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U2 iNNOCENCE + eXPERIENCE Tour 2015 Belfast: Excitement builds ahead of supergroup's first appearance in city in almost two decades

Published 18/11/2015

U2 performing on their Innocence + Experience Tour.
U2 performing on their Innocence + Experience Tour.
U2 performing on their Innocence + Experience Tour.

U2 are playing in Belfast for the first time in almost two decades. The Irish rockers playing the SSE Arena stage for the first of their two concerts as part of their iNNOCENCE + eXPERIENCE tour.

The concert is the band's first appearance since their cancelled show in Paris over the weekend after the terrorist attacks in the city.

Prior to the gig U2 fans from across the world called for those attending both the shows to wear white in a mass demonstration for peace at the concert.

Read more:

U2 iNNOCENCE + eXPERIENCE Tour 2015 Belfast dates: Fans call to #whiteoutBelfast in name of peace following Paris attacks  

U2 iNNOCENCE + eXPERIENCE Tour 2015 Belfast: Watch the last time band brought their tour to Belfast

U2 iNNOCENCE + eXPERIENCE Tour 2015 Belfast dates: Excitement builds ahead of supergroup's first appearance in city in almost two decades  

U2 have played Belfast on nine occasions since the band's formation back in the 1970s.

"It is the first time the band will perform songs from their recent album Songs Of Innocence to a home crowd," a U2 spokeswoman said announcing the dates for the Belfast show.

U2 guitarist The Edge had hinted strongly earlier this year that the band was eager to travel north for the first time since their appearance in Belfast's Waterfront Hall in 1998.

