80K U2 Fans head home for a weekend of live music

FANS heading for the first Irish show of U2's world tour in Croke Park tonight have been promised the band's most spectacular performance yet.

Singer Bono told fans via a link-up on their website that all the gigs they've done so far have just been a warm-up for the Dublin dates.

He joked: "The 'rehearsals' have been going really well. We've been rehearsing in Barcelona, Milan, Nice, Berlin and Amsterdam. But we expect that the main event in Dublin will be better than any of them."

The Edge spoke of the "magic" they always experience of playing a hometown date, whether it's in Croke Park, the RDS or Slane Castle.

He said: "It's not just another show, for us or for the fans. They travel from all over the world to see us perform in Dublin. Most of them believe it's the best gig for them to attend.

"You do your best at every gig, but playing Ireland is different. I remember how the Phoenix Park Racecourse was one of the first big gigs we ever did. There was a huge level of excitement for everybody involved. There was a physical reaction from the audience like nothing we'd felt before.

"Every time we go onstage there's a certain chemistry between the four of us. But in Dublin the crowd actually take us to another level. It's incredible. It's never just another show for us."

From this afternoon 80,000 fans will begin to descend on Croke Park.`

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