U2 Builds Stage, Loses PJ Harvey

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3.21.01 - Wall Of Sound

While U2 constructs an elaborate stage for its first U.S. tour in four years, opening act PJ Harvey was forced to quit the first shows due to an illness.

Polly Jean Harvey dropped out of the first four shows of the tour, which begins Saturday in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and she has also axed four gigs from her own March tour of Europe. The alternative rock singer, who is suffering from a bad fever according to the Toronto Sun, is planning to join the band April 2 in Houston, Texas.

The Corrs - four Irish siblings who blend traditional Irish music and instrumentation with a contemporary pop sound - will be the openers for at least the first two shows of the tour.

Meanwhile, the band has been hard at work preparing for its Elevation Tour 2001. According to a Miami Herald report, the act has rented Miami Arena, at a cost of $3,500 a day, to allow a crew to construct its elaborate stage.

While details of the design were being kept secret, Miami Arena's general manager, Robert Franklin, told the paper that the stage was "gigantic, almost in the shape of a diamond. It's a very impressive set, that's for sure."

When the band announced the tour, members promised a "more personal" feel than its most recent outing - the 1997 PopMart tour, with its infamous giant lemon.

In lieu of these concerns, the stage will feature banks of large television screens, as well as an area within the stage where fans enter. The band will rehearse there in the next few days.

Saturday's sold-out show will be the first of 80 dates in North America and Europe.

The tour comes on the back of a successful outing at this year's Grammy Awards, where the act - which formed in Dublin 25 years ago - won each of the three awards for which it was nominated. The single "Beautiful Day" won the band prizes for Record of the Year, Song of the Year, and Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group.

U2's latest album, All That You Can't Leave Behind, was ineligible for Grammys, because of its late October release. The LP has sold more than 2 million copies in the United States since its release.

Copyright © 2001 ABC News Internet Ventures. All rights reserved.

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This page contains a single entry by Jonathan published on March 21, 2001 3:23 AM.

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