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U2 announce first ever concert in the Philippines

Well, well, well. It looked like U2 had finalised the schedule for the Joshua Tree Tour 2019 when the second show in Singapore was added and an extra drop of tickets for the one and only night in Melbourne stood in for the anticipated second night. But it turns out there is another show to announce, and it's an exciting one.

U2 are going to visit the Philippines for the first time. They will perform at the Philippine Arena, Manila on 11 December 2019. Our database entry for this gig is here.

If you want tickets you are going to have to wait about a month. A presale for U2.com subscribers will commence on Sunday, 1 September at 10am local time. The general sale will commence on Thursday, 5 September, also at 10am local. Further details are in the U2.com announcement.

The Philippines is the third country U2 will perform in for the first time this year, after Singapore and South Korea. This is the first time U2 have visited three new countries on a single tour since the 360 Tour in 2009–11, when they visited Croatia, Russia, and Turkey for the first time. The last time they visited more than three new countries was the Popmart Tour of 1997–98, when they visited eight countries for the first time: Argentina, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Brazil, Chile, Czech Republic, Greece, Israel, and Poland. On Popmart they also also played their first ever headline show in Finland, having only performed at a festival there before. On other post-Popmart tours, they visited one new country on the Joshua Tree Tour 2017 (Colombia) and no new countries on Elevation, Vertigo, Innocence + Experience, or Experience + Innocence. On those tours, of course, they visited a number of cities they had never been to before, or cities and countries that they had not visited for a long time.

 Posted by Axver on

U2 announce second concert in Singapore

Tickets have sold well for U2's debut concert in Singapore—so well, in fact, that the band have announced a second show.

U2's second concert in Singapore will take place on 1 December 2019 at the National Stadium. Our database listing for this concert is here.

Presales for U2.com subscribers will commence tomorrow, Friday 21 June, at 1pm local time. The public sale begins at 10am local time on Monday 24 June.

It is possible that the demand in Singapore has exceeded expectations substantially. At the moment, the blurb on U2.com's homepage linking to the announcement refers to "massive ticket demand"; the article itself describes an "overwhelming response". U2.com has used similar language before but in this instance it seems especially strong. Our friends at U2songs reported a few days ago that one of their sources, who has been extremely reliable, did not anticipate a second night in Singapore.

The official announcement states that this is Singapore's "second and final" show, but it makes no mention of the tour leg as a whole. It is possible more shows are yet to be announced. U2songs writes that second shows in Melbourne and Seoul are both possibilities. Seated tickets in Seoul sold fast, but GA tickets have moved much more slowly. It is questionable whether a second show will be added there.

Melbourne, we hope, will get a second show. There is a gap for it in the itinerary: U2 these days normally work on a pattern of 2 nights on, 2 nights off, and at the moment they have 1 on and 3 off between Melbourne and Adelaide (there is no room to add shows after Brisbane, Adelaide, or Perth without breaking this pattern). Melbourne tickets sold quickly, and even when the show was not listed as "sold out", it had fewer tickets available than the ostensibly sold-out Auckland, at which point a second night in Auckland was added.

Melbourne has always had multiple shows on U2 tours of Australia with the exception of the notably poor-selling Popmart Tour in 1998, when no Australian city got a second night. That show was also at the old Waverley Park, a larger venue than today's Docklands Stadium, so no wonder a second show did not happen in 1998. U2songs states that there has been an unspecified "logistical issue" with Melbourne's first show that should be resolved during this week. That concert is now fully sold out, so if a second night is coming, an announcement is hopefully not far away.

 Posted by Axver on

U2 confirm details for Singapore concert

Today U2 have confirmed the details for their concert in Singapore.

The band will perform at Singapore's National Stadium on 30 November 2019, in between their concerts in Perth and Tokyo. Our database listing for this concert is here.

A presale for U2.com fanclub members commences at 10am this coming Monday, 17 June. Tickets go on sale to the general public at 10am on Thursday 20 June. All times are local.

This show will be U2's first visit to Singapore, or to any southeast Asian country. There had been plans for a Singapore concert on the Popmart Tour, scheduled provisionally on 16 March 1998, but that show was never confirmed or announced publicly. Instead, U2 performed their first ever show on the African continent on that date. Over 21 years later, Singaporean fans will finally get to see U2 on their home turf.

 Posted by Axver on

Additional shows for Auckland and Sydney

As anticipated, U2 have added extra shows in Auckland and Sydney for the Joshua Tree Tour 2019. Both of them are stipulated as the "second and final" shows in the respective  cities.

The second Auckland show will be on 9 November 2019 at Mount Smart Stadium. Ticket presales commence for U2.com subscribers at 10am this Thursday, 13 June. The general public sale commences at 1pm on Monday, 17 June. All times local. Our database listing for this show is here.

