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Croke Park

Dublin, Ireland

08 Jul 2017

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We’re back into a more conventionally shaped stadium for the Dublin show and I’m told that this will be the largest crowd of the tour, at a staggering 81,000 or so folks.

And they’re not just big in number – they’re huge in decibel terms. The roar as the intro tape rolls is almost like a physical phenomenon. You get the impression you could stand on stage and lean your full weight towards the crowd and the sheer movement of air would support your body-weight.

The band instead lean into it musically. They seem now to have become expert at surfing these waves of energy. Sitting just at the crest before each song crashes down into applause. Each intro coaxing a fresh swell from the ocean of heads before them.

In all of this though, there’s proof of the old adage that “there’s always one”. As the band intro’s take place on the C-stage, a plastic bottle swings high through the air and bounces off Mr Buckland. Chris stops, genuinely concerned for his friend. In typical Jonny style, he is smilingly unconcerned and simply has a taste of the liquid that’s covered him and cheerfully remarks that it’s beer.

Probably best to say as little as possible about the poor troubled soul who found this the only way he could enjoy himself amongst such a sea of love.

Instead, a song later there’s an instant reminder that we’re in the presence of humanity at its best. As Chris prepares to do a little song on his own, everyone begins to spot a fella in a wheelchair being carried over the heads of the crowd.

Chris helps him onto the stage, has a quick chat and introduces him. There’s then a song praising Dublin made up on the spot featuring the young man in question, who has been armed with the now traditional C-stage-guest harmonica.

The energy and love doesn’t let up until the final fireworks and Dublin is sealed as yet another highlight of what’s been a tour full of remarkable nights.


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