Tuesday , September 21 2021

U2 removes signs of fragility in the homecoming explosion

It was a kind of tense return to U2 as they took to the stage in Dublin for the first of four nights this week.

Despite being a self-proclaimed "biggest band in the world" for so long, it was a fragile U2 that exploded on stage in Athens amid mounting questions about how much longer they could continue.

The desire to see them continues, as reflected in the sold-out status of "eXPERIENCE & iNNOCENCE Tour", showing this week, but absenteeism is the normal hype or hysteria surrounding the U2 event in the past.

U2 appeared on stage at 3Arena in Dublin as part of the Experience and Innocence Tour. Pic: Collins

Their deaths were taken home to them brutally in Berlin on September 1 when Bono lost his voice in a spectacular manner, forcing the show to be canceled.

It was also, that while they were more than most bands trying to push the limits when it came to their live shows, old U2 rockers increasingly faced questions about how relevant their creative power was again.

The program, which was modified from the version that toured the United States earlier this year, was based largely on cooperation, democracy, humanity and love arranged in a European context.

It seems right that the newly elected President, Michael D Higgins and Sabina's wife, received tremendous cheers from the crowd when they were shown to their seats.

Complete with a large mega screen that runs perpendicular to the main stage, the band's entry from Charlie Chaplin's epic speech from the 1940 film, The Great Dictator, works very strongly at the start of the gig.

The band kicked into The Blackout and Lights of Home, from their inconsistent 2017 Song Album.

"Recumbent democracy," Bono sang from a sparkling screen when his band mates beat up.

A giant of some of the strongest materials from their back catalog follows.

"We are a band from the north side of Dublin called U2, this is our new single," Bono said.

From the early years, home audiences who were enthusiastically treated to people like I Will Follow and Gloria while Beautiful Day, Zoo Station and the Fly were excellent illustrations of how good U2 was when they wanted it. Even the swaying by Edge on his guitar solo during The Fly failed to ruin the mood.

Signs of any fragility about the vocalist's voice fell as he left with a full belt through hits.

"Is this Athens, then we have to be at home," Bono said before entertaining the crowd about the story of the early show at the Baggott Inn where he said they had a big break.

With Joshua Tree completely absent from the event line-up, the material played was lower than Zooropa's album and even the strange curve ball from Achtung Baby was given an excursion.

Elegant love songs, Stay (Faraway, so close) work really well, while Who & Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses will be very exciting.

"In Berlin in the early 1990s, the walls began to collapse. But in the Hansa studio, the walls began to arrive, the band could not agree to anything. Four boys lost their homes, "we were told by Bono to reflect on the trip taken by the band.

Songs like Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me, Elevation, Vertigo, Even Better Than Real Things and Acrobat doesn't disappoint.

"You're not a rock star, you're Paul," his brother told him that many people were told.

"Who is Paul? Paul is dead. I'm fucking Bono, this is Edge," Bono said at the beginning of the Better Event, remembering the resistance he and the band met when they started out.

Perhaps feeling they still have to prove themselves, U2 managed to give a show that fortunately minimized preaching and prioritized energy and pleasure from what should be a rock top show.

U2 will play 3Arena tonight, Friday 9th, and Saturday 10th and all concerts are sold out.

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