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Belfast Shows 1 And 2 #U2ieTour Reviews + Comments Thread


What Was Your Favourite Song(s) Of Each Night?  

12 members have voted

  1. 1. Your favourite song(s) of Show 1? Please choose up to 3 (three) songs...

    • The Miracle (Of Joey Ramone)
      1
    • The Electric Co.
      2
    • Vertigo
      0
    • I Will Follow
      4
    • Iris (Hold Me Close)
      1
    • Cedarwood Road
      0
    • Song For Someone
      0
    • Sunday Bloody Sunday
      2
    • Raised By Wolves
      5
    • Until The End Of The World
      2
    • Invisible
      0
    • Even Better Than The Real Thing
      1
    • Mysterious Ways
      0
    • Elevation
      0
    • The Sweetest Thing
      2
    • Every Breaking Wave
      1
    • October
      1
    • Bullet The Blue Sky
      2
    • Zooropa
      4
    • Where The Streets Have No Name
      0
    • Pride (In The Name Of Love)
      1
    • With Or Without You
      2
    • City Of Blinding Lights
      0
    • Beautiful Day
      2
    • Mother And Child Reunion (snippet) / One
      2
  2. 2. Your favourite song(s) of Show 2? Please choose up to 3 (three) songs...

    • The Miracle (Of Joey Ramone)
      1
    • Out of Control
      5
    • Vertigo
      0
    • I Will Follow
      0
    • Iris (Hold Me Close)
      2
    • Cedarwood Road
      0
    • Song For Someone
      0
    • Sunday Bloody Sunday
      1
    • Raised By Wolves
      0
    • Until The End Of The World
      2
    • Invisible
      0
    • Even Better Than The Real Thing
      0
    • Mysterious Ways
      1
    • Desire
      1
    • Angel of Harlem
      3
    • Every Breaking Wave
      1
    • October
      1
    • Bullet The Blue Sky
      2
    • Zooropa
      1
    • Where The Streets Have No Name
      0
    • Pride (In The Name Of Love)
      0
    • With Or Without You
      0
    • City Of Blinding Lights
      1
    • Beautiful Day
      1
    • Mother And Child Reunion (snippet) / Bad
      7
    • "40"
      2


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Its almost a week since I started packing for a visit to see the #U2ieTour Belfast shows. A relatively short (but bouncy) ride on a wee plane over the Irish Sea.. Planned a while back, intention initially was to go to Show 2 and be there in good time to take in a bit of the atmosphere after Night 1..

 

That plan changed, as many plans had changed, in the context of what had happened in Paris less than a week before this.
The ‘chaos of Paris’ that was to turn into the ‘peace of Belfast’ still very much an unimagined uncertainty in that interval between the 2 city tour visits. Still shocked, confused, one feeling rose to the surface, a determination to be in that room the next time People Have The Power kicked in signifying we were moments away from the start of the next show.

Business as usual. Not because of the Paris attacks. In spite of them. The show really must go on.

 

In parts, Belfast looks and feels a bit like my home city in England. In parts it looks and feels really like no other city I have ever been to.* Growing up hearing about the Troubles via British TV, not really understanding anything other that it seemed like a pretty dangerous place to live in. Not somewhere you would think of going to deliberately, unless you got sent there as a soldier in the Army (which some of my schoolfriends had indeed done). Those daily dangerous times in Belfast are in the past now. A fragile past, still searching for full reconciliation and justice, but as I began to understand as I met and talked to people who live there, a past that there is real desire to move away from. Into a peaceful future.

 

A wet and windswept walk from my friendly & homely B&B to the SSE Arena, through the city centre, across the river, southside to northside… a nervous energy that precedes any U2 show heightened by the realisation that this is about to happen. The #U2ieTour is home on Irish soil.

Security understandabley that bit extra switched on. A long queue to get in, but no real hassle. Here. Present. Familiar faces at the e-stage. Hugs. Chat. Anticipation.
No photo taking for me tonight. Full focus to try and take every moment in. Use the eyes and ears as the camera lens to snapshot the key moments. Be in the moment.

 

The arena is probably one of the smallest of the tour, but perfectly formed for the production. Any seat a great seat, floor packed but still a bit of elbow room. Friends at the e-stage said to try to see the whole show from there, which I had not done yet, so I took their advice and parked my frame about 4 deep on Larry’s side.

A white scarf was worn in solidarity with the #whiteoutbelfast #strongerthanfear fan initiative that had gained real momentum via social media and the local press, and as I looked around I saw many other fans had donned something white too.

 

U2 friends agree with me - a U2 show starts the moment you enter the arena, the nuts and bolts of it, the audience filling up, the crew on view tweaking the setup right until the last moments, its all part of the experience.

