Location: North-side, rail, e-stage
The GA for the last concert in Dublin turned out to be very pleasant. It was rainy that morning and we had set up inside the Odeon building to separate the lines into north and south sides. Craig Evans, U2’s Tour Business Manager, came to the queue and invited us into the 3Arena lobby early to avoid the poor weather. The crowd welcomed this, and indeed, it is more than ideal when U2’s management engages with the GA and ensures we are looked after. Craig assured that the queue numbers would be respected as we were granted early entry and scanning. This worked out for the first 130 in each queue, but not so much for those left behind unfortunately.
While we were waiting in the 3Arena, word got out that Bono was trying out the U2 Experience Bus (in which Apple offered a Virtual Reality experience of U2’s Song for Someone). Some of our friends who didn’t queue – Jodi, Anu, and Vik – were lucky to meet Bono on the bus! The cynical fan in me suspected that U2’s management wanted us in the 3Arena early to avoid a rush of fans around the Bono. In any event, it was an easy entry onto the GA floor. My friend Chris and I made it to the e-stage facing the front. It was a new view for me and a chance to clearly view the video sequences on the screen for the first time this tour. Because of the placement of the e-stage in the middle of the catwalk, the perspective from here is almost ideal since you are relatively close to the I-stage to see the action there, and also a full enjoy the e-stage performances.
That last night was certainly had a party atmosphere to it. As you’ll see in the video below, even one of the security guards in the 3Arena was dancing away (to be fair, he danced every night – such was the relaxed feel to the Dublin gigs). Later at the e-stage, we had Panti Bliss appear during Mysterious Ways and filmed Desire while Dublin singer Imelda May sung along. I also loved hearing Joy Division’s ‘Love Will Tear Us Apart’ as a snippet for With or Without You, coupled with ‘Shine Like Stars’, thanks to the reminder sign held up by our friend Noel and encouraged by Di and Wendy. To close the night, and for the third time in a row, we got the Bad/40 ending.
After the concert, I periscoped my thoughts with my U2Start friends. I then went for a Guinness with Chris, Arnie, Colleen, Jorge, Carolina, and Perefrancesco at the Sackville pub where we chatted with Peter Rowan’s uncle. He shared with us some early U2 stories of them growing up as neighbours. We finally finished the evening by partying with a lot of U2 fans at the Church bar. My memory of the night was dancing and singing with my U2Valenca friends and catching up with some of my friends from England, Holland, Canada, and the United States. I will always cherish Dublin for its strong affinity with U2 and gravity it pulls fans from all over the world.