The Irish Mail on Sunday - - MORE | MUSIC -

Mean­while the el­der Hew­son rocked the 3Arena this week. Af­ter four dates in their home town, Bono and the lads will fly to Ber­lin for the fi­nal show on the Euro­pean leg of their Ex­pe­ri­ence + In­no­cence tour. That ex­tra show in the Ger­man cap­i­tal was added af­ter U2 had to call a halt to the orig­i­nal con­cert in Septem­ber when Bono, 58, lost his voice.

His vo­cal cords ap­peared in fine fet­tle for the Dublin shows. The U2 web­site de­scribed the run as just ‘4 Dublin friends play­ing 4 Dublin shows’.

That is a lit­tle disin­gen­u­ous, of course, con­sid­er­ing the tech­no­log­i­cal mar­vel that is the Ex­pe­ri­ence + In­no­cence stage show. The gi­ant screen and 96ft-long

plat­form, which cut the 3Arena in half, dom­i­nated pro­ceed­ings. Im­ages of ev­ery­one from Char­lie Chap­lin as the Great Dic­ta­tor to a grotesque di­ri­gi­ble of Donald Trump flashed dizzy­ingly in HD as the band walked on stage each night to the ac­com­pa­ni­ment of Noel Gal­lagher’s It’s A Beau­ti­ful World.

The setlist seemed to be aimed at the ultra U2 fan. Yes, we still got some Eight­ies clas­sics such as I Will Fol­low, New Year’s Day and Pride, and bangers such as Beau­ti­ful Day, Ver­tigo and El­e­va­tion. How­ever, lesser-spot­ted tracks such as Zooropa, Zoo Sta­tion and Who’s Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses dom­i­nated. Given the name of the tour, songs from their most re­cent two al­bums fea­tured heav­ily. You’re The Best Thing About Me, Sum­mer Of Love and Get Out Of Your Own Way got an air­ing.

‘We are a band from the north­side of Dublin called The U2,’ he told the au­di­ence each evening but kept speechi­fy­ing to a bare min­i­mum. He favoured al­most folksy yarns about their early days in keeping with the tones and themes of the Songs Of In­no­cence al­bum.

This tour could not, nor was it de­signed to, please the masses the way their The Joshua Tree 2017 tour did in Croke Park and other sta­di­ums around the world. It was a re-sell­ing per­haps of un­der­ap­pre­ci­ated songs in their vast canon. Th­ese were U2 shows for purists… but pre­sent­ing just enough to sat­isfy the more ca­sual fan.

OnE FOr THEPUriSTS: U2 per­form­ing at the 3Arena this week

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