We all wondered how Bono was going to address the Paris attacks. It wasn’t a matter of if, but how, and when within the show. The haters would be ready to criticise any mistimed quote or reference I am sure. Pretty sure too that was on every fans’ mind also. And the band’s.

 

‘The most beautiful sound I ever heard’ goes the lyric to The Miracle (Of Joey Ramone). Never more true. The first chords of ‘business as usual’ bite deep after the rousing Bono solo intro whoah-oh-oh’s that get us all straight into singing mode. Invisible wall between performer and audience cracked open before a note is played or a cymbal crashed. Genius.

 

From my chosen GA spot I found myself looking around at the crowd right from the early songs. Checking out how quickly they were getting into it. And truth be told part of me did at times think some awful shit about what went down in Paris. A part of me was very much on guard. So much even I think someone asked me if I was part of Security. Laughs. Insecurity more like it. Whether we liked it on not, intentionally, unintentionally, we were all there as part of an act of defiance against fear. Stronger than it for real. As any trepidations fell away during the opening 4 numbers (including A Gloria-snippeted cracking version of The Electric Co), deep breath to hear how the singer handles the intros…

"What’s going on?" he asks. “A lot" he answers himself.. "since the last time we were here”. “You are heroes to us…its great to be back in the HEART of Belfast”. Job 1 done Mr Hewson.

 

Having been to a few shows, its great fun to listen & look out around you as #U2ieTour first-timers who have no idea what is coming react to the start of the more theatrical elements that begin with Iris. Arms point to the screen, ears are shouted into about how thats Bono’s mother up there. When the ladder drops and he disappears into the screen, and then emerges for the first verse of Cedarwood Road… well remember the first time you saw that. Still jaws drop and some actual joyful screams just behind me… we are all transported to the street across from Cedarwood Road, looking over, up to this technicolour wondrous re-creation of a man’s childhood memories. It really is like a en-masse shared dream playing out in 3D in front of your face.

 

I am reminded as Act 1 plays out, of the sections this show has, Part 1 the full on rock club bit, getting the adrenaline flowing, then that screen being used so theatrically helping to deliver the Songs Of Innocence - causing the crowd to respond in a different manner. There is so much going on you want to try to capture as much as you can of course… a real sense of wonder and amazement overcomes.

 

Sam strapping the marching drum on to Larry and the musical drone snapped by the crack of the snare signals the intro to Sunday Bloody Sunday. Fucking electric chills. Heart stopping.
The visuals have been changed specifically for Belfast. Oliver Jeffers and the Willie Williams crew have been busy this week its clear… A virtual journey is taken through the re-created, re-imagined gable end wall murals that adorn this city. Both Republican and Loyalist scenes are painted in equal measure on-screen. The odd ones of hope and peace standing out somehow more defiantly than the ones of pride and honour.

So we are here in the middle of a rock and roll show when the ear-splitting, eye-searing simulation of Registration 1385-WZ explodes. In the heart of Belfast. (No sign off the feared riot some local politician had predicted by the way). Raised by Wolves had been played live 70 times up until this night. More like rehearsed 70 times for this night. Performance #71 of it nailed to the mast of the Titanic exhibition (just down the road..) This ship ain’t going down though..

 

The end graphics to Wolves was also changed to highlight some of the many other atrocities that have fallen on Ireland throughout the Troubles,. Atrocities done by both sides, always ending up with many innocent victims. ‘Let Them Not Be Forgotten’ ‘Rest In Peace’ fade out to the COMFORT ME cries and choppy guitar syncopations that deliver ‘Until The End Of The World’, to close out Act 1.

 

Complete sensory overload. I am rooted. Its like being in someone else dream… I say again. But I am as wide awake as I ever have been. Feels a bit like just after the time I helped deliver my own baby boy (not through choice!), in the bathroom of our home, the scariest time in my whole life, followed by the most massive feeling of relief when the paramedics arrived and told me him and his mother were going to be ok…

 

This does not feel like near the end of a Tour. It feels like it just got born. Again. Baby. In the bathtub of Belfast.

 

 

* An exception to that would be that my visit to the separation wall that still exists between the Falls Road and the Shankhill Road did look a lot like the separation wall that exists around the city of Bethlehem and endlessly stretches through the rest of Israel / Palestine

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Ah Bigwave - nice review. Sounds like you must have been on a Flybe flight into Belfast City airport?  :) ....honestly, the slightest hint of wind and those prop engines bounce around a little.

 

This for the bullet through the lighbulb moment when Bono has Edge in the palm of his hand. Forever ingrained.

 

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I

U2 friends agree with me - a U2 show starts the moment you enter the arena, the nuts and bolts of it, the audience filling up, the crew on view tweaking the setup right until the last moments, its all part of the experience.

