The Joshua Tree Tour 2017

Jul 22 2017
Dublin, IE / Croke Park
with Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds

'Lovers of Song'

John Noble reports on Saturday's 'epic night' in Dublin.

John Noble, who looks after the boards of Zootopia, has been bumping around the continent in his trusty camper van Dorty Oileen to many of the European shows. None has been as good as Dublin on Saturday. Below his review of the 'Gathering of the Tribes'.
And some of the first press reviews of the night.

'The show began with a precursor to U2's gradual status as one of the world's best rock bands. It ended with a pointer to their future via a new song, The Little Things That Give You Away. There's some distance from then to now, but between poetry, pop music, politics and performance art, U2 at Croke Park was a game/set/match triumph.'  Irish Times

'A spectacular fly-past and understated Trump references: U2 bring 'The Joshua Tree' home…' The Journal.

'U2 Return To Dublin In Triumph. It is 30 years since the release of The Joshua Tree catapulted U2 to the forefront of contemporary music. At their Croke Park homecoming, they reaffirmed that they are still up there, at the very top of the tree….' Hot Press

Gathering of the tribes. 
Elders. Shamans. Warriors. Worriers. Mothers. Brothers. Crude boys. Rude girls.  Lovers.. lovers of song… lovers IN song… warmed up by the songs they knew with Noel & his High Flying Birds, in front of Willie  William's Wonderwall sci-fi backdrop. 

'Enjoy the local band who are on next'

The gathering of the tribes on the historic battleground of Croke Park. Home. The boys (and girls) are back in town. Clans from across the world come together as One to sing our hearts out, to banish some ghosts and to set some other spirits free. In the name of love. What more? (In the name in love).

I began this pilgrimage last September, not knowing then it was gonna be a double-header journey - back then was the #U240 fan thing, which I blogged about in Zootopia, but never got around to completing… A friend nudged me the other day and asked, 'hey, big man, when are you gonna finish that story about the Dublin journey'? 
I think the definition of 'pilgrimage' is a kind of spiritual / physical journey combo. I have found myself clinging recently to a couple of books, (I am not a great reader of books, to my own discredit I know), one of them written by an Irish man, someone I met o' too briefly one time, the celebrated author, poet, and beautiful human John O'Donohue. On this leg of my pilgrimage, travelling with my trusty mare Dorty Oileen (canny auld little camper van!) I turned to a page in that book and came upon these words as the Emerald Isle came into view on the horizon from the ferry:

I would love to live
Like a river flows,
Carried by the surprise
Of its own unfolding.

My interpretation of that is to be open to what could be. What can be. More than that of course, but be ready... be ready. Live. Love. Be ready for what's next.

It's one thing following this U2 thing online, its a great thing, the community (which the singer mentioned at the show), It is a very real thing, sometimes dysfunctional, like a family can be. A wondrous, wide, open, sometimes crazy, often mysterious thing. When you come out to the live shows, then the community manifests itself in the flesh and you come face to face with people who might just change your life with the touch of a fingertip.

Sometimes the words come quickly, sometimes the words take longer to pen... years, decades. 3 of them even..
Time is not linear. This is U2. Dublin. The Joshua Tree. From sapling to maturity.

The show had best sound I have been to this tour, perhaps the one-end open nature of Croke Park helped with that, less echo than normal stadiums to deal with, Adam's chest popping bass in WOWY and exquisite riffs in Red Hill Mining Town pulsing through. Edge's chops and bell-ringing guitar chimes and beautiful deft springy piano work throughout the show came across with such clarity.

The grand theatre of Exit hit home last night, thrilling is an often overused word. This is a thriller. Shadowman is a beast.

'How amazing was that?' said the singer as he paused at the end of the show to take it all in, to gaze at the beauty made in front of his eyes. As Larry had done at the beginning of the show, appearing on the b stage, a wee pause, a gaze around, a slap of his thighs. The Larry Haka, before walking, marching to his position on the JT mini stage, then, after again a deliberate micro-moment of composure, he belted into the Sunday Bloody Sunday drum break. Knocking at the gates of Heaven itself. Thunderous. Splendorous. Glorious. War drums, of peace. Can you hear us coming, Lord?

'Oh my god!' a fan said on my left as this show drew to a close. As if Bono had heard him, the singer echoed the same words back in a heartbeat. 'Oh my God.'

I asked some fellow pilgrims who I have met along this road to 'Home' (aka Larry's t-shirt), Dublin, to sum up their thoughts & feelings :

Dave from the English clan : 'Finally 36 years after my first U2 gig I made it to the Dublin show. The place was rammed and it was as though each member of the audience was attached to the next. From the 3 stands to those on the pitch - jumping, clapping, singing in unison. Bono sang "It's a beautiful day". It was a beautiful night'.

