Last week's concert sales were the final sales for concerts on the 360° Tour's first and second legs. Now that they are said and done, shows in all markets are selling strongly, the majority in Europe are sold out, and it seems like a good time to do a bit of a historical overview of the tour dates by looking at notable statistics and occurrences.1st leg: Europe
The last time a tour has begun outside the USA was twenty years ago on the Lovetown Tour
, which opened in Perth, Western Australia on 21 September 1989
. The Lovetown Tour only featured concerts in Australia, New Zealand, Japan, and Europe. The last time a tour featuring concerts in North America began outside the USA was even earlier: The Unforgettable Fire Tour
began in Christchurch, New Zealand on 29 August 1984
. The last time a tour began in Europe really depends on semantics. Both the War Tour and its Pre-Tour began in Europe, Scotland to be precise; they opened respectively on 26 February 1983
in Dundee and 1 December 1982
in Glasgow. However, the first leg of the UF Tour to New Zealand and Australia was little more than a "War Tour in disguise"; you may wish to consider the first leg proper to be the European leg that began on 18 October 1984
- Barcelona, Spain: The first time a U2 tour has begun in Spain. It is the first time U2 have played two stadium gigs in Barcelona on the same tour; the only other time U2 have played two shows in a Spanish city on the same tour was when they did two arena shows in Barcelona on 16
and 18 May 1992
- Gothenburg, Sweden: The first time U2 have played two shows in Gothenburg (or any Swedish city outside Stockholm) on one tour and the first time U2 have played two stadium gigs in Sweden on one tour.
- Chorzow, Poland: Following the 5 July 2005
concert, this is the first time U2 have played Poland on consecutive tours.
- Zagreb, Croatia: U2's first ever visit to Croatia. This will be only the second and third times U2 have played anywhere in the former Yugoslavia; first was Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina on 23 September 1997
- Sheffield, England: U2's first stadium concert in Sheffield is also their first anywhere in the city since 17 June 1992
- Cardiff, Wales: This is the first time a tour leg has ended in Wales.2nd Leg: North America
This leg is U2's first stadium leg in North America since Popmart's third leg
in October-December 1997.
- Chicago, Illinois: This is the first time a U2 tour leg has begun in Chicago; however, the opening show of Elevation's third leg on 10 October 2001
was in nearby South Bend.
- Landover, Maryland: U2's Washington DC-area concert is only their second ever in Landover and fourth in the entire state of Maryland. The last concert in Landover was held 24 years ago on 8 April 1985
- Charlottesville, Virginia: U2's first concert in Charlottesville and their first stadium concert in Virginia. The last time the band visited Virginia was 19 years ago, when they hit Hampton on 7 March 1992
- Raleigh, North Carolina: Assuming nothing untoward happens, this will be U2's first concert in Raleigh after the original first show for 29 May 1997 was cancelled.
- Norman, Oklahoma: U2's first concert anywhere in Oklahoma since their last gig in Norman a staggering 26 years ago on 10 June 1983
. Rather unsurprisingly, this will also be the band's first stadium show in Oklahoma.
- Pasadena, California: For the first time ever, a North American tour leg contains just one scheduled California concert. However, two previous legs featured no
California gigs. After four shows on Popmart's first leg, the third leg skipped the state entirely; back in 1980, the band's first visit to the US on the Boy Tour's second leg only hit northeastern cities, with the first Californian concerts not scheduled until the band's return in early 1981 on the tour's fourth leg.
- Vancouver, British Columbia: U2 close a tour leg in British Columbia for the first time; it just missed out on Popmart's third leg when the 9 December 1997
show was second-last.
To tide you over until the tour begins in late June, stay tuned to U2gigs.com in the coming weeks for more articles about U2's live history.