With a spectacular set that was a triumph of technology and had perhaps the best sound quality achieved by any gig in Athens, U2 won over OAKA’s Olympic Stadium in Athens during their first-ever appearance in the Greek capital.

“You are not defined by financial markets,” Bono roared to an ecstatic audience.

Over 75 000 people packed into the stadium to see the Irish band’s first performance in Athens in 13 years.

“You are not defined by financial markets,” Bono roared to an ecstatic audience.

In the packed stadium on Friday night, they had arrived from all areas of Greece in defiance of the country’s grim economic reality.

After opening acts Avin Geffen and Snow Patrol, U2 appeared on the stage playing the only unreleased song on the setlist, the instrumental opener ‘Return of the Stingray Guitar’.

They then proceeded with a three hour show which saw the Greek fans of U2 going off as they sang along to favourites such as ‘I Still Havent’ Found What I’m Looking For’, ‘Mysterious Ways’, ‘Vertigo’, ‘Elevation’, ‘Sunday Bloody Sunday’ and ‘Pride’.

The encore kicked the excitement level up a notch and had fans jumping in their seats as U2 played the classsic ‘One’ and ‘Where the Streets have no Name’ in their first encore and ‘With Or Without You’ amongst two songs off their recent album in their second encore.

The enthusiasm of the crowd is borne out in the show report posted by U2 on their tour website.

“The place was illuminated like fireworks night during ‘One’, not just with phones held high, but an ocean of glow-sticks. Looked like someone even set off a flare in the inner circle. The excitement was tangible,” they said.

“‘Incredible people,’ announced Bono at the end of a breathtaking performance of ‘Streets’.

‘Incredible place’ Hold Me Thrill Me is back in tonight and by the time we get to ‘With Or Without You’, the audience have decided they can sing the song on their own.

‘Wow!’ exclaims Bono. ‘We won’t forget this’

If you were there, sounds like it was a night that you wouldn’t forget either.”

This was only the second time that U2 have played in Greece, their first being in Thessaloniki in 1997.