March 2009 Archives

Pitchfork U2 Interview

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Pitchfork Managing Editor Mark Richardson sits down with Bono, Edge and Adam for a revealing interview.

By Billboard Staff,

With sales this morning (March 30) of more than 82,000 tickets sold in New York, 72,000 in Boston and 65,000 in Chicago, the U2 360° Tour will set the largest single-day attendance record in each city, according to tour producer Live Nation.

In London, with more than 6,700 tickets sold in 60 seconds, ticket sales for U2 at Wembley Stadium resulted in the highest sales rate ever in the U.K. At Dublin's Croke Park, 160,000 tickets for U2 360° Tour performances in July 24-25 sold out in 40 minutes, leading the announcement of a third and final event in that city. Second performances were added in Gothenburg and Amsterdam and sold out within hours of going on sale.

Zagreb sales broke all sales records in that country, and last week U2's tour opener in Barcelona sold out in 54 minutes, becoming the fastest ever sold out show in the history of pop music in Spain, Live Nation says.


Make it two for U2.

It has been confirmed that U2 has added a second Toronto show this fall.

The legendary Irish band now will bring its 360 Degrees Tour to the Rogers Centre on back-to-back nights, Sept. 16 and 17. The opening act for both shows will be Snow Patrol.

Tickets go on sale Monday at 10 a.m., through Live Nation and Ticketmaster outlets, as well as at the Rogers Centre.

Prices are $32, $57, $97 and $252, plus service charges. There is an eight-ticket limit per customer.


Band plans its most ambitious tour ever behind new 'No Line'

Brian Hiatt, Rolling Stone

Toward the end of U2's last tour, in November 2006, longtime show director Willie Williams presented the band with sketches of a four-legged monster -- a massive structure with speakers mounted on each side that would allow the group to play stadium shows in the round. On the new U2 360° Tour, which hits the U.S. beginning September 12th, in Chicago (and kicks off in Barcelona, on June 30th), Williams' vision will finally come to life. "The band is just sitting in the palm of the audience's hand," says Williams. "It really works." Adds Bono, "It creates this real physical proximity to the crowd."

Ronan McGreevy, Irish Times

U2 MAY have suffered the indignity of having their new album No Line on the Horizon knocked off the top of the charts after just one week but they remain incomparably the biggest draw in live music.

All 164,000 tickets for their first two shows at Croke Park sold out yesterday morning in under two hours.

Pairs of tickets were gone within 51 minutes of going on sale at 8am, single tickets by 9.30am and the sold-out sign on the Ticketmaster website was displayed by 10am.

Given U2's reputation as a live act, sell-outs for the U2360 concerts on Friday, July 24th, and Saturday, July 25th, were seen as dead certs, but it still came as a relief to lead singer Bono.

"As my friend Gavin Friday says, 'insecurity is your best security'," he told RTÉ Radio 2FM's Gerry Ryan Show yesterday morning.

The Edge of Destruction

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U2 guitarist's plan for his 1,000 acres in Malibu is infuriating some of his neighbors

Craig Stephens, LA Weekly

Irish supergroup U2 has long been acknowledged for its altruism, for using its fame to spotlight global issues like poverty, the AIDS crisis and the environment. But while music critics and fans are focused on the band's spirit and energy, which is readily apparent on U2's new album, No Line on the Horizon, the band's guitarist, David Evans, a.k.a. the Edge, has been drawing a less-welcome sort of attention from his Malibu neighbors, who accuse him of hypocrisy in how he's developing two huge properties there.

Residents in the Coral and Latigo canyon areas of the Malibu hills are in an uproar over the Edge's plan to build five homes across a proposed area of nearly 1,000 acres on two key sites, one bordered by the spectacular Latigo Canyon and the other at Serra Retreat.

312,000 tickets sold over 2 days

Live Nation,

With sales of over 312,000 tickets in 24 hours, U2 fans worldwide are ready to "get on their boots" as U2 360 Tour, presented by BlackBerry(R), announces complete sell-outs in Gothenburg, Milan and Amsterdam this weekend.

