An intimate sort of homecoming for U2 at end of tour
U2 will play "at least two to three" nights at the 3Arena in Dublin next November, a long-term associate of the band said yesterday.
The group last week announced the first dates of their long-awaited world tour, which kicks off in North America next May.
U2 have confirmed four nights at New York's Madison Square Garden (July 18, 19, 22 and 23), so three nights at a venue on Dublin's docks that has played a major part in its history is hardly that much of a leap of the imagination.
U2 played previously played four nights at same venue - then called the The Point Depot, which was owned by their pal Harry Crosbie - at the end of the Lovetown tour in December 1989.
In truth, there is nowhere else realistically that a band of U2's size could play in November in Ireland. (Woolie hats and overcoats for 80,000 people at Croke Park might not work for a three-hour U2 show with Bono imploring the crowd to get on your sexy boots.) Given the tour is called Innocence + Experience, it would seem equally realistic to expect a new U2 album called Songs Of Experience (a follow up to the current album Songs Of Innocence) at sometime during that tour.
Bono noted earlier this year on U2.com that a second album called Songs Of Experience "should be ready soon enough".
There is also talk of a third album in the can called Songs Of Ascent. 2015 could be U2's busiest and certainly most important year ever.
The world tour next year, playing indoor arenas for the first time in almost a decade, will see U2 return to the type of performance that they'd built so much of their reputation on.
There were fears that Bono's recent cycling accident in New York could force U2 to postpone their new world tour, but the injured singer, The Edge, Larry and Adam will have a good rest-up over the Christmas and New Year before their big year begins officially on May 14 in Vancouver.
They will then perform nine North American shows before the European leg opens in Turin on September 4 and finishing with two shows in Paris in November.
A statement issued by Live Nation last week confirmed: "Special shows are being planned for Dublin for the end of next year to benefit the U2-initiated Music Generation project."
Bono said of the announcement: "We are going to try to have a completely different feeling from night one to night two and have some fun playing with the idea of innocence and experience."
As a period of seismic change awaits, Bono needs to usher in a period that demand you forgot everything you thought you knew about U2. The general belief is that U2 will rise to the challenge.
The omens are already good: apart from Bono being on the mend (going on benders with his mates is surely testament to that), U2 got their 47th Grammy nomination - Songs Of Innocence was nominated for best rock album - on Friday night when Grammy Award nominees were announced. They were in good Irish company, it turns out, as Bray's very own pretender to Bono's crown, Hozier, was on the short-list for song of the year with his classic Take Me To The Church.
Despite the injuries from his bike accident, Bono was in high spirits last week when he surprised fellow diners at Dublin 4 restaurant Belluccis when he spontaneously belted out his lines from the charity single Do They Know It's Christmas while the Band Aid song was playing.