Early Shows

U2 started with the name Feedback, and eventually became The Hype, before finally settling on U2, or U-2 as it was commonly written in the earlier days. From the formation of the band in 1976 to the release of Boy in late 1980, U2 played a number of shows throughout Ireland and the UK, and these earliest shows are captured below.

Beginnings as Feedback and The Hype

Although Bono, The Edge, Larry and Adam were the core of the group, the early years saw a few attempts to figure out the line up of the band. The earliest meeting included Ivan McCormick and Peter Martin. Peter never continued, but Ivan rehearsed with U2 for some time before being told he was holding them back from playing clubs because of his age. Maeve O'Regan would sing with the band at an early show at Mount Temple. Ivan's sister, Louise McCormick and Orla Dunne joined the band as backing vocalists, and Orla played the flute during an appearance at St. Fintans Assembly Hall in early 1977.

Once the band became The Hype, the line up was pretty standard, with The Edge's brother Dik being the fifth member of the band. The band moved out of playing the school cafeteria, and started playing small clubs, and building up a following, and in March 1978, they performed at a talent show in Cork. History was made when they won the competition and their first demo session, but also when they decided to change their name to U2, and said goodbye to Dik. This set of dates takes us up to U2 becoming U2.

  • 1976: Mount Temple Comprehensive School, Dublin, Ireland
  • 1976-09-25: Larry Mullen's Kitchen, 25 Rosemount Avenue, Dublin, Ireland
  • 1977: Raheny Church Hall, Dublin, Ireland
  • 1977: Slack Alice's, O'Connell Street, Dublin, Ireland
  • 1977: Unknown Bar, Mullingar, Ireland
  • 1977-04-11: St. Fintans Assembly Hall, Dublin, Ireland
  • 1977-10: Mount Temple Comprehensive School, Dublin, Ireland
  • 1977-10-07: Marine Hotel, Dublin, Ireland
  • 1977-10-15: Suttonian's Rugby Club, Dublin, Ireland
  • 1977-12: Nucleus, Raheny, Dublin, Ireland
  • 1977-12-17: Howth Presbyterian Church, Howth, Dublin, Ireland
  • 1978: McGonagle's, Dublin, Ireland
  • 1978-02: Mount Temple Comprehensive School, Dublin, Ireland
  • 1978-02: Howth Community Centre, Howth, Dublin, Ireland
  • 1978-02-10: McGonagle's, Dublin, Ireland
  • 1978-03-01: Howth Community Centre, Howth, Dublin, Ireland
  • 1978-03-04: Presbyterian Church Hall, Sutton, Dublin, Ireland
  • 1978-03-08: Celebrity Club, Abbey Street, Dublin, Ireland
  • 1978-03-15: Celebrity Club, Abbey Street, Dublin, Ireland
  • 1978-03-17: Project Arts Centre, Dublin, Ireland

Early Irish Shows 1978

Throughout the remainder of 1978, U2 performed under the name U2, and booked a number of shows in and around Dublin. The first appearance under the name U2 was at the Harp Lager talent show in Limerick, where the band would take home the top prize, which included a recording session at CBS Records. The name was used throughout 1978 and there were a lot of varation on how it was presented in gig listings, including The U2s, U-2, U Two, and even V2 in error.

Many of the gigs played in 1978 were at smaller clubs in Dublin, but they also ventured outside of Dublin on a few occasions, including trips to Cork, Tralee, and possibly one to Ennis. (Due to the death of Larry Mullen's mother, it is not known if that concert went ahead) Many of the shows in Dublin were at the club known as McGonagle's, which in another lifetime had been The Crystal Ballroom where Bono's parents used to dance. Most of the shows featured U2 as a support act for others, including bands such as The Greedy Bastards, XTC, Advertising, Modern Heirs, The Vipers, and Revolver. They also played the New Wave Festival and the Free Peace Festival in 1978.

