Tens of thousands of people gathered at Montreal's Hippodrome Stadium Friday night for the first of two performances by Irish rock icons U2.

Some of people came a very long way to be part of the crowd of 80, 000.

"Switzerland," said Marlin Monay, who was urged to come to Montreal by her sister.

"She gave me the ticket, because…she had to find a good reason for me to come to Canada."

U2 was initially supposed to play to a Montreal crowd last summer, but the band's lead singer Bono had back surgery and had to postpone the show.

Speaking in French, U2's lead singer Bono was apologetic.

"Some of you must have been younger when you bought your tickets," he joked.

Authorities said the show went off without a hitch...but there was a minor one.

Even after a trans-Atlantic flight, Monay had to wait a little bit longer for the main attraction – U2 didn't take to the stage until an hour after its opening act left.

But if anyone was upset about the wait they weren't easy to find in the crowd that cheered, danced and sang along with the band.

U2 is expected to draw a large audience of about 80,000 people Saturday night too.

Montreal police are asking ticket-holders to show up early at the event.

They said late-comers were the reason it took U2 so long to appear Friday night.

The city of Montreal, which created an online map of local road closures for the concert, is urging concert–goers to leave their cars at home and take public transit.Traffic is already restricted in the area surrounding the former racetrack.

Both Jean–Talon exits from the Décarie Boulevard are now closed, and surrounding streets are limited to local traffic.

Montreal's metro system is adding extra service to accommodate the estimated 80,000 people expected at each show.

Neither Montreal show is sold out, as promoter Evenko released another batch of tickets this week. Dozens of already-purchased tickets were being advertised at cut-rate prices as late as Friday, on online classified sites.

Concert organizer expect there will be economic spinoffs for local businesses