Picture - Kevin Scott Belfast , UK - NOVEMBER 18, U2 perform at Belfast's SSE Arena for the first time in almost a decade. Its also their first concert since cancelling their Paris gig following the tragic events that have unfolded , Northern Ireland on November 18 (Photo by Kevin Scott )
Picture - Kevin Scott Belfast , UK - NOVEMBER 18, U2 perform at Belfast's SSE Arena for the first time in almost a decade. Its also their first concert since cancelling their Paris gig following the tragic events that have unfolded , Northern Ireland on November 18 (Photo by Kevin Scott )
Picture - Kevin Scott Belfast , UK - NOVEMBER 18, U2 perform at Belfast's SSE Arena for the first time in almost a decade. Its also their first concert since cancelling their Paris gig following the tragic events that have unfolded , Northern Ireland on November 18 (Photo by Kevin Scott )
Picture - Kevin Scott Belfast , UK - NOVEMBER 18, U2 perform at Belfast's SSE Arena for the first time in almost a decade. Its also their first concert since cancelling their Paris gig following the tragic events that have unfolded , Northern Ireland on November 18 (Photo by Kevin Scott )
Picture - Kevin Scott Belfast , UK - NOVEMBER 18, U2 perform at Belfast's SSE Arena for the first time in almost a decade. Its also their first concert since cancelling their Paris gig following the tragic events that have unfolded , Northern Ireland on November 18 (Photo by Kevin Scott )
Picture - Kevin Scott Belfast , UK - NOVEMBER 18, U2 perform at Belfast's SSE Arena for the first time in almost a decade. Its also their first concert since cancelling their Paris gig following the tragic events that have unfolded , Northern Ireland on November 18 (Photo by Kevin Scott )
Picture - Kevin Scott Belfast , UK - NOVEMBER 18, U2 perform at Belfast's SSE Arena for the first time in almost a decade. Its also their first concert since cancelling their Paris gig following the tragic events that have unfolded , Northern Ireland on November 18 (Photo by Kevin Scott )
Picture - Kevin Scott Belfast , UK - NOVEMBER 18, U2 perform at Belfast's SSE Arena for the first time in almost a decade. Its also their first concert since cancelling their Paris gig following the tragic events that have unfolded , Northern Ireland on November 18 (Photo by Kevin Scott )
Picture - Kevin Scott Belfast , UK - NOVEMBER 18, U2 perform at Belfast's SSE Arena for the first time in almost a decade. Its also their first concert since cancelling their Paris gig following the tragic events that have unfolded , Northern Ireland on November 18 (Photo by Kevin Scott )
(Left to right) Larry Mullen Jr, The Edge, Bono and Adam Clayton of U2 performing at the first of the band's sold-out homecoming gigs at the SSE Arena in Belfast. PA
Picture - Kevin Scott Belfast , UK - NOVEMBER 18, U2 perform at Belfast's SSE Arena for the first time in almost a decade. Its also their first concert since cancelling their Paris gig following the tragic events that have unfolded , Northern Ireland on November 18 (Photo by Kevin Scott )
(Left to right) Larry Mullen Jr, The Edge, Bono and Adam Clayton of U2 performing at the first of the band's sold-out homecoming gigs at the SSE Arena in Belfast. PA
Bono performing with U2 at the first of the band's sold-out homecoming gigs at the SSE Arena in Belfast. PA
Bono performing with U2 at the first of the band's sold-out homecoming gigs at the SSE Arena in Belfast. PA
Bono performing with U2 at the first of the band's sold-out homecoming gigs at the SSE Arena in Belfast. PA
Picture - Kevin Scott Belfast , UK - NOVEMBER 18, U2 perform at Belfast's SSE Arena for the first time in almost a decade. Its also their first concert since cancelling their Paris gig following the tragic events that have unfolded , Northern Ireland on November 18 (Photo by Kevin Scott )
Picture - Kevin Scott Belfast , UK - NOVEMBER 18, U2 perform at Belfast's SSE Arena for the first time in almost a decade. Its also their first concert since cancelling their Paris gig following the tragic events that have unfolded , Northern Ireland on November 18 (Photo by Kevin Scott )
Picture - Kevin Scott Belfast , UK - NOVEMBER 18, U2 perform at Belfast's SSE Arena for the first time in almost a decade. Its also their first concert since cancelling their Paris gig following the tragic events that have unfolded , Northern Ireland on November 18 (Photo by Kevin Scott )
Picture - Kevin Scott Belfast , UK - NOVEMBER 18, U2 perform at Belfast's SSE Arena for the first time in almost a decade. Its also their first concert since cancelling their Paris gig following the tragic events that have unfolded , Northern Ireland on November 18 (Photo by Kevin Scott )
