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U2 fans flock to Somerville, but can’t find what they’re looking for

Bono performed with U2 at TD Garden last Friday.Ben Stas for The Boston Globe

After waiting hours in line in hopes of catching a “secret” U2 performance at a Somerville bar on Monday night, fans of the Dublin-based rock band still didn’t find what they were looking for.

Rumors swirled Monday that U2, who are in town this week for a series of shows at TD Garden, would use their day off to put on an impromptu concert at the Irish pub The Burren in Davis Square.

Secret Boston tweeted late in the afternoon: “Pretty reliable source says U2’s surprise show today is at The Burren in Davis.”

But the line of fans who crowded the sidewalk, and swarms of others who packed the venue, shoulder to shoulder, were disappointed when the group never arrived.


U2 dispelled the rumors about a secret show in a tweet to their loyal following sent just before midnight. They advised fans to not waste their time standing idly outside of the pub on a work night: “Hope you’re enjoying the Guinness @burrenmusic in Somerville, but don’t fall for tall stories about a certain band from Dublin showing up . . .”

U2 played a secret show at the Somerville Theatre in 2009, which may have helped fuel people’s beliefs that they might once again partake in a spontaneous rock session. The legendary group also put on a “pop-up” show at New York’s Grand Central Terminal in May, catching commuters by surprise.

A couple standing at the front of the line Monday night told a Globe reporter they had heard that U2’s lead singer, Bono, had been by the pub for lunch, and was set to return with the group to take the stage.

Maxwell Cohen showed up at The Burren, but didn’t wait for too long. He said he had seen the announcement about a possible show on an online message board. When he arrived at the bar, there were just 15 people standing in line.


“We stuck it out for half an hour,” he said. “But then we figured if it’s happening, no one is going to leave, and we are not getting in. And if it’s not happening, there’s no point in staying in line.”

He said that he’s not upset with U2, but he remains curious as to how the hubbub about the show got started — and whether it was simply a publicity stunt.

“Maybe people expected it could happen because they had done the concert on the subway in New York,” Cohen said.

A bartender who was working at The Burren Monday night said in an interview Tuesday that the bar wasn’t to blame for the rumors.

“It was entirely nothing to do with us,” said Fiachra Reaney. “Anyone that asked we told them that U2 wasn’t coming.”

Steve Annear can be reached at steve.annear@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @steveannear.