About 40,000 U2 fans from as far away as Europe, South American and Australia are mere hours away from nirvana in Vancouver tonight.

"This is our church outside Sundays," says Pat Dalugdug, a diehard U2 fan from Arkansas who has lined up for days in the rain to be first in the door when the band launches its Joshua Tree 2017 tour tonight at BC Place.

The Irish super-band will play the entirety of its classic 1987 album — which includes classics like With or Without You and I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For —  to celebrate the 30th anniversary of its release

The only other Canadian show for the tour will be at Rogers Centre in Toronto on June 23.

Duncan Blomfield of BC Place says every available seat has been sold.

"The excitement for this judging by social media is probably one of the highest we've seen ... even on another level. The anticipation for this is huge. We know people are coming from around the world," he said. 

Blomfield warns it's going to be a busy night.

Fans who purchased paperless tickets purchased with a credit card must present the same credit card they bought the tickets with in order to get in. 

"Everyone needs to be present at the same time to enter."

In addition, almost one third of the tickets sold for tonight's concert are general admission floor seats. Line ups were well under way nearly 24 hours before the event. 

Dalugdug was one of the first people in the line and is part of a fan group organizing general admission numbers for fans so that they didn't have to camp overnight to save their spot. 

"Rather than having all these people camp, we just have a number. People can check in twice a day -— once in the morning and night," he said. 

Dalugdug says the fans "absolutely" honour the system.

By the Numbers: U2 Fans General Admission Line-up2:06

Fernando Sanchez, number 257 in the line-up, is appreciative.

He flew in from Valencia, Spain with a group of other U2 super fans. He thinks he's seen U2 in concert around 47 times. 

"We love the band! We go all over the world … this is our passion. We had to be there."

Pat Dalugdug

Pat Dalugdug, a U2 superfan from Arkansas, is helping organize the general admission line up so fans don't have to camp out. (Dan Imbealut/CBC)

With files from Deborah Goble and Brenna Rose