Picture - Kevin Scott Belfast , UK - NOVEMBER 18, U2 perform at Belfast's SSE Arena for the first time in almost a decade. Its also their first concert since cancelling their Paris gig following the tragic events that have unfolded , Northern Ireland on November 18 (Photo by Kevin Scott )
Picture - Kevin Scott Belfast , UK - NOVEMBER 18, U2 perform at Belfast's SSE Arena for the first time in almost a decade. Its also their first concert since cancelling their Paris gig following the tragic events that have unfolded , Northern Ireland on November 18 (Photo by Kevin Scott )
Picture - Kevin Scott Belfast , UK - NOVEMBER 18, U2 perform at Belfast's SSE Arena for the first time in almost a decade. Its also their first concert since cancelling their Paris gig following the tragic events that have unfolded , Northern Ireland on November 18 (Photo by Kevin Scott )
Picture - Kevin Scott Belfast , UK - NOVEMBER 18, U2 perform at Belfast's SSE Arena for the first time in almost a decade. Its also their first concert since cancelling their Paris gig following the tragic events that have unfolded , Northern Ireland on November 18 (Photo by Kevin Scott )
Picture - Kevin Scott Belfast , UK - NOVEMBER 18, U2 perform at Belfast's SSE Arena for the first time in almost a decade. Its also their first concert since cancelling their Paris gig following the tragic events that have unfolded , Northern Ireland on November 18 (Photo by Kevin Scott )
Picture - Kevin Scott Belfast , UK - NOVEMBER 18, U2 perform at Belfast's SSE Arena for the first time in almost a decade. Its also their first concert since cancelling their Paris gig following the tragic events that have unfolded , Northern Ireland on November 18 (Photo by Kevin Scott )
PACEMAKER BELFAST 18/11/2015 U2 in concert this evening at the SSE Arena in Belfast. Security was ramped up this evening in Belfast in the wake of last weeks terrorist attacks in Paris. Photo Tremaine Gregg/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 18/11/2015 U2 in concert this evening at the SSE Arena in Belfast. Security was ramped up this evening in Belfast in the wake of last weeks terrorist attacks in Paris. Photo Tremaine Gregg/Pacemaker Press
U2 perform at Belfast's SSE Arena for the first time in almost a decade. (Photo by Kevin Scott)
U2 perform at Belfast's SSE Arena for the first time in almost a decade. Its also their first concert since cancelling their Paris gig following the tragic events that have unfolded , Northern Ireland on November 18 (Photo by Kevin Scott )
U2 bring their Popmart tour to Belfast in August 1997.
U2 play Botanic Gardens. August 1997.
U2 play Botanic Gardens. August 1997. Bono and Adam Clayton.
U2 at Croke Park - Dublin Friday July 24, 2009. Photo Julien Behal/PA Wire ...A
U2 Play their final 360 concert at Croke Park. Larry Mullen on drums - U2 U2 Play their final 360 concert at Croke Park supported by The Script, Dublin, Ireland - 27.07.09. VIPIRELAND.COM
Thousands of fans travelled to see Irish super group U2 perform live at Croke Park, Dublin for the 1st night of three for their the U2, "360" world tour. Friday 24th July 2009. Pictures by Liam McBurney
U2 at Croke Park - Friday July 24, 2008. Photo credit Julien Behal/PA Wire ...A
Thousands of fans travelled to see Irish super group U2 perform live at Croke Park Friday 24rd July 2009 Pictures by Liam McBurney
Thousands of fans travelled down to see Irish super group U2 perform live at Croke Park, Dublin for the 1st night of 3 for their the U2, "360 (degree)" world tour. Pictured L-R The Edge, Larry Mullen, Bono, Adam Clayton. Pictures by Liam McBurney
Thousands of fans travelled down to see Irish super group U2 perform live at Croke Park, Dublin for the 1st night of 3 for their the U2, "360 (degree)" world tour. Friday 24rd July 2009 Pictures by Liam McBurney
Thousands of fans travelled down to see Irish super group U2 perform live at Croke Park, Dublin for the 1st night of 3 for their the U2, "360 (degree)" world tour. Friday 24rd July 2009 Pictures by Liam McBurney
U2's singer Bono on stage during the second Irish date of their Vertigo Tour at Croke Park Stadium, Dublin Saturday June 25, 2005.
Bono (right) leans on guitarist The Edge as U2 perform their second song 'I Will Follow' at Croke Park stadium
Fans stand in light drizzle before U2 perform at Croke Park stadium
Bono, lead singer of the Irish rock band U2, sings early in the first of five sold-out nights at Madison Square Garden in New York, Friday, Oct. 7, 2005. The band is on the third leg of their Vertigo 2005 Tour, which kicked off six months ago on the West Coast of the U.S.
Thousands of fans travelled down to see Irish super group U2 perform live at Croke Park, Dublin for the 1st night of 3 for their the U2, "360 (degree)" world tour. Pictured lead singer Bono. Pic Liam McBurney