Ross from the American clan : 'On fire. Terrific show. Crowd and band totally committed.'

AJ from the Canadian clan : 'Highlight for the show for me was Running to Stand Still. In 2005 I found out they were playing it and made my first trip to Dublin to see it. Last night was special though. Bono is incredible at focusing on the crowd and making you think he's looking just at you. Last night standing there listening to my favourite u2 song, in Dublin, Bono sent his gaze my way and I got to look right into his eyes while I got lost in the song'.

Scott from the Scottish clan (and part of the @tildecember U2-inspired band who are playing shows at the packed fan-held city centre U2-themed parties this tour) :
'Bono said before Bad that to play Croke Park is a very big deal indeed… (tonight included) …an invocation to look again for America. 
A fly-by in green and gold that made us catch our breath and look up in every sense. A celebration of the women of the U2 community and of world history. We had to head back just before One to be sure we made our (own) show at midnight. But then on our walk… people were singing in the made us stop our tracks. 'Hear us coming Lord.' There was a group of Spanish fans gathered in a circle, probably wanted tickets but couldn't get them. Bitter? Cynical? No. Singing their hearts out. One love. We get to carry each other. Our singer Ails and I wept. We will never forget it'.

'Let it go'... The mantra of bad. I do try… I can't. I am lost in it. I exist in it. I can dream it all up in it. So can you. My dreams, your dreams… hey, one day they might meet and get wed. Lets book U2 as the wedding band and invite the tribe.
Dublin #U2TheJoshuaTree2017 was a one-off. A celebration. Birthdays, anniversaries, jet plane flyovers, communal singing, dancing, partying. We were all left wanting more. 
Thats the sign of an exceptional evening. One I also, will never forget.'

And if you were at Croke Park, tell us all about it. Add your own review and photos below.