  • 1978-03-18: Stella Ballroom, Limerick, Ireland
  • 1978-03-22: Celebrity Club, Abbey Street, Dublin, Ireland
  • 1978-04-27: McGonagle's, Dublin, Ireland
  • 1978-04-27: McGonagle's, Dublin, Ireland
  • 1978-05-04: McGonagle's, Dublin, Ireland
  • 1978-05-11: McGonagle's, Dublin, Ireland
  • 1978-05-14: St. Bridget's Community Centre, Finglas, Dublin, Ireland
  • 1978-05-18: McGonagle's, Dublin, Ireland
  • 1978-05-25: Project Arts Centre, Dublin, Ireland
  • 1978-06: Mount Temple Comprehensive School, Dublin, Ireland
  • 1978-07-07: Stardust Club, Cork, Ireland
  • 1978-07-24: McGonagle's, Dublin, Ireland
  • 1978-07-30: McGonagle's, Dublin, Ireland
  • 1978-07-31: McGonagle's, Dublin, Ireland
  • 1978-08-05: Phoenix Park, Dublin, Ireland
  • 1978-08-26: Moran's Hotel, Dublin, Ireland
  • 1978-09-09: Top Hat Ballroom, Dublin, Ireland
  • 1978-09-18: Project Arts Centre, Dublin, Ireland
  • 1978-09-23: Arcadia Ballroom, Cork, Ireland
  • 1978-09-30: Arcadia Ballroom, Cork, Ireland
  • 1978-10-24: Holyrood Hotel, Bray, Dublin, Ireland
  • 1978-10-26: Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland
  • 1978-10-26: Bagnall's, Mullingar, Ireland
  • 1978-10-27: Abbey Inn, Tralee, Ireland
  • 1978-10-28: Abbey Inn, Tralee, Ireland
  • 1978-10-29: Crofton Airport Hotel, Dublin, Ireland
  • 1978-11-02: Arts Building, Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland
  • 1978-11-10: Belfield, University College of Dublin, Dublin, Ireland
  • 1978-11-17: Belfield, University College of Dublin, Dublin, Ireland
  • 1978-11-18: Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland
  • 1978-11-20: Greengrove, Ennis, Ireland
  • 1978-12-19: McGonagle's, Dublin, Ireland
  • 1978-12-20: Stardust Club, Artane, Ireland
  • 1978-12-21: Stardust Club, Artane, Ireland

Early Irish Shows 1979

As the band moved into 1979 they continued to play what gigs they could find, and continued to improve their sound. This would include a number of appearances at Trinity College, the Baggot Inn, McGonagle's and the Project Arts Centre in Dublin. A number of trips were made to the Arcadia Ballroom in Cork, and the band also played a number of shows at the Dandelion Car Park. The band would also appear in Trallee for two nights, Carlow, and they played their first show outside of the Republic of Ireland at North University of Ulster in Coleraine, opening for Squeeze. An appearance at the Cork Opera House in Cork was televised.

Towards the end of 1979 things were starting to come together for U2. "Three" had been released, and had made it onto the Irish charts, the EP had been recorded in August 1979. In December they would be invited to London to record with Chas de Whalley again, and they would book a series of concerts around that date while in London, which are in the next section.

