shaped catwalk that extends into the middle of the audience. This has been a back to basics tour for U2.

“U2 is a revitalized band after the release of last year’s All That You Can’t Leave Behind, and they showed Notre Dame’s campus all that a rock ‘n’ roll show can be as they lifted the spirits of the audience with a mix of classic hits and new songs.”  (U2 rocks the JACC, Tim Collins)

And also:  “U2 — one of rock’s most political and spiritual bands — saved its symbolic trump card for last on Wednesday night at the University of Notre Dame’s Joyce Center.

During its last song, “Walk On,” the band was joined on stage by nine members of the New York City police and fire departments. U2 vocalist Bono led them in a parade around the arena on the outer edge of the band’s heart-shaped stage in what served as the culmination to an evening-long affirmation of faith and resilience.

From even before U2 took the stage, the events of Sept. 11 suggested an interpretation to how the concert’s set list would be composed as the Beatles’ “All You Need Is Love” led into the band’s emergence on stage.

With the lights on full in the Joyce Center for “Beautiful Day,” U2 connected immediately with its audience and established an intimacy between it and the 10,000 people there that belied the concert’s arena setting.

From there, the first 13 of approximately two dozen songs played Wednesday formed a thematic response to Sept. 11 that drew from the major periods of U2’s career and revealed a remarkable consistency in the band’s subject matter and outlook during the last two decades.”  (U2 saves best message for last, Andrew S. Hughes, South Bend Tribune).

The balance of the disc is comprised of various television appearances over a year period, from Brazilian television in November 2000 to the Top Of The Pops appearance on October 20th, 2001 with an appearance with Dave Steward.  The video and sound quality of all the bonus clips are excellent.  Overall, this is a magnificent production by Apocalypse Sound of a productive time in U2’s career. 

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