Friday morning, sales in Gothenburg were so brisk, that after 30 minutes a 2nd and final show (August 1st) was added with 56,000 tickets per show completely sold out by end of day. Amsterdam broke that record Saturday with the July 20th Arena performance selling 60,000 tickets within 15 minutes of going on sale. A 2nd performance July 21st was immediately announced and put on sale and is also now sold out. Milan's 80,000 capacity San Siro was also completely sold out by Sunday evening and tickets for a 2nd performance July 8th in Milan will go on sale this Friday, March 20th.

'We may go back to the clubs permanently,' Larry Mullen Jr. jokes following set.

By Benjamin Wagner, MTV

BOSTON -- "It was an unwieldy event," Bono told MTV News' Sway Calloway just seconds after stepping off the tiny club stage at Wednesday's surprise performance. "But that's the way we like 'em."

No strangers to spectacle, U2 wrapped up their 10-day, four-city campaign for Biggest Band in the World -- and celebrated No Line on the Horizon's #1 status in 30 countries -- with the global broadcast of a jet-fueled performance and Q&A from Boston's Somerville Theatre.

And what a spectacle.

Bono and Co. played the intimate, one-time vaudeville theater like it was an arena, tearing through five incendiary tunes in just 20 minutes. Backlit by strands of bright white lightbulbs against a naked brick wall, Bono stomped and strutted during "Get on Your Boots," tossing dual, syncopated peace signs to the crowd.

U2 Visits Chicago's Metro

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Jim DeRogatis, Chicago Sun-Times

Continuing an extensive and relentless publicity campaign that has often seemed both more expensive and more elaborately planned than the American invasion of Iraq, U2 came to Chicago's Metro on Tuesday night.

The Irish rockers did not perform, and they declined to talk to the press, lest they be forced to confront any mildly thorny question.

A few months prior to launching their U.S. tour at Soldier Field on Sept. 12 and the night before their 12th studio album, No Line on the Horizon, was set to debut at No. 1 on the Billboard albums chart, Bono, the Edge, Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen Jr. came here for one reason and one reason only.

To hype, hype, hype -- the better to sell, sell, sell.

Seated on plush leather couches on Metro's stage, the band conducted a friendly hour-long chat with former Garbage front woman Shirley Manson broadcast over syndicated radio.


PR Newswire, today confirms that the U2 360 Tour will open at the Nou Camp Stadium in Barcelona on 30th June. The U2 360 Tour is sponsored by BlackBerry® and is the band's first stadium outing since the Vertigo Tour 05/06 and follows the release of their acclaimed album, No Line On The Horizon. Their 12th studio album, No Line On The Horizon is already number 1 in the UK, Ireland, France, Germany, Belgium, Finland, Japan and the Czech Republic with further chart positions to be announced this week.

Produced by Live Nation Global Touring, U2 360 will visit 14 cities across Europe including dates in Milan, Gothenburg, Amsterdam, Paris, Nice, Dublin, Chorzow, Berlin, Gelsenkirchen, London, Sheffield and Glasgow before finishing at Millennium Stadium in Cardiff on 22nd August. The European tour will be followed by dates in North America beginning at Chicago's Soldier Field on September 12th, 2009.

One-on-One With U2

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Reporter and Admitted Fan Hangs With the Band

Kate Snow, ABC News

Full disclosure time. I cannot be fully impartial about U2. When I was a freshman in college -- back in the days before Ticketmaster and clicking "refresh" online could score you great seats to a show -- I once slept overnight in a freezing parking garage with my friend Monica to get tickets for the Joshua Tree tour. When I told Bono that story Friday, he leaned in and asked "where?" as if he might remember the moment. Syracuse, N.Y., fall 1987.

Bono has a way of making you feel like you are the center of his universe, if only for 10 minutes in a stairwell. He is just as cool as you'd imagine he'd be in person.

Like a true politician, he greeted me with a "Good to see you again!" even though we'd met only once before, and that interview was remote via satellite. No matter. There's an instant collegiality -- feigned or not, I didn't care. He's your old buddy just catching up to chat a bit about the new album.

