The aging “Lads of Ireland” (U2 in Dublin and the city that made them)

I make no apologies.  I am a die-hard U2 fan and will be until the day I die.  I recently saw them in concert in San Jose (California that is) and would jump at the idea of seeing them again and again.  I have tickets to see the thirtieth anniversary of the Joshua Tree album tour in May. I follow them on Facebook and Instragram and about anywhere else they let me follow them without a restraining order. Suffice it to say I was not one of the people angry about the band providing me with their new album for FREE on my iPhone.  I couldn’t have been more thrilled thank you very much.

When I first went to Dublin in 1999 U2, or “The Lads” as they are sometimes referred to in Ireland, were spoken of with a reverence generally associated with royalty or some Irish rebel historical figure.  Anything that could be associated with U2 or its members was a tourist attraction then.

The Liffey-side Clarence Hotel which is owned by members of the band and its “secret night club” were constantly strangled by tourists and cameras, fan girls sat outside of Bono’s house in Bray, the U2 graffiti wall outside of the band’s studio in the urban dockside area was covered in young people gooning out for the camera, and Slane Castle’s grounds were still humming with the memory of the band’s famous concert there in 1983.

These days the band and its fans are getting older myself included.  Their music is more introspective harkening back to a time of punk and family memory with a sense of sentimentality and sensitivity.  I am not sure today’s young people are as in to the band as they once were.  Some are instead enamored with Kardashians and ill-behaved Miley Cyruses.  Tourist bus stops that used to stop by the docks or the Clarence either don’t stop there anymore or no one hops off of the bus.  It makes me sad to think that the band is not as popular as it once was and their presence in the City that belongs to them is not as strong as it has been in the past.  But, at the same time perhaps this is just the next chapter in the art and lives of us all?


U2 Graffiti wall


U2 Graffiti wall


U2 Graffiti wall

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18 thoughts on “The aging “Lads of Ireland” (U2 in Dublin and the city that made them)

  1. I support a faithful fan when I see one, even if it’s of another band. 🙂 Since I’m old (heh), I remember how they started out, Bono dancing with girls onstage at shows, their Live Aid winning act… New Year’s Day is my all-time favourite.

    Some years ago, as I was riding on a dedicated bus taking us to a concert of “old farts” in Austria (“Lovely Days” festival, I went many times there, that time I think it was The Doors with an obnoxious singer, Ten Years After, Eric Burdon, etc.), we had a guy with a guitar with us and we were singing Doors songs. A guy sitting next to me turned out to know everything about The Doors, but his favourite band were U2. We chatted some and I asked him if he liked their Live Aid act as much as I did, and he replied: “I wasn’t born then yet.” 😀

    I don’t know when you were born, but in any case, those were some times, the early 80’s.


    • I know what you mean. When celebrating Christmas this year I mentioned how sad I was that George Michael had died. My young nieces didn’t remember who he was. That kind of broke my heart. I remember the live aid thing. And I remember the song he did with all the rest of the stars for AIDS relief. And the rooftop concert in LA. All super classic things. And we are better for them.

      What do you think of the new music? I like it because I don’t think they could ever do anything that I would not like. But I think I am ready for them to change their sound again a bit. Just something new and fresh to keep them relevant.

      I am very much looking forward to the Joshua tree tour that is coming around soon.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I wasn’t clear enough in my comment, I’m not a fan of them, I just like the fandom you exude. 🙂 At the start I was blown away by them, but then I didn’t follow their career more than everybody else. I gave a listen to the latest record (I guess the one available for free) but was not really impressed.

        Anyway, I’m sure you’ll have an unforgettable time. Like I had on my 8 Pearl Jam shows. 😉 (This is my drug of choice.)

        Liked by 2 people

  2. I can’t claim to be the massive U2 fan you are – I just like most of their music having grown up with them from the start ( Probably In the Name of Love is my favourite – for obvious reasons 🙂 )

    I’m glad you had the good sense to not mention the Kardashians and Miley Cyrus in the same paragraph as the group ( oops! nearly did it myself there!)


    Liked by 1 person

  3. I like U2 too. Saw them in concert here, ’round ’92? They had a Trabant hanging from the roof. As chance went, we had a private lodge at the concert (lent by an advertising friend of ours), with open bar… We were fine until we got out after the concert. Mexicans say: “The change of air got me.” 🙂
    Been a while since I’ve listened to the Joshua tree… Need to refresh my memory. Thank you for the reminder.

    Liked by 1 person

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