Place Bell employees said the Irish rock group is in town to rehearse eXPERIENCE + iNNOCENCE show, scheduled to hit the Bell Centre on June 5-6
By Montreal Gazette/PRESSE CANADIENNE
Irish rock group U2 has chosen Quebec, and more specifically Laval, to rehearse for its next international tour, eXPERIENCE + iNNOCENCE, that kicks off on May 2 in Tulsa, Okla.
Employees at Place Bell in Laval confirmed to Presse Canadienne that the popular group is in town to rehearse the show, which will stop in Montreal for two nights in June.
Several staff members wearing badges with the name of the group were seen. Some were more talkative than others, and none wanted to be identified.
One of them confirmed the group was there Tuesday and had been Monday as well. Neither Place Bell, concert promoter Evenko nor Universal would confirm the information.
Drawn by the rumours, a handful of fans came to the auditorium Tuesday in the hopes of catching a glimpse of the musicians. Annabelle Plouffe has followed the band for two decades and came to Place Bell at lunchtime Tuesday.
"It's at least 20 years that we've been fans, we went to Dublin to see them a few years ago," she said. "We didn't get the chance to meet them. That's what I'm here for."
In mid-afternoon, the fans got excited when a black Lincoln turned the corner. The car entered the garage and the door was rapidly closed behind it, making it impossible to see the occupants.
"It was The Edge. It was his bodyguard," the fans murmured.
Éric, a Montreal paparazzi photographer working for a Californian agency, confirmed the members of the group had been there Monday.
"(I saw) five SUVs with their bodyguards inside and a small Mercedes car. All the cars went in through the small doors of the garage. There were fans, but they did not stop to sign autographs, sadly," said the photographer, adding that the musicians arrived at 4:30 p.m. and did not leave until late in the evening.
There have been rumours on social media for several days the members were in Montreal. Some fans shared photos of the trucks used by the stage and lighting company the group hired during its previous shows parked at Place Bell on Monday.
Aaron Sams, founder of the u2songs.com fan website, started to see notices about the group being in town circulating recently.
It's not the first time that Bono, The Edge and their colleagues have come to Canada to practise, Sams noted. The group came to Vancouver in 2015 and 2017 to rehearse. The rock stars don't tend to venture far from large urban centres, and they don't hesitate to visit the cities they're staying in, Sams said.
"In Vancouver, on the last tour, there were a lot of times where Bono and The Edge would pop up in restaurants to eat and sometimes interact with fans. There were a lot of photos posted," he said.
The group is scheduled to play shows at the Bell Centre in Montreal June 5-6. The two shows are sold out.
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