U2 to tour Ireland at end of November, Bono confirms

‘We are coming home ... we just had to make it happen,’ Bono tells Brian Boyd in Turin

Bono has confirmed that U2 will be playing "Innocence and Experience" shows in Ireland at the end of November.

"We are coming home... it was really hard to figure out a way of doing it, but we just had to make it happen," he told The Irish Times after coming off stage on Saturday night in Turin following the band's second show in the city.

The city or cities they will play in, the exact dates and venue names will be made public soon as well as infomation about ticketing for the shows.

The difficulty for the band in playing Ireland was that the stage configuration of the current tour is simply too big to fit into any Irish venue.


“We found a way to reformat the show, to literally rebuild it for the Irish shows,” says Bono.

“It got to the stage where we just had to tell our people “You have to make this happen, you have to make this work, this is where we are from and we have to bring the tour home.”

The tour was supposed to finish in Paris on November 15th but has now been extended until the end of November to accomodate these new Irish shows.

“I am so happy we are bringing this home,” adds Bono. “These Irish shows will be like an Irish wedding. It is always tricky planning a wedding – who sits besides who could ruin it!”

There have been previous reports that the band have block-booked rooms in Dublin’s Gibson Hotel, which is adjacent to the 3Arena, from November 25th to November 29th. The 3Arena is free on these nights.

Given that the current album details U2s upbringing and early days on the Northside of Dublin, the tour is the most "Irish" thing they've done with Cedarwood Road (the road in Ballymun Bono grew up on) being brought to life on huge video screens as Bono walks down the length of the road during the show.

A centrepiece of the performance is the band calling on the British governement to make public the files on the Dublin/Monaghan bombings of 1974. Thirty-three people died in May 1974 when car bombs were detonated without warning – the atrocity remains the largest loss of life at any point in the Troubles.

The band have reworked Sunday Bloody Sunday to draw attention to how the bereaved families are still looking for answers to who was responsible for the deaths. A portrait picture of each of the 33 victims is shown on huge video screens as the band sing Raised By Wolves — a song specifically written about the bombings.

Bono has spoken about how, on the Friday the bombs went off, he would normally have been in the exact area of Dublin where the explosions occured as there was a well known record shop in the area he would always frequent after school. A punctured bicycle on the day meant he didn't make it into town that day but a good friend of his was caught up in the bombings and it is the friends voice who narrates the story on Raised By Wolves.

The band have reworked the live show to reflect the Syrian refugee crisis. The singer changed the lyrics to “Pride” in Turin when singing “One boy washed up on an empty beach” in reference to the horrific image published last week of a drowned young Syrian boy.

Brian Boyd

Brian Boyd

Brian Boyd, a contributor to The Irish Times, writes mainly about music and entertainment