Click here to watch the interview

Ray Waddell, Nashville, Billboard

Kiss The Future, U2's world tour in support of its new album "No Line on the Horizon," will play stadiums around the world, beginning June 30 in Barcelona, Billboard can exclusively reveal. Details of the tour will be announced March 9.

It's a groundbreaking tour with production that includes a 360-degree audience configuration, ambitious staging and a cylindrical video screen. "We're very excited about the idea to go on the road with this album," the Edge says. "It's an album that I think is going to translate so well to the live context. The songs we've tried in rehearsal are sounding fantastic, so that's got everyone really fired up."

U2 will be playing in a setting unique among all previous tours, by any artist. The tour will be global and lengthy. U2 will stay in Europe through Aug. 22, then hit American shores on Sept. 12 with a show at Soldier Field in Chicago. The band will play in North America until Oct. 28 and plans on working the globe until the fall of 2010. In addition to its production firsts, the tour is destined to become one of the highest-grossing tours ever; at $389 million, the band's 2005-2007 Vertigo tour is second only to the Rolling Stones' A Bigger Bang trek.


Jenn Pelly, Rolling Stone

"I joined a rock & roll band so I could get out of going to college," Bono told students at New York's Fordham University at 8 a.m. this morning, during a somewhat-secret six-song U2 set at the school's picturesque Bronx campus that was aired on Good Morning America. "Maybe if it looked like this, and felt like this, things could have been different," he added.

The show -- which capped the band's first-week publicity blitz for its new No Line on the Horizon -- took place on the steps of the university's gothic Keating Hall, in front of a snowy, packed quad of Fordham students and staff. A Fordham ID was required to enter the School of Rock-esque spectacle. "Edge, what would have been your major?" Bono asked. The guitarist's response: a "Major key."


Paul McGuinness has been talking to Hot Press about the imminent announcement of U2's world tour, which is likely to include three Croke Park stop-offs in July.

Hot Press,

"This is going to be a very big tour, the biggest shows we've ever done," he reveals. "We're going to play stadiums only. Football stadiums. That excludes, for instance, baseball stadiums because the production that we've designed is 360 degrees. It's a stage with the audience on all sides."

Will the stage be in the centre of the arena?

"Not quite in the centre, it will be towards one end of the field in a typical football stadium, so the places we're playing will be tiered football stadiums; no flat fields, no festivals, no baseball stadiums. Only big, tiered stadiums."


Bono confirms next U2 album, a 'companion' to No Line on the Horizon, scheduled for 2009 release

By Sean Michaels, Guardian

Even with U2's 12th studio album, No Line on the Horizon, arriving in British shops today, the Irish band are not wasting any time. Album number 13 will be released later this year, according to Bono, drawn from the same recording sessions.

The as-yet untitled album will be a "companion" to this week's release, with a "more meditative and processional tone," according to the New York Times.


Denise Quan, CNN

Getting an exclusive broadcast interview with all four members of U2 was the easy part. Getting an advance copy of their new CD required a bit more strategizing.

We were scheduled to speak with the Rock and Roll Hall of Famers during the two days they were in Los Angeles for the Grammy Awards, where they'd be opening the show with their new single, "Get on Your Boots." But before that happened, I needed to hear the music.

Lori Earl, the band's longtime publicist, said I would be given one of five dubs of the band's 12th studio album, No Line on the Horizon. Needless to say, they were concerned about piracy -- especially three weeks ahead of the record's March 3 release date.

Last Gang in Town

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By Jon Pareles, New York Times

Onstage at the Earl's Court Exhibition Center here was a glittery dress rehearsal for the annual Brit Awards, Britain's equivalent of the Grammys. Although U2 was not among the nominees, it had the opening slot for the Feb. 19 show: a live performance of the hard-riffing "Get On Your Boots" from its new album, No Line on the Horizon (Interscope). U2 had blasted the same song earlier in the month at the Grammy Awards.

After the run-through the four band members headed to a grimy loading zone behind the auditorium for a photo session. The photographer had them walk down a ramp; Bono, who often calls himself a "Method actor," wanted to know what kind of walk. A short discussion settled it. The band started a proud, seasoned swagger as Bono announced, "Last gang in town!"

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