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Saturday 21 September 2019

Ecstatic Bono paints Barcelona green as Irish stars flock to U2's tour opener

Soccer star Damien Duff partied the night away with a gang of pals from Dublin as U2 rocked Barcelona on their opening night.

Clad in a distinctive Cavalli shirt and a pair of gleaming white jeans, the Newcastle player was in flying form at the official aftershow party in the exclusive Arts Hotel.

Sporting a dark tan from a recent holiday, Damien was thrilled to see the Irish stars kickstart their world tour.

Gorgeous Phantom FM presenter Michelle Doherty wasn't stuck for admirers as she caught up on all the gossip with old pals.

Former rugby international Denis Hickie was also there, alongside fellow ex-Ireland star Victor Costello, with the pair chatting for a good part of the evening.

Other big-name attendees included Henry Mount Charles, sporting a Slane T-shirt as he worked the party with a blonde pal.



Poolside

Also spotted was superstar DJ Pete Tong, PJ Harvey and the entire Snow Patrol posse.

The complimentary alcohol flowed freely, ensuring everyone was in good spirits, with the bash going on until 6am.

And just in case anyone forgot why they were there, the Dublin rockers brought out a specially designed cake formed in the shape of the distinctive tour 'Claw'.

U2 frontman Bono revealed how he was "ecstatic" after the opening night. Speaking exclusively to the Diary, he said: "I'm thrilled, I'm ecstatic with how it went."

He joined Larry Mullen, the Edge and Adam Clayton at the raucous bash, with the entire poolside area cordoned off for the VIP party.

Equally delighted was U2's long-term set designer Willie Williams.

As he was also inundated with compliments about the innovative Claw design, his reply to one fan was succinct: "Thanks, but I need a drink now!"

Band manager Paul McGuinness, brought several members of his family over for the first night in the 360 Tour.

Other VIP fans got the party started early with an all-night bash on Monday night.

There was no shortage of familiar faces lapping up the evening sunshine around the pool of the swish venue, which is where U2's principal management have based themselves for the week.



awesome

The big celebrity turning heads was superstar rapper LL Cool J, who told the Diary how much he was looking forward to seeing the lads perform.

"It's going to be awesome, I'm really looking forward to it," he said.

He spent the day lapping up the electric atmosphere by the pool and chatting with the few fans who recognised him.

The Irish corporate crew was also well represented, given that controversial businessman Sean Dunne was one of the surprise attendees at the party.

Dunnes Stores heir Andrew Heffernan was also here for the gig.

And although many of the band's family and close friends attended Monday's bash, which went on until dawn, there was no sign of the guys themselves.

"They decided to have an early night and have some dinner after their final dress performance and save their energy for the big opening night," said a source.

Also on Monday night, the band treated 500 athletes from the Special Olympics to a special dress rehearsal of their full show -- making them the first people in the world to hear the full gig -- and check out the amazing Claw set.

Two separate structures have been built, as the Claw takes four days to erect.

It means that while the band is performing in one European city, a team of builders work to erect the second Claw at their next destination.

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