Saturday 22 October 2016

Ireland’s biggest U2 fan reviews first 'electric' 3Arena gig

James Coughlan

Published 24/11/2015 | 10:30

Bono on stage at the 3Arena last night. Photo: Steve Humphreys
Bono on stage at the 3Arena last night. Photo: Steve Humphreys

Winner of our 'Biggest U2 fan' competition James Coughlan gives an insight into the band's electric first night at the 3Arena.

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"It was great to see U2 at home again after six years of waiting. The crowd was ecstatic as Bono arrived on stage to Patti Smiths 'People Have the Power' before opening to 'The Miracle of Joey Ramone'.  U2 then went back to their roots with 'Electric Co' for their second song and by the time they got to their third, with a Spanish lesson 'uno... dos... tres....catorce', the 3Arena was hopping and you just knew the boys were so happy to be home.

Bono talked about touring the world for nine months and explaining to fans what it is like on the northside of Dublin - he was glad he didn't need to explain that to the home crowd.

The amazing 100 foot screen/cage came to life with a beautiful tribute to Bono's mother Iris who passed away when he was just 14 years old.  He also acknowledged the losses his fellow band members have had before before taking us on a trip through his childhood, down 'Cedarwood Road', which saw Bono enter the cage and appear on a screen walking down an animated street with his friends Guggi and Gavin Friday and featuring influences like The Clash, Virgin Prunes, Ramones, and David Bowie.

U2's biggest fan James Coughlan on Vico Road
U2's biggest fan James Coughlan on Vico Road

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U2 gave us a total of six songs from their new album Innocence & Experience and a selection of songs from most of their older albums.

U2 show at 3Arena. PIC: James Coughlan
U2 show at 3Arena. PIC: James Coughlan

'Sunday Bloody Sunday' was illustrated by images of the Troubles, urging us not to forget those who lost their lives with the slogan, 'Justice for the Forgotten'.  It was powerful.

The highlights of the show were endless and in many ways emotional too.  U2 showed images of war torn Syria before 'Bullet in the Blue Sky' and Bono asked the audience if they would prefer a Europe with borders or a Europe that showed mercy?

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During 'Pride they changed the lyric from 'one man washed up on an empty beach' to 'one boy washed up on an empty beach' in reference to the horrifying death of three year old refugees Aylan Kuri and his brother Galip whose bodies were washed up on a Syrian beach earlier this year.

Bono didn't give his usual speech on his political views - he let the songs do this instead.

U2 closed the set with an encore of 'Beautiful day, 'One', and finally closed an amazing, electric night with Paul Simon's 'Mother and Child Reunion'. 

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