The second Sydney show will be on 23 November 2019 at the Sydney Cricket Ground. Ticket presales commence for U2.com subscribers at 11am this Thursday, 13 June. The general public sale commences at midday on Monday, 17 June. All times local. Our database listing for this show is here.

It can be taken as read that the "second and final" Auckland show is also the "second and final" New Zealand show; there is no prospect of a third Kiwi gig in another city (come on lads, go full Lovetown Revival and return to Wellington and Christchurch!). But what about extra Australian shows? At the time of writing, GA standing tickets and a fair number of seats remain available for Adelaide, Brisbane, and Perth so second shows will not be happening there, nor was there room in the schedule for Adelaide or Brisbane anyway.

The big question is whether Melbourne will get a second show. Many fans had assumed it would; there is an apparent gap for one on 16 November. At the time of writing, looking at the live seating map on Ticketmaster for the current Melbourne show, there is only one section (234) with rows of unsold seats; this is at the top $377 price bracket. All other sections with seats for sale only have a tiny smattering of singles—besides section 234, there are no pairs of seats available anywhere in the venue and GA sold out long ago. The demand appears to be there for a second show, but will Melbourne get one? We will keep you posted.

We also have received a number of questions about Singapore. The band have still not confirmed the date or venue for that concert. Again, we will keep you posted.

 Posted by Axver on

U2 announce Joshua Tree Tour of NZ, Australia, Asia

Today, U2 have announced that they will embark upon the Joshua Tree Tour 2019 to New Zealand, Australia, and Asia in November and December 2019. This tour includes U2's first ever concerts in two countries: Singapore and South Korea.

The tour dates are:

  • 2019-11-08 - Auckland, New Zealand - Mt Smart Stadium
  • 2019-11-12 - Brisbane, Queensland, Australia - Suncorp Stadium
  • 2019-11-15 - Melbourne, Victoria, Australia - Marvel Stadium
  • 2019-11-19 - Adelaide, South Australia, Australia - Adelaide Oval
  • 2019-11-22 - Sydney, New South Wales, Australia - Sydney Cricket Ground
  • 2019-11-27 - Perth, Western Australia, Australia - Optus Stadium
  • 2019-12-04 - Tokyo, Japan - Saitama Super Arena
  • 2019-12-05 - Tokyo, Japan - Saitama Super Arena
  • 2019-12-08 - Seoul, South Korea - Gocheok Sky Dome
  • Plus a concert in Singapore, the date and venue to be confirmed

Tickets go on sale first to U2.com subscribers. These presales began on Tuesday 4 June, and there will also be a Live Nation presale before the general public sale commences on Tuesday 11 June. Those dates are for the NZ and Australian shows—there are some variances for the Asian dates, the details of which are on U2.com.

As noted above, U2 have never been to Singapore or South Korea. It is their first visit to Australia and New Zealand since November/December 2010, and the first to Japan since November/December 2006. Adelaide was not included in the 2010 itinerary, so like Japan this is U2's first visit to South Australia since that 2006 tour.

This is the first tour since the Lovetown Tour in 1989 to feature concerts in all five Australian mainland state capital cities. Every tour since then has visited either Adelaide or Perth, but not both. Unfortunately, the band continue to only perform in Auckland in New Zealand; they have not played anywhere else in the country since 1 December 1993 in Christchurch. Auckland is, however, an appropriate place to bring the Joshua Tree Tour, as One Tree Hill/Maungakiekie, the volcanic hill that inspired the song, is visible from Mount Smart Stadium.

U2 are playing the same venues in Auckland, Brisbane, and Melbourne as they did in 2010 (the Melbourne venue now under a new name), and the same venue in Japan as they did in 2006. The concert in Perth is, naturally, U2's first time at the recently opened Optus Stadium. The concert in Adelaide is their first at Adelaide Oval, be that before or after its refurbishment; they never played the unrefurbished Oval, performing stadium shows at Football Park instead. The concert in Sydney is their first at the SCG, no doubt a choice dictated in part by the controversial stadium demolition and redevelopment plans that have occupied much attention this year in New South Wales.

There is room in the itinerary for second shows in Auckland, Melbourne, Sydney, and possibly Perth depending on when the Singapore date is scheduled. If tickets sell fast enough for the above dates in those cities, keep your eyes peeled for an announcement of second shows.

For the trainspotters, here is a fun little factlet. U2's last concert in Adelaide, 16 November 2006, was exactly 13 years to the day since the band had previously performed in the city, on 16 November 1993. The gap from 2006 to this year's show? 13 years and 3 days.

 Posted by Axver on

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