By Matt Dolloff (@mattdolloff)
However you feel about U2 as a band, you cannot deny that they have a hugely dedicated fanbase, no matter where you look. But a large gathering of fans in the Boston area got trolled badly last night, when a rumored “secret show” by the band turned out to be just that, a rumor.
That didn’t stop seemingly hundreds of people from packing the Burren in Somerville Monday night in hopes of catching a glimpse of U2 performing. The crowd spilled out onto the street, where onlookers stared through the front windows while the line wrapped halfway around the block.
Credit for starting the rumor, whether deserved or not, will probably go to Secret Boston, who told their 90,000+ members through email and social media that a “pretty reliable source” said the band were performing at the Burren, while assuring them it was still just a rumor.
Well, a rumor is all die-hard U2 fans need to show up because the Burren was jammed within hours. Secret Boston followers in attendance ran a live thread on Facebook as they waited for the band to arrive.
The owner of the Burren absolved himself of any responsibility, claiming he knew nothing about a surprise show:
But of course, that probably just made eager fans believe the show was happening even more. A single microphone sat on the tiny Burren stage, with a banner for one of Adam Clayton’s charities hanging. U2 played on the PA. It felt like U2 was really happening.
But as the night went on, fans just waited…
Then, with midnight closing time approaching, U2’s official Twitter account sent out a tweet confirming pessimistic fans’ greatest fear: the show wasn’t happening.
A bunch of other trolls joined in on the fun, making up their own rumors in hopes of seeing zealous fans scramble around the city to find U2 like they a game of Where’s Waldo:
Even Kenny Young couldn’t resist a jab!
And so, the Secret U2 Show That Never Happened turned out to be a gleeful case of schadenfreude for those who stayed home Monday night:
But it seems like the fans who waited with bated breath at the Burren still had a good time congregating with each other and leading group U2 singalongs:
According to a few other tweets, this is not the first time the Burren has fooled people into thinking U2 was showing up. Last time the guys were in town, the bar said they would be showing up for drinks. That of course didn’t happen either.
Whether or not the Burren planted the seed for the rumor, they certainly joined in on the trolling with the blatant U2-heavy playlist and Clayton’s charity banner.
The owner of the Burren has already claimed plausible deniability for the whole rumor, so they can’t really be blamed for over a hundred fans showing up on a rumor – a slight chance – that U2 would play a show there. Can’t say the Burren can complain this morning.