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U2's next tour: what do we know? UPDATED

At the start of the month, we catalogued everything we knew about U2's next tour. In the wake of recent comments and rumours, it is time for an update. This article is based on the original one, with new information in red and now-outdated content removed. Of course, nothing has been announced formally, but enough has been said to get at least a vague idea of the band's intentions.

Acoustic radio sessions: These have now occurred; most dates on the promo tour so far have featured acoustic performances. There might still be more to come. When Bono was interviewed on KROQ, he indicated U2 might do an acoustic session on that station, so if/when some promo appearances occur in North America, the acoustic format might continue. The acoustic promo performances may also be a harbinger of acoustic sets on the next tour, which if the past is any indication would most likely comprise a few songs mid-show on a b-stage.

Smaller venues: There have been plenty of indications that the band intend to go smaller, at least initially. Bono told Absolute Radio and Rádio Cidade 102.9 that the tour will be more indoors than outdoors and he would prefer to play smaller venues. He specifically mentioned playing at London's O2 Arena. Bono's not the only one saying this either. Edge expressed no intention to "top" the 360 Tour in a radio interview, and told Rolling Stone that "I think we will start small". Meanwhile, in The Independent, Arthur Fogel of Live Nation said that after such a massive production as 360 it can be a good idea to go the other way, a clear allusion to a more stripped-back and simpler tour.It is worth noting, however, that in the Rolling Stone interview the band indicate moving to stadiums later in the tour once Songs of Experience is complete.

The setlist: At the end of U2's recent write-up in Q (download it from here), Adam mentioned that they are booking the tour in pairs of shows, and that they want to have two different shows. What could that mean? Two rotational setlists? Two shows with different themes? One electric show and one acoustic? Even one show of big hits for casual fans and one with deep cuts and rarities for hardcore followers? This quote has spawned a lot of speculation online, and of course at this stage answers are impossible - Adam even gave himself a great get-out clause by saying the plan could change completely. (Update, 30/10/14: Adam indicated to Rolling Stone that he does indeed mean one electric night and one more acoustic night, but the band haven't yet fully committed to the idea or how to present and market it.)

Larry also indicated there might be increased setlist diversity at the recent "Unplugged and Talk" event in Germany on 24 October 2014. During the discussion, Larry said the old songs "can't be there all the time", he thinks the new songs are good enough to replace them, and "if we do three or four shows in the same place [I hope] that we would change the set for every night completely". Bono joked this was news to the others, but that he would be curious what the favourite songs of fansites are (dear Bono, "One Tree Hill", "A Sort of Homecoming", "Heartland", "11 O'clock Tick Tock", and "Gone". Thanks, Ax).

As a cautionary note, before previous tours such as Vertigo, there have been hints in interviews of greater setlist diversity that have not really come to fruition. I would not advise fans to get their hopes up that U2 will suddenly have the crazy, exciting setlist variation and spontaneity on the level of Pearl Jam, Bruce Springsteen, or even Neil Finn/Crowded House. By the way, I have been making my own setlist predictions recently. Join me; I am currently up to Pop and will complete the series soon.

Production: The above quotes about smaller venues suggest something more spare and basic instead of the monolithic Claw of 360 or the sensory overload of Zoo TV. Edge told Rolling Stone that it is hard to know what the tour will be like yet, as it is still in the planning stages. However, that does not mean they will be playing on crates and breezeblocks (much as some of us would love a return to the Dandelion Market). Bono told KINK FM that U2 "try to spend a lot of the ticket price on the show", so even if it's a smaller and simpler tour, it will likely still have its fair share of bells and whistles.

Tour start date: According to Q, the tour is set to begin May 2015. Other recent rumours support this, suggesting that the first leg will take place in North America in May/June. Bono did tell German radio station SW3 in September that U2 would be in Germany in May, but it is possible he was conflating the tour starting in May with an intention to visit Germany, or that plans changed.

Tour itinerary: The latest rumour is that U2 will play residencies at arenas in seven North American cities, performing as many shows as they can sell. (No word yet on whether similar plans exist for elsewhere in the world.) This would be a major break with their past touring habits, but would represent a more efficient touring model for the band. The only city named specifically as receiving a residency is Toronto.. That backs up Edge's comments in September when he told Alan Cross that U2 will play Toronto.

As for other parts of the world, rumours indicate that U2 will perform in Portugal and in Milan and Rome. Adam told an Argentinian radio station that U2 are already looking at touring South America and they miss the continent. That backs up a rumour that U2 will tour Argentina, Brazil, and Chile, and possibly visit other Latin American countries for the first time such as Colombia and Peru. There are as yet no solid rumours about other parts of the world, e.g. Australia, New Zealand, Asia, South Africa.

Tickets on sale: One rumour suggests that tickets for North American shows will go on sale to the general public on 22 November. This would imply that presales would occur in the preceding days, and that a tour announcement would be made by mid-November. We will know soon whether or not this rumour is accurate!

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 Posted by Axver on Tuesday, October 28, 2014 @ 09:51:02 UTC | permalink | Comments

U2 on Australia's 60 Minutes

Today a segment featuring U2 was broadcast by Australian TV show 60 Minutes. It included both an interview and a live performance. The interview was conducted by Georgie Gardner on an unknown date last week at a studio in London while U2 were in town for their performances on BBC radio and television. When asked about a tour down under, the band did not give away any specific information and spoke in generalities about their fondness for Australia. However, Bono is clearly not as fond of Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott; he took the interview as an opportunity to criticise the Abbott government's lack of aid to fight the ongoing Ebola crisis.

The song performed for 60 Minutes was "Every Breaking Wave". It featured the whole band, with Edge on piano, and they were accompanied by a string section.

