A one-show root and branch re­form


The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - SEVEN DAYS -

Where does the time go, eh? Just a mere 30 years ago, a wee Dublin band re­leased an al­bum called The Joshua Tree, tak­ing them from bleedin’ mas­sive to ab­so­lutely un­avoid­able. This Satur­day in Croke Park, U2 will be mak­ing a home­com­ing (“But they’ve never left,” you cry) of sorts on Dublin soil with The Joshua Tree Tour, so ex­pect a lot of sen­ti­ment and odes to the old coun­try from Bono.

Other than the 1987 al­bum, which they will be play­ing from start to fin­ish, their setlist puts a heavy fo­cus on songs of old rather than re­cent re­leases. Re­views from the Amer­i­can leg of the tour praise the band for bring­ing the same spark they de­liv­ered in the 1980s, with songs like Sun­day Bloody Sun­day and Bul­let the Blue Sky de­liv­er­ing the same po­lit­i­cal and so­cial punch to­day as they did back then.

For U2 haters, this might be a good week to mute the band’s name on Twit­ter, avoid RTÉ One on Thurs­day at 7pm for Tony McCarthy’s film U2 agus An Arc, and turn off the ra­dio.

U2 may just be play­ing one Ir­ish gig on this tour but they’re go­ing to dom­i­nate ev­ery­where else for most of the week. Lord have mercy on us.

Are tick­ets still avail­able?

Do you have a granny? A grand­dad? A hus­band, a dog and four kids? Are you will­ing to sell them down the river? Even at that, you haven’t a hope in hell get­ting tick­ets for this.

What time does it kick off?

Gates open at 5pm and no queu­ing is al­lowed prior to that. Sup­port comes from Noel Gal­lagher’s High Flying Birds – you might have heard of him be­fore – and he’s on­stage at 7pm. U2 are ex­pected on­stage at 8.30pm.

How do I get there?

Or­gan­is­ers ad­vise that guests either walk, cy­cle or use pub­lic trans­porta­tion to get to Croke Park as there is very limited car park­ing in the area and traf­fic will be es­pe­cially heavy. Dublin Bus and the Dart will be go­ing busi­ness as usual in the area and Ir­ish Rail have put on ad­di­tional train ser­vices from Dublin Heuston to Gal­way (00.30) and Cork with a con­nec­tion to Lim­er­ick Col­bert (00.40).

What about se­cu­rity?

You should know the drill now but back­packs and large hand­bags are not per­mit­ted into the venue. Bags must be no big­ger than A4 size and there will be no cloak­room fa­cil­i­ties on­site. Strict se­cu­rity checks will be in op­er­a­tion with all bags be­ing searched so give your­self ex­tra time to get into the venue. Pack light to keep your time in line at the se­cu­rity check to a min­i­mum.

What about the weather?

This is an out­door event and it will go ahead no mat­ter what the weather brings. Ac­cord­ing to yr.no, it will be 18 de­grees and dry but pack a mac in a sack, just in case.

U2 serv­ing Bono on stage at Rome’s Olympic sta­dium last Satur­day

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