British Columbia

B.C. U2 fans back for more Joshua Tree tour 30 years later

U2 revisits The Joshua Tree and thrills Vancouver fans like Shannon Eeckhout who was at the 1987 Joshua Tree tour at B.C. Place. "Even thinking about it today I get shivers and goose bumps. We just kept singing."

'I'm just ahhhh! thinking about it,' says Vancouver fan who was 13 at 87 show

Seattle's Eric Riddle still has his 1987 U2 Joshua Tree t-shirt and wore it to the 2017 version of the tour in Vancouver. (Chris Corday/CBC)

Even though it was 30 years ago, Shannon Eeckhout vividly remembers the first time U2's The Joshua Tree tour came to Vancouver.

"It was overwhelming. It was a huge show and it was so well done," she said of the first concert she'd ever been to.

"Even thinking about it today, I get shivers and goose bumps. We just kept singing."

U2's the Edge, left, Bono, Larry Mullen Jr., and Adam Clayton opened their 2017 Joshua Tree tour at B.C. Place in Vancouver on May 12, 2017. Many fans in the crowd were at the 1987 Joshua Tree concert in Vancouver. (Chris Corday/CBC)

Eeckhout, along with thousands of other U2 fans from around the province were back at B.C. Place Friday to relive the magic of the Irish band's most popular album.

Despite long lines that delayed some fans from getting into B.C. Place, the band didn't disappoint once they took the stage.

U2 ran though early hits such as Sunday Bloody Sunday on a small front stage before playing the entire Joshua Tree album, track by track, in front of a massive, waved screen.

Larrissa Rutquist was there with her sister, just like she was 30 years ago, when she was 13-years-old.

She says she wore out the writing on the cassette tape she had of The Joshua Tree from flipping it in her player so many times.

She first heard the album, when a teacher in school played it for the class.

'Fell in love'

"And that was it. I fell in love with U2 completely," she said.

Her aunt took her and her sister to the '87 concert and since then Rutquist has seen U2 in Vancouver 14 times.

She admits, this time, getting to hear The Joshua Tree from start to finish, was special.

Larissa Rutquist, right, with her sister at B.C. Place for U2's Joshua Tree concert 30 years after they saw the band tour the album there in 1987. (Larissa Rutquist)

Thinking back on the significance of The Joshua Tree was something many others at the concert did as well.

"I was there in '87," said Thomas Panos.

"[I] remember Bono on the side of the stage with a massive white flag. Amazing energy all night."

Meanwhile during its time performing in the city, the band seems to have developed a special relationship with Vancouver.

Bono, right, made several shout-outs to residents of the City of Vancouver at U2's concert on May 12, 2017 at B.C. Place. 'Is anybody out there?' he called. 'The city we love, Vancouver.' (Chris Corday/CBC)

U2 opened its last tour in 2015 in Vancouver for two shows.

For the past month it also rehearsed here, much to the delight of fans hanging around outside to listen.

During the concert, Lead singer Bono often called out to the crowd, calling Vancouver "a magnificent city," and encouraging fans to "sing for this beautiful mosaic you make."

​In 1987, Eeckhout says the band did four encores.

Once they left and the lights came on, she says the crowd kept singing the band's song, "40."

"It's just one of those high points in my life that I remember, you know 15, 16 years old," she said.

Even though Friday's concert relied heavily on The Joshua Tree material, U2 kept fans guessing with rarities like Miss Sarajevo, which they mixed with a powerful video showing Syrian refugees hoping for a better life.

This time the band played one long, extended encore and ended with a new song called, "The Little Things That You Give Away."

U2 plays only one other Canadian date for the tour. That will be in Toronto on June 23.

'With or Without You:' U2's 1987 Joshua Tree Vancouver show

CBC News Vancouver at 6

4 years ago
30 years ago U2 thrilled more than 50,000 fans at B.C. Place, now they're back to do it again. 1:00


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