Our database entry for this performance is here. Watch "Every Breaking Wave" below:





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 Posted by Axver on Sunday, October 26, 2014 @ 10:46:48 UTC | permalink | Comments

Bono and Edge on The Late Late Show

In case you missed Bono and Edge's appearance on The Late Late Show, the entire appearance has been posted by the show's official YouTube account. The video includes the live performances of "The Miracle (Of Joey Ramone)" (starting at the 20 minute mark) and "Every Breaking Wave" (at 36:30) as well as the full interview with host Ryan Tubridy. Watch below:





Our database listing for this appearance is here. Lots happened in U2 world yesterday. Catch up on the band's German radio performance and a very interesting North American tour rumour in this article, and watch footage of the live debut of "California" on Jools Holland's TV show here.

There are presently no more shows scheduled for U2. However, in September, Bono indicated in an interview that he would like to do an acoustic session for KROQ. Could some North American promo appearances be in the works for November? If the rumour about North American tour dates going on-sale late next month is true, then the band may do some performances to support the announcement and give ticket sales an extra boost. We will have to wait and see.

In the meantime, you can also check out some stills from The Late Late Show in our gallery. A couple of samples are below.




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 Posted by Axver on Saturday, October 25, 2014 @ 11:33:24 UTC | permalink | Comments

Video of ''California'' live

On Tuesday, U2 performed "California (There Is No End to Love)" live for the first time on Later... With Jools Holland. It was not included in the live broadcast on Tuesday night; instead, it featured as part of an extended episode on Friday. The song was performed by the whole band in full electric form, but without the "Santa Barbara" album intro.

You can watch the video of this debut performance below. There is a short snippet of "God Only Knows" at 2:45, presumably the first of many Beach Boys snippets that will appear in this song.





Our database listing for this concert is here. Also, if you missed it earlier, check out our report on Tuesday's live broadcast, which has a video of the live debut of "Volcano".

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 Posted by Axver on Saturday, October 25, 2014 @ 08:19:53 UTC | permalink | Comments

Wrap-up of today's U2 action

It has been another eventful day in the world of U2. We've got reports from their live performances in Germany and Ireland, plus another tour rumour.

U2 in Oberhausen, Germany
U2 performed an acoustic set for Radio NRW in front of approximately 200 fans in Oberhausen, Germany. It was not broadcast live; it will air on Monday, 27 October. The setlist was almost identical to the acoustic session on British radio on 15 October, which means that "Cedarwood Road" was performed for the second time ever and "Stuck in a Moment" remains the only pre-Songs of Innocence song to be played on the promo tour. Bono was not happy with the first performance of "The Miracle" so it was played a second time at the end.

The full setlist was:

  1. The Miracle (of Joey Ramone)
  2. Every Breaking Wave
  3. Cedarwood Road
  4. Song For Someone
  5. Stuck In A Moment / Fool To Cry (snippet)
  6. The Miracle (of Joey Ramone)

All details for this show including reviews and photos can be found here.

If you attended the show we ask you to share your concert review or photos with other site visitors. You can post your review of the show here and upload your pictures here.

Bono and Edge on The Late Late Show
Bono and Edge were very busy today - after performing in Germany, they flew back to Ireland to appear on that television institution, RTE's The Late Late Show. They had an extended chat with host Ryan Tubridy and played two songs.

After a short chat, the first song was "The Miracle", played for the third time that day. Edge stayed on the interview chair playing acoustic guitar while Bono really got into it, heading into the studio audience and leading them in clapping the rhythm. After a bit more of a chat with Tubridy, Bono and Edge then performed "Every Breaking Wave" with Edge on piano. It was rewarded with a standing ovation.

Our database entry for this show is here. U2Spain already have videos online: watch "The Miracle" at this link and "Every Breaking Wave" at this one

North American tour rumour
And now it's tour rumour time! Our friends at U2log.com posted some tasty morsels on their Twitter account. They report that the North American tour will be in arenas, which is in accordance with Wednesday's rumour. The tour will comprise lengthy residencies in seven cities. They will set up camp in a city and play as many shows as they can sell in the same venue; these shows may not be consecutive to take into account Bono's voice and venue scheduling factors (e.g. NBA and NHL).

Toronto was the only city mentioned specifically. U2log speculate that New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles can probably rest easy. Our speculation is that Boston would be another likely candidate because of U2's rich history and strong connection to the city. So North American fans, if you live outside the seven selected markets, you may have to prepare to travel.

Of course, none of this is confirmed but U2log emphasise that their source is "very credible". If you want to view U2log's tweets, they are here: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8.

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 Posted by Axver on Friday, October 24, 2014 @ 23:58:46 UTC | permalink | Comments

Previous articles:

· Tour news, rumours, and promo footage October 24th, 2014
· U2 North American tour rumour October 22nd, 2014
· U2 on Later... With Jools Holland October 21st, 2014
· Video of U2 on The Graham Norton Show October 18th, 2014
· U2 on The Graham Norton Show - Updated October 17th, 2014
· U2 on Jo Whiley's show on BBC Radio 2 October 15th, 2014
· Bono and Edge on French TV October 14th, 2014
· Today: U2 on French TV, Bono on US radio October 14th, 2014
· Tour rumour: U2 to play Milan and Rome next year October 13th, 2014
· Bono and Edge on Italian TV October 12th, 2014

For older news, see our Archive.
This site is using phpgraphy for the galleries. The tour database script was initially written by Martin Stieglmayer and heavily modified since then. The cover section is maintained by Marc. All photos, logos, lyrics, covers and trademarks on this site are property of their respective owner. The comments and reviews are property of their posters; all the rest © 1996-2014 by Matthias Mühlbradt and André Axver.
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