  • 1979-01-03: McGonagle's, Dublin, Ireland
  • 1979-01-26: Howth Community Centre, Howth, Ireland
  • 1979-01-27: McGonagle's, Dublin, Ireland
  • 1979-01-27: Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland
  • 1979-02: Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland
  • 1979-02-03: McGonagle's, Dublin, Ireland
  • 1979-02-17: Project Arts Centre, Dublin, Ireland
  • 1979-03-18: Manhattan Lounge, Galway, Ireland
  • 1979-03-21: College of Technology, Kevin Street, Dublin, Ireland
  • 1979-04-12: Arts Block, Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland
  • 1979-05-05: Liberty Hall, Dublin, Ireland
  • 1979-05-12: Dandelion Car Park, Dublin, Ireland
  • 1979-05-12: Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland
  • 1979-05-26: Arcadia Ballroom, Cork, Ireland
  • 1979-05-26: McGonagle's, Dublin, Ireland
  • 1979-06-03: McGonagle's, Dublin, Ireland
  • 1979-06-07: McGonagle's, Dublin, Ireland
  • 1979-06-08: Abbey Inn, Tralee, Ireland
  • 1979-06-09: Abbey Inn, Tralee, Ireland
  • 1979-06-10: Crofton Airport Hotel, Dublin, Ireland
  • 1979-06-14: McGonagle's, Dublin, Ireland
  • 1979-06-21: McGonagle's, Dublin, Ireland
  • 1979-06-28: McGonagle's, Dublin, Ireland
  • 1979-06-30: Clondalkin Community Centre, Clondalkin, Ireland
  • 1979-07-05: McGonagle's, Dublin, Ireland
  • 1979-07-12: McGonagle's, Dublin, Ireland
  • 1979-07-18: The Meeting Place, Dublin, Ireland
  • 1979-07-19: McGonagle's, Dublin, Ireland
  • 1979-07-26: McGonagle's, Dublin, Ireland
  • 1979-07-27: Howth Community Centre, Dublin, Ireland
  • 1979-07-28: Dandelion Car Park, Dublin, Ireland
  • 1979-07-28: Arcadia Ballroom, Cork, Ireland
  • 1979-08-04: McGonagle's, Dublin, Ireland
  • 1979-08-10: Howth Youth Club, Howth, Ireland
  • 1979-08-11: Dandelion Car Park, Dublin, Ireland
  • 1979-08-16: El Ruedo, Carlow, Ireland
  • 1979-08-21: Baggot Inn, Dublin, Ireland
  • 1979-08-28: Magnet Bar, Dublin, Ireland
  • 1979-09-01: Arcadia Ballroom, Cork, Ireland
  • 1979-09-07: Project Arts Centre, Dublin, Ireland
  • 1979-09-08: Project Arts Centre, Dublin, Ireland
  • 1979-09-08: Baggot Inn, Dublin, Ireland
  • 1979-09-09: Dandelion Car Park, Dublin, Ireland
  • 1979-09-15: Dandelion Car Park, Dublin, Ireland
  • 1979-09-22: Dandelion Car Park, Dublin, Ireland
  • 1979-09-25: Baggot Inn, Dublin, Ireland
  • 1979-10-02: Baggot Inn, Dublin, Ireland
  • 1979-10-22: Cork Opera House, Cork, Ireland
  • 1979-10-26: McGonagle's, Dublin, Ireland
  • 1979-11-02: McGonagle's, Dublin, Ireland
  • 1979-11-03: Arcadia Ballroom, Downtown Kampus, Cork, Ireland
  • 1979-11-08: Junior Common Room, Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland
  • 1979-11-10: Belfield University, Dublin, Ireland
  • 1979-11-14: Claddagh Hall, Galway, Ireland
  • 1979-11-15: Queen's University, Belfast, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom
  • 1979-11-17: Dandelion Car Park, Dublin, Ireland
  • 1979-11-20: North University of Ulster, Coleraine, Northern Ireland
  • 1979-11-23: Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland
  • 1979-11-24: Arcadia Ballroom, Downtown Kampus, Cork, Ireland

U-2-3 Tour [UK Tour]

At the end of 1979 U2 headed off to do a small tour of venues in the UK. The tour was called the "U-2-3 Tour" even though the band were not the headline act at many of the shows. They named it after the EP that they had released in September. U2 headline four of the eleven shows, and support acts like The Dolly Mixtures, The Beat, Local Operator and Doll by Doll at others.

The show on December 2 is almost cancelled when Fashion drops out a week before the show, but Back to Zero is organized as a replacement. U2 are themselves a last minute replacement when the Human League have to cancel an opening slot for the Talking Heads at the Electric Ballroom for two nights. Both Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark (OMD) and U2 take the place of the Human League for these two nights. A planned show on December 12 supporting The Photos at Brunel University is cancelled when vocalist Wendy Wu suffers from voice issues, but they are able to add a show supporting Doll by Doll at the end of the tour to make up for missing that show.

On December 16 the band would also return to the studio in London to record with producer Chas de Whalley, recording their single "Another Day" as well as another unique track, "Pete the Chop."

