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U2 Elevates 20,000 Montreal Fans

Irish rock band U2 kicked off a two-night stand in Canada’s French-speaking metropolis on Sunday night with lead singer Bono declaring, “This is the noisiest crowd of the whole tour.”

Some 20,000 fans packed Montreal’s Molson Center for U2’s “Elevation 2001 Tour,” named after a track on the group’s latest album, “All That You Can’t Leave Behind.”

The foursome played for more than two hours, combining early 1980s hits such as “Pride (In The Name of Love)” and “Sunday Bloody Sunday” with more recent songs such as “Discotheque” and “Mysterious Ways,” as well as a half-dozen songs from the new album.

Bono, 41, who became a father for the fourth time last Monday, enticingly danced and crawled on the heart-shaped stage, glad-handing crazed French-Canadian fans, some waving the Irish flag.

After Monday’s second show in Montreal, U2 will return to the United States for a concert in Detroit Wednesday. The North American leg wraps in East Rutherford, N.J. June 22, and the group will begin the European leg in Copenhagen July 6. A remixed version “Elevation” appears on the new CD soundtrack to the upcoming Angelina Jolie film “Lara Croft: Tomb Raider.”