Nov 23 2015
Dublin, IE / 3Arena

'Tonight we are here...'
Back home and the opening night of four in Dublin.

'The most visceral and uncompromising show U2 have played in Dublin since'War'.

Donal Scannell, who first saw U2 in Croke Park in 1987, reports on the band's opening night in Dublin with the #U2ieTour. 

The whole of Dublin spoke of only one thing these past few days and Bono's Instagram of the four pints of Guinness on the counter of Peter's Pub on South William St. Words will never convey how much that image resonated here.

'The Boys Are Back In Town' and Adam from Malahide is wearing a Thin Lizzy Tee-shirt. He's joined as always by Larry from Artane, Edge from Malahide and Bono from Ballymun.  A band from the north-side of Dublin called U2.

"This is a family function",  Bono proclaimed after a blistering opening which brought us from 'The Miracle (Of Joey Ramone)', through 'Electric Co.' and onto 'Vertigo' in quick succession.  Tonight they felt like they'd been written in the same year. Not decades apart.
"We are all together," Bono continued, "All the relations from all over the world."

U2 and Ireland are family. We love each other through thick and thin. It's hard to convey the depth of the relationship but every Irish person gets it. A lot has gone down since U2 last played in Dublin.  It's been a hairy few years and last week was one that we'll still be talking about for decades to come. U2 offered up much needed succour tonight but it wasn't sugar-coated.

Belief and passion shone through but tonight's show was without doubt the most visceral and uncompromising show U2 have played in Dublin since 'War'.

Almost everyone in the room knows the Ireland U2 came from. It was a bleak place with no prospects that was cut off from the world. 

With 'Iris' we get a glimpse of the pain that drove these four to make something of themselves beyond our beautiful island.

"It's a strange thing for a grown man to say", Bono offers as introduction, "That losing my mother aged 14 was what sent me on the path with these three guys."

Leading into 'Song For Someone', Bono pays the first of many tributes to Ali as he brings our attention to the screen, "That's me aged 18 playing a guitar my brother Norman gave me. Writing a song to impress Alison Stewart. Still working on that one, but she's here tonight."

Adam has taken Sunday Bloody Sunday and re-worked it as one of the funkiest dub cuts you've ever heard. It still sends shivers down the spine though as we confront our past.  We sing our hearts out as decades of pain is represented in Oliver Jeffers' stylised re-workings of Belfast's tribal murals. 

'Raised By Wolves' is in many ways the emotional fulcrum of the show. It recalls the unresolved Dublin and Monaghan bombings of May 17th 1974. The bloodiest day of the 'Troubles'. The haunting face of a deceased toddler stares out from the screen. One face amongst many victims U2 force us to remember 41 years later.

It seems like every week there are new faces now destined to stare out at us from screens. Lives frozen forever as terror takes them at random. 'Bataclan' was the word not mentioned that was on everyone's mind. Music lovers have been attacked and being here amongst family helped. A lot. 

From Monaghan to Baghdad, from Beirut to Paris there's a line of suffering that U2 help us process. Understanding what it's like to live through tough times defines this show. 
It's a theme returned to towards the end as we're stunned into silence by the footage of Kobanî in Syria. A city devastated. 

The associated #refugeeswelcome graphic gets one of the night's biggest cheers.

This was a show that combined not just iNNOCENCE and xPERIENCE, but also pain and joy.
In Ireland we combine sadness and elation. Funerals are as ecstatic as weddings. We 'carry each other' through light and shade. 

We bopped like born again teenagers as the band played 'Pride' for the Heaney family. For Seamus Heaney, who was our greatest living poet the last time U2 played Dublin. For those he left behind.

This night wasn't morbid. It was a wake up call. We need to prioritise. Hold close what's precious, look out for those that need our help and celebrate the very fact of being alive. An emotional night with a simplicity and punch that won't be forgotten quickly.

So much about last night couldn't have happened anywhere but Dublin. At one point Edge leaned over to Bono and reminds him to thank "Fr. Crosbie for the use of the hall". It's a throwaway line that would take about a thousand words to explain.

That's the greatest thing about being amongst family. You don't have to explain yourself.

As Bono had put it earlier, 'Do you know what? We've spent the last nine months travelling the world trying to explain the Northside of Dublin to people. But we don't have to do that tonight because tonight we are here...'

A whispered 'Oiche Mhaith' serves as a goodbye. 'Good Night' in Irish but there's lots lost in the translation. 

It's a blessing you use for those you truly love. 'Oiche Mhaiith U2' we whispered back, meaning every last syllable.

Were you were in the hall for the opening night in Dublin? Tell us what it was like and post your photos below.