 

Never a truer word said Bigwave. For this show it started for me about 48hrs earlier, taking a slight detour on my way home from work at night - just checking things out and ensuring the trucks were arriving and this venue was not just a dream I'd been reading about elsewhere. ;)

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My French Flag on stage at Belfast on 19 November 2015 !!!! (but lost for the good cause... :))
 
I was with a friend in Belfast on the 19 November 2015, almost 2 weeks ago already! That was my 16th concert of the band since the first one I attended in Paris (hippodrome de Vincennes) on 26th of June... 1993! I absolutely wanted to see a concert of this tour in Ireland, aiming first at Dublin's venue, but I could "only" get tickets for Belfast. That was actually a great opportunity to discover a new city, as I already experienced the band in 2009 at Croke Park. After a quite long trip summing up train to Francfort airport + plane to Dublin + bus to Belfast, we could make it on time to get our MGZ ticket at the desk around 18:00. I was actually not expecting to be so close to the stage! We were early enough to make some irish friends while waiting for the show (and having a few beers), discovering some unknown things from the country. While the concert was about to start, I took my French flag out of my pocket, with the intention to honor the memory of the victims of the attacks in Paris 6 days before (I am French). A security guy came to inform that the policy for the night was no flag... which made me a bit sad. Anyway. Then the concert started and I could enjoy one of the best experience ever, since I had never been so close to the band. I had always been in stadium, far away from the stage. What a unique experience already!!! Then, while we were approaching the end  of the concert, U2 started to play "City of Blinding Lights", and at the same the concert hall was lighted in Blue, White and Red, a reference to France and the recent sad events. My Irish neighbors (and new friends) invited to wave my French flag, which sounded quite fair. As we were very close to the stage, Bono could see us... and here it comes: he asked to get my French flag on stage, which he got! He even played Bad with my flag on his heart.... I can tell that I had never been so proud... pictures and videos will be kept forever on my side for remembering this moment.
 
My only regret is that the security did not let me get the flag back after the concert. My dream would have been to gather it, but I have not found any way to get my dream become true, since there is no way to write directly to the band... I now hope that this message will get at some point in the hands of Bono or one of his mates...
 
Matthiou
 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iwOn8Cd4x38

Edited by Matthiou
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Great story Matthiou. Thanks for sharing. Hope you get your flag back, but if not, at least you have your memories. Thanks for coming to Belfast.

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My French Flag on stage at Belfast on 19 November 2015 !!!! (but lost for the good cause... :))

 

I was with a friend in Belfast on the 19 November 2015, almost 2 weeks ago already! That was my 16th concert of the band since the first one I attended in Paris (hippodrome de Vincennes) on 26th of June... 1993! I absolutely wanted to see a concert of this tour in Ireland, aiming first at Dublin's venue, but I could "only" get tickets for Belfast. That was actually a great opportunity to discover a new city, as I already experienced the band in 2009 at Croke Park. After a quite long trip summing up train to Francfort airport + plane to Dublin + bus to Belfast, we could make it on time to get our MGZ ticket at the desk around 18:00. I was actually not expecting to be so close to the stage! We were early enough to make some irish friends while waiting for the show (and having a few beers), discovering some unknown things from the country. While the concert was about to start, I took my French flag out of my pocket, with the intention to honor the memory of the victims of the attacks in Paris 6 days before (I am French). A security guy came to inform that the policy for the night was no flag... which made me a bit sad. Anyway. Then the concert started and I could enjoy one of the best experience ever, since I had never been so close to the band. I had always been in stadium, far away from the stage. What a unique experience already!!! Then, while we were approaching the end  of the concert, U2 started to play "City of Blinding Lights", and at the same the concert hall was lighted in Blue, White and Red, a reference to France and the recent sad events. My Irish neighbors (and new friends) invited to wave my French flag, which sounded quite fair. As we were very close to the stage, Bono could see us... and here it comes: he asked to get my French flag on stage, which he got! He even played Bad with my flag on his heart.... I can tell that I had never been so proud... pictures and videos will be kept forever on my side for remembering this moment.

 

My only regret is that the security did not let me get the flag back after the concert. My dream would have been to gather it, but I have not found any way to get my dream become true, since there is no way to write directly to the band... I now hope that this message will get at some point in the hands of Bono or one of his mates...

 

Matthiou

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iwOn8Cd4x38

Hi Matthiou,

 

I was standing in front of you in that section MZG section. I did not realise Bono was looking for the flag at that time and thought he was pointing at me to come up on stage. The next thing your flag was passed over my shoulder and so my dream was dashed. But the French flag deserved to be onstage more than I did lol.

I'm glad you enjoyed your trip to N.Ireland and Belfast.

 

Marty

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