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Sunday 8 December 2019

'Turn up for Noel Gallagher' - The essential U2 gig survival guide

Noel Gallagher appears on stage with U2 at London's O2
Noel Gallagher appears on stage with U2 at London's O2
Noel Gallagher
Fionnán Sheahan

Fionnán Sheahan

Turn up for Noel. While he lacks the stage presence in a vast stadium, the support act is the great Noel Gallagher.

His High Flying Birds have a few of their own singalongs and he throws in Oasis classics like 'Champagne Supernova' and 'Don't Look Back in Anger'.

Bono don't preach

Of course it wouldn't be a U2 concert without Bono's lectures. But gone are the MacPhisto days of the Zoo TV Tour and he doesn't drone on too much. He only tells you to join Amnesty International once all night.

The B-side break

The opening 15 minutes sees the band on a stage in the middle of the crowd, rattling out a few warmer-uppers, then rolling into The Joshua Tree hits of 'Where the Streets Have No Name', 'I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For' and 'With or Without You'. Once they get to the B sides you'd want to time that run to the loo well as you're in danger of missing 'In God's Country' or 'One Tree Hill'. And you can't afford to miss the encore set where they play a set of their greatest hits, starting with crowd-jumpers like 'Elevation' and 'Vertigo' and rounding off with 'One'.

The spectacle

So it's not as dramatic as The Claw stage from the 360 Tour, but the curved 200ft TV screen is the largest and highest-resolution ever used for a concert tour. Accompanying each song is a stunning video or visuals directed by long-time U2 collaborator Anton Corbijn. In case it's lost on you, the theme is a reflection on Trump's America. Apparently...

She moves in predictable ways

In a throwback to tours of the past, during 'Mysterious Ways' Bono plucks a random young wan from the crowd who dances and prances around with a video camera. Back in the day, it was Naomi Campbell. Now it's clearly a pre-selected plant.

Yes, you are getting old

You don't have to worry about inebriated teenagers throwing up on the back of your leg. The age profile largely reflects the fan base, so it's 30s, 40s, 50s. The people wearing the t-shirts from tours 30 years ago really were there.

The kids aren't that into U2 and they were all at Longitude.

Irish Independent

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