U2's really big show flies into Foxboro

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By Jed Gottlieb, Boston Herald

Achtung babies! U2's first stateside stadium tour in a decade is on the horizon.

On Sunday and Monday, Gillette Stadium will host about 140,000 fans for the Irish icons' 360 Tour's New England stop. To get you psyched for these beautiful nights, we've unearthed some tour details.

The songs: A big chunk of the set doesn't change from night to night, including U2 opening with a quartet of new songs "Breathe," "No Line On The Horizon," "Get On Your Boots" and "Magnificent." But among the new tunes and expected hits ("Beautiful Day," "Vertigo," "One," "Bad," "With Or Without You") are some surprises. Last week, the band debuted "Your Blue Room," a song from the "Original Soundtracks 1" album recorded under the pseudonym Passengers. Also, the band has been tucking in snippets of covers, including "All You Need Is Love," "Blackbird," "King of Pain," "Stand By Me" and "Amazing Grace."

What you likely won't hear are former concert staples "I Will Follow" and "Bullet the Blue Sky," which didn't show up once on the European leg of the tour.

The structure: After a few nightcaps at 3 a.m., Bono revealed to a British journalist that he sees the show as a two-act performance. The first act is about the personal, the soul-searching of a young man, expressed by "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For," "Stuck In A Moment You Can't Get Out Of," "Unknown Caller," etc.

The second half focuses on the political and global with "Sunday Bloody Sunday," "Pride (In the Name of Love)," "Walk On," etc. Bono admitted that nobody but him would have likely figured out this micro/macro two-act structure.

The stage set: Nicknamed "the spaceship" by Bono, U2's latest monstrosity is its most monstrous. Built for a reported cost of $40 million, the rotating stage features a 90-foot-tall canopy and a 54-ton, 360-degree video screen made up of a million pieces, including 500,000 pixels and 30,000 cables. Just when you thought Bono's head couldn't get any bigger, it's about to be blown up by a million watts.

The opener: You know Snow Patrol if you know "Grey's Anatomy." The Scottish band's "Chasing Cars" hit huge in 2006 after the song appeared on "Grey's." If you're drawing a blank, you can think of the band as U2 lite - same basic idea, with less hooks and no grand ego. Hey, at least we're not getting the Black Eyed Peas like some cities are.

The new album: Is better than you think. Really. And you'll want to get to know these songs before the show: expect seven of them to get played.

The new old album: Hours after the band kicked off the U.S. leg of the tour, the band announced that "The Unforgettable Fire" is getting a deluxe 25th anniversary reissue. Out Oct. 27, it will be available on vinyl and in single and double CD formats and come with unreleased songs and B-sides.

The details: Snow Patrol should go on around 7. U2 will hit the stage, or should we say the spaceship, around 8:30. Parking lots open at 3 (early arrivals will be turned away), the same time fans with general admission seats can begin lining up.

U2 360 with Snow Patrol, Gillette Stadium, Foxboro, Sunday and Monday. Tickets: $32.50-$252.50; ticketmaster.com.

© 2009 Boston Herald

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This page contains a single entry by Jonathan published on September 18, 2009 10:46 AM.

U2 drops in for a chat with local radio was the previous entry in this blog.

Bono reveals U2's next albums is the next entry in this blog.

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