Donal Scannell first saw U2 in Croke Park in 1987. He's written about the band for many publications, including their own magazine 'Propaganda', and was heavily involved in their 'Kitchen' nightclub. You can find him on Twitter @donalscannell or via

Live Blog #U2ieTour Social Stream Dublin 1

Live Blog #U2ieTour Social Stream Dublin 1

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IE Tour - European Fans
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10 days after ....
Great shows in Paris on the 11th of Novembre and in Dublin on the 23 rd of November but what a tragedy between both !!!!! Thanks for the pleasure you gave and thoughts for french people ...
I fell in love Dublin
"There are no strangers here; Only friends you haven't yet met."
OMG !!! It was the fourth U2 concert in our life but it was the most touching. Thanks Boys!
Dublin 23rd Nov
Thanks U2 what an amazing night people of all ages jumping singing dancing and the LOVE in the house :) was just ONE...... oh thank for everything Larry, Edge,Adam ,& Bono for giving us your music of Love ..... amazing energy its so hard to explain it was just a FANTASTIC NIght xxxx
Proud to be there on first night to welc
Not to be over the top or anything but probably one of the best concerts I have been to in my life!!!!!! Great job by everyone involved and the lads very much still have it!! So jealous thinking of round 2 underway right now!!!!!!!
Whoa, oh oh oh oh, oh ohh
Brilliant night!
Whoa, oh oh oh, oh, oh, ohhh!
My first gig in Ireland since Slane
Great show. Came all the way from Australia-32 hours with delays totally worth it.
Sound Man
Sound Man is Joe...
Honeymoon in Dublin
What a night! Yesterday was the most beautiful concert I've ever been to that could last forever and one day longer. It was the highlight of the honeymoon in Dublin that I'm spending with my beautiful wife after 18 years of marriage! Incredible night, the concert was simply fantastic!
Stronger than fear
To send a sign of love and in honour of all victims of Paris
1989 Love comes to Town
Have my ticket from the last time the band played The Point Depot/3 Arena, queued outside the venue that year for the ticket and got my photo in the old Irish Press Newspaper, it was a fantastic gig and it went live on radio throughout Europe, looking forward to the show this week, welcome home
Hi Boys! We will come to Dublin from Hungary/Szeged/Budapest. U2 4ever!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!44
Traveling from the US to finally see my favorite foursome in their own backyard. Hoping for some special moments, including "40" to close on the 23rd (although they generally save this one). Would also really like to hear Walk On in tribute to those in Paris.
a sort of homecoming
coming to dublin from rotterdam to see the biggest band in the world live in their backyard monday night. Hoping for bad and 40 at the end, although they usually play this at the last concert in town.
Here we come,23 november from Holland to
Music was our first love and it wil be our last ! We can't wait ,Music makes the world a better place. We will move in mysterious ways,when love comes to youre Home Town. We will be There!
SA, TX to Dublin
The journey begins tomorrow to see the greatest band on earth perform in their own backyard! Can't wait to experience Ireland and all its glory. Might just have to catch Van Morrison and/or the Proclaimers while we are "in country".
Big Day
Bringing my Hopefully Future wife with me for her first trip to Ireland Living in Nevada, Im from Sligo Originally and to see one of her favorite bands. Plus that night while I am in Dublin, I should be getting a call from the Chief Of Police where I live in the US, to let me know if i got on the force after going through the process for 1 year. Fingers crossed I get the call after the show :)... Cant Wait !!!
Double Dublin
This is going to be the highlight of seeing the band over the years. Two nights in Dublin 23/24 flying in from Manchester. May be just may be I will find what I have been looking for on this beautiful day in the Emerald Isle.
I will fly 500 miles
Any plans for nov.23rd honey? No, why?? Oh, I got two tickets to see a band, eehm U2 or something. Wanna go? TO DUBLIN! -U2 Tickets! -Aer Lingus tickets ! -Hotelroom booked! WE WILL FOLLOW!!
trash trampoline
BUCKET LIST #1 !!!!!!!
I've followed U2 for more than 30 years and have always wanted to see them in their own backyard. That dream will be fulfilled on my 44th birthday when I see them in Dublin on 23rd November and the 24th too just for good measure!! Before that, it's London for two nights too! Love it love it love it!!!
A Sort of Homecoming
I am beyond excited - was sick with nerves this morning! Vinnie- hopefully catch you at one of the nights:)
vincent kearns
My home town
Got a ticket for the Monday and Saturday night cant wait for the show looking forward to meeting up with other fans I met at the gigs over the years.
Was trying for the 28th and 27th but no joy,then just as I was about to give it up as hopeless. BOOOM one GA ticket for 23rd BUBBLIN DUBLIN.So excited :) This will be my 3rd show of the tour.BOSTON,GLASGOW and now DUBLIN :)
I will be there too for the first show in DUBLIN after the beginning at VANCOUVER ... by a french fan!
Deborah Halik
I've just spent my husband's Euro football ticket money on a chance of a lifetime to see the band I love in Dublin - I'll be ready to catch Bono or The Edge!! Love you both xx
Ticketmaster Ireland won't help
anyone else's presale code not working?
got my tickets for opening night in Dublin cant wait
A sort of Homecoming
Looking forward to going to a U2 concert at home , instead of an away trip on past recent tours.. Dublin 1997, Slane castle 2001, London 2005, Sydney 2006 , London 2009. Got my presale Tickets this morning and counting down the 85 days to go until the gig. Sligomal "Where you live should not decide Whether you live or whether you die" H.T.D.A.B. 2004
Well Done U2 for Irish Fans for Belfast
Got my tix this morning on Irish pre-sale! Appreciate ticket prices, and well done U2 to give Irish members first shot at the tickets (And I mean it in a nice way and no offense is intended to U2 fans worldwide who follow the band like I do - Was at Turin last weekend, and met wonderful fans from everywhere. The amount of people from all over Eurpoe, Us, and further afield that we met that are planning on heading to my hometown for the shows scared me! Thought my chances would be limited! But well done U2, and a Cead Mile Failte to all our friends that will make the trip to the Point Depot (3Arena) to see U2 - we'll see you there! 25 yrs since U2 played the Point. It will be Magnificent!
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