Leixlip Castle, Leixlip, Ireland

Set List of Show:

Known Set List: (Likely Incomplete)

  • "11 O'Clock Tick Tock"
  • "An Cat Dubh"
  • "Into the Heart"
  • "The Electric Co."
  • "Another Day"
  • "Shadows and Tall Trees"
  • "A Day Without Me"
  • "Twilight"
  • "Another Time, Another Place"

  • "A Day Without Me"

Additional Music

Snippets of Other Songs Performed by U2:

Show Details:

U2 are asked to do a short set as part of an all day Festival. The festival is put together by Asgard, and is titled the “Dublin Festival 1980”. The venue is Leixlip Castle, and the doors open at 11am with performances starting at 2pm. Approximately 25,000 music fans are at the concert.

Moondogs, Skafish, and the Q-Tips take the stage ahead of U2. John Otway, Squeeze and The Police follow U2. The early sets are just 20 – 30 minutes long and U2 play only a short set, but Bono calls it a “good day for us”. The band end their set with “The Electric Co.” A bootleg of the show exists, but only includes five songs. Other songs are known through RTÉ news broadcasts shared in 2020. The set list may still be incomplete, but likely is close to complete.

The band are accompanied by a large U2 made out of what appears to be plumbers piping. DJ Dave Fanning introduces U2 and the other acts. “Alright then folks, how you doing? Everybody who’s just come in over the past half hour welcome to the gig. Let’s have a real welcome for U2.” Bono comes out and asks if anyone knows who they are. They then launch into “11 O’Clock Tick Tock” announced as their first single. Afterwards Bono explains that the band had released the song on May 16th on Island Records. He manages to get the crowd going, many fans of U2’s have filled in the audience to see them. Bono goes further, climbing into the scaffolding on either side of the stage and singing from above the stage.

The main concert wasn’t without incident. During the performance of “Roxanne” bottles were being thrown at The Police, one of which hit Stewart Copeland while performing. Sting looses his temper with the audience, and points out the person with the ‘ginger hair’ to have them removed from the show. Later he asks security to bring the person backstage so they can get him back. There were also fights broken up by security between the Squeeze and The Police performances.

Tony Clayton-Lea looking back on his concert history with U2 for The Irish Times shares, “The first time I see U2 at an open-air event they perform halfway up (or down) a bill that includes headliners The Police, Moondogs, John Otway, Q-Tips (with a very young Paul Young) and Squeeze. From this point onwards, U2 start to make sense – songs such as 11 O’Clock Tick Tock and their new single, A Day Without Me (which is played twice), are terrific. Bono climbs the speaker stacks. And so it begins.”

The Irish Times shares, “Although the concert started at noon with the Moon Dogs, followed by Q-Tips, many people were lucky to arrive in time to see U2. The young Dublin band played an excellent set of both old and new material. Indeed, their performance was the highlight of the day though John Otway and the Squeeze managed to get through an enjoyable set before the Police took the stage at about 6.50 p.m.”

Paul Charles shares in Hot Press, “I was the promoter for the Police’s gig at Leixlip Castle, in July 1980. There was a bit of a buzz about U2 at that stage, obviously coming mainly from Dublin, and from Hot Press in particular. This was before their debut album Boy was released. But ’11 O’Clock Tick Tock’ had been launched, they seemed to have a good gigging plan in place for the UK and were building a reputation as an impressive, must-see live act – to the extent that they might be a good addition to our festival bill with The Police. I decided to go for it. Their set was a relatively short one. I remember the band themselves being young and fresh-faced – but you could tell right away that they weren’t just a collection of musicians.” He comes to the conclusion, “They already looked and sounded like a real band” and also claims, “It was a big gig, in front of a huge crowd – and they turned out to be the undisputed stars of the show.”

The show was originally announced to take place at Dalymount Park, and was moved to Leixlip Concert shortly after the announcement. This has lead to some confusion over the years as that venue was listed wrongly in concert listings. A Bob Marley concert planned for the RDS had to be moved to Dalymount, which caused The Police show to shift in early June 1980.

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