  • 1979-12-01: Moonlight Club, London, England
  • 1979-12-02: Nashville Rooms, London, England
  • 1979-12-03: 101 Club, London, England
  • 1979-12-04: Hope & Anchor, London, England
  • 1979-12-05: Rock Garden, Covent Garden, England
  • 1979-12-07: Electric Ballroom, Camden, England
  • 1979-12-08: Electric Ballroom, Camden, England
  • 1979-12-10: Moonlight Club, London, England
  • 1979-12-11: Bridge House, London, England
  • 1979-12-14: Dingwalls, Camden, England
  • 1979-12-15: Windsor Castle, London, England
  • 1979-12-18: The Venue, Victoria, England, United Kingdom

Late 1979 / Early 1980 Shows

Upon returning to Ireland, U2 they would play three additional shows in Ireland, in Cork and Dublin in late 1979.

In 1980, U2 played a handful of shows in Ireland before, and after their first formal tour of Ireland, which can be seen in listings below. Four shows happened before this tour, and three shows happened on the heels of that tour including a show in England at Acklam Hall.

Some listings include a show on Feburary 3 at the Bridge House in Tullamoore, Ireland, but this show is actually on March 2 and was part of the "Come Out to Play Tour" listed below.

  • 1979-12-19: Arcadia Ballroom, Cork, Ireland
  • 1979-12-23: Dandelion Car Park, Dublin, Ireland
  • 1979-12-26: Howth Community Centre, Dublin, Ireland
  • 1980-01-05: Lakeland Hotel, Cavan, Ireland
  • 1980-01-11: Junior Common Room, Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland
  • 1980-02-01: Queen's University, Belfast, Northern Ireland
  • 1980-02-04: Country Club, Cork, Ireland
  • 1980-03-13: Baymount Entertainment Centre, Strandhill, Ireland
  • 1980-03-19: Acklam Hall, Notting Hill, England
  • 1980-03-22: Town Hall, Ballina, Ireland

Come Out to Play Tour [Irish Tour]

This tour was named "Come Out to Play" in honour of U2's new single, "Another Day" which was released in February 1980 on CBS Records. This name can be seen on posters and other promotional material for the Irish tour, including a photograph of Bono looking at the advertising taken after the National Stadium show in Dublin, and a poster for a later show at Crescent Hall in Limerick adverting, "U2 Come Out to Play: 'Another Day' New Single on CBS." The name of the tour is taken from the lyric for the song.

This tour was a headlining tour of stops in Ireland. The tour poster included all of the regular tour stops, and also included the date for U2's performance at the marriage of Larry Mullen's sister. The tour was just called the "Irish Tour" in the ad that ran in "Hot Press" but it did confirm that the single "Another Day" was coming out, and also listed that support for the shows was by Kidz and The Shade, who were alternating support. There is some confusion on the February 29 date, as the National Rhythm Guide in Hot Press lists that the band played Dundalk that night, while the Irish Times lists the venue as the Town Hall in Newry.

  • 1980-02-13: Showboat, Waterford, Ireland
  • 1980-02-14: Village Inn, Kilkenny, Ireland
  • 1980-02-18: Blue Lagoon, Sligo, Ireland
  • 1980-02-19: Classes, Bray, Ireland
  • 1980-02-20: Leisureland, Galway, Ireland
  • 1980-02-21: Crescent Hall, Limerick, Ireland
  • 1980-02-22: Marine Hotel, Sutton, Dublin, Ireland
  • 1980-02-23: St. John's Parish Hall, Tralee, Ireland
  • 1980-02-24: Queen's Hall, Ennis, Ireland
  • 1980-02-26: National Stadium, Dublin, Ireland
  • 1980-02-27: Lavey Inn, Cavan, Ireland
  • 1980-02-28: Regional Technical College, Waterford, Ireland
  • 1980-02-29: Parochial Hall, Newry, Ireland
  • 1980-03-01: Arcadia Ballroom, Cork, Ireland
  • 1980-03-02: Garden Of Eden, Tullamore, Ireland

11 O'Clock Tick Tock / Touring Again [Irish Tour]

Ads for this tour listed eight dates in total, from May 9 - May 17, 1980. Support for all of the shows was The Myster Men, and ads for this tour included mention of the new single, "11 O'Clock Tick Tock," released in Ireland on May 16. The headline of the ad read, "U2 Touring Again."

