GIG OF THE WEEK
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