U2 to return to road four years after record tour

Friday, December 5th, 2014. Filed under: Entertainment International Stars Music
U2 performs on July 8, 2011 in Montreal, Canada, part of their "360" tour. ©AFP PHOTO / Rogerio BARBOSA

U2 performs on July 8, 2011 in Montreal, Canada, part of their “360″ tour.
©AFP PHOTO / Rogerio BARBOSA

(NEW YORK-AFP) – U2, whose last tour in 2009-2011 was the highest-grossing ever, on Wednesday announced concerts in 2015 across North America and Europe and promised variety in its sets.

The tour plans indicate that frontman Bono expects a full recovery after a bicycle accident last month. He was replaced by Bruce Springsteen and Coldplay’s Chris Martin during a surprise show for AIDS relief Monday in New York.

The Irish superstars announced shows in 19 cities starting with Vancouver’s Rogers Arena on May 14-15 and ending at the Bercy Arena in Paris on November 10-11.

U2 will play two dates in most cities, although four shows each are planned at New York’s Madison Square Garden, The Forum in the Los Angeles area and London’s O2.

“We are going to try to have a completely different feeling from night one to night two … and have some fun playing with the idea of innocence and experience,” Bono said in a statement.

Bono was alluding to U2′s latest album, “Songs of Innocence,” whose subject matter revolves heavily around his childhood memories.

The tour is U2′s first since 2009-2011, when the band played 110 shows across the world and generated more than $736 million — far more than any other string of concerts.

The last tour, dubbed 360, took place mostly in outdoor stadiums where fans would face a central stage. The upcoming tour will take place in comparatively intimate indoor arenas.

U2 did not immediately announce any dates outside of North America and Europe. The band said, however, that is planning additional dates in Dublin in late 2015.

U2 controversially released “Songs of Innocence” in September as a promotion for Apple, which sent it for free to the world’s half billion iTunes users. U2 faced accusations of being spammers or at least being presumptuous in believing the whole world wanted the album.

Bono later apologized for the move, although the band said Wednesday that the album has been downloaded by 30 million people and streamed 81 million times — far more than bought the band’s top-selling album, 1987′s “The Joshua Tree.”

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