Tuesday, 15 September 2015

How I got to see U2 in Croke Park...twice!

If you're a foreigner in Ireland, going to a U2 concert in their home town is the ultimate Irish experience.

You might be aware that the band has finally announced their concerts in Dublin in November. And if you read the news you probably learned that all the gigs were sold out in less than an hour.

I had the chance to see them twice in concert, and never had to queue for a ticket. I might be boasting a bit here, but really, I just got really lucky both times. I never intended to go to these concerts, mainly because I couldn't get myself to queue for hours or frantically look at a computer screen in the hope of securing a ticket. Even if I really like U2's music, I'm not that big of a fan to do that.

The first concert I went to was the Vertigo tour, in 2005. Fabrice was working in a hotel at the time, and one of the customers gave him two tickets for free. He was going on the Saturday and had spare tickets for the Monday.

The show was absolutely brilliant, but yeah, Bono talked A LOT and a good part of the gig was a platform to promote his RED charity. But when the band was playing, the atmosphere was just uplifting. Watching U2 play in their home country is something special, and you can feel it. The best part of the concert was the end. After the "encore", and once the stage lights were shut down, the band came back and sang a cappella. And they did it for a very Irish reason: to avoid traffic jams outside Croke Park.

I also went to the 360 tour in 2009. We were on holidays in Mauritius when the tickets went on sale, but without an internet connection handy, it was impossible to get any. A few days after we were back, I got this text from a friend:

"Hi, I queued all night on Grafton street to buy U2 tickets, and we were allowed 6 tickets per person, so I bought them. I thought you might be interested in going!"

Yes, I have a friend who loves queuing all night in the cold and rainy Dublin, just to buy concert tickets. And on top of that, she thinks of others. What more could you ask for? A cheap ticket, maybe...As a matter of fact, that's exactly what happened. Ireland was in recession at the time, and the band decided it would be a good idea to sell affordable tickets.

And that's how my friend could actually  buy 6 tickets, at 30 euros each.

This concert was even better than the one before. There was a lot less talking, and a lot more singing.

Technically it wasn't a 360 tour, more like a 280...

So what about the upcoming concerts? Well, my lovely friend wasn't in Dublin the day the the tickets went on sale (although before we knew the dates she offered to queue all night again!). She did try online though, but it just didn't work.

Unless a miracle happens like in 2005, I don't think I will go the Innocence+Experience tour. At the end of the day, it doesn't really matter, I had the chance to enjoy U2 playing at home, and that's the dream of many foreigners in Ireland (and a few Irish people who don't despise Bono).