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    jeff mcguire
    Great day with my son Matthew
    Ninth Time, We Went to Them!
    We decided we have seen our band so many places, we had to make this one special! So we bought tickets to the show in Dublin. Flying in, our plane passed the U2 plane sitting on the tarmac near the gates. We were so excited, and met people who also flew in from all over the world. The concert was great, every person knew and sang every word. Even made new besties with the football team who stood in front of us. It was awesome, as was the ten days we spent thereafter, travelling what is now my favorite destination in the world. Love the Irish! Love U2!
    jeff mcguire
    Croke park 2017
    With my Son Matthew, 30 years on from my 1st gig at Croke Park 1987, I was 15.He has d t shirt i wore on him that day. What a day !!
    Hope this show will be released on DVD /
    The concert was for me the start of my motorbike holiday through Ireland and oh my god I could not have got a better start than this. It was just overwhelming Hope this show will be released on DVD
    Croke Park
    I went to 3 concerts: Dublin, Amsterdam2 and Brussels. Dublin was the best concert. First of all the stadium is great, the sound was good and not too loud. There was a great atmosphere and I was in the first row of pitch 1, so I had a great view. In Amsterdam and Brussels the sound was really bad, to loud, to much bass drum (even with ear plugs).
    Daddy G
    Brilliant atmosphere in Dublin all weekend, the stadium is always impressive. A good show but not up there with some previous great ones. I thought the sound was a little bit off and the shape of the screen meant the images were very distorted from the sides. Still looking forward to the next tour...
    The Boys From Rotterdam
    We Had A Awesome Night....Dublin Will Be Back Every U2 Tour From Now On!!!!!!
    The Lads From Rotterdam
    We Had A Awesome Night...Dublin We Will Be Back Every U2 Tour From Now On!!!!!!
    Powerful show in Dublin
    Magical time in Dublin - thanks to everyone we met.
    Croke park, a dream come true
    I made it to Dublin for a U2 live concert at Croke park. As a looong time U2 fan and visitor of many concerts, I had to go and I got to bring my sons! Ireland is such a great place and the people are so fantastic. The concert was epic and is already a legend in U2 history. The crowd singing, the band playing their hearts out, the warm atmosphere, the fly-over by Irish air-corps. It was all amazing and there are no words left to describe the experience. As "Streets" is played and the crowd sing, I have goosebumps all over and it is such a happy and breathtaking moment! Love to all.
    DUBLIN 2017
    I'm alive again i'm born again and again I love you THANKS
    Welcome home
    Back in home town
    Selfie with Sam
    Met Sam O'Sullivan just before the Dublin show
    Fantastic time in Croker
    We had a fabulous day at the concert. I listened to the Joshua in 1987 when I was 12 and I was hooked. Absolutely love the Band. I loved streets and my favourite bullet the blue sky. Croker didn't disappoint. I've been going to the concerts since 1997. I liked the new song little things and looking forward to their new single which i think will be released on the 8th of birthday ...can't wait ...I
    Thank you U2
    Wow what a night just feel a bit down it's all over for another year or so. What a band still fresh with ideas after all these years with something to say. Don't make it to long before we see you again pretty please.
    From Portugal with Love!
    So many years waiting to enjoy this moment... U2 in Dublin!!! This is how dreams come true! Thank you Dublin! Thank you U2!!!
    Great moments in Croke Park
    Awesome show in Dublin, unreal feelings. We will keep these greate moments in our mind forever!
    Sad it's over
    This tour was announced on my 40th birthday (1/9, what a fabulous present!) and my husband and I flew to Dublin for the concert with tickets in the Red Zone. Best experience ever. So sad it's over. Loved Dublin. Love these U2 boys.
    Our bucket list is now empty. Time to make a new one.We have really enjoyed our time in Dublin, great city en dear people. Thanks guys. Janneke
    Magnificent Croker
    What a show and what a weekend in Dublin! I once had a dream of seeing U2 at Croke Park and now I've done it twice (360 and JT 2017). Who said dreams don't come true? Sometimes they can come true twice! Hopefully there'll be a third time! U2 were great at Twickenham night 2, but absolutely excelled at Croker! Here's to the future and Songs of Experience and given the quality of "Little Things" the future's looking great! Thank you U2 and Dublin!!!
    A dream come true
    What a blast this was at Croke Park. For me a dream come true. 30 years ago i sat outside the stadium de Kuip in Rotterdam as a 17 year old listening to the show, gutted not been able to get tickets after queueing the whole night. 30 years on I was here in Dublin experiencing that beautiful album that meant so much me and seeing you on your home grounds. How special with the fly over. Thank you for an awesome show. Unfortunately i tripped and made a nasty fall on my way from Croke Park to the afterparty in the Church and I ended up in hospital instead, needing to be repatriated and operated on at home in the Netherlands. A trip I am not going to forget.
    Full Circle
    Very emotional night for myself in particular after a tough year healthwise. I Was at the Croker gigs in 1985 and then 1987 with my then girlfriend and now wife, Kathleen. 30 years on and the wheel has turned full circle. Five of us there this time, Kathleen, Gary, Adam, Ella and myself. Holding my youngest, my 7 year old daughter, throughout the gig as she sang her heart out from SBS to The Little things is something I'll never forget. It was her first ever gig!! The highlights? Every single moment, including the guy from Liverpool who stopped us after and proclaimed Ella as a proper 'rock chick' and handed her a fiver for being just that! Thanks for being the soundtrack to my life. See ya's again soon!
    Old flavor without giving up modern time
    The band performance was great. This time the band was able to play old songs of their more succesfull álbum (TJT) with the latest technology (4k screen with and increíble definition). All this with a perfect sound. For me is always a pleasure seeing U2. I was in Madrid in 1987 with TJT tour so it's been very special to live that again. Thank you for all the team. See you
    Epic night in Dublin!
    The most complete show ever made! A musical journey from start to finish!
    We want to fly... Where the skies are no
    After 44 years, finally I saw U2 in Dublin! Homeee... The Irish flag is up over Croke Park Stadium and We want to fly... Where the skies are no name!!! Best moment of the night!
    It´s a Beautiful Day - Slane Castle
    What an Amazing Concert at Croke Park and a big hug to all the friendly Irish we met during the 3-days staying at Malahide Dublin. On Sunday we went out to a sunny Slane Castle and after selling my last ticket facevalue to an irish that saw them here at young age, it was the best end on this journey to Ireland. Thanks Barbara for driving us out there, the boys put up a "Once in a Lifetime" show and I got my picture of them and love this one with Larrys drumsticks moving in the air to Elevation. Enjoy U2 fans all over the world. Per.
    Heart - beat
    This picture from Larry is a "heart-beat", wearing his HOME shirt ;-) See U2 in their hometown is so special. With 80000 we became ONE Heart touching this Joshua Tree tour , With songs like Mothers of The Disappeared, and Exit and more.
    Heart-beat in Crokepark
    From the Heart, Larry Mullen jr @ Dublin
    phil dagger
    Thank You
    Another Amazing night in Dublin. Thank you for a Fantastic concert yet again and all the special we was close to the front. It was a privileged to be there! X
    Find Bono
    What a night! I still have chills down my spine when I think back to last Saturday and the great concert! Planes flying over, the Irish going crazy and a smile on my face the size of Dublin. See you in Amsterdam Saturday!
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