Thousands of fans travelled down to see Irish super group U2 perform live at Croke Park, Dublin for the 1st night of 3 for their the U2, "360 (degree)" world tour. Pictured GV of the crowd. Pictures by Liam McBurney
Thousands of fans travelled down to see Irish super group U2 perform live at Croke Park, Dublin for the 1st night of 3 for their the U2, "360 (degree)" world tour. Pictured lead singer Bono. Pictures by Liam McBurney
Thousands of fans travelled down to see Irish super group U2 perform live at Croke Park, Dublin for the 1st night of 3 for their the U2, "360 (degree)" world tour. Pictured GV of the stage and crowd. Pictures by Liam McBurney
Thousands of fans travelled down to see Irish super group U2 perform live at Croke Park, Dublin for the 1st night of 3 for their the U2, "360 (degree)" world tour. Pictured lead singer Bono. Pictures by Liam McBurney
housands of fans travelled down to see Irish super group U2 perform live at Croke Park, Dublin for the 1st night of 3 for their the U2, "360 (degree)" world tour. Pictured Adam Clayton. Pictures by Liam McBurney
Thousands of fans travelled down to see Irish super group U2 perform live at Croke Park, Dublin for the 1st night of 3 for their the U2, "360 (degree)" world tour. Pictured drummer Larry Mullen. Pictures by Liam McBurney
Thousands of fans travelled down to see Irish super group U2 perform live at Croke Park, Dublin for the 1st night of 3 for their the U2, "360 (degree)" world tour. Pictured lead singer Bono. Pictures by Liam McBurney
Thousands of fans travelled down to see Irish super group U2 perform live at Croke Park, Dublin for the 1st night of 3 for their the U2, "360 (degree)" world tour. Pictured The Edge. Pictures by Liam McBurney
Thousands of fans travelled down to see Irish super group U2 perform live at Croke Park, Dublin for the 1st night of 3 for their the U2, "360 (degree)" world tour. Pictured lead singer Bono. Pictures by Liam McBurney
U2 Play their final 360 concert at Croke Park...Bono - U2 U2 Play their final 360 concert at Croke Park supported by The Script, Dublin, Ireland - 27.07.09. VIPIRELAND.COM
Thousands of fans travelled down to see Irish super group U2 perform live at Croke Park, Dublin for the 1st night of 3 for their the U2, "360 (degree)" world tour. Pictured lead singer Bono. Pictures by Liam McBurney
U2 Play their final 360 concert at Croke Park...Larry Mullen - U2 U2 Play their final 360 concert at Croke Park supported by The Script, Dublin, Ireland - 27.07.09. VIPIRELAND.COM
Thousands of fans travelled down to see Irish super group U2 perform live at Croke Park, Dublin for the 1st night of 3 for their the U2, "360 (degree)" world tour. Pictured GV of the stage and crowd. Pictures by Liam McBurney
Thousands of fans travelled down to see Irish super group U2 perform live at Croke Park, Dublin for the 1st night of 3 for their the U2, "360 (degree)" world tour. Pictured lead singer Bono. Pic: Liam McBurney
U2 at Croke Park - Dublin...Adam Clayton (left) and The Edge from U2 playing at Croke Park in Dublin. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday July 24, 2008. Photo credit should read: Julien Behal/PA Wire ...A
Thousands of fans travelled down to see Irish super group U2 perform live at Croke Park, Dublin for the 1st night of 3 for their the U2, "360 (degree)" world tour. Pictured L-R The Edge, Larry Mullen, Bono, Adam Clayton. Pictures by Liam McBurney
Thousands of fans travelled down to see Irish super group U2 perform live at Croke Park, Dublin for the 1st night of 3 for their the U2, "360 (degree)" world tour. Pictured GV of the stage and crowd. Pictures by Liam McBurney
Thousands of fans travelled down to see Irish super group U2 perform live at Croke Park, Dublin for the 1st night of 3 for their the U2, "360 (degree)" world tour. Pictured GV of the stage and crowd.
PACEMAKER PRESS INTL BELFAST 24/7/09. Bono on stage tonight at Croke Park as the Irish supergroup played their homecoming gig in front of 80,000 fans. Picture Charles McQuillan/Pacemaker.
Bono, lead singer of the Irish rock band U2, sings early in the first of five sold-out nights at Madison Square Garden in New York, Friday, Oct. 7, 2005. The band is on the third leg of their Vertigo 2005 Tour, which kicked off six months ago on the West Coast of the U.S.
U2 CONCERT AT KINGS HALL, BELFAST in 1987
U2 CONCERT AT KINGS HALL, BELFAST in Jun2 1987.
PACEMAKER BELFAST 19/05/98 Unionist leader David Trimble, SDLP leader John Hume and Bono and U2 pictured together on stage at the Waterfront hall in Belfast this evening for a concert to promote a YES vote in the referendum on Friday
U2 CONCERT AT KINGS HALL, BELFAST in June 1987.
PACEMAKER BELFAST 19/05/98 Unionist leader David Trimble, SDLP leader John Hume and Bono and U2 pictured together on stage at the Waterfront hall in Belfast this evening for a concert to promote a YES vote in the referendum on Friday PHOTO PAUL FAITH