An announcement in Hot Press about this tour stated, "U2 embark on their second major tour of Ireland on 9th May, taking in eight dates in all. The tour coincides with the release of their third Irish single, "11 O'Clock Tick Tock". It will also be their first internationally released single (on Island). The support slot on all dates of the tour will be filled by The Myster Men, a Dublin 4-piece who have drawn considerable admiration on their early dates and whose current demo was produced by Bono of U2."

Although the tour ad, and announcement, listed a date at the N.I.H.E. in Limerick, it was marked "to be confirmed" in the advertisement for the tour, and it appears that the show did not happen.

  • 1980-05-09: Seapoint Ballroom, Galway, Ireland
  • 1980-05-10: Town Hall Theatre, Ballina, Ireland
  • 1980-05-11: Garden Of Eden, Tullamore, Ireland
  • 1980-05-12: Blue Lagoon, Sligo, Ireland
  • 1980-05-14: The Showboat, Waterford, Ireland
  • 1980-05-16: St. John's Parish Hall, Tralee, Ireland
  • 1980-05-17: Cork City, Ireland, Arcadia Ballroom, Downtown Kampus

11 O'Clock Tick Tock [UK Tour]

The 11 O'Clock Tick Tock tour was done to support their first single on Island Records, and was supported with promotional ads paid for by Island Records. The official tour ad included stops from May 22 at the Hope and Anchor in London, to the show on June 8 at the Half Moon in London. All of the dates on this tour were in England. Press for the tour stated, "Dublin based U2 begin a short British tour later this month, just after the release of their first "official" British single on Island." Support for all of the shows was by Birmingham band Fashion. Although posters include a date at the Marquee on June 7, it appears that U2 did not play that show, as Fashion was advertised as playing elsewhere that night, and the Marquee advertised a band called White Spirit playing instead. It is unknown why U2 would not have played that show.

  • 1980-05-22: Hope & Anchor, London, England
  • 1980-05-23: Moonlight Club, London, England
  • 1980-05-24: University, Sheffield, England
  • 1980-05-26: New Regent, Brighton, England
  • 1980-05-27: Rock Garden, Covent Garden, England
  • 1980-05-28: Trinity Hall, Bristol, England
  • 1980-05-29: Cedar Club, Birmingham, England
  • 1980-05-30: Nashville Rooms, London, England
  • 1980-05-31: Polytechnic, Manchester, England
  • 1980-06-02: 77 Club, Nuneaton, England
  • 1980-06-03: Boat Club, Nottingham, England
  • 1980-06-04: Beach Club, Manchester, England
  • 1980-06-05: Brannigans, Leeds, England
  • 1980-06-06: JB's Dudley, Dudley, England
  • 1980-06-08: Half Moon Club, London, England

Summer Shows 1980 / Three Days Tour

After touring to support "11 O'Clock Tick Tock" in both Ireland and the UK, U2 would take it easy throughout the summer and focus on recording the album Boy but a handful of shows were performed.

This would include the three dates advertised as the "Three Days Tour" in the UK, including appearances at the Clarendon Hotel, the Half Moon Club, and the Moonlight Club, and a later added fourth date at the Marquee Club. And there were also scattered dates around Ireland in this period.

  • 1980-06-28: Wheatfield, Clondalkin, Ireland
  • 1980-07-10: Clarendon Hotel, London, England
  • 1980-07-11: Half Moon Club, Herne Hill, London, UK
  • 1980-07-12: Moonlight Club, London, England
  • 1980-07-13: Marquee Club, London, England
  • 1980-07-21: Project Arts Centre, Dublin, Ireland
  • 1980-07-27: Leixlip Castle, Leixlip, Ireland
  • 1980-08-15: Theatre Hall, Gorey, Wexford, Ireland
  • 1980-08-16: Carnsore Point, Wexford, Ireland

Related News: Early Tours