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by Dave

U2 Freedom of Dublin City, 18th of March 2000
Set List: All I Want is You, Desire, Sweetest Thing, One

The Freedom to do a one off
In December of 1999, Dublin lord mayor Mary Freehill announced that U2 where going to get the freedom of the city, and to celebrate they would give a free concert. So everyone in Dublin was losing the head to think we will actually see U2 live and free at home, at last. Then on the 2nd last day of `99 Mary Freehill announced she had made a mistake and U2 wouldnt play any songs. I myself said Ill stay at home for that one. As the St. Patricks weekend approached, the local media all said that U2 would do an acoustic set, but the band still said no show was on. Then a different sign was had a few days before the Saturday as U2 soundman Joe Herily was known to be in Dublin.

Then St. Patricks day 17th of March, I had no ticket for Smithfield and was still not sure if I wanted to go. Then I bumped into my mate Dugo, in Temple Bar, and he told he still had a few tickets and we should go in and have a look. The next day 5 oclock I called up for the ticket, and Dugo went up to get it, with MOFO pumping out of the stereo. We met up with a lot, Chris and Daymo to name a few, Daymo still nursing his stomach from the traditional Irish St. Patricks night party the night before. We headed into Smithfield and checked out the local pub. A fantasic pub who served a great pint and had a proper pub feel to it, no music, just an old looking pub. The Show was due to kick off at 8.30 and Chris was still stuck in the pub, As I dragged Chris out, I could just hear And if you dont know from the speakers and Chris roared at me Electric Co., As part of the Show they were playing a history of U2, going right through the footage of the 80s to the famous dream it up again speech. Then the 90s was summed up with the start of the POP Mart concert and my favorite song from the POP album MOFO.

Then the screen showed the band been led onto the stage by City guards, With a Dublin City councilor saying that next on the agenda was item number 4, The Freedom of the city. Aung San Suu Kyi Was also getting the freedom of the city. She had been fighting for democracy in Burma and had been under house arrest since 1988, so her son accepted the award on her behalf. Paul McGuinness U2s manager also was given the freedom of the city and simply said With U2 Ive seen many cities in the world and Dublin the is greatest.

Next up was the band, Larry Mullen thanked Bono, Edge and Adam for being in his band, The Edge said his family nearly made a mistake by moving to Birmingham instead of Dublin. Then Adam, who said, I was like edge and felt like a blow in, but now I feel like a real Dub, Adam went onto to apologize to the Irish Police for all the problems he caused over the years. Finally Bono who made the night simply saying, Theres nothing left to say except we might as well play a few tunes. Bono went on to say, Weve the freedom to drink, the freedom to think, the Freedom to do a one off., As Bono was making his speech Edge got up and started strumming his guitar. Then with the very end of his speech, Bono broke into All I want is you. At this time his voice was far from perfect and the sound was a bit off. After All I want is You, Bono and Edge played Desire. During the song Adam came out playing the Bass. When Desire was finished 3 Violinists made there way onto the stage with Bono remarking Larrys found his to a drum kit, weve cords, strings,,,,, First Time, and with that Sweetest Thing got its first airing, With the crowd singing Sweetest Thing, and later Ooooohh, oooooh and bono singing Sweetest Thing. Finally Bono said this one goes out to John Hume, David Trimble, Gerry Adams and Big Ian, Is It getting better or do you feel the same. One, deciated to the 4 main party leaders in the Northern Irish peace process. With that the band called a halt to a good show, the early errors being ironed out as the song went on.

The night ended up in the local pub with a few pints of Guinness, What a way to wrap up the perfect night and a great St. Paddys weekend. Cant wait to see them in the Summer of 2001.

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