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Long arms of the Claw catch up with U2 in Dublin

U2's ‘Claw' was beginning to make its mark on the north Dublin skyline ahead of the band's three concerts in Croke Park, the first of which takes place tomorrow.

Crews of workmen, teams of cranes and legions of forklifts busied themselves on the Jones's Road pitch, which has been uprooted for the concerts, as the distinctive set began to take shape at GAA headquarters.

Although not yet complete, and without its distinctive wraparound video screen and inner and outer stages, the main stage almost reached above the main stands in the stadium and looks certain to do so once its central ‘antenna' is attached.

The figures are by now familiar: it's 50 metres high, weighs 390 tonnes, costs €100m and requires 180 trucks to move it from venue to venue. It is also a triplet, and while one claw is being put through its paces by the band (as one was in Amsterdam last night), another is being constructed at a different venue and a third is being transported to a different venue again.

“The show itself is probably the most sophisticated show we've gone on the road with,” the Edge said.

He told RTE 2FM’s Gerry Ryan that the latest 360 tour was about breaking down barriers between the band and their audience.

“That sort of spirit and that wish to make a connection ... because that's what this band has always attempted to do, to break down the barrier,” he said.

“And this production is particularly helpful for us in doing that. A U2 show is really about creating that connection and, so far, that's been one of the real features of these shows — that communal sense within the building.”

He jokingly said they had been “playing a few warm-up shows before Dublin” that had been “terrifying but compelling”.

The band are not due to arrive in Dublin until Friday and they are not expected to go through a full rehearsal at Croke Park.

The build-up to the concert has not been entirely controversy-free. Some fans were disappointed that the full 360 show will not be put in full effect over the three Dublin dates. Hill 16, which forms a backdrop to the stage, will remain empty for the concerts.

Residents in the Croke Park area have also been angered by extensive late-night works at the stadium to get it ready.

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