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Sunday, 25 March, 2001, 11:27 GMT 12:27 UK
Blistering start to U2 world tour
U2
U2: Focus on the music, not stage props
Irish rockers U2 have kicked off their first world tour for four years with an energetic show in front of around 20,000 fans in Florida.

The elaborate stage props which marked their 1990s stadium tours were scaled back as the band concentrated on the music.

During their two-hour set, the band treated their fans to a mix of new and old tracks.

They played several songs from the new album, All That You Can't Leave Behind. But they also reached into their back catalogue with songs from the albums War and The Joshua Tree.

Old favourites

Old songs like Sunday Bloody Sunday and New Year's Day drew roars of approval.

The Edge
Performance full of energy
They even played their first ever single, I Will Follow, before closing the show with their most recent, Walk On.

Fans had travelled thousand of miles for much-anticipated opening night of the Elevation 2001 tour, an 80-date trek through North America and Europe.

Among the crowd were a handful of show business and sporting celebrities, including Lenny Kravitz, Elvis Costello and Christy Turlington.

"'Thanks for following us all these years," said Bono. "Thanks for giving us such a great life."

The Elevation Tour 2001 follows the band's critically acclaimed latest album.

It has topped the charts in 32 countries and has sold more than 6m copies worldwide since its release in October 2000.

The tour is the band's first since the highly successful Pop Mart tour of 1997, which played to almost 4m people in 70 cities worldwide.

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