As expected, U2 have announced a concert in Croke Park this July as part of their 30th Anniversary Joshua Tree shows, the first occasion on which the band will have revisited a studio album as a tour record or theme.

The concert is scheduled to take place on Saturday July 22, with tickets on sale from next Monday and an earlier presale for subscribers beginning on Wednesday. It's strongly anticipated that a second date will also be added.

The band are currently finishing work on their new album, Songs of Experience, with an expected release date sometime in the Autumn.

According to reports, the political climate in the US may have influenced the release date. The Joshua Tree album contained lyrics which sternly criticised the then US Republican president Ronald Reagan. Similarly, the band were vocal in their criticism of the Reagan administration during The Joshua Tree tour.

It does seem that US President-elect Donald Trump may turn out to be the object of similar vilification from U2 on the Joshua Tree-revisited dates.

According to The Edge: "The Joshua Tree songs were originally written, with global upheaval, extreme right wing politics and some fundamental human rights at risk."

To celebrate the album - as these songs seem so relevant and prescient of these times too - we decided to do these shows, it feels right for now. We're looking forward to it."

U2 from the Joshua Tree era

The Joshua Tree Tour will begin in Vancouver on May 12, ahead of a series of American stadium gigs before heading to Europe in July. Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds will be the support act on the European dates.

Bono said he and the band are excited to bring the album back on the road and back to where it all began.

"I've sung some of these songs a lot… but never all of them. I'm up for it, if our audience is as excited as we are… it's gonna be a great night. Especially when we play at home. Croke Park... it's where the album was born, 30 years ago," he said.

Adam Clayton said the Joshua Tree had changed U2's lives

Speaking on the Ryan Tubridy Show on RTÉ Radio 1 on Monday morning, bassist Adam Clayton said The Joshua Tree had changed U2's lives "and it continues to". 

"Before The Joshua Tree we were a local band doing good that some people around the world knew about," he explained. "I think after The Joshua Tree everyone knew about the band. It was great to see those songs that we worked so hard on be accepted all around the world and it was a great kind of calling card for us."

The band last played Croke Park back in 2009 as part of the 360° Tour, though on that occasion the massive stage featuring a 'claw'-like structure on stage had to be modified to fit into Croker.

U2 in Croke Park in 2009

Despite hugely anticipated demand for any likely concerts, the band will only be able to play two nights at GAA headquarters as the other remaining slot has been taken by Coldplay, who will play at the venue that same month.

The band's last hometown gigs were in late 2015 when they brought their iNNOCENCE + eXPERIENCE tour to the 3Arena for four sold out nights.

U2 during their four-night run at Dublin's 3Arena in 2015

On the subject of how the setlist would be organised for the upcoming Joshua Tree Tour, Clayton told Tubridy that "the concept behind it is definitely we want to play every track on the album".

"Until we actually get into rehearsals I can't really be clear about how that'll happen, whether it'll be sequential or whether there'll be a suite of songs or whatever," he added. "We really need to get down there with our show directors and our ideas and figure it out."

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