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"No one in Dublin was interested in us and we came down here as a last resort." — Adam, on U2 winning the Limerick Civic Week Pop '78 Competition



by Tim Horrigan

This concert took place at what was for me a very convenient venue: I was living a dorm at USC and the show was at the LA Sports Arena, right across the street from the campus. Someone described this as a 5,000-seat arena, but it was actually more like 18,000. At the time, it was the largest indoor venue in L.A. The band didn't quite sell out the arena, but they came close, thanks to the buzz from their earlier performance at the US Festival and thanks to low ticket prices. (I think I paid $8.00 for a balcony seat, which even then was not much money.)

It was an incredible show. The A/C didn't work very well on a hot smoggy summer night, but that just added to atmosphere: dozens of overexcited concertgoers (mostly girls, but not all of them) were passed overhead to the stage, where they kissed Bono and were given a cup of water (this was before bottled water) before being hustled backstage. The show was loud and raucous and perfect and ended (as apparently most U2 shows of this era) with Bono climbing all over the arena while waving a huge white flag and singing through a wireless mike (a novelty at the time.) I remember he climbed over the railing of the balcony just a few feet away from me.

The Alarm were the opening act.

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