Belfast Telegraph

U2 Joshua Tree Tour Croke Park: Bono and Co rock Dublin for a sort of homecoming

By Kirsty Blake Knox

A shout out to President Higgins, a pitch for the Rugby world cup, an ode to Irish women and the promise of “an epic night of rock and roll”.

U2 returned to Croke Park last night to perform their magnum opus The Joshua Tree.

Playing here 30 years ago was a very, very big deal,” Bono said.

“Croke Park is special for all kinds of reasons. Let’s have an epic night of rock and roll.”

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, President Michael D Higgins, Actress Amy Huberman, broadcaster Joe Duffy and RTE’s Sean O’Rourke were among the 80,000 strong crowd.

Read more: U2 Joshua Tree Tour 2017 Croke Park: How Twitter reacted

Having travelled from around the country and overseas, fans arrived at Croker early in the day.

Families, newlyweds, Dubliners, out-of-towners, both hard-core and fair-weather fans all crowded into the sun soaked stadium.  

Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds took to the stage at 7pm and played a selection of Oasis hits including Wonderwall, Champagne Supernova, Little by Little and Half the World Away.

Then at 8:30pm remaining stragglers at the bar rushed to their seats as Larry Mullen Jnr wandered down the ramp, followed by Bono, the Edge and Adam Clayton and performed Sunday Bloody Sunday.

“Thank you for letting us into your lives,” Bono shouted.

A flyover tore through the sky during the Where Street Have No Names leaving a trail of tricolour plumes hanging in the air.  

While there was no giant claw, the 200ft screen running the breadth of the stadium lit up with sweeping footage of desert scenes by Anton Corbijn.

Bono flitted between the two stages as he belted out Elevation, One, Vertigo, and I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For.

And the crowd shouted lyrics back until they were hoarse.

There was also a tribute to Captain Dara Fitzpatrick who died when Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 116 crashed off the coast of Mayo.

And fans who had not secured tickets enjoyed the band's music from their back gardens as far away as Beaumont, Raheny and Clontarf.

After the gig, the band headed to Roberta’s in Templebar for the afterparty.

Guests included Robbie and Claudine Keane, Imelda May, Shane McGowan, John Rocha, Jim Sheridan, Pat Kenny, and artist Guggi.

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