There, Bono held hands with John Hume and David Trimble to call for a Yes vote in the referendum on the Good Friday Agreement.

The band's last public concert in Belfast was even earlier, in 1997, a sell-out open air gig in the city's Botanic Gardens.

There had been doubts over the suitability of venues in the Republic for this tour's shows.

Read more:

U2 exclusive: Our man goes backstage ahead of fab four's huge Belfast gig  

The band said they were doing everything in their power to take the tour to Ireland - with The Edge saying not playing to a home crowd would be a "huge disappointment".

He had hinted that Belfast's SSE Arena would be the only venue that could stage the show.

However, the rock stars later announced four dates in their native Dublin, at the 3Arena on November 23, 24, 27 and 28.

"Finding venues to take this show is actually quite tricky and we're grateful to our overworked crew who finally cracked the reconfiguring to fit these venues," said The Edge last night.

Last year, the band chose the New Lodge area of Belfast for the filming of their video to the song Every Breaking Wave.

Read more:

U2 video being filmed in New Lodge area of north Belfast  

U2 'Every Breaking Wave' Belfast short film by Aoife McCardle is released  

The band's  iNNOCENCE + eXPERIENCE Tour kicked off in May in Vancouver to rave reviews and the US leg saw the band joined onstage by special guests including Jimmy Fallon, Bruce Springsteen and Lady Gaga, as they performed songs from their career catalogue.

Released last year, the album charts the group's earliest experiences of growing up in Dublin. It was influenced by Seventies rock, punk and early Eighties electronica and gives an insight into how U2 came together.

Wednesday 17th December 2014, Belfast, Northern Ireland - U2 FILMING IN NORTH BELFAST
Pictured is the set in the Newlodge of the new U2 video
Picture Credit : Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph
Wednesday 17th December 2014, Belfast, Northern Ireland - U2 FILMING IN NORTH BELFAST Pictured is the set in the Newlodge of the new U2 video Picture Credit : Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph
Wednesday 17th December 2014, Belfast, Northern Ireland - U2 FILMING IN NORTH BELFAST Pictured is the set in the Newlodge of the new U2 video Picture Credit : Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph
Scenes from a street in the New Lodge area of north Belfast yesterday, where a video for U2 was being filmed
Scenes from a street in the New Lodge area of north Belfast yesterday, where a video for U2 was being filmed
Scenes from a street in the New Lodge area of north Belfast yesterday, where a video for U2 was being filmed
Wednesday 17th December 2014, Belfast, Northern Ireland - U2 FILMING IN NORTH BELFAST Pictured is the set in the Newlodge of the new U2 video Picture Credit : Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

However, all were not happy when the band teamed up with Apple to gift the album to everyone with an iTunes account.

Exploring themes of home and family, the album also deals with the impact of the 1974 Dublin and Monaghan bombings, the end of a time of innocence for all four band members.

Read more:

U2's bomb tribute whips up a storm  

U2 will not axe song about UVF bombings from Belfast setlist

The supergroup have included a musical and pictorial tribute to the victims of the 1974 loyalist attacks during their performance of Raised by Wolves.

Last week guitarist The Edge was adamant the band would not leave out the song.

Online Editors

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