Arcadia Ballroom, U.C.C. Downtown Kampus, Cork, Ireland

Set List of Show:

Additional Music

Snippets of Other Songs Performed by U2:

Show Details:

U2, billed at this show as U-2, open for XTC who are in Ireland as part of their White Music tour. Elvera Butler, the entertainment officer for the UCC Student Union, is responsible for booking gigs at the Arcadia, and remembers this show as U2’s first appearance at the venue. The show was £1.50 for admission, £1.00 for students. And the ticket price includes a bus home.

The official paid attendance at the show was 1,194 people, plus Butler mentions there would have been more than that due to the venue’s comp list for the night. U2 got paid £80 for this show. Not bad for an opening act. U2 would go on to play the venue a number of times over the years, as an opening act at their next two appearances, and then as a headlining act after that.

Joe O’Herlihy worked as the sound guy at the Arcadia, and this is the first time that U2 came across Joe. Joe mentions, “They barely knew how to turn on their own gear they were so inexperienced but we looked after them pretty well and they got a good sound. Things like that are noticed in this business and, shortly afterwards, Paul McGuinness contacted me and said ‘we’d like you to become involved with the band’ and the rest, as they say, is history.” O’Herlihy started to do some contract work with U2 but did not join the band full time until 1980. On October 4, 2018, to celebrate 40 years of working with Joe O’Herlihy, the band paid tribute to his work, and the crew, and The Edge, wore special shirts celebrating his forty years with the band. Bono at the show said, ““Right at the top of the pyramid in that community is a very unusual and inspirational spirit that started work with us 40 years ago. Forty years ago, Joe entered our lives in the Arcadia Ballroom in Cork. Then he was but an apprentice wizard. Now he is a grandmaster, an alchemist of the U2 sound.”

There are mentions in some resources that U2 played the Downtown Kampus gig the previous week, but these are incorrect. That show was played by Dave Prim and the Chicken Fisher Band, with opening act Mletallists. It was advertised the day of the show in local papers, and Elvira Butler confirms the later show was U2’s first appearance. U2 had played one previous show in Cork before this gig, at the Stardust in July.

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